Kukla's Korner

The Playoff Picture On Saturday Morning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Who Can Clinch Today

#1 Boston Bruins can clinch the top seed in the Eastern Conference:
* If they get at least one point against the New York Rangers.

#3 New Jersey Devils
can clinch the Atlantic Division:
* If they beat the Buffalo Sabres and the Philadelphia Flyers get no points against the Ottawa Senators.

#4 Philadelphia Flyers can clinch an Eastern Conference playoff berth:
* If they beat the Ottawa Senators.

#5 Carolina Hurricanes can clinch an Eastern Conference playoff berth:
* If they beat the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Below you can find today’s NHL schedule plus an extended schedule for all game remaining in the regular season.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Blues Control Their Destiny

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

The club hasn’t locked itself into a playoff spot officially, but sitting in eighth place in the Western Conference after Chicago defeated Nashville 3-1 on Friday, the Blues are in position to end a three-year postseason drought with a strong finish.

“Now we can’t worry about what else happens around the league,” Blues center Jay McClement said. “Now it’s kind of up to us. As long as we take care of our own job, then things will work out in the end.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Canucks Address The Death Of Carly Bragnalo

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Vancouver Canucks talk about the tragic death of Taylor Pyatt’s fiancee, Carly Bragnalo.

The Vancouver Province has details of the accident.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carly+bragnalo, taylor+pyatt

The Right Hire In Carolina

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

Jim Rutherford has heard all the theories suggesting he rehired Paul Maurice three months ago because of their long-time friendship. The mere insinuation still irks him.

In a phone interview from Raleigh yesterday, the Carolina Hurricanes general manager shot down the popular notion that his relationship with Maurice played a role in the decision to have Maurice come in for a second stint as Canes’ coach.

“I would not have brought Paul back if I did not think it was the best move for the team at the time. Period,” Rutherford said. “There are other ways to help a friend.”

Rutherford said Maurice sacrificed a lot in order to take the job.

“People have missed the real story about this whole thing,” Rutherford said. “Paul left his wife and kids up in Toronto to come down here. He’s not making any more money by doing this. And, if it didn’t work out here, it likely would have not helped his career at all. It probably would have damaged it.”


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

The Lottery Race

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat,

Their competition for the No. 1 spot in the draft lottery, which is assured of a top-two pick because no team can drop more than one spot, comes from 29th-place Colorado and 28th-place Tampa Bay, which visits the Coliseum Saturday night. The Isles are five points below the Avalanche, which has gone 9-25-1 in its last 35 games, including 0-7-1 in the past eight. The Lightning, which plays tonight at New Jersey, has gone 7-15-7 in its past 29 games, including 1-4-3 in its past eight. The Isles are 2-5-1 in their past eight games.

The Islanders still can get four points out of the final 10 available to them and be assured of No. 1 position in the lottery. So, it’s not like they have to lose every game.

But say it comes down to the final game of the season against Boston, and the top team in the Eastern Conference sits out its best players to rest up for the playoffs. Would the Bruins be tanking a regular-season game that could have a profound effect on the draft lottery?


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Florida With A Bad Loss

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from George Richards of the Miami Herald,

The Atlanta Thrashers all but ended the Panthers’ playoff hopes with a win in Sunrise last March. They might have just put the kibosh on Florida’s postseason chances again Friday night.

The Panthers failed in their bid to pull into a tie for eighth in the Eastern Conference standings, as they suffered a potentially devastating 3-1 loss to Atlanta at BankAtlantic Center.

‘‘It’s definitely discouraging,’’ goalie Craig Anderson said. ``At the same time, there are four games left. We can’t dwell on this one.’‘


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

Is Patrick Sharp Really Day-to-Day?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,

When coach Q met he media following Friday’s playoff-clinching win over Nashville, he said what he normally does about an injury, this one to Patrick Sharp.

Quenneville called Sharp day-to-day and said more would be known Saturday.

There’s no reason to think Quenneville wasn’t telling the truth, but there were rumblings in the halls of the United Center basement that Sharp’s injury, believed to be to his knee, was more serious than the Hawks were admitting.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrick+sharp

Modano Not Sure If He Will Play Next Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Andrew’s Dallas Stars Page,

Mike Modano was on The Ticket Friday morning and was asked by Norm Hitzges if he had decided whether he’ll play next season. Here’s what Mike had to say;

“No, not right now and I probably won’t for a while,” Modano told Hitzges. “I am going to take a step back for a long, lengthy part of the summer and see how I feel. I think time away from the game is going to help me mentally, just to kind of recharge, think things through and see where the team is heading….”

read on for more from Mike…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+modano

Blues Day

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Craig Custance of Sporting News today was busy with the Blues lately, with stories on Keith Tkachuk and T.J. Oshie.

Start here to read them….

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Travel Point Losses For Western Teams

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

While looking at the relative divisional strengths this season, I mentioned that the Central Division is helped by travel.  While West Conference teams lead the league in distance travelled in a season, they are the further west teams in the conference.  This allows the Central Division teams to play a lot of games against travel tired teams.  This is something that has been well-established in some work by Tom Benjamin that was done in the 1990s.  Most of it is no longer available on the internet.  Some readers here (particularly Hockey in HD) had not seen this work and were skeptical.

I cannot re-create all of this work in a short period of time.  In order to show how travel does affect the westernmost teams and get a rough estimate of how many points it costs them in a season, I did some work.  There is a lot more evidence that can be presented, but it will probably have to wait until the off-season.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

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