Kukla's Korner

Do Referees Give Sidney Crosby A Break?

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

It was suggested in the comments of my semi-final playoff predictions that referees have been helping Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins win in the playoffs.  This is presumably because Crosby is the best North American player in the NHL and arguably the best player in the game.  The NHL’s marketing is significantly tied to Crosby and the Penguins.  I decided to look into these allegations and see if there might be some truth to them.

The most obvious comment that somewhat discredits this allegation is the Alexander Ovechkin should have been suspended for his knee-on-knee hit on Sergei Gonchar.  If the NHL was favoring Pittsburgh, the non-suspension of Ovechkin certainly makes no sense at all.  That is clearly the biggest incident that blows a hole in the theory.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Where Is Everybody?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic,

If a franchise falls in the desert and nobody is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?

Yes, and it comes across as something like this:

Yawn.

Hockey in Phoenix is nothing but dead air right now. Wayne Gretzky isn’t talking. The team held a “Save the Coyotes Rally” on Saturday in Glendale and attracted several hundred without a single player or team official in sight. It’s a sad turn of events for a brilliant sport and raises important questions about Gretzky’s accountability.

Gulp

continued

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

The Blackhawks Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Quenneville, Kane, Toews, Campbell and Seabrook met with the media today…

Q. We were talking a little bit earlier with some of the Wings and Mike about the youthful exuberance of your team. Dan Cleary said it could be very dangerous, they’re playing with a lot of confidence. Can you talk about the comparison of the youth versus experience in this series and who it might favor.

        JOEL QUENNEVILLE: Well, I’m not going to predict favoritism. Certainly we liked the experience we gained in the first two rounds. We didn’t know how we were going to handle the playoffs for a first time for a lot of the guys. I thought we were on?the?job training every day, gaining experience, preparing in different situations in games, coming out of games, trying to find out how to close out a series. I thought both times we handled those assignments very well.

        But I just think as we go into games, the excitement and enthusiasm on our team has been real. We’re getting a lot of good contributions from across the board whether they’re young guys or older guys. The guys are excited about this challenge and this opportunity. Should make for a great series.

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

Lyle With The Breakdown

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Lyle Richardson, Fox Sports contributor, breaks down both conference finals series in audio format.  First up, Detroit/Chicago then Pittsburgh/Carolina.

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

Scotty Laying Low

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via NHL.com,

Bowman’s vast knowledge of all things hockey - the Hall of Famer has coached nine Stanley Cup winners and been a part of two others - could now help the young Blackhawks in the Western Conference final against the Red Wings.

Bowman, however, isn’t giving unsolicited advice to coach Joel Quenneville.

“I know all their trends and stuff, but at the same time he’s got to run his own stuff,” Bowman said on Saturday before the Blackhawks left for Detroit, where Game 1 is Sunday.

“You can always get information. You have to process it. That’s basically what you have to do.”

read on

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

If You See The Name Kovalchuk In Trade Rumors, Just Forget About It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Ilya Kovalchuk will be a Thrasher next season.

General manager Don Waddell told the Journal-Constitution last week that, unequivocally, Kovalchuk will remain with the team as it attempts to re-sign one of the NHL’s elite players. There will be no trade deadline move — such as with Marian Hossa — if negotiations reach an impasse….

Kovalchuk, 26, has made it clear that to re-sign him, the Thrashers must improve a team that has missed the playoffs the past two seasons after failing to win a game in its only postseason appearance.

“If I feel like we’re in the right direction, for sure I think we’ll figure out a way to sign a new deal,” Kovalchuk told the AJC last month.

For Kovalchuk to stay, a player such as Kari Lehtonen might go.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuck

Khan(!):  Uncle Mike’s Shaking Things Up

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

This.  Abbadabawhackforthedaddyol on a line with Datsyuk and Hossa?  Two years ago when he was trolling the sorority houses in East Lansing could that kid have ever imagined something like that?

Khan(!)

Mike Babcock used Justin Abdelkader on one of the top lines, with Pavel Datsyuk and Marian Hossa.

“It’s pretty awesome, playing with two of the best players in the world,’’ Abdelkader said. “I’m excited, if the opportunity comes. You never know, the lines can always change. I just have to prepare myself and be ready for whatever situation I get put in.’‘

And while Shea Webber’s been golfing? Andreas Lilja’s been getting better.

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Crosby At The Top Of His Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Kasan of PittsburghPenguins.com,

How many 21-year-olds in the world can claim to be the best in their profession? Actually, how many 21-year-olds are already working in a profession, let alone being the best at what they do?

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is staking his claim as the world’s best hockey player at the young age of 21. His play and poise at such a young age has impressed his peers, including 16-year NHL veteran and linemate Bill Guerin.

“I didn’t realize just how much he does it on a nightly basis. For a young guy to have that sort of consistency, to have that sort of focus is really impressive,” Guerin said. “I know as a young player myself, the consistency part of the game was probably the hardest to get by. He already has that.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sidney+crosby

W.C.F. Preview Red Wings (2)  vs. Blackhawks (4)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

Wings are in the W.C.F. for the third straight season.  ‘Hawks are making thier first appearance since 1995.  If you believe the MSM, the Wings major advantage in this series is their experience.  If you believe the numbers, there is this:  “so far in the playoffs, the Red Wings have allowed just 13 even-strength goals against in 11 games. The Blackhawks, on the other hand, have allowed 24 even-strength goals against – more than double Detroit’s digit – in one fewer game.  Both teams are great on the PP, and poor on the PK.  Wings goal differential is + 1.46, ‘Hawks is 0.75.  All of the numbers are below, as are a good number of MSM opinion.

Oh, and Uncle Mike skated some new forward lines in practice today, read about it below, Bitches.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

The Wings Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Babcock, Lidstrom, Osgood, Franzen and Zetterberg met with the media today…

Q. Considering you’ve only had one practice to get ready for tomorrow, are you guys ready? I notice you practiced probably an hour, I haven’t seen you practice that long in a long time. Can you talk about your practice today and your preparation for tomorrow.

        MIKE BABCOCK: Well, we didn’t practice an hour. We practiced 40 minutes. We got out there late today because we met so much today. Normally you have a couple days. Today we had to jam it in. That’s just the way it is. No different than cramming for a course. I’m sure all of us have done that in the past.

        We’re going to be ready and prepared and look forward to playing a good Chicago team.

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

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