Kukla's Korner

Flyers Rile Up The Crowd

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,

There was no need of the scoreboard announcer welcoming “the most intimidating fans in hockey” to the Wachovia Center. They know who they are — a crowd that would have made the lions wet themselves in Nero’s Rome.

The atmosphere in the lead-up to the game was, well, surly, both inside and outside the Flyers’ rink.

“Spit on the Canadians!” one man shouted as several fans in Montreal colours paraded by.

At the turnstiles, they handed out orange T-shirts with “Crush the Canadiens!” stencilled across the chest. They flashed “Vengeance Now!” across the wraparound scoreboard….

The scoreboard announcer predicted a “nasty, bloodthirsty” game to answer the “nasty” Montreal Canadien, Tom Kostopoulos, who offered up that controversial “face wash” to a Flyer to end the previous game in Montreal, which Philadelphia had won to even the series at one game apiece.

They showed a few select brawls on the scoreboard, particularly concentrating on those times in the past 41 years of Flyers history where they have pounded various Canadiens players to the ice, if not quite to a pulp.


Maybe the folks who banned the Octopus Twirl should take a look at this…

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink

Avery Went After Crosby

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

It happened in the neutral zone, away from the puck.

Avery, the New York Rangers’ resident coward, came up from behind—as cowards often do—and took two chopping slashes at Crosby’s left wrist….

In a quieter moment after yesterday’s media session, I asked Crosby if he thought Avery was trying to injure him.

“He wasn’t going for the puck,” Crosby said. “He was going for my wrist.”

A call to the Rangers’ media relations office yesterday seeking comment from Avery wasn’t returned.

Carefully choosing his words, Crosby went on.

“Obviously, he was trying to make me feel it a bit,” he said. “I don’t know if it was a direct intent to hurt me or anything. ... I guess he was just letting me know that he’s there.”


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

Flyers Facing More Than One Opponent

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News,

Derian Hatcher has arguably been the Flyers’ best defenseman in the playoffs. If not, then Kimmo Timonen has. So far in this series with Montreal, we have seen a sucker punch with intent to injure on Timonen go unpunished, and in last night’s harrowing 3-2 Flyers victory, we watched Hatcher get thrown out of the third period of a playoff game for a boarding penalty that occurred almost simultaneously with Tomas Plekanec’s blatant attempt to injure the Flyers’ R.J. Umberger by taking out his knees away from the puck….

Can’t wait to see what’s in store for tomorrow night.

This series is just three games old, and already there is way too much circumstantial evidence to support the perennial theorem embraced in the lower 48 at this time of year.

Namely, that Canada looks out for its own.

read on

Update 1:53pm ET (from Alanah): With a hat-tip to Orland Kurtenblog for reminding me of this video.  (Us Canadians are so sneaky and conniving… watch out!). smile


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

Stars Have That Stanley Cup Feel

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,

I didn’t pick the Dallas Stars to win the Stanley Cup.  Heck, I didn’t pick them to get out of the first round.  Not many did.  After three straight first round exits, I’m guessing Modano’s Nana had the Ducks in five.

But with each passing game, with each convincing victory, I’m starting to get this funny feeling it is their year.

It’s the way they are winning, and the character traits they are showing that make you believe something special is going on here.  Here’s your Stars’ Playoff Personality Profile:


This is the biggie.  Remember how it seemed Anaheim won every little battle last year?  How they got to the puck a fraction of a second faster, fought a little harder in every corner, played every second like overtime in game seven?  That’s what these Stars are doing.  The poster boy for this is captain Brendan Morrow, who would be my round-and-a-half Conn Smyth pick.


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

Osgood Rebuilds His Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob Duff of the Windsor Star via the National Post,

Windsor native Stan Matwijiw operates the Bandits Goalie School in Novi, Mich., and back in 2004, was charged with the task of deconstructing Osgood.

It proved to be a reclamation project of Humpty Dumpty-like proportions.

“I got a call from Chris the second week of August the summer before the (2004-05) lockout,” Matwijiw recalled. “When he first came to me, I was a little unsure about what he was looking for.

“This was an NHL goalie with 11 years of experience. I didn’t know whether he was just looking to fine-tune some things, so we talked about it. To my surprise, he said, ‘I want you to completely tear my game apart and rebuild it.”


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

Spector: No Emotion In Dive/Wing Series

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Courtesy of Lyle Richardson at Fox Sports,

But in the six-year interim since these two teams last met in the postseason, the emotions have largely evaporated. Many of the rivalry’s previous participants are either playing elsewhere or retired. A player like Lemieux, whose ramming of Wings forward Kris Draper head-first into the boards during the 1996 playoffs was the rivalry’s true flash-point, is nowhere to be found.

Unless the Avalanche can battle back and establish some sort of emotional edge, this current series will go down as perhaps the least memorable of this year’s playoffs and in the once-heated history between these two teams.

“Least memorable” of this year’s playoffs?  Five goals in two games for Johan Franzen is forgettable.  Chris Osgood’s exceptional play and Three/Four’s disaster of a beginning to this series is forgettable?  Because it’s been clean, it’s not memorable?

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

The Playing Field Is Level

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Puck-rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,

The West is so diluted Dallas might reach the finals. I was watching a game from the Colorado-Detroit series recently and, uh, oh wait that was a rerun from ESPN Classic. These are your father’s Red Wings and Avs.

Anyway, the best young talent in the West is on developing teams: Chicago, Phoenix, even Los Angeles. Will the big money clubs such as Detroit retool? No doubt. But in the salary cap era they can only do so much.

Translation: The Jackets have never been on a more level playing field. Let’s see if they can take advantage.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Shanahan’s Avery Impersonation

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From David Shoalts at the Globe & Mail blog,

Don’t look now, but a New York Ranger was spotted in the opposition’s goal crease, holding up his arms and waving like a marooned sailor on a desert island.

No, it wasn’t the attention-starved Sean Avery this time but the allegedly classy veteran Brendan Shanahan. His technique was different than Avery’s but the intent seemed to be the same, to block Pittsburgh Penguin goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury’s view of the puck. [...]

Avery’s tactics drew a vow from the NHL that any further antics would result in an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty but Shanahan did not get whistled down. However, the Penguins professed no alarm about this because, they said, the referees told them if the Rangers scored a goal it would have been disallowed.


Update 4:31pm ET: Some words from Stan Fischler on what it will take for the NYR to get back into the series with the Pens

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

Note To Nik Jr.: Pete’s Gonna Play

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

In the midst of the love fest going on below, I thought it might be important to inject this little tidbit.

Peter Forsberg’s probably going to play tomorrow night.  I have something to say about that development.  First, here’s the facts as reported by our erstwhile Diggers.

St. James

Update from Centennial, Colorado, where the Avalanche just finished up practice: Peter Forsberg is a definite maybe for Game 3.
Forsberg, sidelined by a groin injury, skated on a line with Joe Sakic and Andrew Brunette.

Asked Monday if he was ready to go, Forsberg said “we’ll see tomorrow,” but added that he “felt great.”

Joel Quenneville said Forsberg “looked good,” in practice.


Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Brush Up on Your Stanley Cup History

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Joe Pelletier at Greatest Hockey Legends is looking back at every Stanley Cup champion since 1930, offering capsule looks at the playoffs and teams, and of course highlighting all the heroes.

This past weekend he has posted Stanley Cup capsules dating from 1930-1944. He’s added 30 new biographies as well.  A lot of great hockey reading.

[Greatest Hockey Legends.com]

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl+history, playoffs, stanley+cup

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