Kukla's Korner

Have The Flames Run Out Of Gas?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

But the Flames have hit a lull at precisely the wrong time of the NHL season and last night’s 4-3 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes at the Scotiabank Saddledome makes it three defeats in a row, further imperiling their playoff hopes.

The only good news for Calgary: The team immediately ahead of them in the Western Conference standings, the Dallas Stars, and the team immediately behind them, the Nashville Predators, also lost in regulation, meaning the Flames will cling to the eighth and final playoff berth for at least another day.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Washington/Detroit Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Capitals are on a 9 game winning streak (6 on the road) while the Wings are trying to find their game again.

Puck drops at the Joe Louis Arena just after 7:30pm EDT and is on VERSUS.

added 1:03pm, I understand VERSUS will be picking up the Caps feeds of the game but the Detroit TV crew will be broadcasting on FSD for Detroit area viewers only.

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

GDT - Game #70: Red Wings host Capitals (7:30)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

After starting March 0-2-2, the Red Wings (41-20-8) have put together a modest two-game winning streak, beating the Oil 2-1 in OT, and posting a 5-3 win over STL. If DET are going to hold off the surging SJS for 2nd spot in the Conference (SJS trail DET by only 2 points), they are going to have to start beating quality opponents.  Tonight DET face a quality opponent in the high-flying Caps.

WSH (41-20-10) lead the Southeast, and are 2nd overall in the Eastern Conference, trailing PHI by just one point.  The Caps are riding a 9 game winning streak, including last nights 4-2 win at MTL. The Caps GA/G is 2.37, fourth in the league, and their 85.8% PK is third.  WSH play a high-tempo game, and their PK is very aggressive.  DET must get the puck deep tonight.  Any turnover is most likely a quality scoring chance the other way.  The DET PP, with their blueline passing, and tendency to point shots should be especially careful.

Game On Bitches(!)

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Canucks Cup Bound?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,

This is the 40th year of the franchise and perhaps the hockey gods have decreed that, after 40 years of wandering in the desert, this is enough suffering for one city and the promised land will finally be reached. Why not? And yet, outside of a few people who’ve had one or two too many beers on any given evening, this possibility hasn’t even really been seriously considered. Disaster is too ingrained in the psyche of people in Vancouver when it comes to hockey. They expect everything will turn to bleep and aren’t really happy until it does, and they can proclaim that they told everyone so. But really, when have they had a team this good?

This isn’t to say the Canucks are going to breeze to a Cup because it’s too hard a trophy to win for that to happen. But who is to say it has to end the way it always has? Because in all but three of those years, the Canucks really had no realistic business competing for a Cup. Where fans see a long history of disappointment, in reality, it’s only really been the last two seasons and 1994.

Seriously, in what other year did they have a team good enough to hope for the big prize?


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

Video- Head Shot Or Not- Douglas Murray On Loui Eriksson

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News

, “Colin Campbell has his hands full, that’s for sure,’’ Ott said in regards to the NHL’s chief disciplinarian, who will have to review the game. ``The Loui Eriksson hit, I think that is prototypical. He’s reaching for the hit. The big guy knows what he is doing….


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: douglas+murray, loui+eriksson

Boudreau Got It Right

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun,

I’m thinking that Bruce Boudreau is an extremely righteous dude right now, on top of the fact that he has one of those perfect, round, bald heads.

Yes, I salute the Washington Capitals head coach for the brief but very succinct message he sent to the group of “concerned fans” protesting on-ice violence outside the Bell Centre prior to the Montreal Canadiens-Capitals game on Tuesday night.

“You don’t like it, don’t come to the games,” he said.

“I think the players realize that they can get hurt. But unless you’ve played and see what goes on at the speed of the game, you’re not going to be able to argue with it.”

Amen to the Boudreau for putting these hypocritical “fans” in their place.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bruce+boudreau

Bettman Status Declining Among League Owners?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Suddenly, it seems Bettman’s grip over the league’s owners, a major reason why he has been able to stay in power for 18 years, doesn’t seem quite as tight. In the past decade, in particular, the hockey world has barely heard a dissenting voice from the league’s board of governors on any matter, let alone any pertaining specifically to the game.

But now Lemieux has twice independently commented about what he believes is the correct course the league needs to take on violence and concussions, the most recent contained in a letter leaked to ESPN.com on Monday calling for large fines for teams with repeat offenders.

Last week, Molson, the Canadiens part-owner, released a statement that said the league’s decision not to suspend Boston’s Zdeno Chara for a controversial hit on Max Pacioretty of the Canadiens “shook the faith” of Montreal hockey fans.

“Players’ safety in hockey must become the ultimate priority and the situation must be addressed immediately,” said Molson.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman

Red Wings-Capitals set-up: Winning within 65 minutes is imperative

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Detroit Red Wings are approaching fully healthy status (minus Patrick Eaves and Ruslan Salei) as they face off against the injury-depleted Washington Capitals tonight (7:30 PM, Versus/WXYT), but the Capitals possess both a nearly identical record to Detroit’s 40-20-and-8, with 41 total wins thanks to a 9-game winning streak punctuated by a 4-2 victory over Monteral on Tuesday, and the Capitals are actually a much better defensive team than the Wings, boasting a team-averaged 2.33 goals-against average to the Wings’ 2.79. It’s the Wings that are the better offensive team, however, boasting 3.19 goals scored per game compared to the Caps’ 2.63.

As far as the Wings are concerned, however, none of those statistics, streaks or any sort of intimidation factor the Caps might bring into Joe Louis Arena matter. The Wings are only concerned about the fact that they’ve got 3 games remaining (and four over the next six nights), and while they’re not going to catch the Vancouver Canucks for first overall in the West, the team’s 40 wins and 90 points are good for only a 2-point lead over the 3rd-place San Jose Sharks and a 5-point lead over the Los Angeles Kings and the Phoenix Coyotes, who represent the tip of the iceberg that’s constituted by the 9 teams separated by only 11 total points.

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Video- Avery Gets Two For Boarding

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Will the NHL take a look at this hit from Sean Avery on Michael Haley of the Islanders?

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: michael+haley, sean+avery

Most Improved Goalie This Season

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The big goaltending story this season has been Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins.  He is the runaway Vezina Trophy leader and could have the highest single season saves percentage since the NHL started officially keeping this stat.  Thomas has a .938 saves percentage right now.  The best recorded full season saves percentage was .937 which Dominik Hasek recorded in 1998/99.  Thomas will have to finish strong to maintain his small lead.  Lost in Thomas’s success is the success of Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators.

Rinne is having a season that could win a Vezina Trophy in a more normal season where there is no Tim Thomas having a historic season.  Rinne has a 2.07 goals against average and a .930 saves percentage this season.  His Nashville team has the best team goals against average so far this season and Rinne is a big reason for that success.  Rinne is the most improved goalie this season.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

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