Kukla's Korner

Just What Bettman Wanted

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press,

Somewhere, a vindicated Gary Bettman is smirking.

The personality of these playoffs, barely a week old, is precisely why the NHL commissioner steered hockey into a 10-month work stoppage nearly six years ago when league owners demanded fiscal certainty.

The salary cap put a premium on identifying stars worthy of those new league-mandated maximum contracts while emboldening lesser-talented teams with hope that they could advance further under the new financial rules. The better teams could no longer hoard offensive depth on their third and fourth lines.

If there were a Bettman Cup, the Wings and Phoenix would play for it in this series.


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

Four Goals In Three Games Won’t Cut It For Chicago

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Glennon of the Tennessean,

ESPN NHL analyst Barry Melrose sees at least three things that have allowed the Predators to keep Chicago in check thus far: more desire, more physical play and intelligent play in their own zone.

“Nashville’s a very good defensive team and they don’t beat themselves,’’ Melrose said. “You don’t see them giving up many two-on-ones. They don’t give up a lot of chances and they don’t give up a lot of easy goals.

“The thing is that the ‘Hawks want it to come easy and Nashville is making it hard. That’s why the Predators are winning and that’s why they deserve to be winning.’‘

Here’s a breakdown by position of what the Predators are doing so well to stifle the Blackhawks.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Ottawa- Not Exactly Goalie Heaven

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,

It’s obvious Robin Lehner does not scare easily.

A promising puckstopper in the Senators organization, he was at Scotiabank Place Wednesday morning and barely batted an eye at the scene. He even seemed cool, calm and collected as he spoke with assistant GM Tim Murray in one of the haunted hallways….

Get this: It even appeared as though he relished the opportunity to be in their shoes!

Foolish young man, eh? He’ll learn. He’ll discover soon enough what has already been found out by the likes of Patrick Lalime, Ray Emery, Damian Rhodes, Tom Barrasso, Ron Tugnutt, Dominik Hasek, Martin Gerber and Martin Prusek.

We’re talking about the fact that Ottawa is a goalie graveyard, of course.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Winning Just Got Harder In Philly

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull,

Suddenly, the Flyers’ three-games-to-one lead over New Jersey doesn’t look so commanding.

Ville (rhymes with Philly) Leino, who has shown offensive promise, and David Laliberte will probably be inserted into the lineup Thursday in Newark. Laliberte had a cup of coffee with the Flyers earlier this season before being sent back to the AHL Phantoms.

General manager Paul Holmgren believes the Flyers will bond together and raise their level of play.

    “I expect us to react in a positive way,” he said.

    Still, there’s no denying that losing Carter and Gagne is a crusher. Not only are they quality scorers, but they are also effective on the power play and penalty kill. In addition, Carter is one of the team’s best in the faceoff circle, and Gagne is an excellent defensive player.


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

Kid Gets A Snow Shower

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Courtesy of Alexander Ovechkin.  Habs Inside/Out has the explanation that makes sense.

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

Moscow Dynamo Is Done

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jamie Bell of TSN,

As a hockey fan imagine for a moment that after being eliminated from the playoffs this spring, the Montreal Canadiens ceased to exist?

Imagine if Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment decided that they were fed up with missing the playoffs for the past five seasons and decided to mothball the Maple Leafs?

Or imagine if suddenly the Detroit Red Wings announced that they were merging with the Dallas Stars?

Those scenarios sound unfathomable to fans on this side of the Atlantic, however it appears as though that is exactly what is about to occur with one of the most storied club teams outside the NHL, Moscow Dynamo.


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: moscow+dynamo

What’s Next For ‘The Perfect Human’?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail,

Rumours of retirement are being whispered in the halls of Joe Louis Arena, what with the Detroit Red Wings captain turning 40 next Wednesday – just a day after a potential Game 7 in Phoenix, should the series go the distance.

With Lidstrom’s contract expiring this summer and the series tied 2-2, his final NHL appearance could even come this weekend if Phoenix takes the next two games.

Not that anyone’s betting on it.

“It’s going to come sooner or later,” Lidstrom said, chuckling at all the attention his milestone birthday is getting of late. “I’m getting up there in age, people are watching me closely and think something’s going to happen, but … nothing’s really changed. I know what I have to do. I feel the same out there.”

He also, incredibly, still looks very much like the same player – even 19 years on in a career regarded as one of the best in history for a blueliner.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nick+lidstrom

Giving Credit To The Capitals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Jacques Martin, the coach of the Montreal Canadiens, says the Capitals made the most of the Montreal mistakes.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jacques+martin

A Unique After Hours For Sharks Fans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The show is called Sharks Late Night Confidental and the one you can watch below was done from the hotel in Denver after last night’s game.

I am impressed that both Randy Hahn and Drew Remenda had enough energy to do something like this.

You may not be a fan of the video unless you are a Sharks fans, but wouldn’t it be nice to see something like this from your broadcasting team?

By the way, I asked Randy how many takes to do the video?  They nailed it on the first take.  True professionals!

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: drew+remenda, randy+hahn

Bettman Addresses The Conspiracy Theory

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider,

Question: There’s been a lot of talk in the past couple days about the incident of Sedin kicking in the puck, a lot of talk about the “kicking motion.” What was your take on that situation? And does it bother you, even if it’s just in a joking way, to hear the word “conspiracy” being tossed around?

BETTMAN: “First of all, I don’t believe we had an `incident.’ We had a close call that was made by our professionals in hockey operations in the Toronto office. I am comfortable with their professionalism, their integrity and their judgment. Whenever you have a situation that’s a close call, you’re going to have one side that’s happy and one side that’s unhappy. For anyone to suggest, or use the word `conspiracy’ is simply absurd. There’s no foundation to it. My guess is, it’s no different than what we’ve seen and experienced in prior years in the first round of the playoffs. Emotions are up, passions are up and the stakes are high.”

read on fro more Q & A and there is even a part 2....

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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