Kukla's Korner

Playoff Race Notes & Today’s Schedule

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Red Wings, Sharks Could Clinch Stanley Cup Playoff Berths Today

The Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks could become the first clubs to clinch a berth in the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs today. The Red Wings need to earn to at least one point at Columbus, while the Sharks need a victory at Anaheim. The Red Wings are on the verge of earning their 18th consecutive trip to the postseason—the longest active streak in pro sports—and setting an NHL record with their ninth consecutive 100-point season, passing the Montreal Canadiens’ eight-season run that began in 1974-75.

Playoff Race Notes

* 23 of the 30 clubs are within five points of a Stanley Cup Playoff berth.
* The six clubs ranked fifth through 10th in the Eastern Conference are separated by just four points.
* The six clubs ranked seventh through 12th in the Western Conference are separated by just four points.
* The three top clubs vying for first place in the NHL overall standings are separated by just one point.
* None of the 30 clubs has officially clinched a Stanley Cup Playoff berth.

We have hockey today starting at 12:30pm and ending around 12:30am,  Twelve hours of non-stop hockey, nothing better than that!

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Kennan Blames Himself For Starting The Wrong Goalie

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,

The Calgary Flames head coach pulled No.-1 netminder Miikka Kiprusoff early in the third period of last night’s 8-6 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, which should come as no surprise with the way the netminder was faring.

However, even though Kiprusoff allowed six goals on 22 shots, Keenan blamed himself for the goalie’s sub-par performance.

“He’d like to have a better game, I’m sure, but I think it was my fault for even playing him tonight because of what he had to go through and the work he had last game,” Keenan said.

“I take full credit for probably starting the wrong goaltender.”

read on

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

Players ‘Giving Back’

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

If all the suits on Pennsylvania Avenue have trouble forecasting where the economy will go, it’s a good bet that your faithful puck chronicler could be off a tad, pinch, or decimal point when trying to forecast how the NHL salary cap will shape up next season, or through the next 2-3 seasons of the CBA.

However, based on the numbers bandied about by NHL general managers last week in Naples, Fla., as well as calculations offered by the Players Association, the players must prepare to surrender 13-15 percent of their overall salaries. For a guy like Zdeno Chara, on the books for $7.5 million a year, that’s a haircut upward of $1.125 million. As trips to the barber shop go, that’s much pricier than a “boy’s regular.”

continued

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

Khabibulin Returns Just In Time

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,

In need of a boost to yank them out of their doldrums, the Blackhawks will turn to goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin.

The veteran is scheduled to return to action Sunday when the Hawks host the New York Islanders at the United Center. Khabibulin hasn’t played since suffering a lower-body injury Feb. 11 in Atlanta.

With six losses in their last nine games, including three of four, the Hawks are looking for any spark. But Khabibulin knows he alone can’t bring a turnaround.

“You can’t expect one guy to change something like that,” Khabibulin said after Saturday’s practice in Bensenville. “It’s still a team, and we still have to do our jobs. If we’re all going to do our jobs, we should be in good shape.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nikolai+khabibulin

Redden Hurting The Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jay Greenberg of the NY Post,

Wade Redden, who either needs to have his attention caught at the end of the bench or simply can’t play in the NHL anymore, probably would be helping the Rangers best from Hartford, but there is no alternative to him in the system and, with five years to go in a depressing, cap-killing, six-year, $39 million deal, surely no takers. So what is a new coach to do besides what the old coach did?...

On Arron Asham’s back-breaking first of two goals, Redden, a defenseman of 12 years NHL experience, mindlessly put his stick blade to the outside, allowing rookie Claude Giroux’s pass out to go inside for a slam dunk.

Redden didn’t lose this game by himself, but do you need a full hand to count one he has helped the Rangers win?

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wade+redden

A Look At Steve Mason

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Elliotte Friedman of HNIC did a great feature on Columbus goalie Steve Mason last night.

I can’t point directly (no youtube either) to the 5 minute video, but start here, then look to the right for Top Stories then scroll to the Inside Hockey: Steve Mason feature.

Note to Steve- time to update the bedroom!

image

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+mason

Capitals Win But…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Rucki of On Frozen Pond,

Last night’s win—while exciting, important, and offensively impressive—was an uneven and at times sloppy effort. The team played with heart, but were seemingly disorganized on defense and offensive back-checking. Theo yielded a few juicy rebounds, but also made some stellar saves. A balanced scoring effort managed to offset (barely) a weak defensive one.

Methinks Coach Boudreau will be putting the team through heavy defensive drills as they head back out on the road… because games like this one, while producing an important two points, won’t cut it in the playoffs.

more and perhaps an example of the Caps play is the following goal (thanks to Empty Netters) for the pointer.

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

“You Know Who’s Feeling It, Chris Osgood”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

So says Kelley Hrudey during the Coast to Coast segment on HNIC last night.  Osgood talks starts at the 4 minute mark.

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

Hottest Team In The League?  The Atlanta Thrashers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ben Wright at Blueland Blog,

Here’s the official game summary fro our PR department, but all you really need to know is that the Thrashers came back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Sabres 4-3 in a shootout, all without Ilya Kovalchuk. If you’re not having fun watching this hockey team right now you may as well give up on watching hockey, because this is flat out fun. And yes, the Thrashers still own the longest active win streak in the NHL.

* It took some last-second heroics, but the Thrashers continued their winning ways tonight in Buffalo by earning a 4-3 shootout victory against the Sabres … Despite trailing 3-1 in the third period, the Thrashers battled back and scored with 3.5 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime … The win marked a franchise-record tying fifth straight victory for the Thrashers and their sixth the last seven games.

* Atlanta is 10-4-1 in its last 15 contests, earning 21 of a possible 30 points … Atlanta wrapped up its current road trip with a perfect 3-0-0 record.

continued

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

A Look At Terry Sawchuk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

Martin Brodeur and Terry Sawchuk might be the Kings of the Shutout, but the NHL has rarely seen two more different personalities.

Fire and ice, as they say….

As a young kid, Sawchuk was forced to strap on the pads and go in net for a team in Winnipeg to replace their previous goalie, who had passed away. The boy who died just happened to be Sawchuk’s brother.

When he was 12, Sawchuk remained tight-lipped about hurting his right arm in a game of rugby. Two years later doctors found it had been broken and, subsequently, had healed poorly, leaving it two inches shorter than his left arm.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs, NHL Talk, Old School, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: terry+sawchuk

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