Kukla's Korner

Hey It’s The Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

The Stars (cover your ears, kids) had clearly instigated facial contact with Anaheim’s best player and captain, and a Stars player, Antoine Roussel, was witnessed actually swinging back when Getzlaf snapped and started punching him in the face. Imagine — in a hockey game, no less. Egads.

“Our team wouldn’t do that” was the thrust of Ducks coach Boudreau’s message when asked if he thought it right that Dallas had the temerity not to let Getzlaf’s injury heal.

Yeah, sure, Bruce. And Anaheim would’ve shown up with a jar of aloe vera and hot tea had, say, Jamie Benn brought a visible injury into a crucial playoff game.

We like Boudreau a lot. He’s honest, loves to talk, and he’s lived the game. This guy is as legit a hockey man as you’ll find — which is why he should know that sanctimony and the Stanley Cup Playoffs should never mix. The “we’re above those tactics” stance has come back to haunt every organization that ever spouted it, particularly one in Anaheim that won its only Cup on the back of perhaps the dirtiest defenceman of his generation, Chris Pronger. (And we loved his game.)

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Bylsma Wants The Penguins To Play Playoff Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Coach Dan Bylsma on Thursday had no injury updates or lineup changes following the Penguins' 4-3 overtime loss to Columbus the previous night.

He offered plenty of other material, however.

Bylsma said goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury “should have stayed in the net” on Brandon Dubinsky's tying goal late in regulation.

Most revealing, though, was that Bylsma questioned his team's effort after it blew a three-goal lead to the Blue Jackets, tying the series at two games apiece.

“The work and compete and the battle level has probably been the most troubling thing,” Bylsma said. “In Game 3, after getting down two goals for 50 or 55 minutes of that game, it wasn't perfect, but we were the desperate team. We took the game to them.”

Of his team's compete level, Bylsma said, “It has to be raised. It has to be back up to a level that is necessary this time of year and (with) this type of hockey — playoff hockey.”

continued

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

Last Night’s Columbus Win May Have Put Them On The NHL Map

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers,

Nationwide Arena is mostly empty this morning, save for a few workers milling about. Blue Jackets coaches arrived early to do what they do -- review film, get updates on injured players, strategize for Saturday's Game 5 -- but players were given a day off to rest weary legs and bruised bones.

Still, there was an afterglow in Nationwide, a lingering electricity from the Blue Jackets' rousing 4-3 overtime win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday.

"I slept very well last night," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. He may have gone to bed late, though, like many others in Columbus.

One got the sense last night that our city was transformed in some way. Yes, it's had major league sports here for more than a decade, but the Blue Jackets -- to many -- joined the big leagues last night, and they dragged central Ohio along with them.

Last night's game had all the elements in place to be a lifelong memory. You could say it had Babe Ruth calling his shot and Bill Buckner flubbing an easy grounder, all rolled up into one hockey game.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Two Bruins witnessed Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg’s darkest injury hours

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The game-day post is packed to the gills with news regarding Red Wings captain's Henrik Zetterberg's highly likely return to the Wings' lineup in Game 4 against the Boston Bruins this evening (again, 8 PM start, not 7:30, on FSD/NESN/NBCSN/TSN and 97.1 FM), and the post contains oodles of video and other place-setting storylines as well...

But you may recall hearing that Henrik Zetterberg returned to North America from the 2014 Olympics on the same NHL-chartered plane as the Slovak Olympic team, and that Zdeno Chara ended up carrying Zetterberg's suitcase.

The Canadian Press's Stephen Whyno spoke with Chara and Bruins forward/Team Sweden Loui Eriksson about Zetterberg's fateful exit and then departure from Sochi due to a back injury which required a "discectomy," 2 months' worth of recovery, and is now hopefully ending with something of a classic, "Sports team captain returns from major injury during playoffs, rallies team from deficit" storyline:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Matt Cooke On His Suspension

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,

Matt Cooke, suspended seven games for injuring Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie with a knee-on-knee hit Monday night, addressed the media this afternoon.

Cooke didn’t field questions but made an unwritten statement.

“First and foremost, I want to say that I’m disappointed and sorry that Tyson Barrie can’t play for the Colorado Avalanche tonight. I wish that he could. Unfortunately, it was not my intent to collide with him knee-on-knee. It was my intent to finish my check. Playoffs are a hard and physical time and it’s my job to be physical. I’ve led my team in hits in all three games and it’s an intense time. I’ve led my team this year in hits and in this series.

