Kukla's Korner

Mid-day news: (mostly) talking about the Griffins

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Amongst this afternoon's Red Wings-related news stories:

MLive's Ansar Khan asks three "off-season questions" regarding the Red Wings, and two of them have to do with the team's coaching situation. If--and it's a big if--Mike Babcock leaves, Khan duly notes that the Wings have a very capable in-house replacement:

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Advantage Tampa Bay Lightning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,

Somewhere today, Jon Cooper should be penning a letter of thanks to those brain-cramped Habs. Not only did they help his team find its own struggling power play with four man-advantage goals on the night, they also helped Steven Stamkos climb down off the milk carton.

There’s no free pass for Prust and his mates on this one, although the veteran forward did his best to hand the blame to Watson as he stood under the “Pas d’excuses — No excuses” sign in the Canadiens room, making his excuses.

It all started with Prust (who was having a strong post-season until Sunday night) trying to goad Lightning defenceman Braydon Coburn into a fight in front of the Tampa Bay net. (It should be noted that the puck, at the time, was at the other end of the ice.) The roughing was pretty much routine: Prust grabbed Coburn’s jersey and gave him a couple of shoves. Coburn refused the invitation to dance. Watson made the call.

Now Brendan Gallagher endures worse a dozen times a night with no call but them’s the breaks. Given that the Canadiens were leading 1-0 and playing very well at the time, you have to wonder why Prust decided that was the moment to stir things up. Then he compounded the felony with an unsportsmanlike for saying (in his words) that the call was a little soft. It’s a safe bet that Prust didn’t phrase it quite that way but Watson’s reaction was still way out of line.

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

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

SUNDAY’S RESULTS
Home Team in Caps
Tampa Bay 6, MONTREAL 2 – TBL leads series 2-0
CHICAGO 4, Minnesota 1 – CHI leads series 2-0
ANAHEIM 3, Calgary 0 – ANA leads series 2-0
 
ANDERSEN BACKSTOPS DUCKS TO SIXTH CONSECUTIVE PLAYOFF VICTORY
Frederik Andersen stopped all 30 shots he faced to earn his first career postseason shutout and lift the Ducks to a 6-0 record in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
 

 
* The Ducks equaled a franchise record with their sixth consecutive playoff victory. They have achieved that feat two other times, setting the mark April 10-26, 2003, and equaling it May 1-11, 2006.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning Line- Stan Fischler, Larry Brooks And Kerry Fraser

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

 

 

 

If you missed the comments by Prust, watch below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brandon+prust

KHL Player Dan Sexton Playing For Team USA

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Team USA vs. Team Russia is on NBCSN at 10:15am today.

from Andy Potts of IIHF.com,

It’s a rivalry steeped in history – sporting, cultural and even political – and it’s a game that guarantees a big audience whenever the teams meet.

But while it’s no surprise to see a Russian team line up with several players who ply their trade in America, team USA has seldom called up anyone playing in the Russian provinces. But that’s the story for Dan Sexton, who spent last season in Tatarstan with the KHL’s Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk. Now he’s preparing for battle against many of the stars he’s been facing all season.

“Playing Russia is always a big game,” he said. “They’re going to be a really strong team. Some of our guys might not know all their players but I know a lot of them from this season. They’ve got a load of great skill players and we’re going to have to be on our ‘A’ game to shut them down.”

Sexton’s KHL experience could prove invaluable, both in terms of second-guessing some of his Russian opponents and getting practice on the bigger ice used in IIHF competition.

conitnued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+sexton

Young Man Paid Money To Play Hockey But Can’t Play Due To Illness - Coach Kept The Cash

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kathy Tomlinson of CBC,

The mother of a 17-year-old goalie sidelined by serious illness is appalled by the conduct of his hockey coach, who kept $8,000 in fees from her son — for a season he missed entirely.

"All he wanted was to play hockey," said Aline Maalouf, of Mississauga, Ont. "It just ripped me to pieces, the pain that he's in physically — and this is just adding to it."

"I had to have my parents help me walk … I was going through so many things," said her son.

Before he got sick, Kevin Maalouf thought he might even make it to the NHL. No top-tier Junior A team would sign him though, he said, because he's just five-foot-seven.

"I've been turned down so many times," said Maalouf.

