Kukla's Korner

First Round Playoff Predictions

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs is underway soon.  It is time to make predictions.  Last year I managed a respectable 10-5 record in the playoffs.  Let’s see how I can do this year. 

San Jose defeats Anaheim  This is the first time ever for this battle of California series.  Anaheim is much stronger than a typical eighth seed.  They are two years removed from a Stanley Cup victory and retain much of that talent.  They have further young scoring talent in Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan.  They can be a strong playoff team if Jean-Sebastien Giguere provides goaltending.  However, San Jose is the team to beat this year.  They are the most well rounded playoff team and coming off a first place finish in the regular season.  The Sharks will get pushed in the first round, but they should be too much for the Ducks.

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Stars Now Have Internal Cap

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

The Stars will have to plug holes next season on a budget, co-general manager Brett Hull said as the team held exit interviews and physicals with players Monday at the Dr Pepper StarsCenter.

When asked when the team might know its budget or whether it could spend to the expected $56 million salary cap, Hull replied: “I can guarantee you it isn’t going to be to the cap.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Canadiens Plan Is To Win Games One At A Time

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,

If the Montreal Canadiens are as ruthless maintaining their restraint and composure on the ice as they are at preserving their strict message discipline, the Boston Bruins are in for a stiff challenge.

Having already endured six months of crushing expectations in their centennial NHL season, the Habs are unmistakably lowering them for the postseason and focusing on more modest, incremental goals.

“We don’t have to beat [the Bruins], we need to win a game. We need to get into the series, and we need to get in with Game 1,” head coach Bob Gainey said in his customary measured tones. “I don’t have to think about how we beat them four times, how do we beat them once? We’re in eighth place, we may not like how our season unfolded. … We were in eighth place by the skin of our teeth, we’re going to have to play from that role, that’s what we are, that’s who we are.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Hockey Bloggers Join Hockey Night in Canada’s Ron MacLean For The Stanley Cup Countdown

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via CBC Sports,

Join Hockey Night in Canada’s Ron MacLean Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. local time for Stanley Cup Countdown (CBC, CBCSports.ca).

Hockey Night in Canada analysts Mike Milbury, Kelly Hrudey and P.J. Stock bring their expertise to every series, guiding you through all the great matchups.

Relive some of the great hits, goals and saves from Stanley Cups past.

Listen in as some of North America’s most-read bloggers talk to Ron about what to look for as hockey is set to begin its annual quest for sport’s greatest trophy, the Stanley Cup.

Oh those bloggers- How about Tom Benjamin, Greg Wyshynski and myself.  It should be a great time and I am looking forward to the discussion..

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Center Ice And The Playoffs

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Nasty rumor going around that Center Ice won’t be showing playoff games.  Let me be clear about this: I’ve seen nothing that indicates that as accurate.  I just got off the phone with NHL.com and they’re telling me all the games will be shown on Center Ice (the internet version), unless conflicting with Versus, NBC or your local affiliates…as usual.

Now, I haven’t heard specifically that the television package will be the same and the .com bubbas couldn’t speak for the tv side of the house.  But I’m ASSUMING it will be the same.  I’m assuming games will be on Center Ice tv as they have been the last several years.

And if they’re not?  If they’re not Gary?  Stand by.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

The Media Talks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via the Globe and Mail,

Cherry, Milbury and Olczyk are picking the Sharks — who host the Anaheim Ducks in Game 1 Thursday (CBC, 10:30 p.m. ET) — to emerge from the Western Conference. McGuire expects the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings — who start play at home versus the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday — to play for the title again.

All were confident in their choice, although the Canucks are a team that makes Cherry worry.

“Vancouver with (goalie Roberto) Luongo, I wouldn’t bet against them, either,” he said. “I just like that Luongo, I think he’s going to come on strong. But I’m going to go with San Jose. I think this year they have a good coach behind the bench.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Don’t Forget Waddell

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

As we hunt for every written word about the matchup that starts in Hockeytown Thursday night, keep the Windsor Star’s Dave Waddell on your radar…especially since hometown hero Bruce MacLeod appears to be MIA, or gone altogether (and yes I know about the money problems at the garbage paper he works for.  I also know he’s written some stories lately but seems to have forgotten about his blog).

Waddell?  He obviously knows us well.

There are few things more gut-wrenching for Detroit hockey fans than the days leading up to the opening round of the NHL playoffs.

More here.  Also, check out the starboard side. BJ links have been added for your reading pleasure.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Flames Trying To Bring Back Eriksson

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Vicki Hall of Flames Insider,

Not surprisingly, the Calgary Flames have placed Anders Eriksson on re-entry waivers in an attempt to bolster their injury-battered defence.

The question remains whether another team will put in a claim just to deny the Flames his services in the first round against Chicago.

Coach Mike Keenan said last week that such a move would violate the unwritten code among NHL executives, but anything is possible.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anders+eriksson

Ride The Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Dupont at NBC Sports,

What, change now? Surely you jest. Back at the end of September, I picked Detroit to repeat as this season’s Stanley Cup winner, and I’m not going to jump off the Winged Wheel now.

OK, the Wheel’s a little wobbly. I get that. Chris Osgood’s goaltending isn’t anything to be feared, unless you happen to be one of the 12 forwards and half-dozen defensemen who dress in red-and-white and play in front of him every night, or the goal judge who keeps watch on his net, frantically icing down his wrist in order not to develop carpal tunnel from constantly hitting the plunger to trigger the red light.

But so what? I’m on the Wheel of Fortune, and I’m not coming off. No, sirree. Hunh-uh. Detroit, all the way.


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

Blue Jackets Getting Healthy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Puck-rakers,

The Blue Jackets could have forward Fredrik Modin in the lineup as early as Game 1. Modin practiced yesterday and said his injured knee felt strong enough to play. Coach Ken Hitchcock was not divulging his lineup, but kept hinting the lineup the Red Wings see on Thursday night could be different than the one they are expecting.

Jackets forward Kristian Huselius also said he’s a go for the series opener.

The wild card is rookie center Derick Brassard. Brassard visits his Cleveland Clinic doctor on Wednesday hoping to receive medical clearance on his injured right shoulder. Assuming Brassard gets the green light—and there’s no guaranteed he does—don’t be surprised if he’s in the lineup for Game 3 in Columbus.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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