Kukla's Korner

Does History Repeat?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

Back in November, 1994, during the first NHL lockout, I was sent to Fort Wayne, home of the famous Komets, to do a story on life in the International Hockey League….

First, though, Franke (owner of the Komets) wanted to talk about the first period, which saw the Komets fall behind. Unsolicited, he went through a laundry list of what he saw as bad decisions and bad strategy by his coach. Like Leonsis, Franke never mentioned the coach but the meaning was clear.

When I returned to the press box for the start of the second period, I ran into Doug MacLean, who was an NHL scout at the time. I told MacLean what the owner said about his coach and said I didn’t like the coach’s chances of hanging on to his job. MacLean agreed it is never a good thing when an owner starts second-guessing the x’s and o’s on a coach.

Sure enough, the coach didn’t make it to Christmas.

His name? Yep, tough guess. Bruce Boudreau.

more

added 2:38pm, via Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,

Pressed on his coach’s status, McPhee added: “Bruce is a really good coach. He’s a really good coach. He’s going to be here a really long time. No need to raise those issues because he’s not going anywhere.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bruce+boudreau

Those Were The Days For Boston And Philadelphia

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Iorfida of CBC,

When you think about NHL hockey teams from the 1970s, the top three teams that likely come to mind are the high-flying Montreal Canadiens, the big, bad Bruins from Boston, and the Broad Street bullies from Philadelphia.

The Bruins and Flyers were arguably the two toughest teams ever to lace up skates, and they brought skill to the table as well. Boston and Philadelphia met four times in the playoffs in five years — a 1974 Stanley Cup final that heralded a new era in hockey, and three semifinal series that followed.

When Boston and Philadelphia face off in this year’s Eastern Conference semifinal, almost improbably it will be the first post-season meeting of the franchises since those days. The Bruins and Flyers have been in the same conference for most of the three decades since, but haven’t crossed paths.

Here’s a look back at the four memorable playoff battles from the 1970s:

continued

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

Owner Of The Devils Wants Answers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,

After lunch at my favorite pizza and sub sandwich restaurant, Carnival Spot in Pompton Plains, I met Vanderbeek for coffee today at Greenberry’s in Morristown. 

“A couple of things bother me,” Vanderbeek said of the Devils’ first-round loss to the Flyers. “Losing in the first round. Losing at home. Losing the final game without scoring a goal. And on top of that, losing in the first round for the third year in a row. I felt our fan base had embraced this team.

“I don’t believe in coincidences. You have to ask yourself the hard questions.”

He is not happy. Because of the early exit, the Devils will lose money this season.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jeff+vanderbeek

Looking At Crosby And Ovechkin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Glob and Mail,

...the annual deliberation between who might be the league’s dominant player, Alex Ovechkin or Sidney Crosby, seems even more heavily tilted in favour of the latter at the moment.

It isn’t just because Crosby is captain of the defending champions, or the player that scored the winning goal in overtime to clinch gold for Canada in the 2010 Olympics. Those are compelling arguments on his side of the ledger.

But Crosby is also the first of the two archrivals to understand that greatness cannot be a singular pursuit in a team sport; and what ultimately forges a player’s legacy is his ability to channel his own personal skills into larger team successes.

read on

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

NHL Award Nominees Announced

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Over the last couple weeks, the NHL has been announcing the nominees for the 2010 Awards.  Here is who I would have voted for if i had an award ballot.

I will go through the NHL awards and comment on omissions and unworthy nominees and if the set of nominees makes any clear hints to who will win the awards.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Introducing NHL Ice Time - Playoff Edition App For iPad

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK – APRIL 30, 2010 – The National Hockey League today announced NHL Ice Time - Playoffs Edition™, the first official NHL® app for iPad, is available on the App Store.

The app, which was co-developed by the NHL and its strategic partner NeuLion, is available to iPad users for free during the remainder of the 2010 Stanley Cup® Playoffs, and among its many features gives NHL fans access a complete complement of video from the prior night’s games, through both condensed games and highlight packages.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ipad

Special Team Play The Difference In Game 1 Of Sharks/Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rick Sadowski at NHL.com,

Playing 48 hours after completing a grueling seven-game series against Phoenix wasn’t a problem for the Detroit Red Wings.

“Zero,” was the effect, coach Mike Babcock said following the Red Wings’ 4-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion on Thursday night in the teams’ Western Conference semifinal series opener.

The same couldn’t be said for special-teams play.

continued

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

What Happened To Washington?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lindsay Applebaum of Capitals Insider,

After a stunning first-round playoff exit in seven games against Jaroslav Halak and the Canadiens, the Capitals are left wondering about their future. And everyone has an opinion on what went wrong. Personally, I like to blame everything on global warming. It’s edgy.

continue for many pointers on what went wrong….

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

Can Halak Be Even Better?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,

Halak! Halak! Halak! People already are calling him another Ken Dryden, winner of six Stanley Cups in eight seasons. Another Patrick Roy, who led the Canadiens to their last two Cups.

You don’t volunteer for greatness. You earn it, as Dryden and Roy did leading their teams to the summit. But for now, Halak’s excellence in this first round had more than a touch of magic to it.

Remarkably, Halak stopped 131 of the 134 shots he faced in the last three games. The Canadiens scored eight times on their 66 shots.

How do you top that? Halak didn’t merely give his team a chance to win, he carried it on his slender shoulders - just as he did bringing the Canadiens into the playoffs. On the other hand, another number should tell you that his supporting cast was there for him.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jaroslav+halak

Bruins Get The Best Draw Possible For The 2nd Round

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

After besting Buffalo’s Ryan Miller, considered the ace goalie of the NHL, they’ll be shooting pucks at Brian Boucher, the Woonsocket, R.I., native who grabbed the starting job only after injuries to Ray Emery and Michael Leighton.

It is the best scenario the Bruins could have hoped for. However, it is a scenario that promises bruising tilts that should have the Bruins reaching for ice packs upon the conclusion of games.

“I don’t think the identity of their team’s changed in the last 40 years,’’ Lucic said. “They always seem to have that Broad Street Bully-type of mentality. They live up to it year in and year out, especially through the playoffs.

“They’re a great team. They have a lot of experience because they were in the third round two years ago. We expect them to come at us hard and come at us often. We’ve got to be prepared for that and do everything we can to push back.’’

more

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

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