Kukla's Korner

Make Or Break Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,

The danger, of which Pittsburgh must be aware — even Bylsma, who wasn’t part of last year’s six-game defeat by the same Red Wings — is that the Penguins are approaching another defining moment for their franchise, and if it goes badly, it won’t be the definition they were hoping for.

“I like it being a defining moment,” said Bylsma. “Everyone in that room should be ready to play their best game and make a difference, by doing what we do as a team. Everyone needs to be ready to have the puck on their stick and make the play or make the defensive play or block the shot or make the save. That’s what we need. We need a defining game.”

Because here’s the thing: If not now, when? When does a group of talented kids stop being a sure thing, and start acquiring more baggage than promise?

Probably not yet — their core group of centres is still incredibly young — but before the questions get too onerous, they could use something a lot better in the way of a lasting memory than that 5-0 pratfall in Detroit on Saturday.


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

Babcock Today Part 2 (In Pittsburgh)

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Q. Can you just talk a little bit about focus and the idea that this is just one game? You’re coming here for one game. Not thinking about the Cup. You’re thinking about winning one game, and whether or not you actually say to the guys, don’t think about the Cup? To what extent do you just say this is only a game?

        COACH BABCOCK: Well, we talk about a lot of things. You know, obviously, focus and preparation is absolutely critical, and being ready on time. We came in here last week or whenever it was, you know, with an opportunity and failed to do anything with that opportunity. Went home with two losses.

        So here’s another opportunity for us. Hopefully we’ve learned. We haven’t handled the start of the game very good in here. And in the second game in here, we didn’t handle the end of the game very good.

        You know, we’ve been in this exact situation before, and we’re going to do everything to be the best we can possibly be.

Continue Reading »

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

ESPN Off-Day Report

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Scott Burnside in Pittsburgh and Pierre LeBrun in Detroit file video report on the teams.

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

Ducks Extend Mike Brown

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Paul

ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Anaheim Ducks announced today that the National Hockey League (NHL) club has signed right wing Mike Brown to a two-year contract extension. Per club policy, no financial terms of the deal were disclosed.

Brown, 23 (6/24/85), appeared in 28 games for the Ducks in 2008-09, scoring 2-1=3 points with 60 penalty minutes (PIM). A native of Northbrook, IL, Brown made his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut in 2009, collecting 0-2=2 points with 25 PIM in 13 games against San Jose and Detroit. Acquired from Vancouver in exchange for defenseman Nathan McIver on Feb. 4, 2009, Brown earned 2-2=4 points with 145 PIM in 48 games overall with the Ducks and Canucks in 2008-09.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | Hockey News Wire | Permalink
  Tags: mike+brown

Wings Will Look Different Next Year

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

Ask Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland about it and you get a terse, “I’m not going there.” Ask Red Wings veteran Kris Draper and you get the death stare.

(Trust me, I got it when I asked him about it.)

But no matter what transpires over the next two games, the Red Wings – once again – will be faced with some difficult decisions over the summer and they know there are players in their dressing room who won’t be with them next season.

And we’re talking about core players here. If the Red Wings are intent on signing Marian Hossa this summer – and every indication is they are – it’s going to mean some very loyal and productive players are going to be leaving Hockeytown this summer.


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

No JoeVision Tuesday Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bill Shea of Crain’s Detroit Business,

Don’t look for Joe Vision this year.

The Detroit Red Wings say they couldn’t reach a deal to air Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals for fans gathered at Joe Louis Arena, as the team has done in the past during road playoff games.

“We will not hold ‘Joe Vision’ for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final as we were unable to secure the broadcast rights to show this game in the arena,” said Karen Cullen in an e-mail to Crain’s today. She’s the vice president of corporate communications for Ilitch Holdings Inc., the central business entity of team owners Mike and Marian Ilitch.


Here is my question, the Wings started promoting JoeVision yesterday on local radio, did someone mess up somewhere?

added 3:28pm, via Terry Foster of the Detroit News,

NBC representative Brian Walker did not immediately return a phone message for comment, but NHL media relations vice president Frank Brown confirmed the situation while expressing sympathy to Red Wings fans.

“We are very much in tune and very sensitive to the great experience that fans have by coming to a great venue and watching a great hockey game,” Brown said. “That said we need to be sensitive to the business end of things and that business is ratings driven.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nbc

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“Being afraid to lose is not that bad of a mind set.  If you’re afraid, it means you’re going to do everything in your power not to lose.”

-Maxime Talbot of the Pittsburgh Penguins.  More on the Penguins from Scott Burnside of ESPN.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: maxime+talbot

Lemaire Says No To Bolts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,

The Lightning’s flirtation with Jacques Lemaire has come to an end, and apparently on good terms. Tampa Bay wanted to hire the former Wild coach as a senior consultant. But Lemaire said on Monday he has told Lightning GM Brian Lawton he has another offer that has gained his interest and which he is pursuing.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jacques+lemaire

Babcock On Monday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Q. I’m sure you were, when you were looking ahead during the season, you thought of the possibility that Helm and Ericsson would play a role in the playoffs. But one, did you anticipate they would play this big a role? And where is Helm’s game now compared to where it was when he helped you last year in the postseason?

        COACH BABCOCK: Well, you’re right, I envisioned that maybe both guys would be here and never really thought about Big E playing so much just because we thought we’d have Lils. And, you know, that wouldn’t have worked out that way, probably, because he wouldn’t have been given the opportunity like he was in the regular season.

        Helmer was very comfortable with, I mean, he made our team in training camp. With the salary cap we just thought this was better for him. And I never could have thought that he’d be this good. There’s no way. We brought him up in the regular season. We played him in the three hole on purpose. He was good, but not like this. And he’s been very good for us.

        With the way things happened for us with Kopecky getting injured, he’s a physical guy for us. He’s getting six finished checks a game and we needed more of that.

        So with Pavel injured, what happens is you move someone else up who normally finishes checks for you. Now you become a different looking hockey club. So Helmer has done a real good job to provide puck pressure, physicality, and give us a good face?off presence in the three hole. He’s been good on the penalty kill. So all in all he’s been excellent. The two of them have been great. When you look at Abby and Leino, they did a good job for us, too.

Continue Reading »

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

Thrashers Re-sign Reasoner

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ben Wright at AtlantaThrashers.com,

It’s clear that that the Thrashers have embraced a youth movement, but veterans will still play an important role moving forward. The trick, as Executive Vice President and General Manager Don Waddell stated Monday morning, is to have the right veterans.

And that’s why forward Marty Reasoner, who set a new career high with 14 goals in 2008-09 in his first year as a Thrasher while playing a defensive role was re-signed for two more seasons with Atlanta. The 32-year-old from Honeoye Falls, NY led the Thrashers with six short-handed points (tied for fifth in NHL) and was the leader among Atlanta forwards in short-handed ice-time.

“He’s a very smart player,” explained Waddell. “We can play him in all situations. He’s very smart defensively and he’s an excellent penalty-killer. Even though our penalty-killing as a team wasn’t great, if you look at his stats he’s one guy who did a really good job when he was on the ice.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marty+reasoner

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