Kukla's Korner

A Playoff Goon

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

In general, the Stanley Cup playoffs have fewer penalties and less use for goons who offer little in hockey ability beyond a willingness to fight, but sometimes exceptions exist.  The main exception to this rule in this season’s playoffs has been Rick Rypien of the Vancouver Canucks.  Rypien leads the playoffs with 38 penalty minutes in his eight games so far.  That gives him almost five penalty minutes per game.  He has contributed one assist (which he got in tonight’s game) and has a -1 +/-  rating.  His +/- is not quite worst on the team, there are a few players at -2, but they are all players who get significantly more ice time than Rypien does.  The Canucks have only played Rick Rypien about seven and a half minutes a game.

In a tight series with Chicago (it is tied at two games each) is it sensible for the Canucks to be dressing a player like this?  They could be playing Jannik Hansen in place of Rypien.  During the regular season, Hansen certainly appeared more valuable.  He outscored Rypien 21 points to 3.  Hansen played 14:42 a game in 55 games, while Rypien played 9:19 a game in only 12 games.  Why is Hansen deemed less valuable now, when the goonery Rypien provides is less valuable now?

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Blackhawks Overcome Deficit Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Dutaschek of the Globe and Mail,

This is how quickly things can change in the NHL playoffs, when the quick-strike Chicago Blackhawks are in the building.

For the better part of 57 minutes last night, the Blackhawks looked as if they’d dug themselves into a black scoring hole.

They fell behind by a goal to the Vancouver Canucks, couldn’t seem to get it back, and were in danger of dropping consecutive home playoff games at the United Center, where they’d excelled this NHL season.

But these Blackhawks have been nothing if not resilient in these playoffs — overcoming deficits, large and small throughout — and they demonstrated that capacity again last night, essentially saving their playoff lives with a 2-1 come-from-behind win over the visiting Canucks.


added 1:09am, from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

But like they have all along in their thrill-a-minute postseason, Martin Havlat forced overtime—and ignited a United Center crowd that sat on their hands all night—with a wrist shot from the high slot that handcuffed Luongo.

“We’ve got a new series,” said Havlat, who scored his fourth of the playoffs.

“Whoa,” Hawks GM Dale Tallon told ESPN.com in the home dressing room, holding his chest. “I thought my ticker was going to go. These kids never give up. They’re a resilient bunch.”

read on

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

Pierre McGuire Would Draw Attention In Minnesota

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,

If Leipold wants excitement, he’ll get it from the “Monster Man.” Think Don Cherry without the Chinese-tablecloth jacket and the Afghan mission. “Bam!”

But the former Hartford Whalers head coach is not just another Cherry. McGuire loudly stumped for no red line and is not a member of Hockey Night in Canada’s Granite Club when it comes to skill players and fighting. He favours visors. He’s not above eviscerating a Sean Avery, but prefers the positive approach — something he plans to take into any GM’s job.

Says McGuire, who won the 1992 Stanley Cup as an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins: “With the access I’ve had in the past 12 years to successful and unsuccessful teams, you can compile unbelievable reserves of information. I’m a better hockey person as a result. You saw that with John Davidson in St. Louis.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pierre+mcguire

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“Mr. Balsillie is acting, again, in total disregard of any rules, or any structure. . . . I would be very surprised if the board would look favourably on the way that Mr. Balsillie has conducted himself in this instance.”

“He makes his own decisions and he’s making a decision that this is the way he wants to get into the National Hockey League. We don’t usually like to pick fights, but we end them.”

-NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly on Jim Balsillie.  More from the CP via TSN.

added 11:129pm, from Paul Waldie and David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

The group backing Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie’s bid for the Phoenix Coyotes unleashed its sharpest attack yet on the National Hockey League, alleging in a lawsuit that the league is operating like an “illegal cartel” by blocking Mr. Balsillie’s effort to move the Coyotes to Hamilton.

