Kukla's Korner

The Next Big Thing In Chicago

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob Verdi of the Chicago Tribune,

Since 1998, the Hawks have earned only five playoff dates, all in April. They have played only six games in May since 1996. They haven’t lasted until June since 1995, and then they went deep into spring primarily because a lockout delayed the regular season’s start until January.

In other words, there are thousands of people currently flocking to the sold-out United Center who never have been immersed in the buzz of playoff hockey performed by a team that actually can challenge for a Stanley Cup. Playoff hockey is terrific anywhere, but when contested here, it is special, and you can look it up….

These Hawks aren’t a forlorn bunch as were many of the predecessors who were good at everything but their jobs. Those Hawks would have been a great golf team, or billiards team, but come April, all bags were packed. Now, hockey could consume the town next month. It wouldn’t be the first time, only the first time in too long a time.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

On Tap For Tonite:  “Hit Me Mick”, Van Halen, And BJ’s For All

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Daylight savings time.  Spring forward, I guess, eh?  Hope you have the energy.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Settle In Today For Some Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Shopping done early this morning while dodging the rain drops that will be constant in the Detroit area today.

It should be a great day and night for hockey viewing.

image

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Best Of The Best

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Everson of the NY Post,

It’s only a slight exaggeration that Martin Brodeur’s comeback has been his career in a nutshell.

Hockey is watching, and everyone else around here should be, too. It’s just not that often we have the “greatest ever” (even if only arguably) on display, night after night, right where we live.

Babe Ruth? Not quite that old. Julius Erving? Hmm, maybe not. Wayne Gretzky? Not his heyday. Niatross? OK, horses don’t count.

It’s 15 seasons now, which means it mostly is behind us, and it’s time to appreciate it while he’s still at the top of his powers.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: martin+brodeur

Losing Badly

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,

The litany of losses that make their fans want to gag are plenty - like Thursday’s 4-2 loss in Ottawa, getting shut out at home by Columbus or losing 8-3 to Detroit, 10-2 to Buffalo and 9-2 to Chicago.

“It seems like when we lose, we lose 5-1, 5-0 - everything goes wrong,” said Ales Hemsky.

“We stop playing. I don’t know, it’s hard to explain. We get down and we have no answer.”

Very rarely have the Oilers been able to reverse the flow of momentum. Even when they have 59 minutes and 48 seconds to do it, like in Ottawa.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

No Time To Panic

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post,

The Caps and their fans are not just shocked by the losses, but by the combined 13-5 score, too. In one loss, they gave up six straight goals; in the next game, five in a row and, on Thursday, they trailed 2-0 entering the final minute. The last time the Caps lost three straight in regulation time at home, they fired the coach—last season.

“You can be told a little too often how good you are. I don’t know if ‘cavalier’ is the word, but you can be too cocky at times, not play as hard as you should, be more pretty than gritty,” General Manager George McPhee told me yesterday. Thursday night, he was so frustrated he went into his suite muttering, “I’m going back into my cave.”

Far better to experience such issues now than in April, when you can be dumped out of the playoffs before you have figured out your problems, much less fixed them.

read on

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

Ryan Now #9 In Honor Of Modano

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Curtis Zupke of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,

There was symbolism when Bobby Ryan scored his highlight-reel goal in the third period against Dallas on Friday.

Ryan was playing his first game wearing jersey No. 9. The Ducks gave it to him per club tradition for players who have established themselves. Ryan also happened to have worn the number as a kid in homage to his favorite player: Modano.

The 38-year-old future Hall of Famer smiled when told that last tidbit.

“It gives you an idea of how long you’ve been around,” Modano said. “It’s kind of neat to see that he did that.

“He’s going to be a fun kid to watch. It seems like he’s going to have a great career. Great skill, great hands. Obviously, on that second goal he made a great move. It lets you know you’re kind of getting up there.”

read on and watch the highlight goal below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bobby+ryan, mike+modano

Can Antropov Be The Answer?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

If it’s impossible to know what the Rangers truly have surrendered for 18 regular-season games of Antropov, it’s nearly as difficult to know what Leafs GM Brian Burke sent Glen Sather’s way at Wednesday’s deadline, because Antropov has long been one of the NHL’s biggest mysteries, aside from his 6-foot-6 frame.

Tomorrow afternoon should provide a clue about what the Rangers have when Antropov goes against Boston’s 6-foot-9 Zdeno Chara at the Garden in one of those nationally televised games that have been habitual debacles for Broadway’s team.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nik+antropov

Refs Should Stick Together

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Japers’ Rink,

My suggestion is not for more instruction from the NHL head office (although that may help).  My suggestion is that all referees be paired into teams that will work together through the course of the season.  NFL, NBA, and MLB all do that and arguably all of these sports require less communication and implicit understanding among crew members.  NFL and MLB officials have regular breaks where they can get together and discuss the call.  That is simply not an option in the NHL.  The officials need to know the tendencies of their partners, need to know how the other official calls games and know under what circumstances the backside official should be making a call.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Keenan Asked Questions, But Does He Answer Them?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Flames Insider,

In the aftermath of yet another fruitless start by G Curtis McElhinney — a 6-1 loss in Carolina — Flames coach Mike Keenan was at his cryptic best.

Note that there’s a certain reluctance to credit/blame McElhinney or even assess him in any way.

Feel free to decipher Iron Mike’s thoughts:

* The lack of goals on behalf of McElhinney, just a coincidence? “Well, (Cam) Ward played pretty well. We had five or six great chances in the first period. If we had scored the first goal, maybe it would have made the difference….

* In terms of McElhinney, are you concerned about the mental aspect of the game, knowing that his club has trouble scoring for him? “Well, I think our team has to really tighten up defensively and wait for opportunities. We weren’t as ready as we should’ve been.

read on

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

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