Kukla's Korner

Jagr In Charge

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lynn Zinser of the New York Times (Sunday edition),

At 36, Jagr has appointed himself to lead that charge. His play became increasingly dominating as the playoffs neared. He turned it up more in the first round of the playoffs and played his most inspired game Thursday, when he had two goals and an assist to help the Rangers stave off elimination.

But it was off the ice after Game 3 that Jagr made his biggest statement. Even though the Rangers had lost at the Garden, 5-3, he went into the locker room and said the Rangers could win the series if they played the way they did in erasing a two-goal deficit in the second period of that game. Publicly, he vowed the series was not over.

Jagr does not often address his teammates as a group. That role usually falls to Brendan Shanahan, one of the alternate captains, and others. But when Jagr does, he has their attention.


Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jaromir+jagr

Back-to-Back- Not Good

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

The NHL’s second-class status when it comes to arena dates and television schedules, on U.S. TV anyway, has resulted in a familiar problem in the playoffs. And it will get worse the deeper you go in the playoffs, where fatigue becomes a bigger factor with the players.

I’m talking about the back-to-back games, often in different cities, that are part of almost every playoff series.

The problem is that often NHL teams do not have first call on their arena’s availability, especially when that arena is shared with an NBA team.


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

Versus Should Pick Up The Tab

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Cole’s Notes at the Vancouver Sun,

Dear Gary Bettman:

On behalf of the travelling members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, I would like to lodge a complaint about the amount of money the NHL’s deal to telecast playoff games in the United States on the Versus network is costing writers, and the damage it is doing to our livers….

Club soda and cranberry juice doesn’t pay the rent, so we are forced to consume copious quantities of beer and other libations just to keep the bars from throwing us out in favour of more lucrative customers. Over three hours — or six, if there happen to be two games on, back-to-back — this runs into serious money, not to mention dangerous levels of alcohol consumption and more chicken wings than are good for our slender figures.


Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Avery’s Condition Improving

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Steve Zipay at his Blue Notes blog on Newsday,

That’s the word from the Rangers as of a few moments ago. This means the internal bleeding from Avery’s lacerated spleen has stopped. He’s still several days away from leaving hospital, but this is a vast improvement from when he went into St. Vincent’s late on Tuesday night.

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

On Flyers’ Coach John Stevens

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Elliotte Friedman at CBC,

“His brother owned the one gym in town,” Roloson said. “And we would meet him there to work out. John took it very seriously, and eventually we did, too.”

“I believe his nickname was Rambo, because of how hard he worked out,” Blake said.

Stevens is still in excellent shape and expects nothing less from his players. During the off-day between Games 3 and 4 of this series, the Flyers didn’t skate but did have a weight-training workout.

But his impact extended beyond the exercise room.

more from Dwayne Roloson and Rob Blake on how the Flyers’ coach impacted their own early careers

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: coaching, dwayne+roloson, john+stevens, rob+blake, training

Mystical Potential of the Sharks

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Stu Hackel at NYT Slapshot blog,

It was 33 years between the 1942 Maple Leafs comeback and the 1975 Islanders comeback. Now, it’s 33 years later, so the Soothsayers, Numerologists and Kabbalists of the hockey world have concluded this will be the year that another team is invested with mystic powers and awakens from inside the 0-3 grave to rise up and smite the unbeatable foe once again.

Even Madonna, the most well-known Kababalist of our time, is down with this. Remember, she’s originally from Detroit — Hockeytown. Just check out her new record, Hard Candy, which is both retro and futuristic. Clearly, she’s telling us that it’s back-to-the-future time for the 0-3 revival. And her first single, that duet with Justin Timberlake? It’s entitled “4 Minutes.” A double minor. A hockey reference for sure. And Hard Candy is also going to be released this month as a special edition 3 LP set. LPs, you may remember, play at 33 1/3 rpms. Thirty-three. Coincidence? We think not. Yep, she’s sending us a message. She’s into it.

more weird reasons the Sharks will win, plus a look at the NYR and the Canadiens’ series.

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

Wings Fun To Watch

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ted Wyman of the Winnipeg Sun,

I have to begrudgingly admit that the Detroit Red Wings—a team I have always cheered against on principle—have been fun to watch during these Stanley Cup playoffs.

They are a team so laden with European stars, they remind me of the old Winnipeg Jets of the WHA years.

Led up front by Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg—perhaps the finest two-way players in the NHL—the second coming of Reggie Leach in playoff scoring sensation Johan Franzen and the incomparable Nicklas Lidstrom on the blue-line, the Red Wings have so far looked every bit as good in the playoffs as they did during the regular season.


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

Tracking The Hooligans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from CBC,

Montreal police say they are ready for any excessive celebration Saturday night as the Canadiens take to the ice in Game 5 of their NHL playoff series against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Officers have been surfing the internet, looking through chat groups on social networking sites such as Facebook for any would-be rioters.

Police want to prevent a repeat of the chaos that followed the Habs’ April 21 game when they won their first-round series against the Boston Bruins in Game 7.

Fans took to the streets after the game to celebrate the Canadiens’ performance but the partying got out of hand when vandals attacked police cars, setting several on fire, and broke into stores on St-Catherine Street.

An anti-riot Habs fan group was created on Facebook that night, and its creator said pro-riot subscribers have since posted messages on the page.


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

Flyers Confident Going Into Game 5

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,

Tonight, the Flyers can close out their best-of-7 series against the heavily favored Montreal Canadiens in five games. It is a position they were in on April 19 when they traveled to Washington and lost 3-2.

“People were concerned we were overconfident going into Washington and I think it was the opposite,” Flyers coach John Stevens said Friday at the Skate Zone.

“We were underconfident. We sat back and waited. We gotta get after this game harder than we have any other game. Montreal is a very good team and their fans are going to be behind them and we’re going to have to be ready to go.”

read on

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

Playoffs Need A Spark

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Calgary Herald,

I know the elimination of the Calgary Flames by the San Jose Sharks has naturally sucked some of the air out of the balloon hereabouts. And with the Toronto Maple Leafs out of the playoffs once again, they might as well not be happening for many east of the Lakehead. That’s understandable (in a pathetic sort of way).

But since when did Mr. Freeze put his glacial hand upon the rest of the post-season, cryogenically rendering the battle to win the Stanley Cup into a bad ice sculpture at some hillbilly wedding? Granted, the playoffs go on four weeks longer than any attention span this side of Stephen Hawking can bear.

But where’s the sizzle? Where’s the steak?

read on

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

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