Kukla's Korner

Hossa Comfortable With His Role

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News,

As the Wings head into the second round tonight against Anaheim, Hossa is in the spot he always envisioned. He’s needed and wanted but doesn’t have to do it all, or even the bulk of it. No one on the Wings ever does. And really, of all the unusual reasons Hossa took the Wings’ one-year, $7.45-million offer instead of long-term treasures elsewhere, this is the main one, for this time right now.

“Look around, you’ve got legends in here, and it’s a great group of guys,” Hossa said. “It’s just fun to be a part of it. And they play the way I like, the puck-control game. Playing with so many stars, the pressure is spread, there’s no focus on one guy.”

And there’s the dichotomy of the Hossa Experiment. He came to Detroit to win his first Stanley Cup, and by accepting a one-year deal, he put enormous pressure on himself. But the truth is, it’s actually less pressure than if he’d stayed in Pittsburgh for a reported $35 million, or gone to Edmonton for the rumored $80 million.

If Hossa is skating with a burden, he sure isn’t showing it. He led the team with 40 goals in the regular season, and often was brilliant. He was clutch in the first-round clincher against Columbus, scoring his first two goals of the playoffs.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+hossa

Breaking Down The Boston/Carolina Series

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Hype Builds

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gary Loewen of the Toronto Sun,

The hype is building for the NHL playoff series of the century, the Washington Capitals versus the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Evil Empire versus the Forces of Good….

Hold it, let’s back it up for a moment:

a) Doesn’t Crosby stand a better chance of becoming Snivelling Sid than Commander Canada?

b) Doesn’t Ovechkin, with his one good front tooth and his bad hair, qualify as an honorary Canadian?

c) Doesn’t Ovechkin’s hockey stick have more personality than Sid?

d) Didn’t Ovechkin get his nickname, OV, from a Canadian beer?


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

Early Trade Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

It would be erroneous to report that the latest flood of Joe Thornton trade sentiment occurred after the San Jose Sharks were ousted from the playoffs by the Anaheim Ducks.

Truth is that this wave began immediately after the Sharks lost the first two games of the series.

Columnists began to fire up the grill for the annual summer roasting of Thornton and fan rage began on comment boards. Of course, none of that matters, but it is noteworthy that Sharks general manager Doug Wilson was reported to be still boiling over San Jose’s early departure.

With that in mind, it’s time to address what might happen this summer:

continue for some trade questions answered…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Maurice Missed The Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star,

So look at Maurice now – back on the post-season pace, Carolina opening its Eastern Conference semifinal in Boston tonight.

“It’s the best part of hockey, the best part of the year,” the once-again Hurricane steward told the Star. “When you’re out of the playoffs for so long, you really do start to wonder – what’s the point?

“But it’s just so much fun now, I can’t even tell you. The days just slide by. At the moment I’m feeling at ease because we’ve had this little rest. That will all change when the series starts.”

Maurice is among the diaspora of former Leafs who are still playing or coaching hockey that counts, in May. When the post-season began, there were 35 Blue & White – from low-level management to top-tier stars – on the Stanley Cup prowl, while Toronto watched from the sidelines, experiencing the excitement only vicariously.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+maurice

GDT - W.C. Semifinals, Game 1: Red Wings host Ducks (7:00)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

T.G.I.F.  It has been eight days since the Wings swept through the B.J.‘s; eight days since the Wings were last in the playoff grinder.  Naturally, you would think the long layoff cannot be a good thing.  Recall that Ozzie had to make the majority of big saves early in games, when the Wings were stumbling in the dark, searching for that damn switch.  Uncle Mike doesn’t appear to be overly concerned:  “We’re going to be real fresh,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said Thursday after his team skated at Joe Louis Arena. “At the same time, you’re obviously concerned about it right off the hop, but we’ve made it very clear to our players that

they’ve got to be ready to start on time

. They’ve got to be ready to battle for every inch. I think the layoff’s been a great thing for our team. It was an opportunity to get healthy.” 

The numbers are below, and they are interesting.  The Getlaf, Ryan and Perry line have accounted for half the Duck playoff goals; neutralize that line and things should be good.  Also look at shots for and against, and you realize Hiller (.957%) could cause issues (that or the Fins could not create any traffic in front of the crease).  Ducks start playing fowl (sorry couldn’t resist), and the Wings PP (sizzling at 31.8%) may play an important role.  To me, assuming Ozzie holds his playoff form, this series will be won or lost by the teams respective depth at Forward, and that edge is decidedly in the Wings favor.

Game on Bitches (finally), see you early tonight.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Blackhawks Had Their Chances

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Rosenbloom of Rosen Blog at the Chicago Tribune,

One line of hockey thinking is that the first game of a series is the easiest to win because teams don’t hate each other like they will.

This should’ve favored the Blackhawks in their second-round deal with Vancouver that began Thursday. If they could steal a road game, they would take the home-ice advantage they rightfully deserved after finishing the regular season with more points than the Canucks.

It also should’ve favored the Hawks because they blew into British Columbia with momentum from a big road win in Calgary that closed out the Flames and were facing a team that had been off for more than a week after sweeping St. Louis.

And look at that, the Hawks got a power play two minutes into the game. A chance to take a lead, get a jump on stealing home-ice, and punish a team that wants to hit them the way Calgary did.

So much for that.


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

We’re Gonna Go Ahead And Say All Aboard

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Good morning. 

The Delicate Genius is an expert again.  He knows the Wings like no one else.  Now, tell me what surprises you about this sentence.

“The wrist!” I say. “Is that upper body?”



Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Phoenix Coyotes Dying

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The news slipped out a couple days ago that the NHL has been running the Phoenix Coyotes since February.  It was a statement from Glendale, Arizona (home of Jobing.com Arena which is the Coyotes home) city manager Ed Beasley.  He was trying to assure local taxpayers that the Phoenix Coyotes were paying their debts for parking fees and security costs at the arena.  He was entirely unconcerned about the NHL public relations department that hade been trying to hide this information.  Almost immediately the Phoenix Coyote front office denied that they are “reporting to the league”.  This appears to be a carefully parsed statement to appear as denial to the Arizona Republic newspaper reports of Ed Beasley’s claims.  Bill Daly of the NHL responded by saying “I believe the Coyotes will be in Phoenix next season.  I won’t comment specifically on the article, other than to say it contains some inaccuracies,” which is clearly not a denial of the story.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Staal Will Have A Giant Shadow

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Droschak of CarolinaHurricanes.com,

Staal won’t be able to breathe in this series without the 6-foot-9, 270-pound Chara knowing if the Carolina star is chewing Dentyne or Trident. Bank on it. 

“It doesn’t matter who we play.  Eric Staal is going to see, not just one, but different guys shift-by-shift. He gets a lot of attention. That’s what All-Star players get,” said Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford. 

“I don’t think I played my best against them this year,” added Staal, who including playoffs has logged a remarkable 368 consecutive games. “I’ve had success against Boston in the past and I like playing in their building. So, it’s about getting ready to play in this series now. The regular season doesn’t really matter this time of year.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: eric+staal

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