Kukla's Korner

The NHL’s Dream Postseason

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Al Strachan at Fox Sports,

For the most part, the teams that remain alive are the ones the league can seriously promote on television, and in the process, draw fans to the sport. The Rangers, of course, are the best of that group.

They bring in the huge New York market. They boast established stars like Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan. Just as important, they have home-grown American stars like Scott Gomez and Chris Drury. And of course, they have Sean Avery who, like him or hate him, does get noticed. For the NHL, it doesn’t get much better than that.

As of this writing, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington are all alive. The first two command attention, just by the reputation of their cities. And Washington has Alexander Ovechkin.

Again, this is a pure treat for the NHL.

more… on the potential matchups in the 2nd round

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: playoffs

All Eyes on Price

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Tim Wharnsby at the Globe & Mail,

All eyes will be focused on rookie Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price and how he deals with the pressure cooker of a game seven in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Price has been coddled by the Canadiens since he gave up five more goals in Montreal’s wild 5-4 loss to the Boston Bruins in game six on Saturday evening. He wasn’t made available for interviews yesterday and again this morning after the Canadiens skate.

Did this maneuvre to shield him only add to the anxiety he’s already experiencing in the hours leading up to tonight’s elimination game?

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carey+price

First Round a Success

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Paul Kukla at Hockey.com,

My life may be a bit different than yours since I do hockey for a living. 24/7, that’s me and although you may not have the schedule I do, you probably have been following the conference quarter-finals and have been impressed by the pace and action of the games.

We have hard hard hits, battles along the boards, grit and determination is the norm and most games have kept us tuned-in until the final horn. The officiating on a whole has been great, letting the boys play is much better than calling every little infraction. As long as the pattern continues, we cannot ask for anything more from the on-ice officials.

more… from the boss

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: officiating, playoffs

$1 Million Weekend for Huselius

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Allen Cameron at the Calgary Herald,

Fresh off hitting for a $1-million payout in a harness-racing wager in his native Sweden on Saturday, the talented forward responded with his best game of the playoffs Sunday night at the Pengrowth Saddledome, assisting on Owen Nolan’s eventual game-winner in the first period and playing a role at both ends of the ice in Calgary’s 2-0 series-tying win over the San Jose Sharks.

more… on a big weekend for Huselius

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: harness+racing, kristian+huselius

Nashville Management Must Step-Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,

...And like another CBA poster child – the Buffalo Sabres – the Predators have rewarded their fans by essentially stiffing them. Former owner Craig Leipold sold the team before getting a sweetheart deal to own the far more lucrative Minnesota Wild, but before doing that, forced Poile to strip the organization of some of its top veteran players in a desperate cost-cutting move.

This is where it must end. And it must end with the Predators doing everything they possibly can to sign goaltender Dan Ellis to a long-term contract extension. If they do, it will require a complete about face by team management, which, before the playoffs, seemed intent on allowing Ellis to depart as an unrestricted free agent and next season go with the tandem of Chris Mason and prospect Pekka Rinne.

But the way Ellis, who turns 28 in June, played down the stretch and in the playoffs should change everything. He recorded the best save percentage in the league during the regular season and was spectacular in defeat for the Predators, even though he was victimized by a one-bouncer that got past him in Game 6.

more

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

Schneider The Scapegoat?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

The LA Times’ Helene Elliott is upset, crestfallen even.  Her Poultry are done and she’s pointing fingers.  At Sasquatch for taking yet another idiotic, but typical, penalty at the end of Game 6 yesterday? Not by name.  Nope, she’s throwing another defenseman under the bus, and that would be Mathieu Schneider.

When Niedermayer returned and General Manager Brian Burke had to make salary-cap space for him this season and next, Burke had to choose between trading center Andy McDonald or defenseman Mathieu Schneider. He dealt McDonald, the team’s top playoff goal scorer last spring, so he could keep his defense intact.

That was the wrong decision, not only because the Ducks lost McDonald’s playmaking and scoring but because Schneider is incurably soft and untrustworthy defensively.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Vezina Finalists Announced

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Dan Rosen at NHL.com,

In one corner is the mainstay, the ol’ reliable in New Jersey Devils’ dynamo Martin Brodeur. Last season, Brodeur captured his third Vezina Trophy in the last four seasons after setting an NHL record with 48 victories. This season he won 44 games.

In another corner, we have the element of surprise, the unlikely candidate in San Jose Sharks veteran Evgeni Nabokov. He has never been a Vezina finalist and had previously never played in more than 67 games in one season. Nabokov played in 77 this time around.

And finally, we have the rising star, the current and future “King” of New York in Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist. This is Lundqvist’s third-straight season as a Vezina finalist, meaning he’s been in the final three in each of his three NHL seasons.

more…

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeni+nabokov, henrik+lundqvist, martin+brodeur, vezina+trophy

All About Respect

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John McGourty of NHL.com,

Despite a lot of outside vitriol among media and fans, the players and coaches of the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers, who meet in Game 6 tonight (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS, TSN, RDS) at the Wachovia Center have been professional and respectful of one another.

The Flyers’ players, coaches and management don’t hate the Capitals. And the Capitals express respect for their opponents as well.

continued

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

Buh Bye Bubba.  Next?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

422 comments left on the prolific, record-setting Game 6 Live Blog.  It’s the highest number of reactions to any blog post in the history of the internet, according to A2Y research.

Just two of those comments were mine, and neither were essential to the conversation. I feel a little bitter, and a little underappreciated.  But I’ll work that out in my quiet time.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

KK Poll- Bruins or Canadiens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Spector at the Soapbox section of Spector’s Hockey,

Why the Bruins will win: The momentum and confidence is now fully on their side and all the pressure is now on the Habs at home. They’ve outworked the Canadiens in nearly every game in this series and will continue doing so. Appear to have gotten to Habs goalie Carey Price, while Tim Thomas will play well between the Bruins pipes.

Why the Canadiens will win: They should get a confidence boost from the rabid hometown crowd. Their young scorers finally came through in Game 6 and should follow it up in Game Seven. The coaching staff will stress out-working the Bruins, including making the physical sacrifices to make the plays that win playoff games. Carey Price will again stand tall in goal.

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

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