Kukla's Korner

The Winnipeg Jets Still Control Their Playoff Destiny

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun,

Winnipeg’s hold on its playoff destiny is shakier than ever after Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the previously-stumbling New York Rangers.

Losses to Chicago and New York, both on home ice and both on late, third-period goals, have left the Jets at the mercy of the trailing L.A. Kings, just two points back with a game in hand.

Thanks to a matchup with Calgary in the final game of the regular season, the Jets are still guaranteed a spot if they win out.

That might not be necessary.

But ending this before it turns into a three-game skid is.

That’s five times this season now the Jets have failed to rebound from tough, late-goal losses to win the following game.

The good news: each time the losing “streak” ended at two.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Post-Practice Notes On The Detroit Red Wings

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

FYI, George's ISP is having issues again so you have me until he returns.

via Ansar Khan tweets,

Zetterberg and Helm took maintenance days. They're good to go tomorrow.

Wings will know tomorrow the status of Datsyuk, Sheahan, Cole and Miller.

 

added 2:02pm, St. James has more from Miller...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Practice Notes For The Detroit Red Wings

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

via Ansar Khan tweets,

Drew Miller (facial lacerations) practice today with full face shield.

Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Helm and Cole not skating today. Sheahan is practicing.

Update: George here, and the Free Press's Helene St. James reports that Miller is skating...

Here's DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose's note regarding who's in charge...

In Babcock's absence (attending dad's funeral today), assistant coaches Granato, Hiller, Bedard are running #RedWings practice at The Joe.

And the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa confirms that there are players taking a maintenance day:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

About Those Trade Deadline Deals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Almost one month has gone by since the passing of the trade deadline, and the playoffs are just two weeks away. So, how are the deals making out? Who's hitting his stride and who's tracking sideways? Hey, we get it, don't judge until someone's carrying around the big silver Cup in June. But it's interesting and more than a little illuminating to see just how well the new pieces have fit into the puzzles of their new teams.

Marek Zidlicky, D, Detroit Red Wings

The Wings have actually gone a little sideways since the trade deadline, with just five wins in 14 games before Tuesday night's matchup with the Ottawa Senators, but you can't fault Zidlicky, who filled a long-standing need with his big right-handed shot. He's scored three power-play goals, including one game winner, and has nine points in total since being acquired from the New Jersey Devils. Playing with Brendan Smith as the team's third pairing, the experience of Zidlicky, 38, should continue to pay dividends as the playoffs unfold.

Tyler Myers, D, Drew Stafford, RW, Winnipeg Jets

Hard to imagine this deal working out any better for a Jets team that continues to scratch and claw its way toward its first playoff berth since moving from Atlanta. Myers, 25, the former Calder Trophy winner as rookie of the year, has rediscovered his confidence after it looked like he might be permanently derailed in Buffalo. Stafford, 29, has played top-six minutes and shown a penchant for producing goals and assists in a timely fashion. With the Jets dealing with injuries to top offensive players and Evander Kane gone to Buffalo in the deal, Stafford's contributions have been key to the Jets' playoff effort. Stafford told ESPN.com this week that the weight of losing took both a mental and physical toll in Buffalo, and he couldn't be happier to be back in the hunt for a postseason berth. The Jets are counting on contributions from both Stafford and Myers to extend beyond the end of the regular season.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Dustin Byfuglien Will Have A Hearing With The NHL Department Of Player Safety Tomorrow

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

 

Watch the play here....

added 11:53am,

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dustin+byfuglien

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

OVECHKIN REACHES 50-GOAL MILESTONE IN CAPITALS’ WIN
Alex Ovechkin posted 1-1—2, including his League-leading 50th goal of the season, to power the Capitals to their sixth win in their last eight games overall and fifth victory in their past seven meetings with the Hurricanes dating to Dec. 20, 2013 (5-1-1).
 
* At 42-25-10 (94 points), the Capitals moved within one point of the idle Islanders (45-27-5, 95 points) and Penguins (42-23-11, 95 points) for second place in the Metropolitan Division. All three teams have 38 ROWs.
 

 
* Ovechkin reached the 50-goal milestone for the sixth time in his career (and second straight season). Only five other players in NHL history have recorded as many 50-goal seasons: Mike Bossy (9), Wayne Gretzky (9), Marcel Dionne (6), Guy Lafleur (6) and Mario Lemieux (6).

