Kukla's Korner

Wings Produce Another Defenseman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding at USA TODAY,

Detroit Red Wingts defenseman Jonathan Ericsson’s strong play in the opening game of the Western Conference quarterfinal against the Columbus Blue Jackets Thursday is another illustration of the rewards of a franchise that can afford to be patient with its draft picks.

Ericsson, who scored in the game, is a 25-year-old rookie with just 27 games of NHL experience and I believe he has a chance to become an NHL All-Star over the next three seasons. The former ninth-round pick from Sweden played three seasons in the American Hockey League, making the final adjustments from center to defense and now he looks like a veteran performer.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+ericsson

Kiprusoff Claims Interference On OT Havlat Goal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stuart Shea at NHL.com,

The Calgary Flames cried foul.

Goalie Miikka Kiprusoff maintained after the Chicago Blackhawks’ 3-2 overtime win Thursday night that he was interfered with on Martin Havlat’s game-winning goal. Calgary coach Mike Keenan said there was no doubt that Hawks forward Andrew Ladd impeded his netminder.

“I believe it was Ladd who did not try to stop his movement toward the net, and that’s goaltender interference,” Keenan said. “However, the officials saw it different or didn’t make the call because of the excitement of overtime.”

continued and watch the goal below…

Continue Reading »

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

Ducks Win A “Kind Of Lucky” Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

After three consecutive second-round playoff exits the San Jose Sharks decided that to reach the next level they needed players who had proven their poise under pressure.

So they brought in six players who had won a collective nine Stanley Cup championships, moves that seemed justified when the team compiled the NHL’s top regular-season record.

So much for the value of postseason experience.

Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller stopped 35 shots in his NHL playoff debut Thursday and made third-period goals by Scott Niedermayer and Ryan Getzlaf stand up as the eighth-seeded Ducks upset the top-seeded Sharks, 2-0, at a stuffed and stunned HP Pavilion.

Hiller, who was helped by the goalpost several times, said the Ducks “got kind of lucky.” Maybe so, but they were good when they had to be, killing off six disadvantages.

continued

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

Keenan Delivers Message For Game 2

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,

Flames coach Mike Keenan wasn’t screaming or yelling after Thursday’s 3-2 loss to the Hawks in Game 1, even though he felt Andrew Ladd interfered with goalie Miikka Kiprusoff on Martin Havlat’s winning goal 12 seconds into overtime.

Keenan was doing what he does best, subtly sending a message to the NHL that he wants his goalie protected while also warning the Hawks that Nikolai Khabibulin better keep his head up in Game 2 on Saturday.

“There will be a debate about goaltender interference,” Keenan said. “A couple times they had run Kiprusoff over earlier in the game. It’s certainly part of their game plan. It’s a good plan if you can get away with it, and so far they have.”

more on Chicago

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

Wings To All Of Us: STFU

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

What? Us? Worry?

Nah.

image

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Minnesota Fire GM Doug Risebrough

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The Minnesota Wild front office will look different next season.  Their coach Jacques Lemaire quit at the end of the season.  He had been their only coach in franchise history and had built a very successful system that had made the Wild a much better team than their talent level would have predicted.  Minnesota is a team that has only ever had one player who can be considered a scoring star in Marian Gaborik.  Despite the fact that Gaborik is injury prone and was held to 17 games played this season, Minnesota barely missed the playoffs this year finishing in ninth place in the West Conference.  It was a common, but incorrect, opinion that the problem with the Wild was Lemaire’s defensive scheme.  The theory was that it prevented the Wild from offensive success.  A much more reasonable theory is that the Wild had little offensive talent and their defensive scheme was what gave them the success that they had.  The man who was at fault for the lack of offensive talent is the general manager Doug Risebrough.  Yesterday, the Minnesota Wild announced his firing.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Blue Jackets OK After Loss To Detroit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

Their dressing room gave off a cool, quiet, upbeat vibe. There was none of the devastation that was seen after those poor games they played down the stretch of the regular season. Is that strange?

“It’s a good thing,” Michael Peca said.

Rick Nash said, “After eight or nine years of driving to get here, it’s nice to be done with the first one. Coming into this, we all knew that we were going to go game to game, no matter what happened. That was stressed. That is how you’ve got to take it.”

The Jackets played half-well tonight. What they took from it was the knowledge that they can play under postseason conditions. They will take this powerful knowledge and, they must hope, fix their mistakes.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Cheap Shot Or Not?  Cammalleri On Havlat

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Mike Cammalleri delivers a right forearm/elbow to the head of Martin Havlat.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: martin+havlat, mike+cammalleri

Bad Move By Leipold

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sid Hartman of the Star-Tribune,

It’s hard to understand how Craig Leipold sang the praises of Doug Risebrough when Leipold bought the Wild, only to fire Risebrough, one of the best hockey executives in the game, as team president and general manager a year later….

The johnny-come-lately owner of the Wild must not be informed of all the great things that Risebrough did, taking over an expansion club and making it pretty competitive from the start….

To top it off, Leipold didn’t have the courage to face the media and call a news conference to announce his decision to fire one of the most popular sports executives in my long media career, instead staging a conference call to let the media learn what I consider to be sad news.

more

added 10:59pm, via Darren Dreger of TSN,

The Minnesota Wild are building a list of candidates to replace fired general manager Doug Risebrough.

Sources tell TSN the Wild have contacted the Toronto Maple Leafs seeking permission to speak with Dave Nonis, the Leafs senior vice president of hockey operations.

Toronto has flatly declined.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+leipold

Lightning Co-Owner Wants To Take Hands-On Role

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Ebner of the Globe and Mail (Friday edition),

Len Barrie, co-owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, wants a hands-on role next season running one of the worst teams in hockey — as soon as he can sell a major real estate development in British Columbia….

Barrie, a one-time journeyman NHLer, has his mind on the Lightning, whose 2008-09 campaign was a disaster, ending with nine consecutive losses to ring up the second-worst record in the league. The team’s 24 wins were the fewest in the NHL.

“We’ve had a long year, we had a lot of injuries,” Barrie said in an interview yesterday. “It’s been disappointing not being able to help. I have to look after the main place [Bear Mountain] first, and we’ll see how it plays out.

“I’d like to have more of an involvement on the day-to-day stuff [in Tampa]. You can only do so many things.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: len+barrie

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