Kukla's Korner

Watching NBC & CBC

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star,

Even though hockey still beats out everything on the sports dial here, the fact is twice as many Americans are watching the final than Canadians. It could be a fascination with Darren Pang, or maybe it’s the lack of gripping poker tournaments.

One might assume from this odd trend that NBC is doing a great job of presenting hockey and CBC not so much. But the fact is they both do pretty much the same job.

For example, announcers of both networks still manage to talk right through key plays. On Saturday night, CBC play-by-play man Jim Hughson was rambling on about Detroit’s penalty-killing woes and neglected to tell viewers that a strange carom off the boards almost resulted in a shorthanded goal for the Red Wings.

Over on NBC, Pierre McGuire was making a comment about Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk being able to “stickhandle in a phone booth without being interrupted” at the same time Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood was making a long pass that resulted in a goal.


Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nbc

Doing Whatever It Takes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

...Mused veteran Red Wing Kris Draper, now with two shots, if necessary, to have his name inscribed on the Cup a fifth time, “For us, if we can put our power play on the ice, three, four, five times a night, we’ll take a slash, take a crosscheck, to do whatever it takes to get Pav [Datsyuk] and ‘Z’ [Zetterberg], and the mule [Johan Franzen], and those guys that do such a great job for us on the power play.

“If we can do whatever it takes to just kind of skate away and get the power play on the ice, we’re certainly going to do that.”

It’s a lesson in self-restraint the Penguins have yet to grasp completely. They are not short of the high-end talent or the overall depth or the skill it takes to win a Cup. But for all their glitz and exuberance, they have yet to master the Wings’ Zen-like focus, discipline, and summoning the champion within.

Now the Penguins have the unenviable task of trying to bring it all together, complete their playoff persona, while under the thumb of the Red Wings, with the clock set at 60 minutes to extinction.

Sure, still time to grow up, but a bad time to try.


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

The Turning Point Of The Series

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Staples of The Cult Of Hockey,

Though they won only two of them, the Pittsburgh Penguins looked to be the clearly superior team over the first four games of the 2009 Stanley Cup finals.

Then Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings, the league’s rightful most valuable player, got in the game.

The moment when the series shifted, when Detroit established itself as the team that would almost certainly win the Cup, came at 8:11 of the first period, Game Five, when the Russian star of the Red Wings cranked the Russian star of the Penguins, knocking him over and knocking Pittsburgh off its high horse.


added 9:05am, from Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press,

So, finally, no matter how grizzled, bearded or tired they looked, the Wings line up with all their big weapons, ready for 60 minutes at full strength against the Penguins. One victory needed. Two chances to get it. Datsyuk has Gordie Howe behind him, the ice in front of him, and a smile all over him. Dat’s the ticket. We’ll see if destiny punches it.


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

For Ten Bucks Per Year, I’ll Make Sure You Have A Super Huge Screen In Your Backyard

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Politics has always been a subject we’ve artfully dodged here at the home of objectivity and critical analysis.  So when I bring you the following quote I can proudly state that when we blast the idiot who said it, the affiliation of the politician in question won’t matter in the least.

I also have a meeting tomorrow with a Congressman.

Wanna guess?

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Darren Helm

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

It is relatively rare that a player establishes himself as a legitimate NHL player during a playoff run, but that is exactly what Darren Helm has done this year.  Prior to the playoffs he has two partial NHL seasons with a grand total of 23 games, no goals, one assist and a -9 +/- rating.  In these playoffs he has managed four goals and five points, which is a far bigger output than he has managed in the regular season, but his big contribution is his play as a checker.  Darren Helm has been one of the key “energy” players on the Red Wings.  This is shown by his playoff league leading 110 hits.  Helm has shown he has an NHL calibre game under the toughest conditions the NHL offers (the playoffs) and that is rather impressive.

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Bylsma Believes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

The Red Wings were immensely boosted by the return of center Pavel Datsyuk, who set up two goals after missing seven games because of a foot injury. Datsyuk said Sunday he’s “feeling good and more confidence,” which can’t be good news for the Penguins.

Bylsma professed a strong belief in his players, as he had to and should. He gave them a day off Sunday and will ratchet the intensity back up today.

“There won’t be a big change,” he said. “I think change is a sign of an alarm bell, and you set up the way you do things so that in situations like this we can act like we normally act and we can do the things that we normally do.”

Hating to lose must become as much a part of their normal routine as wanting to win. It already is for the Red Wings.


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

Fleury Must Be Great

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob Duff of the Windsor Star,

He is their last line of defence and come Tuesday, he may very well be their last hope.

If the Pittsburgh Penguins want their Stanley Cup dream to remain a reality, Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury better be prepared to parry the flurry the Detroit Red Wings will throw at him in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final at Pittsburgh’s Mellon Arena.

Behind 3-2 to the Wings following a stunningly-lopsided 5-0 setback Saturday in Game 5 at Joe Louis Arena, it all comes down to this:

Fleury must be huge. He must be virtually impenetrable.

Otherwise, for the second straight spring, the Penguins get to watch Detroit players parade the Stanley Cup around their house.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marc-andre+fleury

Penguins Need Some Offensive Help

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Dreger of TSN,

While there was 53 minutes of forgettable hockey for the Penguins in Game 5, the first seven minutes or so was mildly spectacular.

The was a 47-second run in the offensive zone when Evgeni Malkin, Ruslan Fedotenko and Maxime Talbot absolutely controlled the puck, controlled the play and controlled the Red Wings.

While they’ll walk away from Game 5 with those positives, the Penguins know they will have to be a more disciplined team. Things got completely unruly in the second period with dumb penalties from a team that is otherwise very disciplined.

The Penguins also need to find other players to support them offensively.


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

Luckily Datsyuk Listened To His Mom

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Wigge of NHL.com,

Datsyuk always was a skinny kid. That’s part of the reason why he wasn’t picked at all in his draft year and it wasn’t until the second year that the Wings finally took a chance on his brilliant skills, reasoning he could get stronger and might someday be ready to play in the NHL.

“It’s funny,” he told me earlier this season. “My first sport wasn’t soccer or hockey. It was chess.”

Valery, Pavel’s dad, drove a van for a company near their home in Sverdlovsk, Russia. He’s the one who introduced his son to chess. Pavel’s mom, Galina, worked as a cook for a military base. She’s the one who would take him to the skating rink.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pavel+datsyuk

Penguins Need To Figure Out How To Stop Detroit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

It matters not that the Pittsburgh Penguins have taken a different path to this critical juncture of the Stanley Cup finals, but the stark reality remains exactly the same: they must find a way to stop the Detroit Red Wings from winning a Stanley Cup in their own building, in front of their own eyes and the eyes of all of their fans.

The Penguins could not stop that from happening a year ago, and after losing 5-0 in Game 5 on Saturday night to give the Red Wings a 3-2 series lead, there are many who believe they are powerless to stop it from happening now.

Still, as painful as those memories must be—the jubilant Red Wings pouring onto the ice as Marian Hossa’s final effort skittered by the goal line, the Stanley Cup being paraded around the Mellon Arena ice—these young Penguins seem to have done a good job of keeping those dark thoughts at bay.


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

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