Kukla's Korner

Rangers Feel At Home On The Road

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lynn Zinser of Slap Shot at the NY Times,

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist said he loved hearing seeing the chunks of blue in an arena that should have been a sea of red. After some of his most spectacular saves, those Rangers fans started chanting, “Hen-rik, Hen-rik” as they do frequently at Madison Square Garden.

“It feels good to have that support on the road,” Lundqvist said. “It takes out a little energy out of the building for them. It’s great for us. It will play a part. We love our fans and the support they show us. You almost have to look up to realize you are on the road playing.”

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

Trying To Stop Ovechkin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rich Hofmann of the Philadelphia Daily News,

One player cannot halt him alone. It really does take a village to stop an Ovechkin. Saying that and acknowledging that, though, recent history suggests that one sweater among all of the black-and-orange sweaters will be greeting Ovechkin most of all:

No. 44, Kimmo Timonen.

“It’s going to be a big challenge, but I’m looking forward to it,” said Timonen, the Flyers’ smoothest defensive presence. “Taking his time and space away - that’s the key for me. If you give him too much space and time, he’s going to make a play, he’s going to shoot the puck. So, for me, going into the game, you have to make sure you’re right on him all the time and contain him.”

more

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

Sharks Need To Be Better

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,

We didn’t have a great game,” Thornton said. “We had some good chances and we didn’t capitalize. We have to play better.”

Welcome to the first game of the 2008 Stanley Cup playoffs for the Sharks, a 3-2 loss to the Flames on Wednesday that will be remembered either as a hiccup and learning experience on the way to an eventual series victory by the Sharks . . . or as an ominous and frustrating precursor of another horrible and premature playoff exit.

We will know the answer within a week or so.

more

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

Canadiens The Talk Of The Town

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,

The commute for Montreal Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau from his west-end home to the Bell Centre takes 45 minutes.

Along the way, he encounters plenty of well-wishers. “I get honked at 150 times,” he said on the eve of his team’s first-round playoff series against the Boston Bruins.

To say the city of Montreal adores its Canadiens and has ratcheted that affection to a new level this season would be to state the obvious. That’s why Carbonneau has his players sequestered in a downtown hotel for home games as the storied franchise takes a run at a 25th Stanley Cup championship.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Silence In Anaheim

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Marcia C. Smith of the OC Register,

In other news, some local guys in skates start the playoffs Thursday night at Honda Center against the Dallas Stars and … (Cue the crickets, please).

Hello? Hockey? Anyone?

Look around Orange County and listen. Has anyone outside team itself and their loyalists noticed that the Ducks — the defending STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS! — are starting the NHL playoffs?

Where’s the county’s pluck for the puck? Where’s the talk? The energy? The emotion? The fan wearing the orange and black Selanne jersey to pick up milk at the local Ralph’s? The scalpers asking double-face-value for tickets?

Nowhere. Nothing. There’s college-library-like silence. Which is a little surprising from this region renowned for front-running sports enthusiasts.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Refresher Course

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Dreger of TSN,

On Tuesday, NHL executive vice-president and director of hockey operations Colin Campbell conducted a conference call to educate postseason coaches and general managers on what the league will be paying close attention to.

At the top of Campbell’s list of unacceptable behavior is unnecessary late-game brutality. Traditionally, this type of message-sending takes place when the team trailing in the last five minutes of a game wants to change the emotional tone of the series.

The NHL says it won’t tolerate this.

read on

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

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Working the Corners at the Mercury News,

Thornton had plenty of nice things to say and credited Keenan with helping his own development as a young player. Today Keenan returned the compliments, saying nice things about Thornton and telling one story from his early days as a Bruin.

“One day I told him, ‘Joe, you’ve got to train harder. Ride the bike.’ And he asked me how long? ‘I don’t know, I’ll be back to let you know.’ And I got preoccupied. An hour later, I forgot. And he’s still riding, and the trainer says Joe wants to know if he can stop now. I said, ‘Oh my god, I forgot all about hm.’ So I go and say, OK, Joe, now you can get off.”

read on about how Thornton may have been traded to the Florida Panthers…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+thornton, mike+keenan

Reviewing the Canadiens’ Finances

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Mike Boone at The Gazette,

Despite selling out every home game this season, the Canadiens say they didn’t make any money. Team president Pierre Boivin told La Presse the club’s playoff participation, which begins tomorrow night against the Boston Bruins at the Bell Centre, will allow the team to make a profit on the 2007-08 season.

Boivin would not reveal specific numbers. He doesn’t have to; the Canadiens are part of a privately held company owned by George Gillett and Molson Coors.

But even without access to the club’s allegedly red-ink-drenched books, I am skeptical of its purportedly precarious break-even financial position.

more… *a breakdown by Boone estimating the possible profits of the Habs

*hat-tip to Habs Inside/Out for the pointer

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

All Aaron Ward

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Aaron Ward chatted with fans today at the Bruins website…

Hailey_Dodge: what is the most difficult part of the playoffs?
Aaron Ward: Maintaining your focus. SO MANY distractions… media, friends and family looking for tix, euphoria in the city…

beproud42: How do you respond to everyone who feels that this is going to be a (fairly) easy sweep for the Habs?
Aaron Ward: Games are played on the ice, not in the newspapers, on TV, or on computer screens.  Playoffs have a different flavor.

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: aaron+ward

Rookies to Watch

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Edward Fraser at The Hockey News,

Storylines surrounding the NHL’s second season focus on players who’ve had long, illustrious careers, but have been unable to reach the NHL’s tallest hill (see Teemu Selanne in ‘07 and Jeremy Roenick this year); not about players trying to claim the grail their first time around.

Heck, most of the Calder candidates (Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Peter Mueller, Tobias Enstrom, Sam Gagner) didn’t even make the round of 16.

With that said, there are still several youngsters who will play key roles during this season’s run to the Cup. Here are five fab freshmen to keep your peepers peeled for:

continued…

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: playoffs, rookies

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