Kukla's Korner

Wait & See On Datsyuk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,

“I feel much better today. I’ll go for pre-game skate and then make a decision,” he said of his recovery from an injured right foot. “It’s every day better and better and better and today it’s much better. I have more smiles; more happy. It’s still a little sore but I’m happy.”

At the Red Wings’ morning skate, Datsyuk stayed on the ice for more than an hour after all the regulars had departed. He yukked it up with the healthy scratches, who always stay out for extra work, and worked on tight turns and dangling the puck.

Even though he said he felt better, to onlookers he looked like he was being more careful with his foot – which likely was fractured in Game 2 of the Western Conference final – and was skating a little more gingerly than he had at yesterday’s full practice.

Datsyuk, though, said he felt more confident about his status and he needed the extra work to really give it a test. Still, neither he, nor his coach, would commit to his being in the lineup.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pavel+datsyuk

Coaching Becomes Crucial

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Wigge of NHL.com,

This is the time of the year when coaches make their money and can make a difference in a series.

Examples of potential change for Game 4: The Penguins, perhaps were taking a cue from Bill Guerin’s front-of-the net presence on Sergei Gonchar’s game-winning power-play goal in the third period of Game 3, worked long and hard at practice Thursday on having their forwards work hard on give-and-go plays down low—with the emphasis on the deep down-low player going to the net to provide a screen or make a tip.

Bylsma obviously expects Detroit to crash the net hard in Game 4, because he had another drill in which the Penguins lined up four players in front of goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. There was plenty of traffic and lots of screens, all designed to get Fleury used to having his vision screened even more—and work through it.

The Red Wings, on the other hand, practiced the last two days on taking hard shots from down low, firing high, low, whatever, directly in front of the helpless backup goaltenders for Detroit—almost like they were trying to drive the puck through the net and not just over the goal line. Also, there was countless faceoff practice. Countless.


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

Keys To Game 4

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Here are five things to watch for in Thursday night’s Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals between the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins:

1. The Henrik Zetterberg-Sidney Crosby showdown, Part IV
The Wings’ star center has had the better of the Pens’ star center so far, but Detroit coach Mike Babcock believed that 24 minutes, 19 seconds of ice time was too much for Zetterberg in Game 3 as he chased the matchup. So will this free up Crosby in any way Thursday night?...

2. Red Wings’ fatigue?
It’s the team’s fourth game in six nights. Detroit entered the Cup finals banged-up. Will the Wings hit the wall Thursday night, or did the day off Wednesday give them enough time to recharge their batteries? We think too much has been made of this. They’ll be fine.

read on

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

Joe Sacco New Coach Of The Avalanche

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,

The Avalanche has hired Joe Sacco to be its new coach and will announce the move at a news conference scheduled for 2 p.m. today at the Pepsi Center.

Sacco has coached the past two seasons with the Avalanche’s AHL franchise, the Lake Erie Monsters.

Previously, Sacco, 40 was an assistant coach for the Lowell Lock Monsters. He is the youngest head coach in the AHL.


added 2:39pm,...

DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today the appointment of Joe Sacco as the club’s new head coach. Former Avalanche player Sylvain Lefebvre was named assistant coach.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+sacco

Coach Dan Bylsma Before Game 4

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Q.      Jordan was playing well versus Carolina, was everywhere on the ice. Now we don’t see him as much. Not as successful. What’s going on with his game?

        COACH BYLSMA: I thought Game 3 was much improved over Game 1 and Game 2 from Jordan. Again, each team poses a different kind of obstacle down low in the offensive zone, which is where Jordan is really good. And some teams are physical, some teams are a little more passive?zone type of defensive zone coverage.      For a guy like Jordan, who needs physical contact to be good down low, to protect the puck, it’s not there. And it’s just been a bit of an adjustment from the last series to this series.

        Another area where the game is tough against Detroit is the neutral zone. They have guys back, four guys back a lot. So the speed through the neutral zone that he did get in other series, it’s tougher to come by right now. So those are areas that we all have to fight through.

        He was better in Game 3, and he assured me he’d be better in Game 4 today in morning skate.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+bylsma

Mike Babcock Before Game 4

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Q. Can we assume from the fact that Pavel’s still out there that he’s probably not playing tonight?

        COACH BABCOCK: I wouldn’t assume anything. Pavel already told me that he’s warming up and planning on playing. Now, we’ve had lots of plans over the years. We’ll see what happens.

        Q. Well, you let us in that Draper was playing yesterday. So you have not made a decision on Pavel and it’s going to be game time, correct?

        COACH BABCOCK: I’m not making the decision. When Pav’s ready, he’s playing. He’s making that decision or the doctors and trainers. When he feels he’s ready to go, and that foot allows him to have some pop, he’s playing.
        Right now we have Draper going in, we have Abby coming out.

Continue Reading »

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

Pencil Him In…Apparently

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Updated at 1221…


Babcock just said that Datsyuk is planning on playing, but the final decision hasn’t been made yet.


Update from Thursday’s morning skate: Several Wings exercised their option to not skate. Pavel Datsyuk is practicing. Will update with his status for tonight following the availability. At this point, it would be surprising if he didn’t play tonight in Game 4.


Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Get Your Wings Shades

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Wonder if they work with ‘rosey’ colored glasses?

Download the shades here (pdf file).


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

GDT - S.C. Finals, Game 4: Red Wings (2-1) at Penguins (1-2)  (8:00)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

Do the Wings take a strangle-hold on the series tonight, and have an opportunity to hoist Lord Stanley at the JLA on Saturday?  Or will they be facing their first real adversity in this SCF?  We know that Kris Draper, the 2003 Selke winner (and Det’s leading faceoff player) is in tonight.  I would imagine that many of the “19” have made engaged in numerous pagan rituals to assuage the hockey gods into allowing the 2008 Selke winner (2009 Selke and Hart finalist) to take the ice tonight. According to “The Highlander” he practiced “hard”, and was centering Fil and Hoss on the 1A line. 

Malkin is a Red Wing Killer, and is pretty much, single handedly, carrying the Pens (assist on PIT lone goal in Game 1, scored PIT lone goal in 2, and 3 assists in game 3).  Adding Datsyuk into the line-up gives Uncle Mike greater flexibility in trying to defend Malkin.  It also should give the Wings more time with the damn puck, Datsyuk plays with it like it is his personal yo-yo.  Datsyuk should also create some matchup issues for Bylsma.  Maybe, just maybe, he and Draper will help DET’s ridiculously inept PK, it has to doesn’t it?  Thankfully DET still owns 5-5 play.  As an aside, can you imagine where the PENs would be without their Hart finalist?

It is game 4 tonight, time to unleash the Hoss!  I’ll be seeing you on the Hasek.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Waiting On Sutter?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,

Even amidst the Stanley Cup final and with the Calgary Stampeders—the defending Grey Cup champions—about to open camp, tongues wagging over a double-double in this city are wondering when Sutter will make his decision over a new bench boss.

It could be today or tomorrow.

It could be—as he said during the press conference—around the time the NHL Entry Draft is held, June 26-27.

Still, it makes sense the wait is happening for a reason.

There hasn’t been a concrete decision from Brent Sutter as to whether he’ll return for one more season with the New Jersey Devils—at least, not that we know.

Since the Flames wouldn’t have to provide compensation if Brent leaves the Devils and joins the Flames, as per the NHL bylaws, it very well could be a case of waiting for all that to shake down


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brent+sutter

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