Kukla's Korner

Hockey Talk On A Summer-Like Sunday Morning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

• No matter what happens with the San Jose Sharks, this isn’t a choke job. They’re getting beaten in the Western Conference final by a more complete Chicago team and there’s no shame in that.

• If you could re-work the 2006 entry draft, the order would go like this: 1. Jonathan Toews (3rd pick); 2. Nick Backstrom (4); 3. Jordan Staal (2); 4. Erik Johnson (1); 5. Phil Kessel (5).

• Why stats can sometimes be meaningless: Alexander Semin outscored Toews by 16 points in the regular season. Who would you rather have when it matters?

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Staying In Phoenix Costing Players Some Money

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

In choosing to re main for the time being in Glendale, Ariz.—the time being defined by the city’s politicians’ willingness to inflict the cost of business on its citizens—rather than relocate immediately to Winnipeg, the NHL is going for at least one more year in a market that never has demonstrated the ability to generate the revenue necessary to turn the team into a profitable enterprise.

This is not a felony, but in sacrificing immediate additional guaranteed revenue north of the border—and for the second time in a year now, following the Jim Balsillie debacle—Gary Bettman and the power brokers on Sixth Avenue are taking money out of the pockets of every player in the league without giving them, or their representatives in the NHLPA, a seat at the table or a voice in the process.

You don’t hear much these days about the partnership between the league and the players, and this is why. It’s not a partnership when one side dictates terms to the other.

continued

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

Is Volchenkov Headed To Washington?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,

The A-Train appears to be getting ready for departure.

Five weeks before the opening of the NHL’s unrestricted free agent market, sources have confirmed that Senators defenceman Anton Volchenkov has put his Ottawa house up for sale.

All signs point to Washington as his next destination.

Talk is the Capitals are prepared to offer Volchenkov a salary in the $5 million-range, which would be a $1.8-million raise from his 2009-10 stipend. There is also the belief that the Caps will have star winger Alex Ovechkin call his comrade and sell him on moving to the D.C. area.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anton+volchenkov

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“We had a group in the running for this. We lost to Koules, and we lost to (current owner) Jeff (Vinik). We raised an awful lot of money. We had enough money to buy five franchises. I don’t think we got outbid. I think (NHL commissioner Gary) Bettman thought Jeff was the right guy. And so do I.

“We were close (to buying the team). We were really close. We went to New York, met with attorneys and different people. We stopped short of Gary because we wanted to be absolutely sure before we got to him.’‘

-Phil Espostio talking about a group he was part of that was prepared to buy the Lightning.  More on Tampa from Gary Shelton of the St. Petersburg Times.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phil+esposito

Sand Trap?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Frank Seravalli of Frequent Flyers,

There is not a beach within 180 miles of Montreal.

But during the second period of Saturday’s 3-0 shutout of the Montreal Canadiens, NBC’s Pierre McGuire reported during the national broadcast that “sand or some other foreign substance” had been spilled in the hallway leading from the Flyers’ locker room to the Bell Centre ice.

Sand can wreak havoc on the edges of hockey skates, causing players to slip and fall unexpectedly. It could be an explanation as to why an inordinate number of players were forced to leave the game for periods of time to have their skates re-sharpened.

No player or coach would confirm the incident post-game – or even suggest malice was intended – but by the third period, the Flyers laid down towels in the hallway to prevent the reoccurrence.

“We had skate issues, that’s for sure,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “You know, we lost [Mike] Richards three times, Kimmo [Timonen] two times, and I don’t know.

continued

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

Flyers Have Foot To The Throat Mentality After Game 4 Win

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

For the second time in three playoff rounds, the Canadiens surrendered a commanding lead, this time losing 3-0 to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday afternoon to give the visitors a 3-1 lead in the NHL’s Eastern Conference final. The Flyers can wrap up the best-of-seven series on Monday night in Philadelphia.

