Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

A Quick Drop

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

On the one hand, the Sabres collected 39 wins and 90 points – both franchise records for a non-playoff year. Given everything that happened last summer, maybe that’s not too bad on first glance.

But put that finish into the perspective of history and it becomes a fall that has been rarely seen in the NHL.

The Sabres became just the third defending points leader to fail to make the playoffs the next season in the expansion era (joining only the 1970 Montreal Canadiens and 1993 New York Rangers). Buffalo’s 23-point drop from last year’s 113- point finish is the third-highest among Presidents’ Trophy winners since the award was first handed out to the regular-season champion in 1985-86.

And by percentage of points earned, the Sabres’ drop is fourth-highest in the Presidents’ Trophy era.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Looking At The First Round Matchups

from the Hockey News,

With the National Hockey League’s playoff set to begin Wednesday, there’s no shortage of storylines on each side of the continent.

Can the Ducks repeat after only playing a select few games as a complete group this season?

Will the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Red Wings fizzle in the playoffs after another remarkable regular season?

Are the Senators ready to right the ship, or has their slide doomed them to an early playoff departure?

And what of the East-winning Canadiens? Is the NHL’s most successful franchise poised for a run at glory?

read on for a a breakdown of each series…


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Kovalchuk Looking For Wins

from Craig Custance of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Yes, Kovalchuk’s 52 goals this season tied his own franchise record, but that’s not the number that will put him in the stratosphere with the league’s all-time best.

Only playoff wins do that, and after six seasons, Kovalchuk is still sitting at zero.

“It doesn’t matter how many goals you score — 50-goal season, 30-goal season, two-goal season. When you’re a loser, it’s the worst,” Kovalchuk said.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuck

April Is Hockey Month

from Mark Spector of the National Post,

The tournament begins in quasi-hockey weather in 16 cities. But The Masters quickly passes, nature moves on to baseball, and summer arrives before the hockey playoffs are even half over. As fans’ home teams fall by the wayside, the very nature of spring turning to summer draws them away from the TV and out of doors.

It works in direct opposition to the onset of winter coinciding with the baseball playoffs - when a fire, a couch and a good ballgame marry up perfectly - and the television ratings reflect that. By the time they play the Stanley Cup final interest is regional, with most Canadians watching with one eye from the clubhouse or the cabin, or not at all.

The good news? Pay your cable bill, friend, because the best hockey month of the year is upon us.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

500 Goals For Tkachuk

via the AP,

Keith Tkachuk became the 41st player in NHL history to score 500 goals, and added an assist to help the St. Louis Blues beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1 on Sunday in the season finale for both teams.

Tkachuk, a 16-year veteran, scored his 27th of the season, a short-handed goal into an empty net, with 1:34 remaining. He scored three goals in the final two regular-season games - both wins against Columbus - to reach the milestone.

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: keith+tkachuk

Your First Round Matchups


San Jose/Calgary


New Jersey/New York Rangers

added 6:49pm, More on the first round games from the National Post…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Jennings Formula

from Ducks Blog at the OC Register,

Entering Sunday’s regular-season finale for each team, the Ducks have given up 182 goals, four more than the Detroit Red Wings and one fewer than the San Jose Sharks. The NHL, however, also charges teams with a goal against every time they come out on the losing end of a shootout. The Ducks have dropped seven shootouts, San Jose six and Detroit five. When that math is factored in, the “goals-against” numbers become 183 for Detroit, and 189 each for the Ducks and Sharks….

For all the hype the NHL gives shootouts, and for all the supposed excitement they create, the whole scenario has created nothing but a statistical conundrum that only begins with the difference between a regulation loss and a shootout loss. If nothing else, the NHL needs to rethink its Jennings formula.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Afternoon Line

from the Boston Globe,

Chiarelli on first-year netminder Carey Price: “We have to get him moving and get the puck high. He’s very big. He’s a pads-down, blocker-down goalie. We have to get pucks high, get him moving, and keep pucks away from him on dump-ins and hard-arounds. He’s going to have pressure. He’s young and it’s his first NHL playoff series. We have to get in his head in a variety of ways.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: peter+chiarelli

Crosby Sits Today

Emails start flowing in while I am trying to enjoy a nice little cook-out going on at the home-front.

Philly fans stating Crosby doesn’t want to playa against the big bad Flyers, blah, blah, blah!

Smart move in my opinion by the Pens.  Better to have Sid as close to 100% for the first game of the playoffs and he does need rest.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Savard Hopes To Be Ready For The Playoffs

from the Boston Herald,

Savard said he might have been willing to take pain-killing shots so he could play in last night’s regular-season finale against Buffalo if the B’s had needed a win to make the playoffs. It’s likely he’ll need an injection if he wants to play in Game 1 on Wednesday or Thursday, just 17 or 18 days after the injury.

“Well, it’s just a tough area where I have the injury, it’s kind of dangerous taking a shot,” he said. “But I’ll do whatever it takes to get in the lineup. There’s lungs around there and other things that come into play, but we’ve talked about it. I’m for it if it’s going to help me be better.”

If and when Savard plays in the postseason, it will be a first in his 10-year career. He has played 659 regular-season games but zero in the playoffs.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marc+savard

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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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