Kukla's Korner

Bruins Lacking Poise

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald,

So many people embraced the premise that the B’s are a great team - including the players themselves. And do not misunderstand: This is a very good team. Even if they do not rally to beat the Carolina Hurricanes - whom they trail 2-1 in their second-round series, which resumes tonight - it will have been a very successful season.

But it may be that these guys were set up to fail by their own success….

The B’s can talk all they want about execution. But their problem in losing the last two games was that the relatively no-name Hurricanes looked like a team that wanted to win more.

The emotional shortfall has been revealed in the B’s play. The team has lacked poise with the puck, giving it away too many times, and has lost too many one-on-one battles. The Hurricanes have just been able to set the tone for too much of the last two games.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Lot Of Complaining But Great Games Too

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Arthur of the National Post,

Thank goodness for that patch of lousy ice. Thank goodness for the ice that Bruce Boudreau called “sticky” and Alexander Ovechkin called “just a mess” and which, according to the Washington Capitals star, was about the only thing keeping his team from taking a 3-0 series lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins the other night.

“In overtime, ice was just a mess, pucks just bouncing and stuff,” Ovechkin said, a touch grumpily, after his team’s 3-2 overtime loss Wednesday. “We have three-on-two, [Hal] Gill goes down and I have probably 100% chance to score goal. But puck just stopped moving.”

Good thing, too. Because that particular puck stopped moving, what could have been a blowout is now a series, and one whose temperature is rising. We are being treated to complaining about the referees, occasional speculation about illegal sticks, and two young and thrilling teams that have played three fast and thrilling games.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Red Wings Fan Showed Up In Anaheim

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I was actually surprised by the amount of Wings fans in attendance last night and even more surprised when their chants were not drowned-out by Ducks fans.

thanks to Empty Netters for the pointer…

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

Focusing On Team Secrets

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,

George McPhee knows and respects CBC’s Hockey Night In Canada and its leading role in broadcasting the sport.

But the Washington Capitals general manager said yesterday that the CBC crew no longer will be welcome inside his team’s locker room prior to games.

McPhee and Caps coach Bruce Boudreau were incensed that the Canadian broadcaster aired footage of the coaching staff’s six keys to victory for Wednesday’s Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal against the Pens.

The Caps brass was almost as steamed at CBC as it was with what it felt was one-sided officiating in the 3-2 overtime loss that allowed the Penguins to cut Washington’s series lead to 2-1.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Some People Watched, Some Did Not

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Versus promised people in the Detroit and Anaheim markets that they would be switching to the Wings/Ducks game as soon as the puck dropped since their early game, Chicago/Vancouver was going into OT.

I guess they did switch, but only on their SD channel.  People who were watching the HD channel on Versus, in this case, channel 603 via Directv, did not get the switch.

Versus needs to let people know exactly what they are doing, spell it out beforehand instead of forcing people to start searching for the game they promised to show.

added 10:37am, from Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy,

Watching the Stanley Cup playoffs on Versus is like watching a community theater production of “Les Miserables.” The source material’s emotional potency and the magnetic qualities of its aesthetics make it, at a minimum, eminently enjoyable.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Kopecky Will Have Tests After Taking Fist To The Head

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Kopecky will undergo tests today to determine if he sustained any more damage Thursday during a third-period fight with Anaheim’s Francois Beauchemin.

Kopecky, his right cheek swollen, said he felt OK and his vision was good after Beauchemin battered him with a flurry of punches. Kopecky will have X-rays and a CT scan….

“When you take a punch to the head it’s always scary, so we’ll see,’’ Kopecky said. “Right now I don’t know (the damage). I feel all right.’‘

read on with video of the fight…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: francois+beauchemin, tomas+kopecky

Canucks Play Anti-Hockey Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,

Here’s the thing about trying to win a Stanley Cup playoff game 1-0.

You can string four men across the blueline and choke the life out of the other team’s attack.

You can make high-percentage plays and manage the puck until you’re blue in the face.

If you follow your game plan, you can even succeed in anesthetizing 22,682 frenzied Chicagoans in the city’s most important game in a decade.

But there’s also a flip side to playing anti-hockey.

If you’re playing the game in your end, if you’re constantly surrendering possession of the puck without attempting to mount an attack, you’re playing with fire and, against a team like the Chicago Blackhawks, you will be burned.


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

Hiller Lost His ‘A’ Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Stephens at NHL.com,

...on Thursday night, Hiller’s “A” game was nowhere to be found. Johan Franzen and Marian Hossa each scored twice—once each on stoppable shots—to punch a hole in Hiller’s mystique and Mikael Samuelsson’s early third-period goal ended his night. Jean-Sebastien Giguere, a former Conn Smythe Trophy winner, who lost the No. 1 job late in the regular season, saw his first postseason action after Hiller had his worst night of the playoffs.

“We just weren’t good enough as a team, and the goalie is part of that,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said….

“It was sure not my best game,” Hiller said. “The pucks just went through me, which shouldn’t happen. You can’t have your ‘A’ game every day.”...

“He was playing really well for them,” Hossa said. “Tonight, we finally got him going and we found a way to score on him. After that, they made a change on the goalies. You keep putting pucks at his feet and good things will happen.”


added 8:29am, At AnaheimDucks.com, you can read some post-game quotes from both sides, stuff like this…

Francois Beauchemin:  We kind of beat ourselves tonight. They played well, but at the same time we didn’t do the things we wanted to do.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonas+hiller

Ducks Just Weren’t Good Enough

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

The Red Wings’ offense was too deep to be stifled by the Ducks forever.

The question for the Ducks now is whether they can silence it again after it awoke with a roar on Thursday.

Stirred by Coach Mike Babcock’s astute line juggling—and benefiting from sloppy defensive play by a Ducks team that missed rugged defenseman James Wisniewski—the Red Wings scored twice in the second period and twice in the third to roll to a 6-3 victory that tied the teams’ second-round playoff series at two games each.

“We had a pretty decent start, but we kind of lost our game after that,” said goaltender Jonas Hiller, less than invincible in yielding five goals on 33 shots before he was replaced by Jean-Sebastien Giguere.


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

Just Like That, Wings Take Back Home Ice Advantage

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Wings beat the Duck 6-3 and the game changed when Mike Babcock put together the line of Hossa, Franzen and Filppula.

That line combined for 7 points, including 2 goals from Hossa and Franzen.

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

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