Kukla's Korner

Habs Can’t Beat The Lightning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Boone of Hockey Inside/Out,

One game does not a series make. And one double-overtime loss doesn’t end the Canadiens’ season.

It was, however, the Canadiens sixth straight loss to Tampa since Pacioretty’s series winner. The Lightning won all five regular-season games against the Canadiens in 2014-’15. And Nikita Kucherov’s goal, just over two minutes into the second OT period Friday night made it six straight – in a game the Canadiens should have won.

While the Canadiens completed their opening-round elimination of Ottawa last Sunday night in Kanata, the Lightning had to battle back from a 3-2 series deficit against Detroit, finally knocking off the Wings in a seventh-game squeaker Wednesday night.

As the series against Tampa began, the Canadiens were the rested team. And as overtime wore on, the rested team should have had an advantage.

That might have been the case had the game lasted longer. But Kucherov ended it before the Canadiens could register a shot on Ben Bishop in the second OT period.

Most of the stats favoured the Canadiens: a 44-35 shot advantage, 34 blocked shots to 27 for Tampa Bay, a 43-32 margin in hits, 55 wins in 89 faceoffs.

But we all know the only stat that counts is the final score.

read on

Below, watch Sportnet's 'Mashup' of the game...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Not The Best Game For The Minnesota Wild

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune,

The Wild held one obvious and one possible advantage entering the second-round playoff series with the Blackhawks.

The obvious advantage: Devan Dubnyk had played like one of the top three goalies in the NHL for four months, while the Blackhawks had benched Corey Crawford before reinstating him.

The possible advantage: The Wild’s defensive system has thrived since Dubnyk’s arrival.

The latter betrayed the Wild in the first period, and the former betrayed the team when it mattered most.

The Wild’s usually-reliable defense handed Chicago three goals in the first period, and Dubnyk whiffed on a long shot in the last minute of the second. The Wild lost 4-3 instead of finishing what might have become the most remarkable comeback in franchise history.

“I just have to work harder at the beginning of that play,” Dubnyk said. “I have to get down and move to where I can see the puck the whole way.

“I didn’t see it until it was six or eight feet out, and I put my glove where I thought it was going, and I missed it. Simple as that.”

 

Game highlights below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Habs Not Happy With OT Goal, Looks Like The Play Was Offside

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Johnston of Sportsnet,

Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien certainly thought it was a blown call saying "offside is black or white" unlike penalties, which are judgement calls.

"Losing a game on an offside, those things are not supposed to happen," Therrien told reporters at the post-game press conference. "It was clearly an offside and we end up losing the game."

 

added 9:13am,

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Recap Of The Two NHL Playoff Games From Friday Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The highlights from the two NHL playoff games last night.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Prospect news: Larkin’s Worlds journey begins; Walleye open second round with win over Fort Wayne

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The most noteworthy Wings prospect who played hockey on Friday didn't do so in North America: Dylan Larkin registered an assist and a +3 in 14:21 of ice time helming Team USA's second line as the Americans defeated Finland 5-1 at the World Championships.

Back over on this side of the Atlantic, in the ECHL, Martin Frk took 4 shots and Richard Nedomlel finished at +1 in the Toledo Walleye's second-round-opening 4-1 win over the Fort Wayne Komets.

The Walleye's website posted a recap...

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Playoff MVP

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

In the first round I picked \Vladimir Tarasenko of the St Louis Blues as the early playoff MVP.  While Tarasenko had a good first round, his St Louis Blues have been eliminated from the playoffs.  Therefore I am picking a new playoff MVP.  I see two strong candidates right now - Corey Perry of Anaheim and Duncan Keith of Chicago.  Though Perry is scoring at a better than two point per game rate, I think Duncan Keith is the best playoff MVP pick at this point.

Keith is tied for second in points in the playoffs with nine points from defence- only Perry is ahead of him.  Keith has played 31 minutes per game - which is twelve and a half more minutes per game than Perry.  Keith is the Blackhawks MVP at this point.  Given that Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are playing well in Chicago that is a strong claim. 

