Kukla's Korner

Happy Mother’s Day

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

May you have a glorious day!

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Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

With Ovechkin In The Lineup, Pens Send Their Message

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Well, aren’t you glad the Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin played last night? Didn’t that make the Penguins’ 4-3 overtime win that much more fun? Isn’t it better to beat him in his own house and put his team on the edge of playoff elimination than to do it with him serving a suspension and giving the Capitals some sort of lame excuse?...

“Definitely, it’s better,” Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik said in the immediate, joyous aftermath of teammate Evgeni Malkin’s winning goal, just 3:28 into the extra session.

It was pretty clear all of the Penguins thought that way after this throbbing Game 5 win, their third victory in four nights in the series. It gave them a three games-to-two edge and the chance to turn out the lights on the Capitals’ season in Game 6 tomorrow night at Mellon Arena.

Much work remains to be done, of course.

Much, much work.

read on

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

The More Games, The More Revenue

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,

When the Red Wings, Canucks and Bruins swept first-round playoff series, their fans were presumably thrilled. Paul Kelly, the executive director of the NHL players’ union, was not.

“We were a little bit troubled to see three sweeps,” Kelly told the FAN 590 last week. “From our standpoint, from a business perspective ... we like to see six- and seven-game series.”

These ears, and call them overly sensitive, were troubled to hear one of the game’s most influential power brokers advertising his wish for longer post-season series. Yet there was Kelly in Washington last Monday, before Game 2 of the second-round beauty between the Capitals and Penguins, making no bones about his wish to see the Penguins tie the series 1-1, no matter what his cheerleading might suggest.

“If the suggestion is somehow you’re telling players to blow games to extend series, number one we would never say that, we’re not saying that, and even if we did say that, players would ignore us. I mean, these guys are out to win,” Kelly said the other day. “I’m stating the obvious, which is, when we have large-market clubs in the playoffs and we have six- and seven-game series, it generates more revenue for us and particularly in a year like this one, that’s a good thing. I don’t think there’s anything controversial about it.”

continued with a ‘conspirecy theory’...

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Chicago Dmen The Difference In The Series

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles at the Chicago Daily-Herald,

There aren’t enough superlatives to describe how well the Hawks’ defensemen are playing against the Canucks.

Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Brian Campbell, Cam Barker, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Matt Walker are deciding the series, just as they did in the first round against Calgary.  Keith and the rest of the defense are too fast for the slower Vancouver forwards. They’re moving the puck out of trouble and getting it to the forwards, taking the punishment in the process.

continued

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

How Refreshing- A Coach Calls Out His Players, Not The Refs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,

Dave Bolland’s game-winner came with five minutes remaining and after a high-sticking penalty on Vancouver’s Kevin Bieksa. That was one of several penalties that drew protest from the 18,630 in attendance. Fans were also disgusted by a holding penalty on Ryan Kesler in the final four minutes and twice littered the ice with debris.

“Those two penalties to Bieksa and Kesler were, in my mind, deserved,” Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault said. “We’ve got a lot of players right now, without naming anyone, who can play better.”

read on for more on the Canucks/Blackhawks game…

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

What To Do With Scott Gomez?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

If Tortorella—who, by the way was on the other bench in the spring of 2007 for an up-close-and-personal look when New Jersey’s Gomez dominated Tampa Bay in the first round—believes Gomez has both the talent and character to be a part of the Rangers’ core, then the Blueshirts will commit to the center and seek to acquire a north-south sniper to add to his line.

But if not, if Gomez’s play down the stretch and in the series against Washington created large enough doubts in the head coach, then Sather will attempt to move No. 19, which will not be easy to do.

Understand: The contract, which features an annual cap hit of $7,357,143 for another five years and has $33.5M remaining in actual salary, is going to be the trade, if there’s a trade. If there’s an exchange, the value for the Rangers will come in removing the contract from the cap, not in the return coming the other way. The contract will be the trade.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: scott+gomez

Best Defenceman In The Playoffs

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

We are well into the second round of the playoffs and I thought I would take a look at the best defenceman thus far through.  Several defenceman have been playing very well including Chris Pronger, Sergei Gonchar, Scott Niedermayer and Brent Seabrook, but one guy stands out in front of the pack.  That man is Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings.  It isn’t unusual to see him in front of the pack; he has six Norris Trophies that show he is often in front of the pack of defencemen.  So far in the playoffs, Lidstrom is scoring at better than point per game rate (9 points in 8 games).  This points him in the offensive lead among defenceman, even though several have more games played.  His +5 +/- rating is among the best in the playoffs as well. 

It was a regular season where Nicklas Lidstrom looked like he might be showing his first signs of decline.  He is unlikely to win the Norris Trophy this year (despite a nomination) and is no longer his team MVP in the regular season.  He suffered through elbow tendonitis for much of the season.  He recently turned 39 years old and it is easy to believe that his best days are gone, but what we have seen so far in the playoffs shows otherwise.  Nicklas Lidstrom has had a very good playoff so far and has been the top defenceman in the playoffs.

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Blackhawks Head Home With A Chance To Move On To The Western Conference Finals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Chicago skates into Vancouver to take game 5 with a 4-2 victory over Vancouver.

That’s makes two road teams with victories on Saturday, will the trend continue on Sunday?

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

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“You can see first shift [of overtime], Stecks miss empty net and I say, ‘Jesus, where is our luck?  Puck bouncing, and next shift they get power play and score goal. It’s not about when you score the last five minutes of the game, it’s all about when you play hard, how we want to play and how we can play. I think today we played good, but it’s not good enough, so next game is gonna be different. There was in that situation when they [were losing] 2-0, and they come back and they winning right now. But it’s not over yet. If somebody thinks it’s over, it’s not over.”

-Alexander Ovechkin after tonight’s loss to the Penguins.  More post game quotes from Dan Steinberg at D.C Sports Bog.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin

Superman Wears #8

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Nice tribute to Alexander Ovechkin from HNIC tonight.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin

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