Kukla's Korner

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

PAQUETTE POWERS LIGHTNING BACK INTO FIRST PLACE . . .
Rookie Cedric Paquette recorded his first career hat trick to lead the Lightning to their franchise-record ninth consecutive victory at Amalie Arena dating to Dec. 11.
 
* At 31-15-4 (66 points), the Lightning leapfrogged the Red Wings (28-12-9, 65 points) to move back into first place in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference.
 
* The Lightning improved to 20-4-1 this season at Amalie Arena. Their 20 home wins and 41 home points pace the NHL.
 
* At 21 years old, Elias says Paquette became the fifth player in Lightning history – and second this season (also Nikita Kucherov on Oct. 28 vs. ARI) – to register a hat trick before his 22nd birthday. The others: Steven Stamkos (5x), Chris Gratton and Jason Wiemer.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Playoff Feel In Two Games Last Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Custance of ESPN,

There were two games on the schedule last night that definitely felt more like games in April than late January.

The first was in the East, where the Montreal Canadiens and the New York Rangers played to a scoreless tie until a late Max Pacioretty shot finally beat Henrik Lundqvist in the third period. It wasn't a great goal for Lundqvist to allow, but until that moment the goalies were perfect and the tightness of the game was a reminder of just how entertaining another playoff series between these two teams would be.

In the West, watching the St. Louis Blues battle back against the Nashville Predators definitely looked like another matchup we might see in the spring. The Blues won in a shootout, and there was nothing cooler than seeing the dads celebrate their sons in the stands when Brian Elliott pushed aside a James Neal shootout attempt to seal the win. After the All-Star break, the games definitely take on a different flavor. You can tell the playoffs are starting to creep into the minds of these players.

read on for reports on the Ducks, Bruins and Lightning...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Buffalo Sabres Scouting Grand Rapids Griffins

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

via Nichols On Hockey,

Elliotte Friedman was on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 on Friday morning.

On what he’s working on for Saturday:

“A lot of the teams are finishing up their scouting meetings. I understand that Buffalo has been scouting Grand Rapids, which is Detroit’s American Hockey League team, quite a bit. So who knows what’s going on there. But a few people who have been through and around Grand Rapids have been saying they’ve seen a lot of Buffalo guys there. In the past, the Sabres and Red Wings have kind of been linked on talks, so you never know what that’s about.”

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

A Lot Of Red In Tampa

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times,

With 8:01 left in the first period of Thursday night's Lightning-Red Wings showdown, a puck with eyes found its way into the net to tie the score, and a loud roar vibrated through the building.

But here's the strange thing: The goal wasn't scored by the Lightning, and this wasn't Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. This was Amalie Arena, home of the Lightning. On Thursday night, the Lightning had a time-share with the Red Wings.

As has become something of a tradition, Red Wing fans invaded Tampa Bay, turning Hockey Bay into a suburb of Hockeytown. A normal sea of blue had become flooded with red.

"It (ticks) me off," said Brad Fountain, a 47-year-old Lightning partial season-ticket holder from Palm Harbor. "This is our home. This is our building. I hate those fans who come here from other teams."

continued

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Time For The “Shana-Plan” In Toronto

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,

Ten games into the Peter Horachek era, the Maple Leafs have one win. They’re averaging a meagre 1.4 goals a game.

And after Thursday night’s 3-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes, they should have zero delusions about the reality of another squandered season. Fifty games into the campaign, Toronto’s NHLers find themselves 10 points removed from the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot. Going back to 1993-94, when the NHL moved to a conference-based playoff format, no team has overcome a double-digit deficit this late in an 82-game season to earn a berth in the Stanley Cup tournament.

Given the Leafs’ current list of problems — they only can’t score a goal and also can’t stop enough — it’s difficult to imagine them becoming the first.

Brendan Shanahan, in other words, can feel free to unveil the Shana-plan. Everything that’s done from this day forward should be about building for the seasons ahead, not the season at hand, even if more than three agonizing months lie ahead before the local heroes can count themselves free to take the ceremonial playoff-time fishing trip.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Mike Babcock After The Wings 5-1 Loss To The Lightning

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

"I thought we had good attention to detail. I thought we played good," Babcock said. "I thought that might have been our best first period in a while. The puck just went in the net tonight.

"Let's be honest. It was in the net every time they shot it and so you're down by, not quite a touchdown, but a chunk right off the get-go."

Petr Mrazek experienced his worst NHL game, surrendering three goals on 15 shots and getting pulled after two periods.

He had played extremely well in spot starts this season and in the first three games after Jimmy Howard injured his groin on Jan. 10. But the 22-year-old has faltered of late, allowing 16 goals in his past four starts, getting pulled twice.

"You got to give him credit. He's a kid who's 10-4-1," Babcock said. "He's our third goalie. When they (Howard, Jonas Gustavsson) got hurt he still had great moxie. He's got NHL moxie. He's still got to work at his skill level."

more

Below, watch Babcock post-game...

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A Bad Night For Ilya Bryzgalov

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,

The Ducks (32-11-6) concluded their season series with the Sharks by never finding an answer against them, losing four of the five meetings. There may now be a need for a better answer in addition to Andersen in their goal crease.

Bryzgalov stopped 19 of 25 shots, with just 11 coming in the 16-shot avalanche against him. Boudreau said he opted to go with him after deliberating over two days, choosing someone who had a career 2.35 goals-against average in 28 prior games against the Sharks.

“We looked at the records of the goalies against San Jose,” Boudreau said. “We’ve got a lot of games (upcoming). We played Bryz against a tough team instead of just sort of guiding him through. So that’s what we thought. Obviously it didn’t work.”

The numbers are grisly. Bryzgalov’s five appearances and four starts have resulted in a 1-3-0 record, with a 4.68 goals-against and .832 save percentage. Those don’t often keep a goaltender employed, but the Ducks have about $1.9 million of real money invested in him as well as a $2.88-million salary cap hit.

more on the game, a San Jose 6-3 win over Anaheim...

Watch the highlights below...

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Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+bryzgalov

Video- Jonathan Bernier With The Bad Goal Of The Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Oliver Ekman-Larson with a 'blooper' of a goal...

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+bernier, oliver+ekman-larsson

Video- Jakub Voracek Hit On Mathieu Perreault

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Voracek received two minutes for an illegal check to the head.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jakub+voracek, mathieu+perreault

Quick take, Red Wings vs. Lightning: Wings get their asses handed to ‘em by Bolts

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Detroit Red Wings had won 6 straight games going into Thursday's tilt against a Tampa Bay Lightning team that had won 8 straight games at home, and Detroit came right out and got scored on, tied the game, and got scored on again, again and again, all en route to a hideous, 5-1 loss that may have been the Wings' most embarrassing loss of the season.

Detroit still has a game in hand on Tampa Bay, which leapfrogged Detroit by 1 point to take 1st in the Atlantic and LITERALLY leapfrogged, grabbed, groped, leg-humped, ran-from-the-blindside, hooked, held, tackled, mashed, wrestled and otherwise played rugby against Detroit, with no call from a set of referees who embodied the, "Everything is legal but embellishment" trend in 2015...

But the Wings didn't just get out-groped, including a bullshit hook on the 1st goal against. Detroit got out-played in every aspect of the game, from skating, passing, shooting, execution, poise, finish, urgency, goaltending, physicality, the Bolts schooled the Wings in every aspect but perhaps ice-making, and as such, Detroit limped home with an absolutely disastrous effort against a rival-in-the-making stinging 'em.

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

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