Kukla's Korner

The Season Is Now On The Line For The Anaheim Ducks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

The resilience that has been the Ducks’ trademark during their push into the Western Conference finals deserted them Saturday. They ran out of energy and skidded into the grateful hands of the Nashville Predators, who aren’t just acting like they belong here — they do belong here. And maybe in the Stanley Cup finals, too.

While the Ducks spoke of running out of gas and not competing hard enough, the Predators simply regrouped after losing top scorer Ryan Johansen and team captain Mike Fisher to injuries before Saturday’s game. The Predators were the resilient group Saturday, scoring late in the second period and twice in the third to leave the Honda Center with a 3-1 victory and head home with a chance to clinch a berth in the Cup finals if they win Monday at Bridgestone Arena.

“I thought that we had the opportunity to go out and play hard and send a message in our building and we didn’t compete on the puck throughout,” Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. “That means being hard on pucks, that means directing pucks at the net, all those things.

“I don’t think our compete level was where it needed to be. I thought they came out and worked harder than us in the second and third period and that was the difference in the game.”

There’s no extra day between games for them to recharge mentally and physical by taking a diversionary side trip, as they did during their seven-game elimination of Edmonton in the second round, or to relax by taking a day off to play pool, as they did before they pulled out an overtime win in Game 4 against the Predators on Thursday at Nashville. The clock is ticking on them and their season, and whatever resilience they’ve displayed up to now is nothing compared to what they’ll need Monday in what will be a rollicking, gold-filled arena filled with fans eager to watch the Predators continue the team’s longest-ever playoff journey.

continued

Watch the game highligths below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

PREDATORS RALLY TO MOVE WITHIN ONE WIN OF STANLEY CUP FINAL
Colin Wilson tied the game late in the second period and Pontus Aberg scored the go-ahead goal with 8:59 remaining in regulation to help the Predators take a 3-2 series lead against the Ducks and move within one win of reaching the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history.
 

 

 
* The Predators, who began play in 1998-99 and are competing in their 10th postseason, improved to 11-4 in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs and 11-7 in 18 all-time postseason meetings against the Ducks (7-3 at ANA).
 
* Nashville became the first road team to win a Game 5 in Anaheim since the 2011 Conference Quarterfinals, snapping the Ducks’ seven-game winning streak in such contests. The Predators posted a 4-3 overtime victory in that contest to take a 3-2 series lead before earning a series-clinching win on home ice in Game 6.
 
* The Predators own a 3-2 series lead for the third time in franchise history and have won Game 6 in each of the two previous instances – the 2011 Conference Quarterfinals vs. ANA and the 2017 Second Round vs. STL.
 
* Aberg, a second-round selection (37th overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft, notched his first career playoff goal (1-1—2 in 11 GP). The 23-year-old Stockholm native scored in his third career regular-season game on Nov. 17, 2016 at OTT and had 1-1—2 in 15 contests in 2016-17.
 
* Wilson (13-11—24) scored his 13th career postseason goal (all w/ NSH) to move into a tie for the most goals in franchise playoff history and within four points of David Legwand (13-15—28) and Shea Weber (13-15—28) for the most career playoff points in a Predators uniform.
 
Pekka Rinne made 32 saves to improve to 11-4 in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs (1.62 GAA, .942 SV%, 2 SO), including an 8-0 record when allowing fewer than two goals.
 
* When teams are tied 2-2 in a best-of-seven series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the winner of Game 5 holds an all-time series record of 198-54, including a 5-0 mark this postseason.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Prospect news: Walleye lose to Eagles, playoff ends

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of prospect-related note:

In the ECHL, the Toledo Walleye blew 1-0 and 3-1 leads as the Colorado Eagles scored 5 straight goals, eliminating the Walleye from the playoffs via a 6-3 victory.

Tyson Spink, Beau Schmitz and Dane Walters scored for the Walleye, Shane Berschbach registered his 14th and 15th playoff assists and Jake Paterson stopped 31 of the 36 shots he faced (Colorado's final goal was an empty-netter), but the Walleye's playoff run ended short of a Kelly Cup Final appearance.