“Since March 20, 2011 (the elbow to Ryan McDonagh that resulted in a 17-game suspension), I’ve been a changed player. I’ve approached the game differently, I think differently about the game. That stats that I’ve collected over those three seasons prove that I’m a changed player and the plays that I make and the plays that I don’t make prove to that point as well. At the end of the day, this situation was not my intent.”

Cooke has until tomorrow night to decide if he will appeal his suspension to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. Cooke didn’t respond when I asked if he would.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: matt+cooke

Wallner: New and old faces will help the Grand Rapids Griffins defend their Calder Cup championship

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Grand Rapids Griffins spent yesterday traveling from GR to Abbotsford, BC as they'll begin their 5-game first-round playoff series against the Abbotsford Heat on Friday and Saturday. The Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner wrote a fantastic, comprehensive article (and this excerpt is just part of it) which sets up the series by asking both last year's Calder Cup Champs and this year's new faces how they plan on defending their title.

Wallner duly pointed out that several of the Griffins' biggest early-season contributors are in Detroit now, and he did note that Anthony Mantha may eventually join the cause if Mantha's Val-d'Or Foreurs continue to get ran over by the QMJHL's defending champion Halifax Mooseheads:

“I think you draw upon all of your experiences,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “One of those is the emotional roller coaster than we went through a year ago. I don’t know if that’s an advantage, because, no matter the experience or how you’ve been playing, it’s how you execute on Friday that matters the most.”

The most consistent – and regularly available – player has been Teemu Pulkkinen, who led the Griffins with 31 goals and 59 points during the regular season. A year ago, the right winger from Finland got into 14 playoff games before the arrival of the Detroit players put him on the bench.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Wrist Surgery Up Next For Ben Bishop

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,

Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop will have surgery on his injured right wrist next week to repair ligament damage that has bothered him since January. Bishop will have the surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. He said he will be in a cast for six weeks.

Total rehab time is three to four months, though he said he is confident he will be ready for the start of training camp.

Additionally, Bishop finally confirmed he had a left elbow injury that kept him out of the playoffs, saying the joint was dislocated when he extended and fell catching a floating puck April 8 against the Maple Leafs.

He said had the Eastern Conference quarterfinal against the Canadiens been extended, he likely would have played Game 6.

"We were laughing about it because as a goalie how do you hurt your wrist or your elbow?" Bishop said. "Usually it's the groin or something in the lower body."

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ben+bishop

Penguins Should Play To Their Strength

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ryan Dixon of Sportsnet,

Crosby can’t be held without a goal much longer; Evgeni Malkin is probably on the verge of a four-point game; Fleury is going to make some more jaw-dropping saves. And when it happens, we’ll all be tempted to once again believe in this giant Cup tease.

But that faith is misplaced. As Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review pointed out, of the Pens’ past 20 playoff losses dating back to 2010, nine have occurred after the team blew a third-period lead. Fleury? Sure. But that’s about more than goaltending; that’s about a team with systemic issues that won’t be worked out this spring.

The best approach for Penguins fans right now, difficult as it may be, is to embrace the ride. And from a tactical standpoint, you wonder if Pittsburgh shouldn’t actually try to blow teams out of the water. It sounds crazy, but protecting leads clearly isn’t working. Maybe they need to further exploit Sergei Bobrovsky’s .900 save percentage and stretch those goal gaps out as much as possible.

That may run counter to conventional playoff thinking, but at least Pittsburgh would be playing to its strength instead of trying to be something it’s not.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

[04/24/2014] GDT: Red Wings vs Bruins

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By RedMenace

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

KK- The KK Donation Drive Is Now On

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

note- moved to the top of page, original post was 4/23/14 at 9:32am


It is once again the time for the semi-annual KK Donation Drive.

Any donation is appreciated plus anything above a $25 donation, you as a KK member will have the vast majority of ads removed for you browsing pleasure for one year. If you have donated in the past and have no-ads status and wish to donate again, a $20 donation will add another year to that status when your first donation reaches its original expiration date.

In order to participate in the no ads donation, you must be a KK member (register here).

Then, just click on the PayPal button below (Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover accepted) and any donation over $25 will enroll you in the mostly ad-free version of KK.

Also, thanks to all of you who use the KK Amazon link to purchase items through Amazon.  It is much appreciated and I encourage you to bookmark this Amazon link and use it when making purchases.

Thanks,

Paul

Filed in: KK Website Business, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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