Kukla's Korner

Leafs Hire Ducks Goaltending Coach

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Maple Leafs,

Brian Burke, president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Wednesday that Francois Allaire has joined the team.  As Goaltending Consultant, Allaire will work extensively with the goaltenders at all levels of the Maple Leafs’ organization.

“We consider Francois to be one of the best in the world at his craft,” said Burke. “He brings a tremendous amount of experience and I know that he will make an immediate impact with our goalies. I would like to thank the Anaheim organization for making Francois available to us.”

Allaire, 53, spent the past 13 seasons as Anaheim’s Goaltending Consultant which included the 2007 Stanley Cup championship team

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: francois+allaire

Tippett Fired In Dallas

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

The Dallas Stars have fired head coach Dave Tippett.

added 5:12pm, from TSN with the same link,

While no successor has been named, sources say the Stars have asked for permission to talk to former Los Angeles Kings, Colorado Avalanche and Vancouver Canucks coach Marc Crawford. All signs point towards Crawford taking over for Tippet, however that remains unconfirmed at this point.

added 5:35pm, Dallas fans start to respond to firing and possible hire.

added 9:06pm,via Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

I’ve talked to new Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk and he has issued an official ``no comment.’‘

He said he is not ready to talk about anything at this time.

Because I have to confirm these things through direct sources, and because Dave Tippett is not returning phone calls, that’s all I can say at this time. I do not have official confirmation yet.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dave+tippett

Have You Switched To Digital?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Wilkinson of the Detroit News,

Can President Obama make the next save for the Red Wings?

Not likely.

After once helping to delay the transition to all-digital TV, the Obama Administration has already said there won’t be another, posing potential problems for local folks who want to catch the deciding Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals with their rabbit-ear antennas.

The once-delayed transition to digital occurs on Friday, and a spokesman for WDIV-TV (Channel 4) said the station will no longer transmit an analog signal after 9 a.m. For thousands of Metro Detroiters who still haven’t gotten a converter box—and don’t have cable or satellite TV—that means they’ll have to find somewhere else to watch the Wings battle the Pittsburgh Penguins for the Cup.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Crosby Growing As A Player

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bucky Gleason of Sabres Edge at the Buffalo News,

Crosby has been playing a strong two-way style that we don’t see often—or nearly often enough—from Sid the Kid. The Red Wings have shut him down, yes, but it comes with a price. Crosby has been effective in wearing down the Wings and creating more opportunities for his teammates. It makes you wonder if he’s learned a thing or two from playing against Henrik Zetterberg.

If anything, I’ve gained more respect for Crosby while watching him play in the series. He’s been physical, played better defense, did a better job backchecking and has been huge in the faceoff circle.

more

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

Demers On Trading Lecavalier

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,

Had a long talk the other day with former Lightning coach Jacques Demers, who is now a television analyst for Canada’s RDS network. Not surprising the discussion turned to Vinny Lecavalier and the rumors that we will hear perhaps all summer that he could be traded….

“If he trades Vinny, he can’t make a mistake,” Demers said of Lawton. “If he trades Vinny and gets quality players in return, he can turn this whole franchise around. That’s what he’s probably mulling every day when he gets up until when he goes to bed. He’s in a position right now where he could turn the franchise around.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jacques+demers, vinny+lecavalier

Experiencing A Game 7

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

All of us have been in a game 7 before.  Check out my NHL.com post today for more.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

You Have To Watch The Unwritten Ending

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

A great movie needs a great ending, and these NHL playoffs are Oscar-bound with Friday night’s seventh game of the Stanley Cup finals.

In the backdrop of troubled franchises in Phoenix, Atlanta and Florida, among others, the NHL’s on-ice product has delivered a magical spring.

“I still have time to watch hockey, and let me tell you, it’s been freakin’ incredible,” Hall of Famer Lanny McDonald told ESPN.com on Wednesday. “Might have been the best hockey I’ve seen in years.”...

“Relative to the other years, most nights you can turn on the television and there’s a really strong chance that you’re going to get a very competitive and exciting game,” former Philadelphia Flyers captain Keith Primeau told ESPN.com on Wednesday. “From the viewers’ vantage point, it really is exciting. Watching Washington-Pittsburgh, that was a great series to watch because of the talent level and the talent shone through.

“That’s what we’re also seeing in the Cup finals. And that’s why it’s going seven games. It’s just tremendous to see.”

read on

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

The Edge In Game 7

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Brophy of Sporstnet,

In a Stanley Cup final series that has resembled a chess game, you’d have to think the Red Wings are two days away from announcing, “Checkmate!” Given the fact the home team has been so dominant in this year’s final, Detroit will clearly have the edge when the puck is dropped at 8:10 p.m. Friday night at The Joe….

Not sure I’m crazy about the Penguins odds.

Nevertheless, there will be some key match-ups in the winner-take-all affair.

Mike Babcock vs. Dan Bylsma

In 2002-03 Bylsma was a little-known checking winger on an Anaheim Mighty Ducks team coached by Babcock that lost in seven games in the final to the New Jersey Devils. It was the most boring final I have ever witnessed. Now the student will attempt to outwit the teacher.

more

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

Nervous Hockeytown?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Curtis Zupke of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,

The words were on the upper level scoreboard that lines the inside of Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh:

“It’s a Bird Thing.”

Apparently so.

After the Ducks took defending champion Detroit to a Game 7 in the Western Conference semifinals, the Pittsburgh Penguins are taking the Red Wings a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Red Wings Nation didn’t seem too nervous for a Game 7 against the Ducks, who put a serious scare into Hockeytown when took it all the way down to the final minute.

But Detroit and its curiously large fan base in Southern California should be wary because Pittsburgh has what the Ducks had going into the playoffs:

Belief.

continued

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

Penguins Must Strike Early In Game 7

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector at FoxSports,

The problem for Crosby and Malkin in Detroit is the Red Wings get the last change before each faceoff, providing Wings coach Mike Babcock the opportunity to get the players out there — usually Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk — who can keep the Penguins’ young guns in check.

Fleury meanwhile had trouble in this series with the lively boards at “The Joe,” something the Red Wings will once again attempt to exploit to their advantage.

Like the Penguins with their hometown fans in Pittsburgh’s Mellon Arena, the Red Wings draw energy from the enthusiastic denizens of Detroit.

For the Penguins to silence that crowd they’ll need to do something they have yet to do in this series: take an early lead in Detroit.

more

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

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