“The NHL is excluding competition and restraining trade in [the United States and Canada] through the application of unreasonable restrictions in its constitution and bylaws, which are preventing the relocation of the Coyotes from Phoenix, Ariz., to Hamilton, Ont.,” said the lawsuit filed Thursday in Phoenix.


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bill+daly, jim+balsillie

Here’s What We Need: A Crew And Good Captain Well Seasoned

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Was this foreshadowing this morning? 

I’m feeling optimistic.  I was sick when I got up, stayed sick for a few hours, and was even queezy when I started this post.  But right now I’m feeling pretty good and here’s why.  One word.

Lidstrom.  It has to be the Captain.  One way or another it has to be him.

Look at the post title again and you’ll see that it was.  Intentional?  Absolutely not.  Now, check this out…

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

It’s Doubtful Reinsdorf Would Take Over Coyotes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan McGrath of the Chicago Tribune,

Both the city of Glendale, Ariz., and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman have approached Bulls and White Sox chairman and part-time Phoenix-area resident Reinsdorf about taking over the troubled hockey franchise, and a business associate acknowledged Reinsdorf has explored the possibilities.

But the associate believes Reinsdorf likely will pass. The Coyotes have myriad obstacles standing between them and profitability, beginning with a bad lease deal and competition with rival American Airlines Arena for non-hockey events that could help make their building more profitable.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jerry+reinsdorf

Whew…Only Four Hours Thirty Minutes Til Game Time.

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Awesome.  The wait is the best part isn’t it?

A few ditties for you:

—Kelly Hrudey on Sirius HNIC said that not only did Brad Watson make the right ball, but that he agreed with the quick whistles. 
Brett Festerling will be replacing the “hunched over” James Wisniewski tonite.  Here’s hoping he’s in a puddle of his own urine by the second period.
—So.  Coyotes to Hamilton?  Nifty.  Chances Detroit ever ends up in the Eastern Conference if that happens?  Zero.  Thanks Gary. Ass.
—Oh…and Dandenault’s #11?  Retired.  You’ll just have to wait and see won’t you?
—Night Moves?  Also retired.  Accepting suggstions.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Report- Ovechkin Receives A Death Threat

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from WPXI,

PITTSBURGH—Channel 11 News learned Thursday that Pittsburgh Police are investigating a death threat made against Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.

Penguins’ spokesperson Tom McMillan told Channel 11 that the Penguins are aware of the threat and will be releasing a statement shortly.


added 4:36pm, The threat was made on a message board, according to WPXI.

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

Senators Sign Karlsson to Entry Level Deal

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Alanah McGinley

From the CP via the Globe & Mail:

Defenceman Erik Karlsson, the Ottawa Senators’ first-round pick in the 2008 entry draft, has signed an entry-level contract with the club.

Karlsson, 18, recently completed his second season with the Frolunda HC Indians of the Swedish Elite League, recording five goals and five assists in 45 games. He also added a goal and two assists in 11 playoff games.

Senators forward Dany Heatley, who’s playing for Canada at the IIHF World Hockey Championship in Switzerland, wasn’t surprised the Senators signed the promising blueliner.

“He’s a great offensive defenceman, I think it was just a matter of time before we signed him,” said Heatley. “I’m looking forward to seeing him at camp.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | Hockey News Wire | Permalink

Prepare For Nastiness Tonite

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Well, I’m glad to see James Wisniewski is healthy. 

Healthy enough to run his yap and sound like a frigging idiot in the process.

St. James

“Shows a little bit of a gutless play by one of their players…

I saw three different replays, and if you look at it, he looks over his left shoulder and just gives a nice little elbow right when I was just hunched over, not even doing anything,” he said, “So, I mean, if he says he didn’t, I’m sure you have to believe him, but … if it was Chris Pronger, I think all you media guys would make this a big deal about how dirty the Anaheim Ducks are. But since it’s the Detroit Red Wings, I guess it’s all OK.”

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

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