His only option at that level in Ontario for 2014-15 was to "pay to play" with the Orangeville Americans, coached and owned at the time by Tyler Fines, who signed him for $9,800.

continued

Watch the video story below...

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Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Will The Montreal Canadiens Open The ‘Floodgates’?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

The Habs came unglued Sunday evening. They’re down two-zip in the series heading to Tampa and don’t yet have an answer.

Are we looking at a possible sweep here? Don’t count out the Habs just yet, Prust warned.

"I think it’s just going to feel that much better when we win and the floodgates open and we get rolling," Prust said. "It’s going to feel that much better."

Bold words, but it’s on the ice the Canadiens have to prove themselves now. They look lost, and the Lightning are looking more dangerous than they have all playoff long.

more on last night's game...

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

Offense Needed From A Few Minnesota Wild Players

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune,

Shutting down the Blackhawks’ stars, or playing an error-free game, is probably unlikely, so the Wild will have to become more proficient in the offensive end. That means they’re going to need more help from The Lost Boys: Thomas Vanek, Chris Stewart, Jason Pominville and Mikko Koivu.

Vanek is a defensive liability who doesn’t always skate hard. His failure to get the puck deep into the offensive zone at the end of the second period led to a typically brilliant goal by Kane following a long breakout pass.

Vanek showed up offensively in Game  1 but did nothing in Game 2.

Stewart has given the Wild little during these playoffs, other than one deft primary assist against the Blues. He has played soft along the boards, belying his bulk and his role. To his credit, he returned to the game after leaving with an apparent injury when Johnny Oduya tackled him into the boards, but he has been ineffective.

Pominville missed an open net on a rolling puck in Game 1. He, like Vanek, needs to score to have value, and he has scored 20 goals in 90 games this season, including playoffs. And a handful of his goals this season have bounced in off body parts. Sunday night, he was invisible.

Koivu has excelled at faceoffs and remains effective defensively, but if not for an intended pass that banked into the goal against St. Louis, he would have one goal in his past 26 playoff games.

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

The Calgary Flames Can’t Win In Anaheim

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Wes Gilbertson of the Calgary Sun,

The Calgary Flames haven’t celebrated a win in Anaheim in forever.

 But they also haven’t lost at the Saddledome during these Stanley Cup playoffs, and that will certainly be their selling point as they head home from Disneyland empty-handed.

It wasn’t nearly as ugly as the lopsided series-opener, but the Flames dropped a 3-0 decision in Sunday’s Game 2 at Honda Center, digging an 0-2 hole in this second-round showdown with the Anaheim Ducks.

“It’s not ideal,” admitted Flames right-winger David Jones. “Obviously, you want to try to split on the road and go home with one win. We’re in a hole. We’re going home now, and we can’t lose at home. We’ve gotta to try our best to get Game 3 and then see what happens.”

The Flames have now suffered 21 consecutive setbacks just down the street from the so-called Happiest Place on Earth, a losing skid that dates back to April 25, 2006.

What’s more worrisome for the current cast from Calgary is that the Ducks have rattled off six-straight victories in the latest instalment of the NHL’s playoff party, a streak the Flames must snap in Tuesday’s Game 3 at the Saddledome.

continued

Below are the game highlights...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Mistakes Put The Minnesota Wild In An 0-2 Hole Against The Chicago Blackhawks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,

The Wild felt Game 1 could have gone either way.

Take away a bad game-winning goal and add a little third-period puck luck, the Wild felt it easily could have skated out of United Center with a win.

That was my concern heading into Game 2. The Wild threw away an opportunity Friday, and if it’s true the Wild got the Blackhawks’ attention like Mike Yeo claimed Saturday, you knew the Blackhawks would respond Sunday and play a better game.

The Wild’s response to the Game 1 loss was awful though tonight and that’s why it fell 4-1. You could see it the first five minutes of the game when the Wild was throwing pucks away left and right. The longer the game stayed 0-0 though, I started to get the feeling the Wild may be able to steal a game the way it did so many road games in the second half.

But the Wild’s mistakes with the puck kept coming and ultimately three of the Blackhawks’ long list of game breakers made the Wild pay.

The Wild may be different. The Wild may be more experienced and more mature and all that. But this is a team that still doesn’t have Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, and if you keep feeding them, they’ll find a way.

continued

Game highlights are below...

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

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