Kukla's Korner

A Train Wreck In Philly?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Bill Conlin of the Philadelphia Daily News,

The Chairman of the Great Indoors, Ed Snider, will avert his gaze from the wretched Sixers and focus on the equally unwatchable Flyers. And unlike the basketball team that absolutely had no chance to make the NBA playoffs, some deep thinkers actually picked the Flyers to win the Stanley Cup.

Until last night, they were in danger of sliding off the NHL playoff bubble, where any team that can skate and chew caribou jerky at the same time gets in. Maybe it’s time for Snider to stop handing out rewards for deeds accomplished more than a generation ago and start assigning some accountability to the perps responsible for the current uberunderachieving mess. Watching a Flyers game has become an evening-eating equivalent of a train wreck in super-slow-motion. If it wasn’t for hi-def, you would opt for the train wreck.

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

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

This is a mess in Calgary, and suddenly both teams in Alberta, the Oilers and Flames, have hit hard times. The Sutters might think they can patch things and get back into the playoffs next spring, but as currently constructed, this is a team without a present or a future.

The Oilers, likely with the top pick in the June draft, have a bushel of bad contracts. So their return to competitiveness won’t be easy, either.

-Damien Cox of The Spin, where you can read more on Calgary.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Avs Fans Can Thank Adrian

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

You’re welcome, Avs fans. You’re totally welcome for that marvelous reverse jinx I set for your team. You know, the one where the beat writer totally gives up on the team and says they’re toast and will choke out of the playoffs – thereby setting a good reverse-jinx scenario where he gets made to look like a total fool and ridiculed throughout the fandom, complete with a court-jester beenie on my head?

I did it for you, people. I am happy to play the clown’s role, in order to get the Avalanche into the PLAYOFFS – Playoffs? What – playoffs? PLAYOFFS!?”
Yes, I am happy to stand before you now, freshly tarred and feathered.

But enough about me and my sacrifice for the greater good.

The real attention should be to the local heroes, the boys in Burgundy and Blue who were given the bum’s rush chance of finishing anywhere but 15th this year in the West, by all the so-called “EXXXX-PEERRRTS!”

Seriously, hats off to a team that I can now proudly say was my privilege to cover this season, my 15th in the league


Below you can watch Adam Foote as he talks about the Avalanche making the playoffs.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Rangers Chances For The Playoffs - Very Slim

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Slim just rode out of town.

There are three games to go and beginning tonight at the Garden against Toronto, the Rangers will play them without a margin for error in their quest to make the playoffs after last night’s 5-2 debacle of a defeat to a Sabres team that was a step up in class.

These weren’t the deficient Islanders, the lousy Lightning or the inept Panthers, the victims in the three-game winning streak the Blueshirts carried into the match. These, rather, were the Northeast champions clinching their division, even without the injured Thomas Vanek, Tim Connolly, Patrick Kaleta and Craig Rivet.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

It’s Over In Calgary

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

This is how playoff spots are finalized in the new NHL – with the Calgary Flames’ players, huddled around a television set, in the player lounge at the Pengrowth Saddledome, watching two teams playing miles away, the Colorado Avalanche and Vancouver Canucks, decide their fate.

The Flames had failed to do their part. Earlier Tuesday evening, they’d fallen 2-1 to the visiting San Jose Sharks in what everyone in the organization had described as a must-win situation. Mathematically, the only way that they could stay alive for another day was if Vancouver defeated Colorado, the team they were chasing down for a playoff spot.

Right around 10:38 MDT, the Avalanche’s Matt Duchene scored against Roberto Luongo – and at that precise moment, it was all over for Calgary. A season that began with much hope and promise unravelled during a 12-game stretch in January when they won just once.


added 7:49am, from George Johnson of the Calgary Herald,

The GM should be squarely in the cross-hairs.

What had seemed so promising in the summer turned so sour. They snared their coach of choice, Brent Sutter, under controversial - some might imply underhanded - circumstances. Signed the plumb free-agent defenceman, Bouwmeester, on the market for major bucks. Promised an already doubting public that, after four consecutive first-round playoff pratfalls, this year would be different.

Instead, it wound up being worse.

In the end, the ills that have plagued them this entire season came back to roost. An appalling lack of touch around the net. A stagnant powerplay. Not enough from their top offensive players. Poor at home.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The West Is Set

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

In case you went to be before Colorado beat Vancouver in a shootout, here is the top 8 teams in the Western Conference for this season.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Red Wings Reborn

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By VooX

I’m going to stay positive.  There is no reason not to feel good things about the Red Wings today.

Despite two losses, the Wings played well while facing two dangerous styles.  In a seven game series we will beat any team no matter what style they play.  Clog up the neutral zone, like Bubba, and eventually the Wings will find the cracks to score.  Crosscheck us in the head, like the Flyers or the *ucks, and our skill will slice through them like a sharp knife.  The Red Wings system is the most powerful in the NHL.  The Stanley Cup in the West goes through us as it has for a long time.

This season will be no different as the Wings head into the playoffs for the 19th consecutive year.

Yet this year is very different.  This is the year the Red Wings were reborn.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Save Of The Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

With the Flyers winning 1-0 with about 3 minutes to play, Brian Boucher gets to the puck before it crosses the goal line.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+boucher

Kovalchuk Wants To Win Something Different

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

“I know what my future is. I’m going to go to the playoffs and we’ve got a great team. That’s my closest future,” Kovalchuk said. “I’m not a guy who thinks a couple of years ahead. I take [it] one day at a time.”

The prospect of gearing up for a playoff run is a nice change to what he had grown accustomed to in Atlanta, he said.

“It’s nice. That’s why we play hockey, to win,” he said. “You don’t want to finish every year in the middle of the April and go play [in the] World Championships. I’ve won twice [at the worlds] now. I want to win something different.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

Tortorella Meets The Media After The Rangers Loss Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Watch the save by Miller on Gaborik below that Torts discusses in the video,....

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+tortorella

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