Kukla's Korner

GDT - Game #78: Red Wings host Wild (12:30)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

Coach Babcock, after the Wings dropped their third game in a row at home, via Dave Waddell, Windsor Star : “Obviously, the job I’m doing here, the team is not ready,” coach Mike Babcock said. “So, myself and the leadership group here, as a group of individuals, we’ve got to do better than this. This is unacceptable.” “There’s not enough urgency for the teams we’re playing. The bottom line is there is no switch. “We have a trend here that we have to fix.” When asked how long it’s going to take to correct his team’s ills, Babcock offered a terse response. “We’re turning it around next game,” he said before departing.”  Red Wing fan can only hope.

The Wild currently sit 10th in the West with 83 pts in 78 games. They are 3 pts back of NSH and STL who have 86 pts, but the Wild do have a game in hand over both of them. The Wild enter todays game coming off an impressive 4-0 win over visiting Calgary on Friday night.  Backstrom made 27 saves for his team-record eighth shutout of the season. Backstrom has given up only 17 goals in his last nine starts, and has allowed more than two in a game only twice in that time. Backstrom is among the league leaders with a 2.32 goals-against average, but is 1-2-1 with a 3.56 goals-against average in his career versus Detroit.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Khabibulin Plans To “Just Stop The Puck”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,

Nikolai Khabibulin is the most experienced of the Blackhawks and also the most stoic, but the goaltender is as excited as many of his younger teammates about the team’s first postseason appearance since 2002.

“I wish it would have happened sooner, but we finally made it,” Khabibulin said Saturday, one day after the Hawks clinched a Western Conference playoff berth. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Khabibulin, 36, joins Andrew Ladd and Sammy Pahlsson as the only Hawks who have won a Stanley Cup. Khabibulin, who helped Tampa Bay to the NHL championship in 2004, looks forward to using his experience to help the youngest team in the league adapt to postseason play.

“It’s easy for me; I just stop the puck,” said Khabibulin, who has a 31-25 record and 2.27 goals-against average in 57 playoff games. “It’s going to be a little more intense. We don’t have too many veterans here, but we have to make sure guys are not nervous and just stay calm.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nikolai+khabibulin

Thomas On Avery

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

Sean Avery felt yesterday was the perfect time to give Thomas one to grow on - specifically, a smack to the back of the helmet as the Bruins’ No. 1 goalie was stretching his legs during a TV timeout in the third period.

“Unwritten rule,” Thomas mused, following his 31-stop afternoon and a 1-0 win over the Rangers that led to the Bruins clinching the Eastern Conference regular-season title. “Nothing happens during TV timeouts.”

Like most parts of the rulebook, the TV timeout rule hasn’t been committed to memory by the pugnacious Ranger forward. With Thomas some 30 feet out in the slot, stretching his hamstrings, Avery oh-so-subtly cruised up from behind and smacked his stick to the back of Thomas’s head.

“You look up and see who it is,” recalled Thomas, “and you’re like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ So it was just reflex.”

read on & just in case you missed the latest Avery episode, watch it here...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sean+avery, tim+thomas

How The Panthers Make The Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,

Rangers have three games left and 89 points; Florida has four games left and 87. Florida has to be one point ahead of New York by the end of next Sunday’s Rangers-Flyers game from the Spectrum.

—IF Florida goes 3-0-1 (94 points), Rangers can only go 2-1-0 (93). New York at 2-0-1 knocks out the Panthers.

—IF Florida goes 3-1-0/2-0-2 (93 points), Rangers can go 1-0-2 (93) and make it. A record of 0-0-3 or 1-2 would not cut it.

—IF Florida goes 2-2-0 (91 points), good luck. Rangers would have to go 0-2-1 (90) for Florida to beat them out.

—How about 1-0-3 Mr. Richards? Well that’s 92 points. Rangers could go 0-0-3 and make it in. And they would still have one more win to win the tiebreaker. So, Florida could still get in the playoffs with one win in these final four, but they would need three overtime losses and New York to go 0-1-2 or worse.

more on the Panthers…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Rangers Need A Quick Power Play Fix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stan Fischler of Game On,

“What Is There To Do? And What Is There To Say?”

It once was a top tune — love-song-type on The Hit Parade — but the words also apply to the dear, fond admirers of the Rangers.

What IS there to do?

The Maven will tell you what, as John Tortorella’s troops await the arrival of the suddenly surging Canadiens on Tuesday night at The Garden. Scoring a goal would be a good start; and then, maybe a couple or even three more.

What IS there to say?

That’s easy; find a quick — make that INSTANT — cure for the Blueshirts power play.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Playoff Performance Of Biron Will Be Watched

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Goalie Marty Biron says he wants to remain with the Flyers, but his performance down the stretch and in the playoffs probably will determine whether they want him.

A potential unrestricted free agent, Biron is in the final season of a $3.5 million contact. After an inconsistent first half, Biron steadied himself and played solidly before sluggish performances in his last four starts.

Biron, who carried the Flyers into the Eastern Conference finals last year, has a 27-17-5 record, 2.80 goals-against average, and .914 save percentage this season.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marty+biron

Wait To See How The Signings Work Out

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Toronto GM Brian Burke was pounding his chest after signing college UFAs Tyler Bozak (Denver) and Christian Hanson (Notre Dame). The Leafs might want to keep expectations low. On April 1, 2006, Burke signed Cornell G David McKee for Anaheim and gave him a huge signing bonus. He is currently with the Bakersfield Condors in the ECHL.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sunday Moring Hockey Thoughts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

• Should Darcy Tucker have his contract bought out in Colorado, which is entirely possible, and should he sign elsewhere for next season, also possible, he will become the first player in hockey history to be paid by three teams all at the same time.

• Has there ever been an NHL season with such high quality coaches such as Lindy Ruff, Dave Tippett, Jacques Lemaire, Craig MacTavish and Ron Wilson, all out of the playoffs at the same time?

• Truth in numbers: Four of the top 150 point-getters in the NHL were free agents signed directly out of U.S. college. Their names: Martin St. Louis, Todd White, Dan Boyle and Chris Kunitz. The book on free agents: You have a better chance of signing the next Andy Wozniewski than you have of signing the next Andy McDonald.

more hockey notes mixed in with other sports talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Correlation Between PIMs And Points

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

One question I decided to look at is the importance of being a tough team to winning hockey games.  As a marker for toughness we will take the team’s total penalty minutes per game and plot it against their points so far this season.

image

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

The Jacques Martin Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,

Our good friends from Canada continue to speculate that Jacques Martin is in danger of losing his job as general manager of the Florida Panthers.

Their theory: Owner Alan Cohen is upset that JM the GM didn’t get anything good for Jay Bouwmeester at the trade deadline. Because of that, if the Panthers don’t make the playoffs, Florida could be looking for a new GM.

Baloney.

continued and the Martin topic was brought up during the Hot Stove segment of HNIC tonight.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jacques+martin

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