Kukla's Korner

SCF May Start Earlier Than Expected

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,

According to multiple sources, if the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings can wrap up their respective Conference final series by Wednesday night, the Stanley Cup finals likely would start on Saturday, May 30 in Detroit. In this scenario, Game 2 would be played on Sunday, May 31.

This is a change from a May 22 press release from the league that indicated that the championship series would begin on Friday, June 5, if both Conference final series didn’t end in four-game sweeps.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Playoff Experience Counts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Button at NHL.com,

Come playoff time, we hear the word “experience” being used constantly. “They have a lot of experience on that team.” “That is a very good team, but they lack experience.” “The experience of losing will help them in the future.”

So, is playoff experience, and specifically Stanley Cup-winning experience, mythical or is it a tangible aspect of success?

We often hear that experience is a teacher, and in the playoffs, there are many lessons to learn. At times, teams and players are trying to learn them versus very accomplished players. If you ask players if they want to win, the answer is an absolute yes. If you ask if they are prepared to pay the price, the response will be yes once again.

The tricky part is when you ask if they know what the price is. That is where one can draw on experience.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

You Call This Fan Friendly?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,

What does a team owe its media and fans when it makes a coaching change? There are rules for opening dressing rooms after games, but after firings? The Calgary Flames employed that old political gambit of releasing bad news late on a Friday afternoon to announce that Mike Keenan was out as coach after two seasons. The Flames put out a terse press release and said GM Darryl Sutter would have no further comments till tomorrow, four days later. And that comment would not include the identity of Keenan’s replacement.

While Calgary may not equal Toronto in its media urgency, waiting four days to explain a major personnel change still smacks of arrogance for a franchise that promised it would be more fan friendly when it almost expired earlier this decade.

more plus other NHL topics, including how HNIC viewed the Kronwall hit…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

What Team Do You Associate Scotty Bowman With?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mick Kern of Home Ice XM 204,

A large number of books have been written about Bowman and his coaching style.  Suffice to say, Bowman is arguably the greatest head coach in NHL history.  His two greatest stretches of accomplishements happened in Montreal, and Detroit.  Each incarnation was impressive to behold.  My heart says Scotty Bowman is first-and-foremost identified with the Montreal Canadiens, but my head says that his most impressive coaching job was with the Red Wings.

The better question might be, who would win in a best-of-seven battle between the 1977 Montreal Canadiens and the 1997 Detroit Red Wings?

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

If They Actually Talked

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Malcolm Kelly of CBC Sports,

Gary: Hello? This is Gary Bettman, commissioner of the National Hockey League, and the man unequivocally in charge.

Jim: Hello, Gary. It’s Jim Balsillie.

Gary: Hello, Mr. Bal-Silly. How are you today?

Jim: Fine, Gary, but it’s Ball-silee, the accent is on the first syllable.

Gary: Oh, Balls-illy. Well, that makes some sense, doesn’t it? Don’t you think so, Bill?

Bill: Yes, sir!

Jim: Bill Daly’s on the line?

Gary: Oh, yes. Bill’s my right-hand man. Wherever I go, Bill goes too. Am I right Bill?

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman, jim+balsillie

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“They were busy making amends for [the Havlat hit].  In the end, we end up on the power play lots, which is beneficial for us.”

-Wings Coach Mike Babcock via Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.

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

Gutless, eh?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

As I find reaction worthy of your perusal, I’ll post it here.  Does that mean all sorts of crazy activity tonite? Probably not.  I’ll probably pass out.  But I do want you to see this.

Brian Campbell?  You’re gaining fans in Chicago by the minute.  First you light a fire under the Wings.  And what’s next?

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Windsor Spitfires Win Memorial Cup

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

The Windsor Spitfires are Memorial Cup champions.

Adam Henrique, Dale Mitchell and Rob Kwiet scored in the first seven minutes of a 4-1 win over the Kelowna Rockets in the final Sunday.

continue for game recap…

added 7:25pm, from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,

If there was one Canadian municipality that needed a pick-me-up or a reason to party, that would be Windsor.

The city has been slapped in the face by the failing economy and a slumping auto industry. But a bunch of teenagers has given the demoralized citizens of Windsor a temporary reprieve from the doom and gloom with the border town’s first major junior hockey championship.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: windsor+spitfires

Wings School Blackhawks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun via Canada.com,

The Detroit Red Wings took the kids to school Sunday. They’ll pick ’em up next fall.

Actually, there’s a little paperwork to be done first, Wednesday night in Detroit — forms signed, concession accepted, and so on — but assuming that’s taken care of, the Chicago Blackhawks can take the rest of the summer off and try again next season.

The young Hawks received more education than they ever wanted in Game 4 of the Western Conference final at United Center, where the Red Wings — short-handed, on the power play, and every which way — showcased their incredible team depth and dominated the home team with a cool, controlled display of textbook positional hockey and opportunism.

continued

added 7:04pm, from Steve Rosenbloom of RosenBlog at the Chicago Tribune,

A disaster, an embarrassment, a waste, pick one, pick ‘em all, you wouldn’t be wrong in trying to describe what passed for Blackhawks hockey in a 6-1 loss in Game 4 of what used to be a competitive Western Conference finals against the vexing Red Wings.

continued

added 7:21pm, from Darren Eliot of Sports Illustrated,

Detroit gave a clinic on what gut-check time is all about. Playing without veteran faceoff specialist Kris Draper, Hart nominee Pavel Datsyuk and surprise scratch, captain Nicklas Lidstrom—only the best defenseman of his generation—the Red Wings played with composure and competitiveness. They were outwardly abrasive in the early going, not shying away from post-whistle scrums, actually initiating much of the pushing and shoving.

That edginess was merely a demonstrative form of their intent. As is the norm, it was their execution that led to the Red Wings’ domination.

read on

added 8:40pm, from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Turns out big brother can pin down little brother even with two hands tied behind his back.

continued

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

Babcock: Osgood Was Dehydrated

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Presser going on right now. Paul’s got it here.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

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