Update: Here's the Walleye's website's recap:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Prospect news: Grand Rapids Griffins defeat San Jose 3-1 to open Western Conference Final

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of prospect-related note:

In the AHL, in the Western Conference Final, the Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the San Jose Barracuda 3-1 in Game 1 of the WCF.

Grand Rapids got two assists from Eric Tangradi, goals from Mitch Callahan and Ben Street in the first period and Kyle Criscuolo Matt Ford (power play) in the 3rd, and Jared Coreau stopped 26 of 27 shots as the Griffins killed six San Jose power plays.

The Griffins looked a little rusty after not having played for a week, and Tyler Bertuzzi wasn't quite himself, but the Griffins played strongly and did a great job of getting to goaltender Trevor Grosenick early and often, firing 28 shots his way.

The series resumes on Sunday night at the SAP Center (on ESPN 96.1 and the AHL Live), starting at 8 PM EDT, and the series will then shift to Grand Rapids for games on Wednesday the 24th, Friday the 26th and, if necessary, Saturday the 27th.

Update #1: Here's the AHL's website's recap:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Saturday Night Hockey Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- Are the Buffalo Sabres waiting to see what the Washington Capitals do with Barry Trotz before naming a head coach? That does make some sense if somehow the Caps let Trotz go.

- Buffalo will be better next season. Tampa Bay will be better. Florida will be better. Carolina will be better. Philadelphia should be better. The challenge next season in the Eastern Conference: Making the playoffs.

- Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the NHL “will get past” not participating in the 2018 Olympics. Sure, the league will. The fans won’t. And the players who don’t get to go, won’t. But why worry about them? 

- If I’m GM Bob Murray in Anaheim, I’m having an uncomfortable conversation with Corey Perry at the end of the playoffs. Yes, Perry has scored a bunch of overtime goals this post-season. But I’m asking him to waive his no movement clause so he could be available to be claimed in the expansion draft. Odds are, because of his high salary the Vegas franchise would not touch him. But would you have that conversation? Same with Kevin Bieksa.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- A Look At David Poile

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Elliotte Friedman with the feature....

via Sportsnet's YouTube page,

On July 9, 2017, David Poile will mark his 20 year anniversary as Nashville’s GM. This piece looks at Poile’s history, and how his willingness to make heavily scrutinized trades have shaped the current Predators roster.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: david+poile

Jake Paterson takes part in a roundtable Q and A

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The ECHL's website held a roundtable with the four goaltenders taking part in Conference Final play, and Jake Paterson took part. Among Paterson's questions and answers:

As a goalie in the ECHL for a few years, what has helped you most in your preparation for the 2017 Kelly Cup Playoffs?

Paterson:  What has helped me for the 2017 Kelly Cup Playoffs is the preparation that the coaching staff and the players bring to the rink every day throughout the season. With the leadership we have on this team they really teach you how to prepare the right way no matter the circumstance.

Talk about the transition from regular season to playoffs as a tender. Are there any drastic changes in your opinion? Pace? Mindset? Ritual or Superstitions? Is it the same game or completely different?

Paterson: I would say the transition from regular season to playoffs is simple. At the end of the day it’s still hockey and as a goalie all you can focus on is giving your team a chance to win on every night.

What surprised you most from the first two rounds of the Kelly Cup Playoffs?

Paterson: I wouldn’t say this has come as a surprise to me but the most exciting part of the 2017 Kelly Cup Playoffs has been how loud and electric our Walleye fans have been.

The roundtable continues...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Prospect news: Sambrook scores a goal as Otters win at Memorial Cup

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of prospect-related note:

At the Memorial Cup in Windsor, Jordan Sambrook scored a goal and finished at +1 with 1 shot and a minor penalty in the Erie Otters' 4-2 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. You can watch highlights from the game here.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Open Post- Game 5 Western Conference Final

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Feel free to comment on tonight's game.

Nashville @ Anaheim, series tied 2-2, 7:15 p.m., CBC, TVAS, NBC

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Griffins Game-Day Preview and Griffins-Barracuda notes

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Ahead of tonight's Conference Final-opening game between the Grand Rapids Griffins and San Jose Barracuda (9 PM EDT on ESPN 96.1 FM and The AHL Live), the Grand Rapids Griffins posted a superb game-day preview video...

And the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner penned a "What to Know" article listing seven items to watch for this evening:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

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