Kukla's Korner

Keenan Fails Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

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

He coached another promising Flames team to another playoff failure. Regular readers of the Hockey Guy blog were not surprised by this unhappy turn of events.

Keenan was destined to fail. Predictably, he wore down goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff.

He gave lumbering Todd Bertuzzi a wide berth. He orchestrated the exit of needed skilled players. He didn’t get enough out of Dion Phaneuf and Jarome Iginla, franchise cornerstones, leaders who were supposed to be his type of players.

Keenan has never been a great tactician. He has never been the hardest working coach in the league, either.

His forte was motivation – and his famous intimidation tactics became ineffective once players began earning millions to play their sport.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+keenan

Remember Those That Have Served

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Memorial Day 2009 is upon us here in the USA.  A time to reflect and remember those that have served and protected our nation.

We sometimes look at a hockey game as a battle, a war, etc., but the people doing the real battling are those in the military and they do their job every day, and do it well.

Thank you for service and dedication.


Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: memorial+day

Looking Ahead To The SCF

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

With the stars—make that superstars—beginning to align themselves properly in the hockey universe, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings appear on a collision course to meet for a second consecutive time in the battle for the sport’s Holy Grail.

And if you believe in learning from the past, then history could very well be on the side of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and company.

With both the Pens and Wings just one victory away from winning their respective conference finals, we could see a repeat of Stanley Cup finalists for the first time since the New York Islanders and Edmonton Oilers played for all the marbles in both 1983 and 1984.


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

Keeping Secrets and Conspiracies

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Check this out from Helene St. James.


Chelios said of Lidstrom: “I went out to dinner with him last night and had no idea. I found out this morning he wasn’t playing.”

If I was 38 instead of 40? I’d say that is just wack, or whack.  I’m not sure.  Think about that. Chelios went to dinner with him and there was no mention of any injury, no sign from The Swede that anything at all might be bothering him.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Huet Goes Into Hiding

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star,

“I’ll be Cristo.”

That was Brent Seabrook speaking, as he jokingly stepped into Cristobal Huet’s locker and faced a phalanx of reporters, nearly an hour after his Blackhawks had been whacked 6-1 by Detroit.

The real Cristo, as it turns out, never did show his face, taking refuge in the no-trespassing inner sanctum of the Hawks’ dressing room. At 5:30 p.m., the cut-off point for media access, scriveners and TV types ushered outside, Huet was still back there, hiding.

Pretty bush. Which might also accurately describe the No.2-turned-No.1 Chicago goalie, who gave up five Red Wing goals, bracketed around a second period spent largely on the bench – yanked by coach Joel Quenneville and then re-instated, presumably for a bit of confidence bucking-up.

He’ll need all the bucking he can get, the Hawks teetering on the brink of elimination in the Western Conference final, trailing 3-1 as the series swings back to Joe Louis Arena Wednesday night.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cristobal+huet

Emotion Gone From Canes Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,

It’s hard to count this team out after watching what it accomplished against seemingly insurmountable obstacles earlier in the playoffs, but unless the Hurricanes have untapped reserves of emotion that are far from apparent at this point, their future is grim.

If the Hurricanes had that kind of fight left, they would have used it at some point in the first three games, when the opportunity was there to take control. Instead, the Hurricanes capitulated, and now it’s too late.

They got this far on emotion. On heart. On drive. To beat the Penguins, the Hurricanes would have needed as much, if not more, of it. Instead, they’re spent—and their season most likely is as well.


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

All Ruslan Fedotenko

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,

Q: Things are going well in the Eastern Conference finals. Is this where you expected the Penguins to be when the playoffs started?

A: We knew we had a good team, had a good chance. It depends on if we play our game, if we play to the best of our potential. And so far, we’ve been doing that.

Q: How has skating on a playoff line with Evgeni Malkin been?

A: It’s been great. He’s a good player. Some games we’re on it, some games not as well. It’s like any other team, any other player. It’s trying to make more consistent games and be a big factor to help the team.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ruslan+fedotenko

Chicago Pays For Their Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of The Spin at the Toronto Star,

The Hawks ruined their own chances by trying to get chippy, the same approach that worked so beautifully against Vancouver in the Western Conference semi-final because the Canucks were so very willing to engage in a tit-for-tat battle.

But not the Wings. They just won’t. So when the Hawks tried to get in Detroit’s face - “scare ‘em off the puck” as Jonathan Toews put it - the Wings just ignored the nonsense as they always do and let the Hawks beat a steady path to the penalty box. The Wings then killed Chicago on the power play, and Mike Babcock kept putting his best guys out at extra strength late in the game as if to tell the Hawks if they wanted to play cheapshot hockey they were going to suffer for it.


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

Hold Off On That Optimism Hawk Fans

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

In the very short term?  Sunday’s butt kicking in Chicago brought with it all the typical positives: a 3-1 series lead, a stark example of the Wings’ resiliency and one of the greatest displays of depth we’ve seen in a long time.

Long term? The news may be even better for Detroit.  3 words that should make you smile:

Quenneville. Huet. Campbell.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Memorial Cup

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The Memorial Cup completed on Sunday.  Here was the preview I wrote. 

The Kelowna Rockets won the round robin portion of the tournament.  In fact they had it clinched after only two games as they had a 2-0 record and had defeated both of the Quebec teams (Drummondville and Rimouski), who both had 1-1 records and the Windsor Spitfires were yet to win. 

Windsor had a must win game and Kelowna had a game that didn’t matter at all to end the round robin.  In a hard fought game, Windsor won 2-1 to merely stay alive.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

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