Kukla's Korner

Canucks A Solid Group Heading Into The Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

...You might question the overall mobility of Vancouver’s blue-line corps, but certainly not its depth. When you have a talented player such as Kevin Bieksa slotted in recent games as your fifth defenseman behind the Willie Mitchell-Sami Salo and Mattias Ohlund-Alexander Edler pairings, you know it’s a decent group.

Outstanding in goal, solid on defense and now balanced offensively up front. Anyone like this team’s odds?

“Once you’re in the playoffs, I think anything is possible for any team that’s in there,” Vigneault said. “It’s a matter of getting on a roll at the right time and getting your players to believe in themselves.

“Right now, our guys are feeling pretty good about their game and pretty good about their teammates.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

All About Team Chemistry

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Justin Bourne at The Hockey News,

As a hockey player, every winter you get handed 20 new friends. I usually got along with about 19, genuinely liked five and found one gem.

But what happens when there isn’t that one gem? Or even five you genuinely like? What happens when you only get along with 16 of your teammates? Does it affect your performance?

Talent is what it is, you’re either good or you aren’t. When you get the puck, you make good plays or you don’t. Confidence plays a small part in these decisions, but it comes from successes and failures. False confidence, like your Mom’s “great game” after playing like a donkey for 60 minutes, means as much as “Mission Accomplished” from George W. Bush.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Milbury Talks Norris & Devils

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Hockey This Morning on XM204,

NHL on NBC analyst Mike Milbury joined Scott Laughlin to preview the NBC Game of the Week between the Wild and Red Wings and Mike talked about the Devils slide, Norris Trophy predictions with Scott Laughlin on Hockey This Morning

click to listen to the seven minute interview…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+milbury

All Is Not Well With Recall Of Filatov

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lindsay Kramer of Syracuse.com,

The call-up of Syracuse Crunch rookie forward Nikita Filatov to Columbus on Wednesday at first blush seemed so illogical that fans in both cities wondered if it was an April Fool’s Day joke. It wasn’t. There is nothing to laugh about, especially in Syracuse.

The Crunch’s loss of its top game-breaking threat at its most important time of the season represents a defeat in a battle of conflicting developmental philosophies. And it’s one that Syracuse hasn’t had to wage for at least eight seasons….

Syracuse coach Ross Yates was diplomatically mum when asked his opinion of the move.

“It doesn’t matter how I feel about it. I’m in a no-win situation. You’re not getting me to go there,” Yates said. “This (roster) is what they’ve given me. I’m going to do the best with what I have.”...

“It (stinks), but that’s what this league is for. You play down here to get up there. We’d like to have him, especially the way he’s been playing lately,” said Syracuse captain Dan Smith.

more

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: syracuse+crunch

Clinch Time

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

EASTERN CONFERENCE
#2 Washington Capitals (idle) can clinch the Southeast Division:
* If the Carolina Hurricanes get one or no points against the New York Rangers.

WESTERN CONFERENCE
#3 Vancouver Canucks can clinch a Western Conference playoff berth:
* If they get at least one point against the Anaheim Ducks.
or
* If the St. Louis Blues get one or no points against the Detroit Red Wings.

#4 Chicago Blackhawks
(idle) can clinch a Western Conference playoff berth:
* If the St. Louis Blues get one or no points against the Detroit Red Wings.
or
* If the Anaheim Ducks get no points against the Vancouver Canucks.

#5 Calgary Flames can clinch a Western Conference playoff berth:
* If they get at least one point against the Dallas Stars.
or
* If the St. Louis Blues get one or no points against the Detroit Red Wings.

Check out the race for the playoffs below which includes a schedule with remaining games…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

English For Lupul

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

According to FoxNews,

The host of Oxygen’s new show “Pretty Wicked” CariDee English (was) court side at a Knicks game with Philadelphia NHL flyer Joffrey Lupul on Friday.

image

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: caridee+english, joffrey+lupul

Are Flames Better In The Underdog Role?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,

A school of thought exists among Calgary Flames fans this team is better off being an underdog.

After seeing how poorly the Flames handled being a favourite the last five weeks, there may be some validity to the theory this squad fares better when needing to defy the odds and silence the critics as opposed to being a front-runner.

At least, it is something for the faithful to hang on to.

We’re going to find out over the next nine days whether it’s plausible or just wishful thinking. Because right now, they’re being written off as also-rans in many NHL corners.

continued

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

GDT - Game #77: Red Wings host Blues (7:30)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

It would be fair to say that DET face the proverbial “Gordian Knot” tonight when they host the Blues.  A quick check of the W.C. standings make the dilemna readily apparent.  DET will, in all likelihood, finish 2nd in Conference. ANA currently sit 7th in Conference with 84 pts. NSH is 8th with 84 pts, but one fewer win.  STL are 9th with 83 pts.  Wings fan have been praying for months that the team develop the intensity of play they displayed during last years run to the Cup.  Wings fan, as well as Coach Babcock, also realize the less travel the team has to endure during the playoffs, the better the chances for success. 

Also noteworthy is DET’s success against the Blues this year, and Mason in particular (i.e. perhaps STL are a more “desirable” 1st round matchup).  STL are looking for their first win in six meetings this season against DET.  Mason is 0-3-2 with a 3.31 GAA in seven career appearances at the JLA, and has lost five straight to Detroit with a 4.21 GAA in that time.

STL are coming off a 3-1 loss in CHI last night, in which they managed just 7 SOG in the first 40 mins.  DET are looking to avoid their longest home losing streak of the season and seeking their first season sweep of STL since 2002-03; or are they?

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

A Different Kind Of Fan

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post,

“Right now, the biggest excitement I get is watching these games,” he told me. “Believe this, if you were to sneak somewhere and watch me out here when the game’s going on, you would really think I was watching hockey for years.”

Before I left, I asked Lovell whether he was looking forward to the playoffs.

“I’ll be here rooting on the Caps all the way to the Stanley Cup,” he said. “There’s no doubt in my mind. I’m sure of that.”

read on to find out what makes Mr. Lovell a different kind of fan…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Cougars & Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Daryl Reaugh of Razor With An Edge,

This month’s GQ has linked the urban “cougar” with our little stick and pucksters.

If you are a “front line forward” for the Stars you’re probably being stalked by any number of Kim Cattrall starter kits who’ve spent long hours sipping cosmos at Sambuca’s while crafting their hunting skills.

Our Team, Our Time?...For these lady cats it’s apparently “My Place, Anytime”

Read, drool over the American Cougar here.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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