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

NBC Sports Group Plans For The Stanley Cup Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

STAMFORD, Conn. – April 1, 2015 – For the fourth consecutive year, every NHL Stanley Cup Playoff game will be presented nationally across the platforms of NBC Sports Group and select NBCUniversal networks. During April, May and June, NBC Sports Group will televise as many as 105 playoff games and possibly more than 260 hours of programming. It all begins two weeks from today on Wednesday, April 15.

Coverage will be presented on NBC, NBCSN and NHL Network, as well as NBCUniversal’s USA Network, the No. 1 cable entertainment network, and CNBC, NBCUniversal’s business channel. This marks the first time USA Network will present NHL Stanley Cup Playoff coverage since 1985. CNBC has provided Stanley Cup Playoff coverage since 2012.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Playoff Chances For The Winnipeg Jets Are Going South

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

You have to wonder if this is the knockout punch we've been waiting for the Winnipeg Jets to absorb. For two games in a row, the Jets haven't been able to push late ties into overtime and secure crucial points.

On Sunday, they gave up a last-minute goal to Jonathan Toews and lost to the Chicago Blackhawks, and two nights later it was a repeat performance in a 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers. We've counted the Jets out before, but with Winnipeg, the Calgary Flames and Los Angeles Kings fighting for both third place in the Pacific Division and the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference, it's about taking advantage of the opportunities that are given.

Sure, it looks bad for the Jets, but they're still up two points. They're the ones in a playoff spot. The Kings have a game in hand and own the tiebreaker thanks to more regulation/overtime wins, and Tuesday's was a game the Jets had to win. Hard not to look at next Thursday's game in Calgary between the Kings and Flames, and the Flames' season finale two days later in Winnipeg as two that will ultimately crystallize the playoff picture in the West, the Jets' disappointing meltdowns not withstanding.

And let's tip our caps to the Vancouver Canucks, who have won consecutive road games over the St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators to strengthen their hold on second place in the Pacific.

continue for Custance on the Byfuglien hit, Strang on Drew Miller, LeBrun on the Senators and Joe McDonald on the Bruins.  Also check out the new-look ESPN.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Ken Hitchcock Still An Unsigned Coach

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

“There are going to be some dynamite teams in our conference that don’t get in (the playoffs). A lot of it is based on the players’ ability to buy what the coaching staff is selling. We’ve accomplished that while transforming the team,” he said. “But what’s invigorated me is coaching a different group of guys. There have been four or five changes and we’ve still had a high level of success. I think the staff and players buying in is what drives me to coach a lot longer. I really want to do that.”

Still, by leaving his future open for question this season, it’s fair to wonder if the organization holds to its September position that the job is his as long as Hitchcock desires it.

Four years is an eternity in the NHL. The Blues have advanced past the first round only once under Hitchcock and have yet to win a second-round game. Forward T.J. Oshie cited information overload after Monday’s unsightly loss to Vancouver. Hitchcock assumes assurances offered in September remain in force today. Others in the organization suggest less tolerance for another first-round playoff exit given the previous three years’ 8-13 postseason record.

“There’s always going to be a question for players and coaches until we win a first round. But it’s a question I’m not afraid to answer,” Hitchcock said. “I don’t know the answer right now but this team is built to go long in series, long in games. We’ve won a lot of games late. We’ve been at our best in the second and third periods. We know we can go the distance. Like everyone else I won’t know until it plays out but I’m looking forward to answering the questions.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+hitchcock

Video- Mike Babcock Post-Game

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Michael Niziolek of Mlive,

Coach Mike Babcock wasn't in the mood to take a negative tone about his team following a 2-1 shootout loss to Ottawa Wednesday night at Joe Louis Arena.

The coach cut off a line of questioning about whether he was happy with his team's intensity at the start of the game.

"You guys when you're asking me these questions want to be negative more than me," Babcock said, before walking off. "I don't want to do that, so this is what I thought: I thought our team competed real hard. I thought they had more hands on deck than us and I thought they played faster than us. You guys have a good night."

Babcock used most of his postgame remarks to heap praise on a 33-save performance from Petr Mrazeck, a performance that earned the second-year goaltender a vote of confidence as Detroit's starter going forward.

The Red Wings lack of shots, and inability to clear Ottawa out of their zone was less of a concern to the coach than a decreasing number of healthy bodies.

continued

Watch Babcock's post-gme comments below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

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