Kukla's Korner

Yep. I’ll Say It:  Sweep ‘em

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Screw it. I’ll be your huckleberry.

Finish this tonite.  Press down.  Sweep this mediocre team off the ice.  End this farce and send Shane Doan on his way to another offseason of pouting and pondering just who really was the “best player in the series.”

Sweep this fraud and then rest up and wait.

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Red Wings-Coyotes Game 4 set-up: Red Wings will try to avoid a lengthy series

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Detroit Red Wings and Phoenix Coyotes face off tonight (10:30 PM EDT, FSD/FS Arizona/Versus/CBC/WXYT) in a game which, depending on your point of view, may determine the future of the Coyotes’ franchise or simply lengthen a playoff series that is both an on-ice and off-ice grind due to its physical nature and extended travel between far-flung cities.

The Detroit Red Wings very simply stated on Tuesday that they’re hoping to finish off the tenacious, gritty Coyotes as soon as humanly possible for the sake of reducing the miles on their bodies that helped aid an early ouster in the second round against San Jose last spring.

The Coyotes, who remain masters of the art of self-belief, insist that they will do nothing less than head to Detroit after Wednesday night’s game as they build the foundation for a near-miraculous comeback-in-the-making, cuing up the classic “nobody believes in us but us” cliches while speaking to PhoenixCoyotes.com’s Dave Vest:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Another Bad Start For The Canucks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,

On the all-time list of most disappointing performances from the Vancouver Canucks, this doesn’t quite make the top 10 but it would certainly be up there.

In a season of great anticipation and facing a tired team missing it’s second best defenceman in Brent Seabrook and playing with a host of players in questionable health, the Canucks decided to take the night off, their motivation to finish this series nowhere near the level of the Blackhawks’ will to survive.

All the professionalism this team has shown over the regular season went out the window with a second consecutive slovenly start, Vancouver coming out like they were owed the victory somehow based on the previous three games.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Rangers Won’t Change Their Style Of Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

John Tortorella expressed confidence yesterday that Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau’s accusations of the Rangers targeting Mike Green’s head would not have an impact on how tonight’s Game 4 at the Garden will be officiated.

The Blueshirts’ coach, who said Boudreau was “whining,” would be pleased to learn NHL VP Colin Campbell has his back on this one.

“All I can say is we watch all plays and hits to determine what is acceptable and what crosses the line,” Campbell wrote in an e-mail to the Post’s Mark Everson. “We don’t need Mr. Boudreau’s help.”

continued

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

A Lot Can Happen In Four Hours

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Guestimated timeline…

11:45pm, Tuesday, April 19th, Thought about going to bed after LA Kings take a 4-0 lead over the San Jose Sharks.

12:00am, Wednesday, April 20th, Tweet those that went to bed better get up, Kings 4, Sharks 3.

12:315am, Directv picture freezes, major thunderstorm in area.  Shut down computer.

Hit the couch, next thing I remember is hearing Randy Hahn say “and this game is going to overtime.”

Pop-up from the couch at 4:02am, turn computer back on, find out Sharks win.

Below is the video recap of the game, just in case you went to bed early, dozed off or insert any other excuse here…

added 4:54am, Terry Murray video, post-game below…

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Oh Jenny…You Picked The Wrong Crowd To Ask This Question To

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Jennifer O’Connor works for PETA and, I’m sorry to have to break this to you, she is no fan of yours.

Freep Letters to the Editor

If hockey fans “celebrated” a goal by throwing dead kittens or puppies on the ice, would team and league officials still be so complacent?

Well Jen, I’m pretty sure the league doesn’t want me speaking for them.  But I can tell you this: if a puppy or kitten sacrifice was required to guarantee a Wing playoff victory, or even a win against Carolina in November, we’re probably down with that.

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Injuries don’t impede the NHL’s playoff warriors

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

USA Today’s Kevin Allen talked to a host of, shall we say, advocates of the playoff warrior’s way in an article discussing the fact that, in the NHL, one is simply expected to play through the kinds of injuries that quite literally make grown men cry. Torn ligaments, broken teeth, noses, jaws, messed-up knees, elbows, shoulders, wrists, groins, backs, you name the sports-related injury, and a hockey player’s probably played through it. Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke, former Chicago Blackhawks forward Jeremy Roenick, Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan and two members of the Red Wings’ organization about the fact that even Steve Yzerman’s willingness to skate on a right knee whose ligaments had essentially disintegrated during the Wings’ 2002 Cup run might be the stuff that legends are made of, but for players like Yzerman, sacrificing one’s future able-bodied status (Yzerman’s osteotomy has quite literally left him unable to run) was just “what you do” when a possible Stanley Cup championship can be earned:

Detroit general manager Ken Holland said he never saw anyone play in more pain than Steve Yzerman when he led the Red Wings to the 2002 Stanley Cup championship.

“He got shot up before every game,” Holland said. “He could hardly walk. He had a knee that was bone on bone. He was in such incredible pain.”

After the season, Yzerman had a knee osteotomy, in which the surgeon adds a wedge of bone to the shinbone to take the weight off the damaged area of the knee.

“If you watch clips of the 2002 playoffs, Steve would fall down and he would have to use one knee and his stick to pop himself back up,” Draper said.

Continued with the story of Brent Gilchrist playing through a groin tear that involved his muscles shearing off the bone in 1998, and Kris Draper knows all about sacrifice given that he scored a goal with his teeth during the 2008 Conference Finals…

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Hawks played with urgency from the start. So did the Canucks. But eventually, the Canucks decided they didn’t want to pay the price to make a play, or even be the aggressors the way they had in winning the first three games. It’s that mentality that makes people question Vancouver’s Stanley Cup credibility. Winners don’t turtle like that.

-Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune, writing about the Blackhawks 7-2 win over the Canucks tonight.  Read more from Rosenbloom and I think the words are a little harsh for a team up 3-1 and heading back home.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Grabner’s Path To A Calder Nomination

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

I will write a comprehensive post when all the award nominees have been announced discussing what I think the nominations mean to who will actually win them.  In the meantime, I want to comment on Michael Grabner’s path to his Calder trophy nomination.  Though I am not surprised by his nomination, I think it is a bit of a mistake.  I argue John Carlson should win this award, with Jeff Skinner and Logan Couture as the other nominees.  I fully expected Grabner to be the third nominee, but it is really shameful the way Carlson’s defence has been ignored by the voters.  John Carlson was the top shutdown defenceman on the best team in the East Conference and also scored 37 points from defence.  His defensive value is significant and overlooked because he was not a player in the rookie scoring race.

With that preliminary out of the way, Grabner’s trip to a Calder nomination is an interesting story.

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Three’s trouble

Blog: The Upper Canadien By The Upper Canadien

It was. More trouble that anyone expected, especially given the energy of the Bell Centre crowd. But, the Bruins had over 100 points, and we all knew they weren’t going to lie down and call it a day. They’re rough, they’re mean, and we’ve got a series.

So what next? I’ll venture a guess that what we saw from Montreal in the second and third on Monday is exactly what we’ll see come Thursday.But, and here’s a recurring theme: it all comes down to Carey Price.

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Filed in: | The Upper Canadien | Permalink
 

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