Kukla's Korner

You Call This Playoff Hockey?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Norman Webster of the Montreal Gazette,

Much of the time it seems to consist of forwards skating into the goaltender’s crease after he has frozen the puck and giving him a hard stare, as Paddington Bear used to do to those who incurred his disapproval. The whistle has gone, nothing whatever can be done to advance the play, but this staring, accompanied by the usual obscenities, is supposed to bring great advantage to the perpetrators.

The defenders do not like this. They retaliate by rubbing opponents’ faces with the palms of their gloves - “face-washing,” it’s called, although if you have ever dipped your nose into a working hockey gauntlet you may question the term “washing.” The defenders, too, loose the usual insults, while the linesmen run around throwing their bodies in front of potential punches (is there any other sport which so shamefully degrades its officials?). Of course, this brings Montreal’s sophisticated fans out of their seats every time.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Flyers Need A Physical Defenseman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull at the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Wholesale changes aren’t needed. But the team needs more physicality from its defensemen.

  Never was that more evident than Saturday, when two of the Penguins’ goals were scored when players batted pucks out of the air and into the net.

  I’m in the minority of people who think the Flyers can compete for the Stanley Cup with Marty Biron as the goalie.  Biron wasn’t why the Flyers lost this series. He had a 2.29 goals-against average before Saturday, and only two of the Game 6 goals were his fault.

  Re-sign Biron and get a crease-clearing defenseman like Montreal’s Mike Komisarek, a potential free agent. The   Flyers missed the injured Derian Hatcher this year more than they will admit.

more on the Flyers…

added 11:27am, from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

There is something seriously wrong with a hockey team that blows a 3-0 lead, at home, in a playoff-elimination game. That part is easy.

Figuring out exactly what went wrong with the Flyers in yesterday’s stunning collapse against the rival Pittsburgh Penguins will be much harder. And that is the challenge that faces the franchise’s leaders - all of whom appeared shell-shocked after the team’s sudden, breathtaking dismissal from the first round of the playoffs.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Thornton Leads, Carlyle Complains

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

Sharks center Joe Thornton found a heart, the Ducks lost a chance to pull off an upset and the teams’ playoff series became a lot more interesting—and at least one game longer….

The example provided by Thornton—who had scored the Sharks’ first goal and assisted on their second—ensured the Sharks’ season will last through Monday at the Honda Center. A seventh game, if necessary, will be played Wednesday at San Jose.

“Everything is fine and dandy right now,” Sharks Coach Todd McLellan said, “but we’ve still got a noose around our necks and we’d better be prepared to play even better than we did tonight.”

Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle questioned the legality of the winning goal.

“The reason the puck went in the net is their player pushed our goalie’s pad,” said Carlyle, whose team had scored twice early in the third period to get back into the game.

“As he pushed our goalie’s pad . . . the back of his skate knocked the puck in the net.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Just A Middle Finger Injury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Matt Walker of the Blackhawks took a shot off of his hand and the results were a messed-up finger.

In case you are wondering, he returned to play.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: matt+walker

Financial Adviser Issues With NHLers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terrie Thompson and Michael O’Keeffe of the NY Daily News,

An unlicensed financial adviser who bills himself as a “lifestyle coach” scammed several NHL players out of millions of dollars, according to sources familiar with the case and a lawsuit filed by former NHL star Joe Juneau.

Phillip A. Kenner, an Arizona businessman who described himself as a top-tier financial adviser but who had not been licensed since 2003 to buy or sell regulated securities, once claimed to be a high-powered money manager for Rangers great Mark Messier and the pop group ‘N Sync. Kenner was deposed in the case this past week in Los Angeles. Juneau has accused him of failing to provide even basic accounting information regarding the handling of the former Washington Capitals center’s finances….

Juneau isn’t the only hockey player who says he was defrauded by Kenner: Minnesota Wild right wing Owen Nolan has filed for arbitration in Arizona, claiming he was scammed by the businessman, while Jozef Stumpel, a 16-year NHL veteran who is playing in Russia, filed a federal lawsuit in September 2008 that says Kenner borrowed $2.5 million from him and has not paid back a penny.

Stumpel has since dropped the suit. His lawyer, Jennifer McGrath, declined to comment. A source familiar with the case says Kenner flew to Europe and convinced Stumpel, a native of Slovakia, to drop the legal action because it had damaged Kenner’s ability to pay back the loan.

more

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

Ovechkin An All-Time Great

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Bobby Orr is the most mes merizing player I have ever seen. Well, he was. He was until The Alex Ovechkin Show hit the NHL.

Ovechkin’s combination of ferocity, passion, talent and showmanship is unique in NHL history. He is a great player, already an all-time player after just four seasons in the league, who isn’t afraid to let the world in and see the excitement he gets from performing, from excelling; from playing.

This is the athlete who would be worth the price of admission in even Yankee Stadium, and please, while we’re at it, let’s get the Caps into The Bronx for an outdoor game.

continued plus some Tortorella, Wild, Briere mentions among others…

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

Playoff Ice Time Leader

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The leader in ice time (per game) so far in the playoffs is Paul Martin of the New Jersey Devils.  He has played over 27 minutes per game.  He is an underrated player who gets little written about him, so I thought I would write something.  Martin has quietly developed into the best defenceman on the Devils team.

Martin consistently scores thirty or more points a season and puts up one of the better +/- ratings on his club, while playing against some of the top offensive players in the league.  He has the best defenceman on the team with the fourth best defence in the league this year.  He is the Devils go to guy in all situations - even in the playoffs.  Paul Martin is one of the most unsung players around in the NHL today.

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

OT Goal By Marleau Forces A Game 6 In Anaheim

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

A great game between the Sharks and Ducks ends with a Patrick Marleau goal in OT.

Sharks outshot the Ducks 48-25 and once again, Hiller was outstanding in goal for the Ducks.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Flames Did Not Show Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald,

Calgary’s hockey heroes were scheduled to fly home in the wee hours of Sunday morning to a restless city bursting with questions.

Like how could captain Jarome Iginla go missing in the most important game of the season with no shots and no hits through the crucial opening 20 minutes? And how could a team built around defence abandon goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff with no explanation?

How could Cory Sarich take an undisciplined penalty to lead to the first Chicago goal by Brent Seabrook? How could the fourth line of David Moss, Dustin Boyd, and Warren Peters account for the only Calgary goal? What happened to the big names — such as Michael Cammalleri, Olli Jokinen and Dion Phaneuf — in such a crucial outing?

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Blackhawks Were The Better Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Tribune,

The Hawks were just better. They were more together than the Flames.

Togetherness—that’s one of things that stand out about hockey. More than perhaps all sports, it demands teamwork, physical sacrifice and a surrendering of personal goals for the good of the team. You go all out for two minutes and get off the ice after the shift. If you let up at any point during those two minutes, there’s a decent chance you and your team are going to pay. There’s certainly no time for selfishness. And there’s no profit in it. You can’t skate through two defenders and get to the net. A hockey player can’t take over a game by himself, unless he goes by the name of Gretzky.

If you’re a showboat in the NHL, you’re not going to be one for long. You’re not going to have a head for long, either, because it’s going to get knocked off. Perhaps even by a teammate. Self-centeredness is not frowned upon. It’s snarled upon.

In a game as rough as this one is, you’d have to be crazy to try to show up an opponent. And even when the Hawks jumped on the Flames, they did not dance on them. They did what hockey players do after a goal: They looked for teammates in order to celebrate.

more on the Chicago victory over Calgary tonight…

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

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