Kukla's Korner

A Matchup To Die For

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,

What you have here now is that while the Red Wings made a few hearts flutter by losing twice to the Stars, the NHL’s best two teams are meeting for the Cup.

What you have is a team that won the Presidents’ Cup during the regular season meeting the NHL’s second-best team, even though the Penguins finished No. 2 behind the Canadiens in the East in the regular season.

What you have is a matchup to die for.

more

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

Bucci Goes With The Penguins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Buccigross at ESPN,

What happens in the first two games in Detroit will go a long way in determining the series. Most of the Wings’ lineup has been in this spot before; most of the Penguins have not. But that doesn’t matter if one team is simply better. If the Penguins are to win it all, they have to simply believe they are better and then go out and work harder. If they have any doubt, they will get manhandled.

I’m sure I am in the minority here. Most Web-perts are probably taking the Red Wings. If you go back to ESPN.com’s preseason predictions, you’ll see my preseason Stanley Cup winner in black text: “Pittsburgh Penguins.”

I’m sticking with that. Black and bold. Penguins in six.

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

Make It Right Pittsburgh

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Athletic equipment maker Reebok and the Penguins asked city officials last week if they could drape banners of Penguins Captain Sidney Crosby and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury on Fifth Avenue Place, Downtown, city officials said.

The temporary promotion would require City Council’s approval, but no one has yet proposed the required legislation even though the Penguins are set to play the first game of the Stanley Cup finals against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday in Detroit.

more

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

Greg Malone: More Than Just Ryan’s Dad to the Pens

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Dan Rosen at NHL.com,

If you search hard enough, you’ll still find Greg Malone’s name in the Pittsburgh Penguins media guide. He’s listed in Ryan Malone’s bio as the forward’s father, and in other places showing his season and career stats as a Penguins’ center from 1976-83.

But Greg Malone’s present value to these Penguins extends way beyond any miniscule mention in a media guide. Even though his job title now refers to him as a professional scout for the Phoenix Coyotes, Malone was one of the architects who put together the team that will represent the Eastern Conference in the 2008 Stanley Cup Final starting Saturday [...]

As the Penguins’ head scout from 1990-2006, Malone was at the forefront of every Penguins draft, meaning he had his hand in selecting 11 of the 20 players that should dress for Game 1 against the Detroit Red Wings Saturday at Joe Louis Arena.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: greg+malone, ryan+malone, scouting

Cleary Returning to Form

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From The Southern Gazette,

“Really, it’s been the last six games in the playoffs that I’ve been feeling close to what I was before the injury.”

The face mask, styled after that used by a place-kicker in football, has been attached to Cleary’s helmet since he returned to the ice. He doesn’t like using it, but he has no choice if he wants to play.

“It’s a win-lose situation. I wear it, and I can play. I can play better without it, but if I get hit, I’m out of the line-up. It’s really hard to see the puck at your feet, but I’ve adjusted. A couple of high sticks have hit the shield, so it has definitely saved me.”

While the timing of his return home has not been decided (he may come home as the first person from Newfoundland and Labrador with his name engraved on the Stanley Cup), Cleary will be heading home to Riverhead this summer.

more…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+cleary

A Vote For McLellan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,

Curtis Leschyshyn might be a little biased. After all, Todd McLellan — the Detroit Red Wings assistant who could become the Avalanche’s next coach — was in his wedding party.

The former Avalanche defenseman, though, can’t say enough good things about McLellan and what it would mean to the Avs if they get him.

“That would be a very wise decision by the Avalanche,” said Leschyshyn, who now is involved with the Littleton Youth Hockey Association. “He’s ready to coach in the National Hockey League. He’s a guy that didn’t ever jump into something he wasn’t prepared for. He’s made sure that, along the way, he learned and experienced what it was going to take to be successful. That’s why I think he’d be a tremendous guy for a team needing a coach.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: todd+mclellan

Blogger Battle

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I don’t know what blog will be left standing after the SCF are completed, but the short jabs have started between The Pensblog and Abel to Yzerman.

Some of the stuff going on at these blogs is way over my head (maybe below my head too) but the pasion is genuine, from both sides.

I will be an innocent bystander over the next two weeks, watching as one blog goes down on the canvas, only to get back up and deliver a round-house right punch.

I just hope they fight fair, remember, no low punches allowed.

 

 

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

NHL Got It Right

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Farber of Rink Side Blog at Sports Illustrated,

This might be mere serendipity or a sign of something more significant at work. Three seasons past the lockout, maybe it is time for the NHL to take a bow. The game was re-worked in the 2004-05 hiatus in an effort to end the old hook-and-hold-‘em rodeo and reward skilled players. Although the pace of progress seemed glacial—the so-called officiating standard can be maddening—there is an increased flow and indeed beauty to the NHL game. The league seems to have found its happy place.

When the two teams that play the most exemplary hockey get to do it in a Stanley Cup final that starts Saturday, the NHL has got it right.

more

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

Playing In Pain

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News,

Yesterday, Holmgren confirmed what many following this team during the postseason had suspected, that Smith, the Flyers’ captain, had suffered a separation of an already-ailing shoulder in one period against the New Jersey Devils on April 4, then separated the other shoulder the following period. It forced him to miss the final game of the regular season and the week of practice leading into the playoffs, forced him to alter his physical style, and forced him to receive repeated injections to numb excruciating pain.

He did not miss a playoff game, his minutes vacillating wildly as the injuries around him piled up. “I don’t know how he did it,” Holmgren said. “Jason Smith and Derian Hatcher brought toughness to a new level, in my mind. Neither of them should have been playing.”

more

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

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I was 9 years old and I remember watching the 1996 playoffs. The Wings were playing well, which is why the Bud Ice Penguin commercials are forever ingrained in my head. From an early age, I started to associate hockey playoffs with beer, Bud Ice beer.

- Christy of Behind the Jersey

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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