Kukla's Korner

Dazed Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

In shocking fashion, the champs have taken a standing eight-count.

Whether the dazed Detroit Red Wings can stumble back to their feet, regain their senses and recapture the momentum they once had in this Stanley Cup final, well, that will be illustrated for the hockey world to see in Game 5 tomorrow night, a Saturday Night Special in Motown. Never in the four championships the Wings have won over the past 12 years have they been tested quite like they are now being tested by the gutsy, youthful Pittsburgh Penguins.

continued

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

Elite Goalies

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

I started a bit of a controversy when I claimed no elite goalies are left in the playoffs during the semi-finals.  I stand by that statement.  The statement is part of a bigger problem that I have discussed in the past - how to identify a team that is among the greatest of all time.  How to find the historically elite teams is an interesting problem.

Historically elite teams do not exist in the NHL every season.  In the salary capped NHL they are rarer than ever before.  I argue (based on historical precident) that a historically elite team necessarily has several core players (who may include the goalie) who are on Hall of Fame tracks (it is reasonable to project them to making the Hall of Fame in their careers) and they must have a top goalie (one who can arguably be called one of the top five in the game).  These conditions are not sufficient to make a team an elite one.  Obviously there are many other factors.  The players must play well together as a team.  Without the elite players, including a top goalie, a team cannot be an elite one.  They need the players as well as a top performance.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

NHL/NBC Extension Coming

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,

It’s been a dream playoffs, so far, for the NHL on TV.

Its greatest stars – Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Datsyuk – have advanced as far as the Stanley Cup final. After years in the doldrums, some of its best U.S. television markets – Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh – pushed deep into the playoffs. And the skilled on-ice product has been rewarded with some modest bumps in U.S. ratings on NBC and Versus.

Now, NBC and the NHL are set to announce an extension to their relationship for another two years, past the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and Stanley Cup playoffs.

It will likely be a continuation of the no-money-down/split-revenues-after-costs arrangement that has existed since the two sides fell into each other’s arms after the NHL lockout in 2004-05.

continued

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nbc

Penguins Even Up Series At 2-2 With A 4-2 Victory Over Detroit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The series shifts to Detroit for game 5 on Saturday.  Exciting hockey coming up!

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

Decisions Ahead For Chicago

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,

..what do the Hawks do about Nikolai Khabibulin and Martin Havlat? They were two of the Hawks’ best players this season and the feeling on the team is that Khabibulin has to stay if the Hawks are to see themselves as serious Stanley Cup contenders. As for Havlat, once he got healthy, he became a major contributor to the Hawks’ cause and a fan favorite.

The Hawks want to keep both those players, but if they are to give themselves some wiggle room to handle Kane, Toews and Keith, they can’t do long-term deals. Yet that’s what both players want.

The answer? Who knows? That’s what they pay GMs for. But this much is certain: The NHL has hoped for decades that it could get a strong presence in Chicago. Now it has one, but the salary cap has put it in jeopardy.

more plus head-shots and Lecavalier talk…

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

Paul Kelly Says Head-Shot Talk Not Over

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,

NHL Players Association head Paul Kelly says the fight to eliminate blows to the head isn’t over, just because NHL general managers expressed “no appetite” to change the rules when they met Tuesday prior to Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final.

“I respect the general managers’ views, but that’s not the end of the dialogue,” Kelly told reporters. “This issue will come up again in the competition committee meeting.

“The rule that our players have proposed … No. 1, it has to be a player who’s in a vulnerable position. No. 2, in the judgment of the official, the attacking player has to target the head of that vulnerable player, and No. 3, he has to make contact with that head with any part of his body, including the shoulder. So there’s elements of intent, targeting and vulnerability.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Flyers Or Capitals Will Meet Bruins In Next Winter Classic

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Scott Burnside of ESPN,

It looks like the potential opponents for the Boston Bruins in next New Year’s Day outdoor game at Fenway Park has been narrowed to two teams, the Philadelphia Flyers or Washington Capitals, ESPN.com has learned.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The North Wind Is Blowing, And When She Blows Like That She’s A Real Bitch.

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Happy Anniversary.

One year ago tonite?

This.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

The Wings ‘Mask Man’

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Marc Jacobson of ABC 12,

A win for the Red Wings tonight in Pittsburgh will put the Wings just one win away from another championship.

A Grand Blanc man doesn’t play for the team, but he has had a connection to the Wings success over the years.

A great team needs a great goalie, and every goalie needs a great mask. Grand Blanc’s Ray Bishop has been the Red Wings’ go-to guy for masks since 1998. “I’ve done work for Hasek, Legace, Conklin, Osgood, of course. I’ve done stuff for a few guys over the years and it’s been fun.”

Word of mouth has put Bishop Designs on the NHL’s radar. Bishop’s air brushing work first caught the eye of Manny Legace.  “He went to the Wings and gave me a chance to paint that mask, and their equipment manager saw what I can do, and he began to trust me.”

continued with video…

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

Panthers Will Be Staying In South Florida

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Carlos Frias of the Palm Beach Post,

The Florida Panthers may be getting a new owner, but likely not a new home.

The public company Sports Properties Acquisitions Corp. is in talks to purchase the Panthers and the rights to run the BankAtlantic Center and surrounding properties for a reported $230-$240 million. But unless the new ownership group is willing to pay Broward County the remaining debt for building and improving the arena - another $182 million - they are locked into a lease that will keep them put for the next 20 years.

A move seems unlikely because location is a big part of the Panthers’ appeal. Although they play in a small market and haven’t been to the playoffs in nine years, the deal would allow the new owners to manage and profit from all other events at the BankAtlantic Center. Plus, the current ownership group envisions building a mixed-use entertainment district around the stadium called the City of Oz.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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