Kukla's Korner

Something Is Different With Theodore

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Whatever drives Theodore, this postseason stands as a defining moment for many who believed Theodore’s ship had sailed. These coming days and weeks will possibly bring not just wins, but also something like redemption.

“He’s been a guy that’s said from the beginning, ‘OK, last year was last year. If I have to prove myself, I’ve proved myself my whole life.’ And he’s going to be proving himself again,” Boudreau said. “And he did it in the face of a lot of adversity this year. I give him full credit for everything he’s done.”

One thing is certain: Theodore has been thinking about these playoffs for a long time.

“For sure. A lot of people counted me out when the season started for different reasons,” he said. “It was a big challenge for me just to have a solid season pretty much since training camp. Obviously to have the chance to play in the playoffs ... that’s where you want to be, it’s in the playoffs, and now it’s finally starting. So we’ll see.”

more

added 11:11am, Reports from practice this morning state Theodore headed to the locker room after tweaking some body part or taking a shot to the said body part.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jose+theodore

Tampa And Atlanta Clean House

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

With the regular season over, two of the more ineptly run teams have announced that their GM and coach will not be back in those positions next year.  The Tampa Bay Lightning have fired GM Brian Lawton and coach Rick Tocchet and the Atlanta Thrashers have moved GM Don Waddell to team president and fired coach John Anderson.

Tampa has been owned and managed very dysfunctionally.  The Oren Koules and Len Barrie ownership circus atmosphere ended when the team was sold to Jeffrey Vinik, but its problems remained.  The GM and coach did not get along.  In mid-season, GM Lawton fired assistant coach Wes Walz and coach Rick Tocchet did not agree with the move.  Jim Johnson was brought up from AHL Norfolk to replace Walz and was seen by Tocchet as a GM spy in the dressing room.  Eventually Johnson was re-assigned to Norfolk, but the bad blood remained.  In order for Tampa to make a fresh start, it was necessary to turf both Lawton and Tocchet and start again.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

It Just Feels Like A Tuesday

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Wow. This sounds familiar, eh?

The Desert Dogs are underdogs once again.
“We’re a team that at the start of the year, nobody gave us a chance, and now probably nobody’s giving us a chance against Detroit, either, and that’s kind of what we built our identity on,” Tippett said.

That’s from yesterday’s Arizona Republic.  It could have been from last year’s Columbus Dispatch or the year before’s Tennessean.  Woe is us.  Underdogs again.  We’ve been “dis’d” all year. 


Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

We Start Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs begin tonight with 8 teams in action.

My question to you today is- What player will have the highest point total for the 2010 Playoffs?

image

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Shakeup In Atlanta

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via a Chris Vivlamore tweet,

BIG NEWS: Thrashers move Don Waddell to president, name Rick Dudley GM and dismiss coaching staff.

added 9:50am, Read all about from Chris at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

added 9:57am,

ATLANTA (April 14, 2010) - The Atlanta Thrashers have promoted Don Waddell to President and Rick Dudley to General Manager, according to Co-Owner Bruce Levenson.  The team also announced that it will not retain Head Coach John Anderson and Assistant Coaches Randy Cunneyworth, Todd Nelson and Steve Weeks.  In his new role, Waddell will focus primarily on all business aspects of the organization, and as General Manager, Dudley will be responsible for all hockey operations.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

GDT - WC Quarterfinals, Game 1: Red Wings (5) at ‘Yotes (4)  (10:00)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

Facing scoring talent loss due to salary cap issues, and an absurd rash of injuries to top line players, the Red Wings/Griffins battled all year and have managed to earn a spot in the playoffs for the 19th consecutive season (the longest current streak in all of professional sports).  DET’s run of excellence is a testament to Mr. Illitch, Ken Holland, Jim Devellano, and a core of players determined to succeed.  DET have won four Stanley Cups since 1997 and appeared in six Finals since 1996. In their final 15 games this season, the Wings finished 12-1-2, they led the NHL with 32 points since March 1, and went 15-3-2 after the Olympic break.  However, DET hits the road to open the playoffs for the first time since the 1991-92 season, and PHX have the 5th best home record.

