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Fleury At The Top Of His Game

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

This Penguins team has small galaxy of stars. There is Sidney Crosby, of course, Evgeni Malkin, who finished second in NHL scoring this season, Sergei Gonchar, who will get some consideration for the Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenseman, Marian Hossa and Gary Roberts, who had two goals, including the winner, in Game 1.

Although Fleury was the No. 1 pick in the 2003 draft, he has been almost cocooned as he has learned to be an elite player, putting behind him questions about his ability and durability.

“Now he sees the play, he’s more mature. He’s not surprised with plays or with shots,” Penguins coach Michele Therrien said. “There’s no doubt, this is the best I’ve seen from Marc-Andre Fleury the last month and a half.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marc-andre+fleury

Evening Line

Capitals GM George McPhee via Dan Rosen’s blog at NHL.com,

“Everybody tries to build their team the same way. You need scoring, good goaltending, defense, grit, physical play, speed, depth, leadership. The Flyers have done a good job of putting that together. We think we have to. It should make for a good series. I don’t think anybody has any idea who is going to win this series. You look at some of the other series and say if Team A plays its best and Team B plays its best, well Team A is going to win. I don’t think you can say that about this series. I don’t think anybody knows who is going to win this one.”

much more on McPhee and the Caps…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: george+mcphee

Following Ott’s Lead

from Jennifer Floyd Engel of the Star-Telegram,

A lot of the Stars are miffed because everybody seems down on them, based on their performance in March, failing to realize how ugly the view was for those watching.

Ott doesn’t do miffed. He does in your face.

This is how I spent almost 20 minutes in the Stars’ locker room after the finale, listening to Ott preaching why this year would be different. He went from locker to locker, talking about what each guy was going to bring.

“Warrior,” pointing to Matty Norstrom’s locker.

“Mike is going to be there,” pointing to Modano’s.

“He is one of the most determined guys in the league to get the first round off his back,” pointing to Marty Turco.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+ott

Nolan Expected Back As Islanders Coach

from Greg Logan of Newsday,

Neither Wang nor Snow was happy with Nolan when he expressed some concern near the end of the season about going into the final year of his three-year contract without an extension. But when Snow was asked if there’s any reason to believe Nolan won’t return, he said, “I don’t see any reason. He’s our coach.”

Snow said he expects to sit down with Nolan within the next week to discuss the past season and what lies ahead. Snow blamed the Islanders’ failure to make the playoffs on “a handful of players who didn’t play to their capabilities” and the fact they led the NHL in man-games lost to injuries.

much more on the Islanders and go even deeper at On the Islanders Beat...

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: charles+wang, coaching, garth+snow, ted+nolan

A Touch of Hypocrisy

From Barry Melrose Rocks,

But what really bugs me is hypocrisy.

When the MSM preaches about how they’ve gone to J-school and are so much more important because of it, that’s fine. When the MSM calls bloggers no talent hacks that reek of fan bias, that’s fine. There’s one problem with all that, though. You see, when you say those things, boy you had better back them up. Or maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this is just a case of someone in the minority not representing the upstanding majority. Tell me if I wrong because, unlike many newspapers, BMR has a comments section after every article. Oh, excuse me, post. But majority, minority, whatever. If the MSM’s rules are to single out one person and make them a poster child for the whole, then I think I should be allowed to play by those rules as well.

So today, we examine Mr. Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun. Why? Lately, with the hometown Sens facing the Pens in the playoffs, he has sounded more like a Senators fanboy or a crazed message boarder than an actual journalist.

more…

Also: links to the original Brennan story and its fallout can be found at James Mirtle’s blog.

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bloggers, journalism, media

No “Pity Party” for Kolzig

From the AP via Sports Illustrated,

“I’ve had a good run here,’’ Kolzig said Thursday. “And I hope it continues in the next two months.’‘

In other words, until the playoffs are over. After that, Kolzig will become a free agent, presenting an understandably murky future for a 38-year-old goalie who lost his starting job just as the Capitals were becoming good again.

“The worst thing I can do is have a pity party,’’ Kolzig said. “I’m not really going to talk about the situation until the end of the year, but it is what it is and I’ve come to grips with it.’‘

Kolzig has been supplanted by Cristobal Huet, acquired from Montreal at the trade deadline.

more…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cristobal+huet, goalies, olie+kolzig, playoffs

Volchenkov Expects to Play Game #2

From Ian Mendes at Sportsnet.ca,

Anton Volchenkov told reporters on Thursday that he expects to play in Game 2 on Friday night in Pittsburgh, after leaving Game 1 with a head injury.

The defenseman said he did not suffer a concussion when he blocked a Evgeni Malkin shot with his forehead in the second period Wednesday night. He required 15 stitches to close the gash and says that if he is able to put on a helmet, he will suit up for Game 2. He did not participate in a full team practice in Pittsburgh on Thursday.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anton+volchenkov, injuries, playoffs

Today in Playoffs History—April 10

imageApril 10, 1934 • The Chicago Black Hawks earned their first Stanley Cup title with a 1-0 overtime victory versus the Detroit Red Wings in Game 4 of the best-of-five championship. Harold “Mush” March potted the series-winner at 10:05 of the second overtime period. 

The joy of Chicago’s inaugural Stanley Cup win was overshadowed less than two months later by the death of their star goaltender Chuck Gardiner.  The 29-year old “Wee Scot” (Gardiner was a native of Edinburgh, Scotland) died from a brain hemorrhage on June 13, 1934.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl+history, playoffs

Will the Cup Go East or West?

Two articles at ESPN today. 

First, David Amber for the East:

The Stanley Cup resides in Southern California until June. After that, chances are it will head to the Eastern Conference. Yes, the West had the best team during the regular season in Detroit and it has a number of solid Stanley Cup contenders. But here are five good reasons to believe the Cup will runneth over to the East this spring.

continued…

Next up, E.J. Hradek for the West:

If you believe defense wins championships, then you have to figure the eventual Stanley Cup winner will come from the Western Conference.  After all, the league’s three best defensive teams all reside in the West, and that very stingy Western trio includes the defending Stanley Cup-champion Ducks.

continued…

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: playoffs, stanley+cup

Don’t Count Out Nashville

From the Forechecker,

As the Red Wings and Predators prepare to drop the puck for Game One in Detroit tonight, virtually every pundit throughout the hockey world has called for a Red Wings victory, while giving nominal credit to Nashville’s pluck and tenacity for simply making the playoffs.

Those platitudes are nice, but are there genuine reasons to believe that the Predators can pull off an upset over this year’s Presidents Trophy winner? There are indeed…

continued… *5 reasons that Predators fans should have hope

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

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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