Kukla's Korner

Your Norris Candidates

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

You hear this old cliché all the time: Defense is your best offense.

Sick of it already? So are we, but we certainly believe it.

For proof, just look at the final three in contention for this season’s James Norris Trophy, which is awarded annually to the best defenseman in the National Hockey League.

Between Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings, Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins and Dion Phaneuf of the Calgary Flames, the trio of finalists has a combined 44 goals and 137 assists for 181 points, an average of 60.3 points per defensemen.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Spending The Day With The NY Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Game 7 Experience Counts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Calgary Herald,

So, going into a game like this we’ve got lots of guys who have been in positive situations,” said Iginla. “So you draw on those things. You definitely do. You get good vibes going.

Imagine the whopper that Alex Tanguay could weave.

Game 7! . . . Stanley Cup final! . . . two goals! . . . including the game-winner as the Colorado Avalanche shaded the New Jersey Devils in 2001.

Also skating in that championship skirmish was Stephane Yelle, the NHL’s active leader in Game 7 appearances—11, including tonight.

Mike Keenan, meanwhile, will skipper a Game 7 for the 10th time—a league record.

But everyone—no matter how fat the resume—will be fighting jitters.

more on the Flames…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+tanguay, jarome+iginla, mike+keenan

Nashville Coaching Staff Will Return

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Glennon of the Tennessean,

The Predators are expected to announce new multi-year contracts for the coaching staff and scouts at a morning news conference today.

The current contracts would have expired in June, but the new deals will keep the staff in place.

continued

Update 1:37pm ET— From the Predators website:

President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today contract extensions for head coach Barry Trotz, associate coach Brent Peterson, assistant coach Peter Horachek, goaltending coach Mitch Korn, video coach Robert Bouchard as well as medical and training staff and members of the scouting department.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Brodeur Turns Down Team Canada

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Everson of the NY Post,

Surprisingly, Brodeur yesterday said he’s turning down the chance to play for Team Canada in the World Championship in Quebec next month. He indicated that the five-game, first-round playoff loss to the Rangers New York Rangers sapped his desire to play right now.

Brodeur said it was “The circus with the Rangers,” and especially, “You Know Who,” who made him look “tired mentally,” as coach Brent Sutter put it.

more

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: martin+brodeur

Let Them Keep Playing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,

Hey, if the league can change its rules in the middle of the playoffs, certainly the fellows who run the NHL have the power to mandate that the Flyers and the Capitals must play a best-of-nine…or 11…or 25.

Sadly, this series will come to an end Tuesday night in Washington and if the league really wants to increase its mass appeal, it will do something, anything, to prevent that from happening. Simply put, this series has been one of the most compelling in years in the NHL and is putting on display everything the league would like the casual sports fan to see.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Someone Goes Home

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Pollak of MediaNews via the ContraCosta Times,

Do or die. Win or go home. Pucks or putters.

Pick whatever phrase makes it most clear what the stakes are tonight at HP Pavilion. Because when the Sharks and Calgary Flames square off in the first Game 7 played on home ice in franchise history, there is no shortage of drama and pressure.

So much, in fact, that Sharks coach Ron Wilson rejects the notion that he needs to find a way to motivate his team to play with the required desperation.

“It’s a seventh game. If you don’t win, you’re out. If I have to manufacture desperation, we’re in dire straits,” Wilson said shortly after the Flames beat the Sharks 2-0 on Sunday night to force this hard-fought series into a one-game showdown. “Our players know what’s at stake.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Young Euros Proving They Can Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jason La Confora of the Washington Post,

There’s a backward stereotype that still percolates around NHL rinks, the one about many European players being soft and not built for the playoff grind. It’s bandied about quietly among hockey people, many of whom were watching this young Capitals team very closely to gauge how their neophyte Russians and Swedes would fare.

They wondered if Alexander Semin (Russian) and Nicklas Backstrom (Swede) could adjust to the heightened physicality of the game, the lack of abundant space to operate, the need to sometimes abandon overly creative play and simply dump the puck.

continued (reg. req.)

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Flyers Haven’t Lost Yet

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

It was just a word, just three little letters at the end of a sentence. There was something fatalistic, though, in Kimmo Timonen’s postgame comment.

“We haven’t lost yet,” the veteran defenseman said.

Yet. They haven’t lost the series yet. Three little letters that perfectly capture the feel of things after the Flyers blew Game 6 against the Washington Capitals last night.

The problem isn’t Game 7 in Washington tonight. The problem is how the Flyers arrived there.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

It Was The Canadiens Stage

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe,

The Bruins were props.

Their assigned role in this production last night was to play the part of the overwhelmed opposition. They were not to interfere with the plot line, which called for Montreal to reassert the superiority of a No. 1 seed against a No. 8. And your Bruins followed the script magnificently, right down to allowing a cherry-on-the-sundae goal with eight seconds remaining in a 5-0 celebration of Canadiens hockey.

The Bruins threatened to mess with the plot in the first period, when they had the preponderance of the legitimate scoring chances.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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