At the other end of the spectrum, the ‘Yotes haven’t been in the playoffs since 2002 and haven’t won a playoff series since 1987 – 10 seasons before the franchise left Winnipeg to relocate to Phoenix.  The ‘Yotes also finished the season strong, going 13-4-2, including a nine game win streak, and a seven-game home winning streak. It is worth noting that PHX earned 14 points this season via the shootout. 

Eleven weeks have passed since the last game between these two teams on Jan. 26.  Neither DET nor PHX have the same roster. PHX added five new players, including forwards Lee Stempniak, and Wojtek Wolski, who each have 18 points in 18 games with the ‘Yotes.  DET have (finally) returned every player on LTIR (only Kirk Maltby remains on the injured list).

Uncle Mike has a plan and is confident:  “We’re gonna have to play real patient because they’re gonna be hard to beat,” Babcock said. “But I like our team. We’ve battled through a lot of adversity, and we’re as healthy as we’ve been all year.”  Babcock also could have added that Jimmah saves(!)  The desert dogs are soon going to realize what it means to be down and out.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Broadcast For The American Hockey Fans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,

On a recent trip to Florida, Usual Suspects was watching the NHL Network and the MLB Network in a fashionable establishment (okay, it was Dune Dog). There is no comparison between the slick, well-financed MLB product and the NHL‘s more frugal competitor. But, surprisingly, there were people watching the NHL Channel on several TVs around the joint.

Few in Canada understand what a lifeline it is to hockey fans served intermittently (or not at all) in the U.S. by Versus and NBC. It might do better, however, to concentrate on the American fans who are starved for something/ anything in markets that place hockey below bass fishing. Currently, the content seems too Toronto/ Canadian biased to us. That market is already super-saturated by Canadian coverage on the three sports networks and CBC. Concentrate more on the guy in Alabama or Arkansas who must persevere with his hockey passion. And more cowbell.

more hockey notes…

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sharks Are Ready For Round 1

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,

You have seen them this week, all over the Bay Area. They live in your neighborhood. They dine at your favorite restaurant. They post tweets at the next work cubicle. You can recognize them by their eerie expression of wary hope mixed with glorious doom.

They are Sharks fans. And they are afraid, so afraid. They want to know if it’s safe to go back in the water. For the playoffs, I mean. Perhaps you are even a fearful fan yourself, asking the same question.

My comforting answer: Yes. Yes, you can. You can be optimistic.

For the next two weeks, anyway. After that, no guarantees.

continued

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

The Flyers Plan For A Deep Playoff Run

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

So what is Laviolette’s recipe for playoff success? It’s hard to know until you see him up close, but he offered a glimpse or two as the team finished preparations.

When he deduced that reporters were focusing on the veteran Pronger as a leader going into this postseason, Laviolette was quick to shift the focus.

“Let me just say that Mike Richards always has ratcheted it up every time there’s been an opportunity,” Laviolette said, “whether it’s been Olympics or world championships or playoffs or big games. He’s a guy that we look to. . . . When the chips are down, he’s played hard. He’s been good for us in big games. We’ve got a lot of them coming up.”

That may seem like nothing much, but Laviolette is keenly aware of the perception that Pronger is more of a captain, by nature and by accomplishment, than Richards. He volunteered his thoughts on Richards for a reason. And it is true, by the way. Richards was terrific for Team Canada in the Olympics, and he was one of the few Flyers who showed up Friday night at Madison Square Garden.

Laviolette needs both men, Richards and Pronger, to make a deep playoff run.

more

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

Payne Will Have The Interim Label Removed Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Hours after Keith Tkachuk’s retirement news conference had ended Tuesday, the stage and chairs inside the Scottrade Center atrium remained in position.

That’s because the Blues will hold another news conference today, in which the club will announce Davis Payne will have the interim tag removed from his name and become the 23rd head coach of the franchise.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: davis+payne

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