Kukla's Korner

World Hockey Championships - Preliminary Round

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The World Hockey Championships are underway in Germany.  That is a very overstated name for a tournament that often does not include the best players in the world because it is played at the same time as the Stanley Cup playoffs and only eliminated players can participate.  Many NHL players on eliminated teams chose not to play for various personal reasons.  It is hardly a world championship tournament - that was the Olympics.  Nevertheless, it can be interesting hockey to see some of the better European players playing with and against some NHLers.

The tournament is being played in Mannheim and Cologne, Germany, with an opening day game (hometown Germany vs. USA - who have a strong level of support due to local US forces bases) played in front of 77,000 fans in a soccer stadium in Gelsenchirken.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Kirk Muller- NHL Head Coach Candidate

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

A good post-season always thrusts people into the spotlight, and Montreal’s early-round success is the biggest story so far. They’ve needed the maximum 14 games, but that shouldn’t take anything away from the Canadiens’ brilliant preparation for both the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins.

This isn’t to say Muller is solely responsible, but anyone who watched his 19-year career can see him in the plan. The Canadiens found ways to neutralize and frustrate the league’s three most dangerous offensive players - Alexander Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. It’s really an amazing accomplishment, and it’s the kind of thing Muller would do many times in his 1,349-game NHL lifetime.

Clearly, Canadiens head coach Jacques Martin respects his expertise, since Muller gets prime face time during in-game timeouts. However, his greatest asset may be in understanding every possible emotion a player can go through.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kirk+muller

Laviolette Has His Eye On The Big Prize

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,

...And while tonight’s game will represent the biggest of many of his players’ careers, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette is not about to heighten the pressure by borrowing Fred Shero’s “Win Today And We Will Walk Together Forever” inscriptions.

“Win tonight and we’re at the halfway point,” Laviolette said Thursday. “. . . I don’t know if that’s going to get ‘em going or not.”

Probably not….

But for those who believe this is all about making history, there is Laviolette to provide perspective.

“The end game to me is still that big, silver shiny thing,” Laviolette said. “What happens along the ride would be great. Any time you can attach your name as a group to something in sports history I think that’s a positive ting. But to me, man, I sure would like to be one of those final four teams.

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Another Game 7 Poll

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I may be in the minority today, but I am picking Boston tonight.  How about you?

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

A Great Time To Be A Hockey Fan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

When Gary Bettman signed off his weekly XM Satellite radio show Thursday night after many feel-good calls from listeners, the fade out was Long May You Run by Neil Young.

If the NHL can keep this playoff vibe rolling, the commish could soon be joining Young, son of a hockey writer and a big Sharks’ fan, for a duet of Sugar Mountain. And that’s after the league lost its two marquee marksmen, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, courtesy of the Canadiens.

Aside from Wednesday’s night’s aggressive window shopping by a few Montreal louts, it’s a grand time to be a hockey fan, whether you’re the pin-striped Bettman or wearing the jersey of the five surviving teams.

continued

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

The Montreal Canadiens- (North) America’s Hockey Team?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Adelson of Yahoo,

The hockey gods are laughing now. They snicker in the still of Pittsburgh, chuckle in the dark corridors of NHL offices in New York and bellow in the wild streets of Montreal. They kept quiet for so long, so long that fans must have wondered whether they departed for good.

Had the sport changed completely, from team-first to star-centered? Were media-blessed stars like Alex Ovechkin(notes) and Sidney Crosby(notes) really able to take over and win on their own? Were the ghosts of the beautifully flawed old barns in Winnipeg and Chicago now chased away by fake noise in McArenas? Was the old NHL – the one so many grew up with – gone?

Mais non.

The Montreal Canadiens have spoken, and spoken loudly, for the truly great aspects of their sport. They are the eighth seed, and the 16th-best team coming into the playoffs, cobbled together by good defense and great goaltending. They do nothing fancy, nothing breathtaking, nothing highlight-ready. Try making a Gatorade commercial out of this: They rush to the net on offense; they rush to the net on defense. That’s pretty much it. The Habs shove. They forecheck. They dump and chase. They clear the zone. Simple. Lovely. Pure. Hockey.

continued

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Devils Have A Decision To Make

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Everson of the NY Post,

Besides picking a coach again, the Devils have another major decision on their hands, which left wing to shower millions upon. They can’t afford both Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk after next season, not without shortchanging other more-needed positions, and they need to choose now.

Underscoring the imminent nature of that choice, The Post has learned that Parise is dropping his current agent and is seeking a new adviser to guide him through this vital summer.

In the next six weeks, the Devils had better find out which they can best do: extend Parise’s walk-year contract (officially after July 1, but they’re free to do everything but file the deal before then), or sign Kovalchuk before he reaches unrestricted free agency on July 1.

It’s a crossroads decision as important to the future of the franchise as the selection of another coach, and it would be an upset if the choice is Kovalchuk over Parise.

continued

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Emotions For Game 7

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

In three straight games, the Bruins have blown tires in their attempts to advance to the Eastern Conference finals. Tonight, they are down to their last spare.

With one more loss to the Flyers, the Bruins not only will have their season come to a close, they will also enter the NHL record book as only the third team to gag up a 3-0 lead and lose a playoff series. It is company they have no desire to join.

“It’s going to be a big game, probably for most of us, the biggest game of our careers,’’ said Zdeno Chara. “We just have to enjoy it.

“Everybody’s different. Everybody’s treating it differently. Some guys get nervous. Some guys are very excited to be in that position. Everybody’s feeling different.’’

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Playing Hockey The Toronto Way

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

Watch Mike Cammalleri the next time he scores a goal.

It won’t be a one-man celebration. He’ll skate straight to his teammates first or wait for them to join him so they can celebrate as a team. It’s what he learned from his parents growing up in Richmond Hill, playing hockey for the AAA Toronto Red Wings and going to The Country Day School in King City.

“That was our philosophy,” says Craig Clarke, Cammalleri’s coach for five years from minor atom on in the Red Wings organization. “We had a reputation of being an ultimate team. And Mike focused on what had to be done, not on what had just been done.”

Cammalleri talked about there being a “Toronto” way to play hockey when his Montreal Canadiens, with fellow GTA natives P.K. Subban (Rexdale), Glen Metropolit (Regent Park) and Dominic Moore (Thornhill) all contributing significantly to the Habs’ playoff victory over Pittsburgh.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+cammalleri

Response to PSH’s “Defending Stanley Cup Champion Eliminated.”

Blog: KK Members Blog By Chris from NOHS

Introductory note:  I asked PSH what his point was in the article linked here.  I received an email noting that my comment was deleted and he only wrote it so he could delete a comment.  I asked again, stating I was serious.  I received this email in response from PSH: 

If it is a serious question, I recommend you re-read it and try to understand it, perhaps sit on a grown up’s lap and ask them to help you with the big words.

Seriously.  There is no need to ask what the main purpose(s) of the post was (were).  It (they) should be obvious to any reader.  Basically it is my reactions to Pittsburgh’s elimination from the playoffs.  It touches off several points.
As I expect my comment to be deleted in PSH’s post, I posted a members post in retort that the point was obvious.  Here it is:

Big words are tough, I’ll agree. Anything over four letters requires me to take a minute to look it up in my handy dictionary I keep with me in case of emergencies. 

Anyways, now that we are straight on that, lets go over the points you make in your article.

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Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: elite, fleury, joke, penguins, puck+stops+here

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