Kukla's Korner

Reviewing Game 4

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Pierre LeBrun and Scott Burnside recap game 4.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Wings Need Datsyuk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Memo to Detroit Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk: Take a shot in that broken foot and get your fanny on the Joe Louis Arena ice tomorrow night. Your team needs you.


If one thing became clear last night in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final, it’s that the Red Wings can’t match the Penguins’ high-end talent—OK, Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby—without Datsyuk, their Hart Trophy candidate as NHL MVP.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Forgetting About Step One

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

It seems everybody with a pulse these days has plans for another National Hockey League team in Toronto.

It is, for the record, getting a bit silly out there.

Today, a group of investors will announce plans to bid for an expansion franchise for Toronto for the 2012 hockey season. All that is nice, but it would have been much nicer had the group bothered to contact the NHL first.

That might have bought them some credibility. But in these Jim Balsillie make-some-noise times—and never mind the rules—why bother with credibility when public relations and chest-thumping rules the day.

You would think people would learn by now: If you want to play in the NHL, you have to play nice with the NHL. That isn’t so hard. That isn’t so complicated.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Rumors At The SCF

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Despite all the denials coming out of the Sunshine State, the Tampa Bay Lightning is trying to deal C Vinny Lecavalier. A league source told Sun Media yesterday the Bolts have informed the NHL they intend to spend at the salary floor of approximately $40.5 million next season….

A proposal deal to send Lecavalier to the Kings for D Jack Johnson is still on the table. Sources say Johnson, who is coming off an entry-level contract, is seeking a four-year deal worth $5.5 million per season….

There is talk the Rangers might waive D Wade Redden at the start of next season and send him to the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack to get his $6.5-million salary off the books


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Penguins Take Note

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,

It was something he has seldom seen from Detroit Red Wings players, and Brooks Orpik is getting to know them pretty well. On their way to a series squaring 4-2 win, the Penguins took a one-goal lead when Sidney Crosby scored his first goal of the Stanley Cup finals.

Fellow defenseman Mark Eaton nudged Orpik and told him to check out Detroit’s bench after Crosby’s goal.

The players were slumped over. Exhausted. Nothing close to the dominant, immovable force the Penguins saw last year….

Even worse, Orpik said he noticed Red Wings players getting on each other.

“Which you never see out of those guys,” he said. “It’s something you don’t expect from them or see too often. I guess, a good sign for us.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Malkin Dominating

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey,

Evgeni Malkin, the New M, is like Tom Brady and Randy Moss all at the same time.

One minutes he’s throwing the long bomb, the next minute he’s catching it.

In Thursday’s game, a dominating 4-2 win by the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Detroit Red Wings, Malkin was in the middle of as many excellent scoring chances in both the first and the second periods as the Detroit Red Wings had all game.

Malkin had a goal and an assist for the game, but the damage could have been much worse, as he and fellow dynamo Sidney Crosby started to dominate, just as the sly, talented and seemingly tireless Henrik Zetterberg appeared to start to wear down.

For the fourth game in a row, Pittsburgh had more scoring chances than Detroit, but this time the margin was overwhelming. The Penguins had 28 scoring chances to 15 for the Wings.

When it came to Grade “A” chances, hard shots from the slot, Pittsburgh had 17 while the Red Wings had just four, by my count.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeni+malkin

Babcock’s Reputation On The Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jamie’s Hockey Blog at About.com,

We’ve seen that when the Red Wings are on their game, they will beat Pittsburgh.

Getting them on their game is where the coach comes in, and doing it under less than ideal circumstances should be what sets elite coaches above the pack.

The NHL season is down to a best-of-three. The Stanley Cup is on the line.

So is Mike Babcock’s reputation.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+babcock

Dazed Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

In shocking fashion, the champs have taken a standing eight-count.

Whether the dazed Detroit Red Wings can stumble back to their feet, regain their senses and recapture the momentum they once had in this Stanley Cup final, well, that will be illustrated for the hockey world to see in Game 5 tomorrow night, a Saturday Night Special in Motown. Never in the four championships the Wings have won over the past 12 years have they been tested quite like they are now being tested by the gutsy, youthful Pittsburgh Penguins.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Elite Goalies

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

I started a bit of a controversy when I claimed no elite goalies are left in the playoffs during the semi-finals.  I stand by that statement.  The statement is part of a bigger problem that I have discussed in the past - how to identify a team that is among the greatest of all time.  How to find the historically elite teams is an interesting problem.

Historically elite teams do not exist in the NHL every season.  In the salary capped NHL they are rarer than ever before.  I argue (based on historical precident) that a historically elite team necessarily has several core players (who may include the goalie) who are on Hall of Fame tracks (it is reasonable to project them to making the Hall of Fame in their careers) and they must have a top goalie (one who can arguably be called one of the top five in the game).  These conditions are not sufficient to make a team an elite one.  Obviously there are many other factors.  The players must play well together as a team.  Without the elite players, including a top goalie, a team cannot be an elite one.  They need the players as well as a top performance.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

NHL/NBC Extension Coming

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,

It’s been a dream playoffs, so far, for the NHL on TV.

Its greatest stars – Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Datsyuk – have advanced as far as the Stanley Cup final. After years in the doldrums, some of its best U.S. television markets – Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh – pushed deep into the playoffs. And the skilled on-ice product has been rewarded with some modest bumps in U.S. ratings on NBC and Versus.

Now, NBC and the NHL are set to announce an extension to their relationship for another two years, past the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and Stanley Cup playoffs.

It will likely be a continuation of the no-money-down/split-revenues-after-costs arrangement that has existed since the two sides fell into each other’s arms after the NHL lockout in 2004-05.


Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nbc

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