However, the Flyers say they are not counting on anything when the Eastern Conference final moves to their arena, even if they smothered the Canadiens defensively on Saturday.

“With each series, obviously it gets harder [to clinch] but I don’t think you can look past the next game and the next win,” said Flyers defenceman Chris Pronger, who typified his team in coming back from a poor outing in Game 3 to be one of the best players on the ice in Game 4.

“[The Canadiens] are obviously a team that has had their backs against the wall throughout the playoffs,” Pronger added. “We obviously want to stymie that and get our foot on their throats.”

read on

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

Not There Yet

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

Ever since they were kids wielding sticks on the neighborhood streets, on the frozen-over ponds or even on their own, man-made backyard rinks, guys like Duncan Keith, Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and many others wearing the Indian head on their chest have pretended they were in the Stanley Cup Final.

Win Game 4 Sunday afternoon against San Jose, and in a few days the pretending stops.

“It obviously is a nice spot to be in right now,” Keith said Saturday on what could be the final off day of the Western Conference Finals. “We can wrap our head around this. We’re in a good spot, but we’re not there yet. We’re not where we want to be and we haven’t done what we want to do yet.”

continued

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

Surgery For Three Bruins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

BOSTON, MA – Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that defenseman Andrew Ference underwent successful right hernia repair surgery and goaltender Tim Thomas underwent successful surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip. Chiarelli also announced that forward Vladimir Sobotka will undergo a left shoulder stabilization procedure on Tuesday May 25.

Ference’s surgery was performed by Dr. David Berger at Mass General Hospital and his expected recovery time is two months. Thomas’ surgery was performed by Dr. Bryan Kelly at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City and his expected recovery time is three to four months.

Sobotka’s procedure will be performed by Dr. Peter Asnis and Dr. Thomas Holovacs at Mass General Hospital. More information on his recovery time will be available after the procedure.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Czechs vs. Russians In World Championship Gold Medal Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Johnston of the CP at the Globe and Mail,

It’s up to Jaromir Jagr and the unheralded Czechs to try and derail the Russian Express.

The host Germans came awfully close on a dramatic semi-final Saturday, but Pavel Datsyuk scored with less than two minutes left in regulation to give Russia a 2-1 victory — the country’s 27th straight at this tournament.

They’ll be going for a third consecutive world championship gold Sunday against a Czech team that is in the middle of a good run of its own.

In the semifinal against Sweden, Czech defenceman Karel Rachunek tied the game with eight seconds to play before Lukas Kaspar and Jan Marek scored in the shootout to secure a 3-2 victory.

continued

added 3:19pm, Watch the Datsyuk game-winner below…

Continue Reading »

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

Open Post- Game 4 ECF Montreal vs. Philadelphia

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

A momentum shift has Montreal attempting to even the series today at 2-2.

Will the teams go back to Philadelphia even or will the Flyers have a chance to advance to the SCF with a win on Monday night?

Game starts just after 3:00pm on NBC, CBC and RDS.

added 2:34pm, via Damien Cox of The Spin,

RDS, despite fierce discussions over Friday and Saturday, managed to maintain it’s right to put an on-ice broadcaster in the coveted spot between the benches for today’s Game 3 between the Canadiens and Flyers.

RDS has “No. 1” position for the game and theoretically first dibs on pretty much everything. But the 3 p.m. start time was an NBC request - CBC figured it would lose about one million viewers compared to a nighttime game - and lobbied to have their analyst, Pierre Maguire, get the between-the-benches position.

NBC was actually third in the pecking order behind RDS and CBC. In the end, RDS analyst Joel Bouchard gets the prime position, while CBC’s Glenn Healy and Maguire will be stationed at two other vantage points for the highly anticipated match.

added 2:55pm, Ha, now this from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

Bettman, according to those familiar with the situation, was willing to allow the deal. But Hockey Night in Canada objected and Bettman had to make a ruling.

The ruling was that no one would get to sit between the benches, so all three networks lost.

more

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

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