Kukla's Korner

Detroit Coach Babcock After Game 1

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Q. Talk about the job that Dan did today.

        MIKE BABCOCK: You know, obviously he’s playing with real good players, playing on a good line. They’re playing against important people in the game.

        I thought we were in trouble really off the start of the game, whether it was engagement, whether it was coming off a big series, whether it was not as much time, whatever, we weren’t very good, and they were taking it to us. They were up 1?0. He made a real good shot. Then I thought we settled in and got playing real well after that point. Any time you’re driving into the net, get your stick on a puck, that’s just a good hockey goal, a good playoff goal.

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

Chicago Coach Quenneville After Game 1

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Q. Surprised at all at the quality of chances those guys were able to generate against Seabrook and Keith?

        JOEL QUENNEVILLE: I think both teams had a number of chances, high quality chances. We’ve got to be way better than that today. I didn’t like our game. We have to be - we got to play perfect hockey. Today we certainly, even though we were at 2-2 in the third, even though we probably would love to be there at that stage of the game, we’ve got to be better.

        Q. Your best penalty killer needs to be your goalie. Can you talk about Nikolai’s play tonight.

        JOEL QUENNEVILLE: I think our best penalty killing is going to be staying out of the box. They’re dangerous. He had a couple key saves there in the second, held us in the game.

        But I think their power play has so many looks and weapons on it that trying to stay out of the box, but certainly we’re going to need our goaltender to make some key saves, and he did there today.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joel+quenneville

A Whole Different Type Of Fun

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

After seven games against the fairway dwelling scum…nevermind.  We’re past that. Remember?

Anyway.

This.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Who Wants It More?  Detroit Says They Do In Game 1

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Wings defeat the Blackhawks 5-2 as Cleary, Franzen and Zetterberg dominate.

added 5:52pm, Post-game… Chris, how did you guys shutdown Toews?  Ozzie: Uh, that was Nick.

added 6:23pm, Video hightlights of game 1 below…

added 6:45pm, from Jason Kay of The Hockey News,

Move over Sid vs. Ovie, we may just have a new best playoff series of 2009.

The anticipation for the Detroit-Chicago Western Conference final was offense-on-offense; the No. 1 goal-scoring team in the regular season (Wings) against the No. 4 (Chicago).

Toss in Detroit’s 19th-ranked defense and a Chicago goalie in Nikolai Khabibulin who sported an .897 save percentage in this year’s playoffs, and the expectation was a smorgasbord of excitement.

And despite the teams combining for a relatively tame seven tallies (it could have easily been double), that’s exactly what we got.

continued

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

Blues Should Wait On Pronger

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Gordon of the Hockey Guy at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

If the Ducks don’t want to sign Chris Pronger to a contract extension, the Blues should wait a year and take their chances in free agency.

In a year, the Blues will be positioned to invest in another veteran player. Jay McKee and Paul Kariya will be headed to free agency, giving the Blues the option to reallocate some or all of that $10 million. (Moving either guy before then will be difficult, given their high pay.)

In a year, the Blues could free up lots of salary cap room while other teams face severe cap crises.

In a year, the Blues will know what they have in Alex Pietrangelo – a potential power-play quarterback currently lacking the strength to play at this level.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+pronger

Waiting On The Thunder?  Good ‘cause It’s A Game 1 Live Blog

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Seger? Check.

And now…this.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Questions For The Conference Finals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

With the conference finals set to start Sunday, our experts ponder what lies ahead. ESPN.com’s Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun and ESPN The Magazine’s E.J. Hradek answer these 10 burning questions:

There have been a few controversial calls/noncalls in the first two rounds. How would you rate the officiating in the playoffs so far?

Burnside: I think there are always going to be complaints about officiating given the personalities of the teams and the officials involved, so I’m not troubled by what I see in terms of in-game calls. What still boggles the mind is how often the NHL makes itself look cartoonish by failing to even enforce its own rules, as was the case when league officials decided not to suspend Game 7 overtime hero Scott Walker for sucker-punching Aaron Ward earlier in the Carolina/Boston series. Unbelievable.

Hradek: I’m not big on beating up the refs. I think they have an incredibly tough job. On the ice, things are happening so fast and they don’t get a second look (usually). On the whole, they have done a very good job. Do they get every call right? No. But I think they officiate their sport better than what we see in the NFL, NBA and MLB.

LeBrun: I think it’s been decent. People get upset because there’s so much on the line and they believe their team is getting slighted, but obviously there’s no such thing….

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Goalie’s Wife & Yoga

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jenna+osgood

Osgood A Fraud & Homer A Cow

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Mailbox of Ray Stein of the Columbus Dispatch,

Editor: In 1980, the U.S. was crushed with economic despair and had been thrust into a de facto war with Iran. It was a low point for our nation. The unlikely turning point was a group of kids who, against all odds, beat the Soviet Union national hockey team in Lake Placid, N.Y. They gave us hope. Hockey gave us a turning point.

Fast forward to our current economic despair and war in the Middle East. Detroit, being the undisputed epicenter of economic pain with more than its fair share of men and women bearing the brunt of military service, has new hope. Let’s go, Red Wings! Let’s go, Detroit!

—Craig Yeack, Dublin

Craig: It would be easy to say, “Let’s not get carried away.” But it would be easier to point out that the U.S. hockey team didn’t have a fraud in goal and a cow parked in front of the net in a Holmstrom sweater. C’mon, ‘Hawks.

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

GDT - W.C. Fiinals, Game 1: Red Wings host Blackhawks (3:00)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

The kids in CHI have had five days off between games, any rust? The experienced (read old) Wings are coming off a 7 game grinder; do they have anything in the tank?  Will youth be served, or taken to school? 

All of the numbers are below.  Some of them are intriguing.  DET holds a decided advantage in 5-5 f/a. DET have allowed 13 even strength goals against vs. CHI’s 24.  DET’s goal differential/game is nearly twice CHI, at 1.46, vs. CHI = +0.75.  DET takes 40 SOG to CHI 29. Nikolai Khabibulin’s numbers are a very pedestrian 2.76 ga, 0.896 save %.

If DET can stay out of the Penalty Box, they should have an excellent opportunity to prevail.  CHI have a lethal PP that has carried them to the W.C.F., sizzling at 29%. 

Seabrook (9 pts, +3 26:20) and Keith (5 pts, +4, 25:15) will log big minutes against DET’s top lines.  The test for CHI will be their depth “D” versus the Wings depth at forward.  Barker (7 pts, -1 16:51), Walker (2 pts, -4 15:20), Hjalmarsson (1 pt, 0 15:38) and Campbell (9 pts, +5 19:03) have not played against an opponent having such scoring depth.

Game On!

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