Kukla's Korner

Will The Capitals & Hurricanes Be Shaking Hands Today?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Rangers and Devils can move on to the 2nd round with victories.  Will they?

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sunday Hockey Observations

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

• After watching Mike Green and Joe Thornton in the playoffs, can’t imagine how either will earn a place on Canada’s 2010 Olympic team. The better the hockey gets, the more invisible they become. You can get your offence from the back end with Dan Boyle and Scott Niedermayer without having to gamble on Green.

• On the other hand, can’t imagine a Canadian team without the incredible Niedermayer, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks. In fact, wouldn’t Rick Nash fit in perfectly on a line with Getzlaf and Perry?

• The one-time stiff Nik Antropov has made himself into quite the player. He will be a free-agent prize of sorts in July, if he doesn’t re-sign with the New York Rangers before that.

more hockey nuggets…

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Penguins Are For Real

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

All in all, if you were expecting the Pens to be a one-shot deal, they’re proving it’s not going to happen that way. Having Crosby and Malkin, and probably Staal and Fleury as well, means this team is always going to have a core that will keep it in the thick of things, or at least it will as long as that group stays whole.

That said, they may end up grappling with Eastern Conference champion Boston in the next round, which would be a terrific struggle.

But while you might have made the B’s heavy favourites a week ago, you wouldn’t today. These Penguins are tougher than they might at first appear.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

You Call This Playoff Hockey?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Norman Webster of the Montreal Gazette,

Much of the time it seems to consist of forwards skating into the goaltender’s crease after he has frozen the puck and giving him a hard stare, as Paddington Bear used to do to those who incurred his disapproval. The whistle has gone, nothing whatever can be done to advance the play, but this staring, accompanied by the usual obscenities, is supposed to bring great advantage to the perpetrators.

The defenders do not like this. They retaliate by rubbing opponents’ faces with the palms of their gloves - “face-washing,” it’s called, although if you have ever dipped your nose into a working hockey gauntlet you may question the term “washing.” The defenders, too, loose the usual insults, while the linesmen run around throwing their bodies in front of potential punches (is there any other sport which so shamefully degrades its officials?). Of course, this brings Montreal’s sophisticated fans out of their seats every time.

more

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

Flyers Need A Physical Defenseman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull at the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Wholesale changes aren’t needed. But the team needs more physicality from its defensemen.

  Never was that more evident than Saturday, when two of the Penguins’ goals were scored when players batted pucks out of the air and into the net.

  I’m in the minority of people who think the Flyers can compete for the Stanley Cup with Marty Biron as the goalie.  Biron wasn’t why the Flyers lost this series. He had a 2.29 goals-against average before Saturday, and only two of the Game 6 goals were his fault.

  Re-sign Biron and get a crease-clearing defenseman like Montreal’s Mike Komisarek, a potential free agent. The   Flyers missed the injured Derian Hatcher this year more than they will admit.

more on the Flyers…

added 11:27am, from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

There is something seriously wrong with a hockey team that blows a 3-0 lead, at home, in a playoff-elimination game. That part is easy.

Figuring out exactly what went wrong with the Flyers in yesterday’s stunning collapse against the rival Pittsburgh Penguins will be much harder. And that is the challenge that faces the franchise’s leaders - all of whom appeared shell-shocked after the team’s sudden, breathtaking dismissal from the first round of the playoffs.

continued

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

Thornton Leads, Carlyle Complains

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

Sharks center Joe Thornton found a heart, the Ducks lost a chance to pull off an upset and the teams’ playoff series became a lot more interesting—and at least one game longer….

The example provided by Thornton—who had scored the Sharks’ first goal and assisted on their second—ensured the Sharks’ season will last through Monday at the Honda Center. A seventh game, if necessary, will be played Wednesday at San Jose.

“Everything is fine and dandy right now,” Sharks Coach Todd McLellan said, “but we’ve still got a noose around our necks and we’d better be prepared to play even better than we did tonight.”

Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle questioned the legality of the winning goal.

“The reason the puck went in the net is their player pushed our goalie’s pad,” said Carlyle, whose team had scored twice early in the third period to get back into the game.

“As he pushed our goalie’s pad . . . the back of his skate knocked the puck in the net.”

read on

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

Just A Middle Finger Injury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Matt Walker of the Blackhawks took a shot off of his hand and the results were a messed-up finger.

In case you are wondering, he returned to play.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: matt+walker

Financial Adviser Issues With NHLers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terrie Thompson and Michael O’Keeffe of the NY Daily News,

An unlicensed financial adviser who bills himself as a “lifestyle coach” scammed several NHL players out of millions of dollars, according to sources familiar with the case and a lawsuit filed by former NHL star Joe Juneau.

Phillip A. Kenner, an Arizona businessman who described himself as a top-tier financial adviser but who had not been licensed since 2003 to buy or sell regulated securities, once claimed to be a high-powered money manager for Rangers great Mark Messier and the pop group ‘N Sync. Kenner was deposed in the case this past week in Los Angeles. Juneau has accused him of failing to provide even basic accounting information regarding the handling of the former Washington Capitals center’s finances….

Juneau isn’t the only hockey player who says he was defrauded by Kenner: Minnesota Wild right wing Owen Nolan has filed for arbitration in Arizona, claiming he was scammed by the businessman, while Jozef Stumpel, a 16-year NHL veteran who is playing in Russia, filed a federal lawsuit in September 2008 that says Kenner borrowed $2.5 million from him and has not paid back a penny.

Stumpel has since dropped the suit. His lawyer, Jennifer McGrath, declined to comment. A source familiar with the case says Kenner flew to Europe and convinced Stumpel, a native of Slovakia, to drop the legal action because it had damaged Kenner’s ability to pay back the loan.

more

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Ovechkin An All-Time Great

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Bobby Orr is the most mes merizing player I have ever seen. Well, he was. He was until The Alex Ovechkin Show hit the NHL.

Ovechkin’s combination of ferocity, passion, talent and showmanship is unique in NHL history. He is a great player, already an all-time player after just four seasons in the league, who isn’t afraid to let the world in and see the excitement he gets from performing, from excelling; from playing.

This is the athlete who would be worth the price of admission in even Yankee Stadium, and please, while we’re at it, let’s get the Caps into The Bronx for an outdoor game.

continued plus some Tortorella, Wild, Briere mentions among others…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin

Playoff Ice Time Leader

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The leader in ice time (per game) so far in the playoffs is Paul Martin of the New Jersey Devils.  He has played over 27 minutes per game.  He is an underrated player who gets little written about him, so I thought I would write something.  Martin has quietly developed into the best defenceman on the Devils team.

Martin consistently scores thirty or more points a season and puts up one of the better +/- ratings on his club, while playing against some of the top offensive players in the league.  He has the best defenceman on the team with the fourth best defence in the league this year.  He is the Devils go to guy in all situations - even in the playoffs.  Paul Martin is one of the most unsung players around in the NHL today.

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

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