Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

The Old Barns

from the AP via the Globe and Mail,

The NHL is awash in sparkling new revenue-generating arenas with cozy locker rooms, plush luxury boxes and dazzling video scoreboards.

Visitors to Detroit’s 29-year-old building get very little of that kind of modernity. What they do find, however, is a loyal, energetic fan base with a high hockey IQ and a wealth of popular — if unusual — traditions.

Every fans who has caught a playoff game along the Detroit River knows about octopi flying toward the ice, rousing national anthem renditions by local songstress Karen Newman and goofy aisle dances by superfan “Mo Cheese” and his Stanley Cup hat.

more and Mellon Arena talk too…

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

No Fuss

from John Glennon of Chilling Out at the Tennessean,

Casual hockey fans tuning in to see the magic of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin must be wondering just what the fuss is all about. Crosby at least managed six shots on goal on Monday, while Malkin (zero shots on goal, minus-two rating) continued to perform as if he’s in some type of witness protection plan.

  Hockey fans who’ve watched the Wings play all season have become somewhat accustomed to Detroit’s suffocating, puck-possession style. But still, is the Penguins’ effort thus far really the best the Eastern Conference can offer?

more

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

Penguins Need New Approach

From Paul Kukla at Hockey.com,

The mood after the Red Wings’ 3-0 victory in Game 2 was one of domination.  Except for the first seven minutes of the first game, the Wings have been able to play their game and the Pittsburgh Penguins have not been able to get anything going.  My description of the Wings when they are on their game is they skate their opponents into mistakes and frustration.  The Wings are always moving their legs, forcing the play and have all the momentum going into Game 3.

The Penguins must win Game 3 to have any shot at extending this series past five games.  First thing they must do is figure out how to score a goal, any kind of goal.

more…

Update 2:45pm ET: Mike Brophy at The Hockey News also writes on this theme today.

The question now is not can Pittsburgh win a game, but rather will they ever score a goal?

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Capitals Re-Sign Bradley to 3-Year Deal

From the Washington Capitals:

The Washington Capitals have re-signed right wing Matt Bradley to a three-year contract, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. In keeping with club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

More from Tarik El-Bashir, the Capitals Insider at the Washingon Post.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: matt+bradley

Betting on Burke

From Ken Campbell at The Hockey News,

Every executive I’ve spoken to over the past month says they’re convinced the Anaheim Ducks will at some point this summer free Burke from his obligations and allow him to join the Leafs.

“He’ll be there,” is a common refrain, “and he’ll be there this summer.”

Sometime around June 25, five days after the draft, is the over-under date for most executives.

Burke still hasn’t signed his contract extension and apparently has no intention of doing so. The thinking is that rather than having a lame-duck GM hanging around who clearly doesn’t want to be there, the Ducks will finally tell Burke if he wants to go to Toronto that badly, then he’d best be on his way.

more…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke

Wings Dominant So Far

from Spector at Fox Sports,

Domination is the only word required to describe the Detroit Red Wings performance over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first two games of the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals.

The Red Wings have owned the Penguins in almost every aspect of the game thanks to a strong team system based on puck possession, skill, speed, discipline, patience and physical hard work.

continued

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

The Hype Machine is Coming

From Michael Farber at SI.com’s Rinkside Blog,

The sound you heard after Detroit’s ditto 3-0 victory Monday was all the people clicking off their Versus telecast of the game, at least by folks who can find the NHL’s subterranean cable partner. NBC picks up the Stanley Cup final with Game 3, which looks like the network is getting the rights to air Titanic but only after the ship is halfway submerged. Still, The Peacock will be cranking up the hype machine at any moment:

“See Sidney Crosby, the future of the NHL, as he tries to escape the straitjacket of the Detroit Red Wings! Harry Houdini did it. Why not Sid? Can the Penguins win a game? Can the Penguins score a goal? See it live on NBC, Wednesday at 8 p.m.”

Of course, there have been soporific starts to recent Stanley Cup finals, including a pair of 3-0 shutouts in the opening two games of the 2003 match between Anaheim and New Jersey when apparently the Mighty Ducks were not informed the final had actually begun. The Ducks rallied at home and indeed the series dragged on for seven games, but the difference was these were not terribly appealing teams that operated in smaller markets.

and more on the Pens/Wings series thus far

Update 1:30pm ET: Darren Eliot, also at SI’s Rinkside Blog, writes on what Pittsburgh must do now to turn the series around.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hockey+broadcasting, media, nbc, versus

Next Goal A Big One

from Scott Morrison of the CBC,

No goals, no chance.

But after 4-0 and 3-0 losses in Detroit, the Penguins can lament the chances they missed, the troubles they had generating scoring opportunities, the flopping of the goaltender, and the zeroes on the board - but their biggest concern should be the next goal to be scored in the series.

If it doesn’t belong to the Penguins, look out. If it does, then we might have a series yet.

read on

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

Western Power

from the NHL blog at the NY Post,

Maybe ... just maybe, the East isn’t nearly as good as the West. The best in the East has yet to mount a challenge against the Western Conference champion Red Wings. With the scene shifting to Pittsburgh, the Pens are likely hoping their 8-0 form at Mellon Arena in these playoffs is something they can parlay into a win. Else, if Detroit takes Game Three, Crosby and Co. could find themselves swept out of the playoffs by a juggernaut.

more

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

Returning the ‘Hawks to Their Heyday

From Ben Klayman at Reuters,

However, many thought Wirtz’s coup was the late November hiring of John McDonough, president of the Chicago Cubs baseball team, to the same position with the Blackhawks.

“We need to take that beautiful arena and we need to bring back the roar and fill that building every night,” McDonough, 54, said. “Expectations are sky high.”

He moved quickly to repair relations with alienated former Blackhawks stars still beloved by fans, hiring Hall-of-Famers Hull, Mikita and Tony Esposito as ambassadors.

“It was embarrassing for a while there. Things were looking real dismal,” said former star goalie Esposito, 65, who was the face of the franchise in the 1970s. He said the club is now being run like it was in its heyday.

more… *a detailed look at the evolution of the Blackhawks franchise

As I’ve written in the past, the changes in Chicago represent one of my favorite NHL stories this season. A remarkable turnaround in effect there.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+mcdonough, rocky+wirtz

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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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