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Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The KK upgrade is running a bit behind schedule but should be ready to go within two weeks.

It has not been a very healthy summer for me but with a recent change of medication, I feel much better and have much more energy.

Many of you who have followed KK over the years know I have always concentrated on the game played on the ice and will continue to do so.

Many new KK members and followers on Twitter seem to appreciate the hockey talk and I have always assumed most people interested in KK are a little bit older, knowledgeable and don't want/care about some of the outlandish, off-ice stories which happen to appear every so often.

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

The overnight report: Red Wings-Bruins wrap-up—you can’t win what you won’t finish

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The currently wild-card-spot-occupying Wings find themselves in the Eastern Conference's playoff picture, if only barely, at American Thanksgiving, but the Red Wings backed into their spot via a 3-2 OT loss to the Boston Bruins that was staggeringly disappointing in its predictability.

The Red Wings have now lost 6 straight to Boston and 11 of their past 13 games to the Bruins--including 2 games this season--and you'd think that somewhere along the way, the Wings would focus a little extra time on breaking down Boston's systems or a little extra emphasis on sealing the deal.

Instead, Detroit surrendered a 1-goal lead with 1:44 remaining in regulation and dropped an OT decision to a Bruins team that Detroit thoroughly, thoroughly out-played for the vast, vast majority of Wednesday's game, mostly because Detroit's killer instinct remains--so far, anyway--absent in the post-Babcock era.

Had the Wings made the game 3-1 at any point during their 2nd or 3rd period dominance, they would have had the margin for error necessary to beat a Bruins team that seems to know how to hang around and hang around against them, surrendering a second goal against without fatal consequences.

But this team still believes that playing strong defense when up by all of a goal will carry the day, and as we've learned over Mike Babcock's final two or three years with the team, that's just not the case yet (and the fact that Jack Edwards had to change his pants after the win is just the icing on a shitty cake).

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Prospect news: Griffins win thanks to Jurco, Callahan; Turgeon impresses

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of prospect-related note:

In the AHL, both Tomas Jurco and Mitch Callahan registered 2-goal games, Andy Miele and Mark Zengerle had 3-assist games and Tom McCollum stopped 28 shots as the Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Iowa Wild 5-1. The Griffins' website posted a recap...

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Red Wings-Bruins quick take: Wings can’t or won’t put away the Bruins, and it bites ‘em in the ass

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings faced a team they hadn't defeated in 5 tries in the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, and the teams were fighting for an Altantic Division playoff spot on the American Thanksgiving playoff cut-off.

In theory, this was going to be a near-guaranteed win for a team that had taken 10 of 12 from the Wings based upon history and the plain old fact that the Wings don't line up very well against the heavy, acerbic Bruins.

In practice, the Red Wings tempted fate, and it bit them in the ass. Detroit had to rally from a 1-0 deficit to slowly and persistently generate a 2-1 lead over the Bruins, but despite out-shooting the Bruins by a massive margin and out-chancing Boston by far more than the 34-22 shot advantage or 53-33 attempt advantage, the Wings couldn't close the deal--not scoring on a late power play that could've salted the game away at 3-1--and instead, it was the Bruins who tied the game with under 2 minutes remaining, on a shot Petr Mrazek should have stopped, and scored in OT to take a 3-2 victory.

Detroit is tied with Boston in points at 25, but Boston's 12-8-and-1 record is better than Detroit's 11-8-and-3, so Detroit is in a playoff spot--a wild card spot--because they couldn't or wouldn't put the Bruins away.

If I may be frank, the Red Wings' finishing skills remain Babcockian--far too worried about playing decent defense to truly possess an offensive killer instinct--and this team has, has, has to rid itself of the, "Oh well, we'll play good defense and good things will happen" mentality in the 3rd period if it is to truly become a playoff team.

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Here’s Pavel Datsyuk’s 300th goal

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Pavel Datsyuk's 300th goal is perfectly Datsyukian:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Happy Thanksgiving

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit

Thank you, Paul Kukla, and Bill Houlihan, for letting us continue on.

Thank you, George Malik, for your most excellent coverage of our favorite Team. Thank you, to every blogger that contributes to Kukla's Korner.

Thank you, to Ken and Mickey, and, the entire FSD crew, for the absolute best broadcast on the air. And, extra thanks for Mickeyisms.

Thank you, to the entire Detroit Red Wings organization.

