Kukla's Korner

Chicago Should Win The Stanley Cup

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times,

For the first time in 18 years, the Hawks will play for a championship named after Lord Stanley.

And they should win it for the first time in almost half a century.

‘‘Last year we were in [the Western Conference finals], but I don’t know if we knew we were going to win that round,’’ Hawks winger Patrick Kane said. ‘‘We didn’t have the confidence.

‘‘This year, it’s almost like we feel that we shouldn’t lose a game, to be honest with you. It’s not cocky. That’s just our attitude. We just feel like we have such a good team.’‘

They should because they do. They likely will play Philadelphia, which has a 3-1 series lead over Montreal in the Eastern Conference finals. As hot as the Flyers are, they are not the team the Hawks are.

Anyone who saw the Hawks take apart the Sharks on Sunday took in an impressive amalgam of talent and grit.


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

Russians Lose But KHL Wins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Andy Potts a The Moscow News,

But amid the disappointment of defeat, there is some comfort to be drawn from the game for organisers of Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League.

The competition, which has a clear aim to rival the NHL for supremacy in world hockey, provided some evidence of its quality by supplying eight of the Czech roster – and claiming both goals for the underdogs in the final.

Indeed, on the night the Czechs had more KHL players suited up than the Russian – seven against six – while the big names from North America were mostly under the double-headed eagle.

read on

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Blues Asst. GM Going Back To Finland

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Paul

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today that Assistant General Manager and Director of Amateur Scouting Jarmo Kekalainen has resigned to take the role of General Manager of the Jokerit Hockey Club in his native Finland, effective June 30th.

“I would like to thank Jarmo for all of his time and hard work as he traveled the globe to find the best possible players for the St. Louis Blues Hockey Club,” said Davidson. “I wish him and his wife Tiina nothing but the best in this new endeavor.”

“I would like to thank the St. Louis Blues organization for allowing me this opportunity with Jokerit,” said Kekalainen. “I am 100 percent committed and focused on selecting the best possible prospects for the Blues in this upcoming NHL Draft.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | Hockey News Wire | Permalink
  Tags: jarmo+kekalainen

It’s About The Money

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Everson of the NY Post,

Nyet, as in no and not yet.

That’s Ilya Kovalchuk’s stance on the push to entice him to play for St. Petersburg in the Russian KHL next season.

It would take the Russian equivalent of opening Fort Knox to entice the Devils’ superstar left wing, who will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, to make up his mind now to play in the KHL next season, an informed source told The Post.

The source insists that ultimate splurge has not yet occurred, disputing reports out of the world championships in Germany that said Kovalchuk already had agreed to a one-year deal in Russia next season.

The word is that unless blown away by a record Russian offer he can’t refuse, the 27-year-old is intent on waiting until July 1 to evaluate all his options, including playing in Russia.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

Congrats To The Windsor Spitfires

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Kimelman of NHL.com,

Keyed by a relentless offensive effort, the Windsor Spitfires made history, winning their second straight Memorial Cup title with a 9-1 victory against the host Brandon Wheat Kings on Sunday at Westman Place.

Taylor Hall, NHL Central Scouting’s second-rated North American prospect for the 2010 Entry Draft, had a goal and 2 assists to finish as the tournament’s leading scorer with 5 goals and 9 points. He became the first player in the 92-year history of Canada’s national junior championship tournament to win consecutive MVP awards.

The Spitfires also became the eighth team ever to win back-to-back titles, and the first since the Kamloops Blazers in 1994-95.


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: windsor+spitfires

Boring Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,

After surviving two of the most exciting battles you will ever see against Washington and Pittsburgh, the Canadiens have found themselves locked in an exercise in tedium. Since they were reduced to the role of spectators during the second period Saturday, the Habs have to know how boring it was.

If the first three contests were something less than classics, Saturday’s game made my New NHL look very much like that Bad Old NHL. With two teams trapping, scoring chances were as hard to find as decaf at an AA meeting.

If the Philadelphia strategy was to bore the Canadiens to death and silence the crowd, it worked. After the midway mark of the first period, the Habs were never in it. The question is whether the Flyers beat them - or the Canadiens beat themselves.

With a chance to tie the series and go back to Philly with the momentum on their side, the Canadiens laid an egg the size of Laval. They played an awful, disorganized, emotionally flat game. They didn’t compete, they didn’t test the Flyers. And they were full value for that 3-0 loss.


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

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“If they ever invited me to drink out of that Cup, I’d jump through the rim of my own butt and hang myself just to get another drink out of it.”

-HHOF member Bobby Hull when asked what he would do if Chicago won the Cup.  More from some of the Chicago ambassadors by Dan Rosen of NHL.com.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bobby+hull

3 On Top & 4 On The Bottom

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The teeth that are now missing from Duncan Keith’s mouth after taking a shot today.

Keith talks about it in a post-game media scrum.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: duncan+keith

Chicago Eyeing The Bigger Prize

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Toews was four years old in 1992, growing up in Winnipeg when that team - coached by Mike Keenan with a young Jeremy Roenick leading the way - was swept out of the final by the Pittsburgh Penguins and Mario Lemieux. The Blackhawks came up short that year and Roenick and Co. never made it back to the dance - a lesson that Toews and his equally precocious line-mate Patrick Kane understand only too well.

These opportunities to win a championship don’t come along every year. You need a little of everything to go your way - a little luck, reasonable good health, timely scoring - to get to where the Blackhawks are today, awaiting the winner of the Philadelphia Flyers-Montreal Canadiens’ series over in the Eastern Conference.

So the Clarence Campbell bowl?

“It’s a made-up trophy for winning the Western Conference,” said Toews. “Big deal. It’s not what we’re after. We’re here to win the Stanley Cup.


added 8:24pm, E.J. Hradek and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN review the Chicago/San Jose series which you can watch below…

Continue Reading »

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

What Will San Jose Do?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,

Where does San Jose go from here?

Put it this way, the Sharks have roughly $22-million in cap space, enough room to retain the existing team, relatively intact, or overhaul the top end of their roster.

Forward Patrick Marleau and goaltender Evgeni Nabokov—both with 10 years in Teal—are unrestricted free agents. At their positions, both should be among the highest-paid players this summer.

Accounting for restricted free agents Joe Pavelski and Devon Setoguchi, the Sharks should be able to squeeze Marleau and Nabokov under the cap for 2010-11. It would be tight.

Defenceman Rob Blake, 40, and third- and fourth-line centres Manny Malhotra and Scott Nichol are also unrestricted free agents.


Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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