Kukla's Korner

Penguins Never Quit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP,

Down 3-0 in the second period to the Eastern Conference’s stingiest team this season, Sidney Crosby and his teammates rallied back for a 5-4 thriller in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal with the New York Rangers.

“I don’t think you’re ever happy on the bench when you’re down three-zip, but there’s a difference between not being happy and quitting,” said Crosby, who was the game’s best player while putting up two assists.

It was an important achievement, psychologically most of all, for a young core playing only its third-ever playoff series.

“At that point (down 3-0) we were a little shaky, but it showed the character of this hockey team,” said Penguins head coach Michel Therrien. “We never quit. This is a great accomplishment for that young group to be able to bounce back against at a team like the Rangers who are really committed defensively.”

read on

added 11:48pm, from Lynn Zinser at Slap Shot,

The Rangers have plenty of things to blame for their 5-4 loss to the Penguins in the first game of their playoff series Friday night, most self-inflicted, but they took issue with the call that set up the game-winning power play goal.

Rangers forward Martin Straka was called for interfering with Penguins center Sidney Crosby on a rush started by Marian Hossa. Rangers center Scott Gomez had knocked the puck away from Hossa at the blue line, seemingly thwarting the threat. But on the other side of the play, away from the puck, Straka ran into Crosby.

“I just saw him,” Straka said. “He was diving and that was it.”


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

Hockey Players Are Recognized In Montreal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Wayne Fish at phillyBurbs,

Doesn’t get any better than playing hockey in Montreal in April or May. There’s no such thing as bandwagon fans in this city because everyone — repeat, everyone — is a Canadiens fan. Even little dogs are wearing red, white and blue sweaters.

Canada sort of feels like it invented hockey, just as America has baseball, football and basketball as its birthrights. Face it, it’s the only game in town, so why shouldn’t rooting interest be over the top.

Here’s how rabid — but knowledgeable — the fans are. Joffrey Lupul was walking down the street on Friday and fans not only recognized him but booed him!


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

Osgood Remains Low-Keyed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Traikos of the National Post,

Chris Chelios is buddies with Hollywood actors, Henrik Zetterberg is dating a Swedish pop star and Darren McCarty used to have a red Mohawk and front a punk band. But everything about 5-foot-10 netminder from Peace River, Alta., is purposefully low-key.

From his family-friendly SUV to his post-hockey dream job as a bullpen catcher for the Detroit Tigers, Osgood would rather be in the shadows than the spotlight. Perhaps that is why, despite putting up Hall of Fame-worthy numbers, the 14-year veteran is often considered to be a career backup rather than one of the game’s elite.

“Some guys crave the attention, love to be always noticed when they go out and do certain things,” said Osgood. “I don’t really like that. I just want to go about my business and play.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+osgood

Changes Loom In Calgary

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP,

The Calgary Flames filed out the doors of the Pengrowth Saddledome on Friday and some of them for the last time.

The backbone of the team - captain Jarome Iginla, goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff and defencemen Dion Phaneuf and Robyn Regehr - are all under long-term contracts for the next five seasons and Kiprusoff and Phaneuf another year beyond that.

A veteran team with a veteran coach was expected to do better than finishing seventh in the Western Conference and losing in the first round of playoffs, even though it was a hard-fought, seven-game series with San Jose.

Changes are in the offing for Calgary’s supporting cast.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Is Your Tummy Ok?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

I’m not sure I’ve made myself clear on this issue, so maybe it’s time I expanded just a bit on my feelings for Dive “fans”.  We’ll get to that, as usual. But first…this.

I don’t care if Forsberg’s hurt, Wolski’s done, Jose 3 or 4 has himself case of the runs. None of that matters. Actually, it does matter. It makes me happy.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Chris Stevenson at Best of Seven blog,

Habs winger Alex Kovalev had a funny quote about the buzzcuts a lot of his teammates are sporting in the playoffs.

When asked if he would be shearing off his blond, flowing locks, Kovalev replied: “The way I always see it is we can’t all be Indians. Somebody has to be the chief.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Kevin Lowe vs Mike Gillis

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Kevin Lowe has stated he’s not likely to consider doing business in the future with the new Canucks GM, given their previous run-in as agent-vs-GM last summer over Michael Nylander.  But not everyone has sympathy for Lowe’s position. 

From Jason Botchford at The Province:

“I am horrified that someone’s integrity is called into question for something they didn’t do and by someone who did something much worse than Mike Gillis could ever be accused of,” agent Rich Winter said. “It’s an embarrassment to the game that Kevin Lowe would use the news media to make these accusations given what he’s done.”

In December 2003, Lowe was shopping Mike Comrie, Winter’s client, and found a taker in then-Ducks GM Bryan Murray. The pair agreed to a deal that would send young Anaheim forward, and future Stanley Cup champion, Corey Perry and a first-round pick to Edmonton for Comrie and a second-round pick. 

Murray was worried he would lose Comrie to free agency if he made the deal. To appease Murray, Lowe authorized the Ducks’ general manager to begin negotiations with Comrie. Anaheim then signed the forward to an extension and, in its view, the deal was done.

But “not so fast,” says Botchford.  The rest of the story…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kevin+lowe, mike+comrie, mike+gillis

Blue Jackets Majority Owner Passes Away

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Michael Arace and Ron Carter at The Columbus Dispatch:

John H. McConnell, son of a steelworker, father to a new branch of the steel industry and majority owner of the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey team, died today after a long illness.  He was 84.

Despite his business success, he never forgot his hardscrabble beginnings, the iconic industrialist who ran Worthington Industries as if he still wore coveralls. He was known as “Mr. Mac” to one and all, and when he removed the cigar from his mouth, he talked plain.

“It just came natural,” he said in a 1996 interview. “You don’t cheat. You don’t lie. You help your neighbor.”

continued… (*thanks to a KK member for passing on this news)

Update 6:27pm ET: A tribute to McConnell from the CBJ organization…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+h.+mcconnell

Random Trivia About the Stars & Sharks

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From ESPN The Magazine:

(6) A few weeks after the first event at American Airlines Center in Dallas, it was found that the glass installed in the bathrooms was not the same as what was originally intended. Apparently, people had a clear view into the restrooms (YOW-ZA!) The glass was changed immediately.

(7) When Evgeni Nabokov was selected late in the 9th round by the Sharks, they had NEVER seen him play; rather, they based their selection of him on the skills of his father, a goaltender who played for 18 years in his native Kazakhstan.

more trivia…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl+trivia

Best and Worst NHL Player Values of 2008

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

In today’s Canadian Business Online, writer Andy Holloway gives a brief rundown on the numerous ways that the NHL seems to have made gains in the U.S. this season, summarizing the positive situation with renewed television contracts, the increasing criticisms of traditional sports networks for non-athletic sports broadcasting, and even mentioning NHL.com’s record-setting online numbers from earlier in the week.

Also included in the article was a link to CBO’s annual assessment of the best values in the NHL:

Canadian Business Online put the NHL to the test to find the players who offer the best mix of high performance and low cost. These are the best value players. They’re not necessarily hockey’s most skilled in absolute terms — nor are they always the cheapest monetarily — but it’s the dream team for fans and cash-strapped owners.

And who are the worst value players?

Includes charts and slideshows. Data current to April 6, 2008.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: media, nhl+salaries, statistics

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