And, last but not least, thank you, to every single person that makes their way to A2Y for the LB's.

Always 19 of us.  No more, no less.

Now, let's get those two points.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Evening Line- Bob McKenzie On The Steven Stamkos Contract Talks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Since no one is commenting on any of this, we’re left to try to figure things out on our own, which is a dangerous endeavour. No hard information + much free time = imagination running wild.

With that disclaimer prominently stated, here’s just one man’s sense of it: In a perfect or theoretical world, I believe Tampa wants to sign Stamkos and Stamkos wants to stay with the Lightning.

But I can’t help but feel as though there are unspoken reservations from each side. I think the Lightning are still trying to get their head around how much to pay any one individual on a team, even if he’s a marquee talent such as Stamkos. I think Stamkos is waiting to see how the season plays out, both for him and the Lightning, before he makes any long-term commitment. It has got a weird “we do mostly, sort of, love each other but let’s be really careful about the public displays of affection” vibe to it. So much so that I don’t believe either side – Stamkos or the Bolts – have put any specific numbers on the table or there’s been any hard horse trading like there has been on Kopitar with the Kings.

I’ve come across all sorts of people in the game who are convinced Stamkos is as good as gone. I can find others who say we shouldn’t read too much into the seeming snail’s pace of negotiation and odds are in favour of Stamkos eventually re-upping in Tampa.

-Bob McKenzie of TSN where you can read much more on Stamkos (scroll thru the Kopitar talk)...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steven+stamkos

Evening news: Wings discuss Thanksgiving traditions; Boston’s ‘Goose’; game-day talk

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. The Free Press's Helene St. James asked the Red Wings' North American and non-North American players about their Thanksgiving traditions:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Mark and Marty Howe weigh in on today’s NHL

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Sports Illustrated's Sarah Barshop spoke with Mark and Marty Howe regarding their father's health, their memories of the holidays growing up and their takes on the modern game, and it's the latter part of the interview that I found most interesting:

SB: As former players, what do you think of the changes in the NHL today?

Marty: I used to be upset about all the changes in the rules and everything. I was one of the ones who, you used to control the game as players. The referees were there when things get totally out of hand, and they would call penalties. [The league tried] to go to a more finesse game and to me, it’s coming around now to where I enjoy it again. I kind of finally let it go.

I like the changes. I like the open ice. I like the guys being able to show their skill. The game is so fast now, it just happens so quick. With the five-on-five hockey, there’s not a whole lot of room out there. So being able to have the four-on-four play, and a lot of the three-on-three in overtime, I think it’s a great idea. I know from our practices, when we play 3-on-3, it just opens it up. One little mistake, it’s a breakaway, or two-on-one the other way. And if they miss, it’s two-on-one the other way.

I doubt the goalies really like the shootout part of it. It kinds of exposes them. It puts a lot of pressure on the goalies. The guy, if he misses, well, you miss. If the goalie lets it in, it’s heartbreaking for him. But I like how things have turned around, and how the game is progressing. It does let the talent show more.

Barshop continues...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Handling The NHL On-Ice Officials

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kerry Fraser of TSN,

Throughout my entire officiating career I felt it was important that I own my mistakes by offering a mea culpa to the game participants on the spot and even a public admission if asked by the media later.

That courtesy extended beyond just perceived errors or controversial calls to also provide an explanation of any decision made on the ice from my perspective. Reporters always gather quotes from an emotional player or coach in their post-game interview. It would only be fair and balanced if they heard from the official that made the decision.

The officials’ ability to communicate in a public forum was sealed off once the league restricted media access to their officials and placed a gag on the referees and linesmen from issuing public statements. Whenever the league deems it necessary to provide an explanation on any hot-button game-related issue, a statement is typically prepared and released by the public relations department.

During the playoffs, when a heightened focus is generally placed on the referees and linesmen, all post-game statements are issued through the series supervisor after he consults with the officiating crew. If it is a major controversy the PR department will prepare the statement.

While I would prefer to personally explain my perspective on a play, I completely understand why the league must restrict access to their officials. Some officials I worked with were very media savvy while the majority was not. Inaccurate or inappropriate statements could lead to further damage control for the league.

On rare occasions, the senior vice-president of hockey operations or the officiating department has issued a statement to provide clarification of a play or infraction that was ruled upon incorrectly.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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