Kukla's Korner

Hockey The Talk Of The Town In San Jose

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

The Sharks are swimming with hockey royalty right now, a franchise barely two decades old left standing with Original Six franchises Chicago and Montreal, as well as the well-established hockey tradition in Philadelphia.

And yet, this San Jose franchise is long overdue in receiving the national attention it deserves. The Bay Area hockey club has filled the seats from Day 1 some 19 years ago, an achievement that doesn’t get the kind of widespread mention of traditional hockey markets.

“The hockey fans here are well-educated; they know the game,” said the longest-serving Sharks player, Patrick Marleau, Friday after practice. “They took the time to learn it, and once a hockey fan, always a hockey fan here in the Bay Area.”


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

Jimmy Howard On His First Playoff Appearance

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Mahoney of the Bangor Daily News,

When asked what he learned from playing in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time, he responded “What didn’t I learn?

“I learned how tough it really is,” said Howard, who will return to his home on Green Lake in Dedham with his wife Rachel (Miller) next month. “You’re playing every other night at a highly competitive level. Your body is killing you. But you find a way to block it out. You have to be men-tally tough. I learned how mentally tough I can be.”

In assessing his performance, he said, “For the most part, I did a pretty good job. There were some games I wish I could have back, especially that third game and the third goal.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jimmy+howard

Your Conference Finals Officials

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via NHL.com,

The NHL has eight referees and eight linesmen who will officiate the 2010 Conference Finals.

The referees are Paul Devorski, Bill McCreary Dan O’Halloran, Dan O’Rourke, Tim Peel, Kelly Sutherland, Stephen Walkom and Brad Watson.

The linesman are Derek Amell, Greg Devorski, Shane Heyer, Steve Miller, Jean Morin, Brian Murphy, Pierre Racicot and Jay Sharrers

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

European Goalie Likely To Win The Stanley Cup

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lucas Aykroyd at IIHF.com,

It’s looking more likely than ever that this year, for just the third time in history, a European goalie will backstop his NHL team to the Stanley Cup. The two previous examples were the Czech Republic’s Dominik Hasek (Detroit, 2002) and Russia’s Nikolai Khabibulin (Tampa Bay, 2004).

In 2010, three of the NHL teams that moved on to the conference finals have European starters. The lone exception is the Philadelphia Flyers, who eliminated the Boston Bruins and their Finnish starter Tuukka Rask on Friday in a stunning rally from a 3-0 series deficit.

Unquestionably, the best individual performance put on by any netminder in the 2010 playoffs has been that of Jaroslav Halak. Slovakia’s Olympic starter shocked the world by helping his eight-seeded Montreal Canadiens knock off the league-leading Washington Capitals in a seven-game first-round series. Halak (2.42 GAA, 93.3 save percentage) then compounded the shock by doing the same against Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in Round Two.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Montreal Canadiens, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Third Round Playoff Predictions

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The second round of the playoffs came to an end last night.  I went 2-2 in my second round playoff predictions, which combined with my first round predictions give me a 7-5 record.  It is interesting, that the predictions most challenged in the comments in the second round were San Jose and Chicago (the correct ones) and not Pittsburgh and Boston (the incorrect ones).  At this point, I have been perfect in West Conference predictions and only had one correct prediction (Pittsburgh over Ottawa) in the East Conference.  I guess that is to be expected when the 1 and 2 seed have survived in the West and the 7 and 8 seeds in the East.  My strongest prediction at this point is that a West Conference team will win the Stanley Cup.  In the regular season, San Jose finished 2nd, Chicago 3rd, Philadelphia 18th and Montreal 19th.  It doesn’t take much to see that the talented teams are in the west right now and that the western final is likely the de facto Stanley Cup championship.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Challenges For The Canadiens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Iorfida of the Stanley Cup Blog at CBC,

Montreal is deserving of plaudits after containing arguably the three most skilled players in the league over the first two rounds: Alexander Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

The Flyers don’t have that one galvanizing offensive force, but they have something that the Penguins and maybe even the Capitals lack—consistent secondary scoring.

Philadelphia, even without Carter, still has six players in the lineup who scored at least 14 goals this season. The list doesn’t include talented late-season pickup Ville Leino, who stepped into the lineup in the Boston series and contributed two goals and four assists.

The list is headed by Mike Richards. The captain isn’t quite on the level of Ovechkin, Crosby or Malkin, but he can score regularly while also giving maximum effort in his own end, something that can’t always be said of that trio.


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

Waiting For The Cup

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Paul Hoogkamp of TSN,

The Chicago Blackhawks may be in the midst of the longest Stanley Cup drought in the NHL, but it has also been more than a few years since the other three teams in the Conference Finals have enjoyed an up-close look at hockey’s Holy Grail.

The Blackhawks have not won since 1961, a stretch six years longer than that of the playoff-challenged Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Philadelphia Flyers changed the face of hockey and their opponents, using intimidation to win the Cup way back in 1975.

It’s been 17 years since the Montreal Canadiens had a parade down Rue Ste.-Catherine, which is an eternity for the most storied franchise in the league.

And while the San Jose Sharks have yet to win the Cup since joining the NHL in 1991, with recent playoff failures, some feel the organization is overdue to win their first title.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Gonchar Wants To Stay In Pittsburgh, But Money Will Matter

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Gorman of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

“Walking out of here and not knowing if you’re going to come back, it’s not a great feeling,” Gonchar said. “But we have plenty of time until July 1.”

Gonchar said he met with Penguins general manager Ray Shero yesterday and plans to speak with him again before the opening of free agency. His agent, JP Barry, agreed in March to resume negotiations after the season….

“I’d like to stay here, but the deal has to work for both sides,” Gonchar said. “We’re not going to look at my contract and say it’s the last one. We’re going to weigh in everything - the city, the fans, the length of it, the teammates, the coaches.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sergei+gonchar

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

In the same way fans are wondering how teams like Washington and Pittsburgh could be standing on the sidelines at the start of the conference finals, the Bruins’ inability to close the deal in four straight outings against a Flyers team that was minus its top scorer (Jeff Carter) and starting netminder (at least at the start of the series) is a colossal embarrassment.

-Scott Burnside of ESPN where you can read more on Bruins/Flyers.

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

All Gary Bettman- Winnipeg Style

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Campbell of the Winnipeg Free Press,

Free Press: “Are you aware of how many Gary Bettman sightings there have been in Winnipeg in the last two or three months?

Gary Bettman: It’s funny you should ask. The reports come streaming in on a regular basis, people asking me what I ordered for dinner at a particular restaurant or where I was staying. I haven’t been in Winnipeg in the last year or even longer and for example, I haven’t spoken to Mayor Katz ever. But I get reports that I’m in town and meeting with the mayor and neither of those reports are accurate.

FP: Interest is high here in current NHL events. Emotions are starting to run again. Is it your impression about Winnipeg there are any carts before the horse in this matter of the Coyotes?

Gary Bettman: It’s not a question of carts before the horse. What I’m more concerned about is people getting their expectations up when they shouldn’t be. I was very uncomfortable and unhappy over the last few years when people in southern Ontario were misled about what was going on. Some of that comes from people actually trying to do the misleading and some of it comes from media reports, and that’s not to knock the media because they’re attempting to do their job….

read on

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

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