Kukla's Korner

Now The NHL Is Showing Bias Towards Canadian Teams

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jonathan Strong of The Daily Caller,

It is a bitter, bitter pill for Caps fans to swallow when a playoff series is decided by a referee’s clearly errant call. What makes it worse is the longstanding pattern of questionable refereeing for the Capitals in the playoffs.

Caps Coach Bruce Boudreau revealed the Canadiens had been quietly lobbying the league on the very question of goalie interference throughout the series.

Montreal “talked about us being in front of the net all the time to the supervisor. I don’t know if that had any effect or not,” he said.

Did the NHL’s famous bias for Canadian teams give Montreal an edge on the most significant moment of the series?

more

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

Breaking Down Chicago/Vancouver Series

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

One year later, the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks meet again in the second round. Vancouver’s 2009 playoffs came to a crushing end in Game 6 at the United Center when Chicago exploded for seven goals on Roberto Luongo in a night few in the Canucks organization will ever forget.

This postseason, Chicago and Vancouver return to the second round with one thing in common: Both believe they’re one step closer to challenging for the ultimate prize this time.

The Blackhawks and Canucks were both picked by many to represent the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup finals, both clubs winning their respective divisions. Because of those high expectations, one team will be thoroughly disappointed with a second-round exit. It’s Stanley Cup or bust.

continued

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

Second Round Playoff Predictions

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs are over.  Here are my first round picks.  I went 5-3, missing the losses of each of the top three seeds in the East Conference.  The fact that the West Conference was significantly better when playing the East Conference in the regular season coupled with the defeats of the top East Conference seeds make a West Conference Stanley Cup winner look quite likely at this point.

Here are my second round predictions:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Todd McLellan On The Challenges The Sharks Have Against The Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: todd+mclellan

GDT - WC Semifinals, Game 1: Red Wings (5) at Sharks (1)  (9:00)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

The Sharks have not made it past the second round in their past four trips to the postseason, including a second-round loss to the Wings in 2007.  If they don’t start getting production from Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and Dany Heatley, they will likely be going home early again.  The “Big 3"scored about 40 percent of the team’s goals in the regular season,  but combined for only one goal and were minus 7 in the first-round series against COL.  SJS scoring were picked up by the Pavelski, Clowe, Setoguchi line, nine goals and 13 assists.  SJS goalie Evgeni Nabokov allowed just a pair of goals while winning the last three games against Colorado, (0.95 GAA, 0.962 Save% in last 3 GPI).

The Dogs fierce forechecking and grinding game pushed DET to 7 games, and saw DET win 3 road games in the series.  In game 7, DET’s stars shined:  Nicklas Lidstrom 2 G - 1 A, Brian Rafalski 3 A, Henrik Zetterberg 3 A, Pavel Datsyuk 2 G, Valtteri Filppula 2 A.  Jimmy Howard 32 saves on 33 shots, 0.969 Save%.  Said Ken Holland:  “As the (Phoenix) series wore on, I thought we were getting better.“When we really needed to step up our game and get big performances from certain players, we got it.’’ 

Game On, Bitches(!)

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

We’re not sure the playoffs are a better place this morning, with the highly entertaining Washington Capitals packing their gear and the shot-blocking Habs game-planning on how now to grind the Pittsburgh Penguins to a halt. But everyone loves a No. 8 seed — and we do too.

Pittsburgh has played the maximum nine rounds over the past three post-seasons. They’re ripe, and the Canadiens are hot. We’ll take the Habs in seven.

-Mark Spector of Sportsnet where more hockey topics are discussed.

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

Do The Capitals Need A New Coach?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

So, let’s look at the players skating on the ice and the man behind the bench. Is Bruce Boudreau the right person to coach this team at this point in its development?

There is little doubt Boudreau is a good coach in the NHL and has both an excellent grasp of the technical aspects of the game and a unique ability to relate to his players and make them play hard for him. His road to the NHL makes him a unique and compelling story and his stock as a coach has risen meteorically since taking over the Capitals.

But you have to wonder if there’s a team that needs a kick in the hockey pants more than the Capitals do now. What might bring out the best in the team is a taskmaster who makes his players accountable and uncomfortable. Perhaps the star-laden Capitals aren’t on edge enough when it comes to their own performance. Maybe they need someone who is going to play head games with them, call them out in the media and not be afraid to sit out an elite player when he’s not producing.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bruce+boudreau

Hail To The Habs, Fail To The Caps

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

The challenge is to assign the correct amount of responsibility to both the conquerors and the conquered.

Do you praise the valiant Montreal Canadiens for a remarkable and historic playoff comeback?

Or do you analytically dismember the Washington Capitals for not only blowing a 3-1 series lead, but for falling flat on their faces in the first round of the playoffs after dominating the league during the regular season?

A share of both is probably fair. Maybe the fact that the Habs have all that wonderful history and all those Stanley Cups and the Caps have precious little of the former and none of the latter factored into a result that few anticipated.

continued

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

Reasons To Win

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,

Red Wings will win if … Howard is able to raise his level in goal to the level of his more experienced teammates. After a difficult regular season, the Red Wings are looking more like the Red Wings of the recent past, so the onus will be on the goalie to make sure the solid play of Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Lidstrom is rewarded.

Sharks will win if … They forget about this being the playoffs. San Jose has an excellent team that is more than capable of winning. The Sharks simply need to play up to their capabilities and be true to their game.

more

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

It Wasn’t Just Goaltending That Beat Washington

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

There are going to be a lot of people who say the Montreal Canadiens upset over the Washington Capitals was just a goaltender getting hot, but that does a disservice to a lot of other players on the Canadiens.

In particular, big Hal Gill with his Stanley Cup pedigree from the Pittsburgh Penguins and little Josh Gorges, who teamed up top be absolutely tremendous in a lot of different areas.

Gill and Gorges were terrific on the penalty kill, helping the Canadiens hold the most vaunted power play unit in the league to only one goal on 33 power play attempts.

They did a very good job, along with the rest of the Canadiens, at taking Alexander Ovechkin out of the games, playing almost a man-on-man with him then playing four-on-three on the rest of the power play.

read on

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

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