Kukla's Korner

Can The Habs Pull An Upset?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at TSN,

The Montreal Canadiens are hoping that Columbus forward R.J. Umberger was right when he said the Washington Capitals play the “wrong way” to win in the playoffs, but they’re not counting on it.

The Canadiens will be decided underdogs when they face the top-seeded Capitals in the opening round of their NHL Eastern Conference quarter-final on Thursday night in Washington (TSN, 7 p.m. ET).

The Capitals finished 33 points ahead of the Canadiens in the regular season and scored 101 more goals. The 70 points amassed by Montreal’s top scorer Tomas Plekanec would place him fifth on the Capitals.

But for all their firepower, led by Alex Ovechkin’s 50 goals and 109 points, the Capitals are perceived by some as vulnerable to a playoff upset because of their loose defensive play and lack of a top-notch goaltender.


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

Modano Part Of The Group Interested In Stars

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

I just got off the phone with former Stars president Jim Lites and he confirmed that he and Mike Modano are part of a local group that is trying to buy the Stars.

William J. “Billy” Quinn, one of the managing partners of Natural Gas Partners based in Irving will be the main man behind the money, while Lites will be the front man of the group and could hold a role in management if this group ends up buying the team.

Modano said he is excited about the proposition.

“There is a lot of pride in this organization and where it’s been and where we want it to go, and we think that if we can do this with a local group, that’s the best way to accomplish things,’’ Modano said. ``I can’t tell you how excited I am about this. It’s the first step in this process, and we all know it could very complicated, but I think we can do this. It would be great for us and great for the team.”


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

Any Playoff Dark Horses?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Just about everybody chattering away on the television this past weekend said pretty much the same thing about the 2010 NHL playoffs - it is wide open, anything can happen, never closer etc. etc.

Sounds good in theory, but when it comes right down to it, where are all these playoff dark horses hiding?


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Introducing The Blackberry All-Access Pre-Game Show

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Marketing Mag,

With the National Hockey League post-season beginning Wednesday, the league will debut a new integrated marketing effort via its Blackberry All-Access Pre-Game Show on NHL.com.

The show is in its second year (last season’s was sponsored by Cisco), and aims to give fans an online broadcast destination for game-day facts, stats and insights. The show, anchored by studio host Deb Placey at the NHL Powered by Reebok store in New York City, will feature reports from writers at every series, features and special guests.

Larry Gelfand, the NHL’s senior vice-president of media sales, said that while the online nature of the show and the NHL’s young, tech-savvy demographic is a perfect fit for Blackberry, the key component of the partnership revolves around the Blackberry Messenger (BBM) and its integration into the show.

“It’s relatively well-known and embraced by corporate users but [Blackberry] wanted to get everyday consumers more familiar with it and its utility,” said Gelfand.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Yes To The Shootout

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,

If it had faith in the shootout, the NHL would increase the number of shooters to make it more of a team exercise. Then the league would ditch the loser point in favor of a fan-friendly, transparent standing table that reads W, L and maybe GB.

And if it truly trusted the shootout, we would eventually see it in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Feel free to cringe, but this is where the 21st century is heading. Life should move fast, to borrow from umpire Cowboy Joe West, so how much of a good playoff hockey game is too much? Three overtimes? Four? A Keith Primeau five? If somebody scores at 2:05 a.m. and nobody is awake to see it, is it still a classic?

I understand the sanctity of playoff overtime as much as the next fellow who bought a scalped upper-balcony, end-arena ticket to watch Bobby Orr as a rookie—$5, double the face value—but I would not take it as a personal affront if the evening concluded with the drama of a shootout.


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

Stars Of The Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (April 12, 2010)—Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal and Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom have been named the NHL ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Apr. 11.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Versus Playoff Plan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News,

At a minimum, Versus will televise 50 postseason games, depending on how the series break. The first round is non-exclusive, with Versus picking up two contests exclusively in each of the series during the second round. Then, full exclusivity skates in during the conference finals, before the network again televises Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals, which averaged 3.2 million viewers in 2009, the most for the championship round on cable since 2002.

A key playoff addition: During the non-exclusive first- and second-round games, Versus will transmit other NHL postseason games into the blacked-out home markets of the participating clubs. Previously, it aired alternative programming in those windows in the local markets. According to Davis, this will provide more in-depth coverage overall and give fans a chance to see who their favorite club could meet in the next round, or afford them a better viewing option if the local game is a blowout.


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

Would Brind’Amour Walk Away From $3 Million?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News & Observer,

The Canes’ Rod Brind’Amour, the oldest player on the team at 39, said today that no decision has been on his future with the team.

Brind’Amour had his exit interview today but said he would talk with general manager Jim Rutherford at a later date about next season. “I want to hear what they tell me. I respect Jim a lot.,” he said….

Brind’Amour signed a contract extension after the Canes’ run to the 2006 Stanley Cup. He is to be paid $3 million next season, although with a cap hit of $3.6 million, and the Canes could buy out the final year for $2 million.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rob+brind'amour

Kerry Fraser Made The Right Choices

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John McGourty of NHL.com,

Before the season started, Fraser was given his choice of two games and he selected the 2010 Bridgestone Winter Classic game on New Year’s Day in Boston between the Bruins and Flyers. His next choice was the season-ender in Philadelphia. Fraser, who grew up in Sarnia, Ontario, is a Philadelphia-area resident.

He also had his choice of officiating partners and selected referee Kelly Sutherland and linesmen Don Henderson and Darren Gibbs. All four wore Fraser’s No. 2 in tribute to the NHL’s senior referee.

“Who woulda thunk it,” Fraser said after the game at a party held in his honor in the Wachovia Center. “It’s 20 minutes from my house and we could assemble everybody and party and be close to home and close to family. Never did I think for a second it would be for the final playoff spot between the two teams. To have it decided by a shootout, you can’t script that in Hollywood.”


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

Souray Wants Out Of Edmonton

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

Another big name player wants out of Edmonton, as Sheldon Souray on Sunday uttered those four words that have come to haunt the Oilers franchise:

“I want a trade.”

“I do,” Souray repeated, sounding a little disappointed at the admission. “Yes, I do want a trade.”

If this isn’t rock bottom for the Edmonton Oilers, an organization that never recovered from Chris Pronger’s trade demand in the summer of ‘06, it’s hard to fathom things getting any worse.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sheldon+souray

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