I think we can make a strong argument that Duncan Keith has been the best defenceman of the last five years.  I think his success has fallen beneath many people's radar.  He is showing his value in the playoffs so far.  If that success continues and Chicago has a good run, maybe more people will recognize how good Duncan Keith is.  Many people see him as one of the best handful of defencemen in hockey when he is more likely the best of that group.

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Kucherov the OT hero for Tampa Bay

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

It only took two tries for Nikita Kucherov to scored the game-winning OT goal for Tampa Bay:

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: montreal+canadiens, nikita+kucherov, tampa+bay+lightning

The overnight report: trying to find positives among the disappointment of an early playoff exit

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The beat writers truly emptied their notebooks in covering the Red Wings' locker room clean-out day, so I've got a mismatched hodgepodge's worth of Babcock stuff--including ten points regarding Washington's Farewell Address, I mean Babcock's end-of-season remarks, some wise words from Kevin McGran regarding Babcock making the interviewer feel like they've lost their pantaloons when he feels like brushing off a question, and of course some sound advice(?) from Don Cherry, but other than that, all we're left with is the Free Press's Drew Sharp, who suggests the obvious in stating that, "It's all on Babcock" if he chooses to depart:

Babcock maintained he doesn't know what he will do next. But he knows he's got it good in Detroit. And while it's somewhat frustrated him that there's a perception out there that he's happily counting down the hours until he can finally leave the city, Babcock can only blame himself if the next 10 days place him in an uncomfortable position.

He wanted to be a free agent. But that doesn't mean he's free from rampant speculation.

To be fair to Drew, I don't think he was covering the Wings the week that Detroit had home-and-home tilts with Toronto and Bob McCown got into Mr. and Mrs. Ilitch's estate planning, so I'm not sure if he's aware that there's been rampant speculation regarding Babcock's future for over a year now...

 

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Remembering Marcel Pronovost

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Windsor Star's Dave Waddell attended Marcel Pronovost's funeral on Friday, and the former Wings defenseman's status as a legendary defenseman and an even better human being yielded a well-attended but somber event:

Pronovost won five Stanley Cups as a player with Detroit (four) and Toronto (one) and another three as part of the Devils’ scouting staff. The 53 years between his first cup in Detroit (1950) and the Devils last championship (2003) is an NHL record.

The 84-year-old retired defenceman was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1978 and is a member of four other halls of fame, including the one in his adopted hometown of Windsor.

Yet as family, friends and his peers bid him farewell, it was Pronovost the man they spoke of not his prowess with a puck.

NHL senior vice-president of hockey operations and former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Jim Gregory noted the striking similarities between Pronovost and Montreal legend Jean Beliveau in the classy way they were ambassadors for the game.

“(Retired NHL linesman) Mark Pare (of LaSalle) said to me what stood out was how professional Marcel was,” Gregory said. “That was always the feeling he left with everyone.”

Continued

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

This is not tampering, Mr. Snider…but it’s in the neighborhood

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

This isn't collusion or tampering. It's in the neighborhood, per the Philadelphia Inquirer's Sam Carchidi:

Mike Babcock is the only coach to lead teams to hockey's version of the triple crown - titles in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Olympics, and world championships. And, so, yes, with Babcock's Detroit Red Wings knocked out of the playoffs Wednesday, numerous teams are pursuing a man generally regarded as the league's best coach.

Does Ed Snider have a blank check ready?

Snider, chairman of the Flyers' parent company, Comcast-Spectacor, said that he didn't want to discuss Babcock or the coaching search, but that he was comfortable with whomever general manager Ron Hextall recommended.

"This is Ron Hextall's bailiwick, not mine," Snider said in a phone interview Friday from his California home. "He's the guy who is going to make the decision. If Ron Hextall decided he wanted to hire a certain person and I told him he couldn't, then I shouldn't have Ron Hextall as my GM, right? "I don't ever veto a GM's choice," he added. "It's my job to be informed and I ask a lot of questions, but don't bring me into the coach's decision."

Any Flyers fan will tell you that "the coach's decisoins" in Philly are subject to owner's approval, which is why I don't think Babcock would ever go to Philly. Anyway...

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

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