Kukla's Korner

The Luck Of The Canucks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,

Something has happened to Vancouver’s hockey team this spring and it cannot be explained by X’s and O’s or a panel of talking heads on a sports channel.

You could even call it “blind luck” if referring to the astonishing goal that vaulted the Canucks into this final round: a puck bouncing off a stanchion in overtime and ricocheting to the stick of defenceman Kevin Bieksa, who chops a “knuckleball” shot into the San Jose net with every player on the ice – the Sharks goaltender included – still trying to figure out where the puck went.

They survived a Game 7 overtime against Chicago Blackhawks in the first round as well, with Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo making a spectacular save off Chicago’s Patrick Sharp before Burrows – this spring’s overtime hero – steals a flawed pass from Chicago defenceman Chris Campoli and scores an unassisted goal to win the game.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Let The On-Ice Officials Talk Post-Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Kerry Fraser at TSN answered this email today…

I have always been curious as to why NHL referees do not have to give post-game interviews, especially in the playoffs. Since technically the NHL fans pay the referee’s salary from revenues generated by their ticket purchases, I often feel like we deserve an answer....

I couldn’t agree with you more about allowing media access to the officials for post-game comments. It is a position I have always held. At the very least a pool reporter should have access to the officials and then provide quotes to the rest of his colleagues in the media. Failing this, an official statement should be released by the vice-president of officiating, Terry Gregson or through the league’s media relations department.

The media has access to players and coaches following a game and they can be asked about calls that went against them. Those responses are always biased and often emotional. Why not gain a perspective from the person that made the decision? The media could then provide a more balanced report of an incident to you, the fan.

The truth is that most of the officials would welcome the opportunity to express their reasoning behind decisions on calls and non-calls; even if it was just an honest statement of, “I missed it - I blew the call.”

continued

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

Will Chara Control Game 3?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

And so, two games into the 2011 Stanley Cup finals, we ask this question of Boston captain Zdeno Chara: mountain or rubble?

With the Bruins trailing 2-0 in their first Stanley Cup finals appearance since 1990, they face arguably the franchise’s most important game since they last won a Cup in 1972.

Lose in Monday night’s Game 3 and go down 3-0 against the Vancouver Canucks, and the series is over. Win, and the series script takes on a completely different tone.

This is not to suggest that Chara, the man who filled the Bruins’ captaincy when he signed as a free agent prior to the 2006-07 season, is required to take the entire Bruins squad on his mighty Slovak shoulders and single-handedly deliver victory. But surely it isn’t asking too much of the 6-foot-9 defenseman to lead by example, set a tone through his play and demeanor and inspire the rest of the Bruins.

He has the wherewithal and skill set to be that kind of player.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: zdeno+chara

The Best Franchise Without a Cup Is…

Blog: Goal Line Report By Patrick Hoffman

On RLD Hockey yesterday, I posted why I think the San Jose Sharks are the best franchise without a Stanley Cup.

You can find it here or quick below:

With 30 teams in the National Hockey League, there are obviously several great franchises that have either deserved to win the Stanley Cup or have had several opportunities to do so only never to cash in on the golden opportunity.

One club that easily fits that model is the San Jose Sharks. Since joining the National Hockey League during the 1991-92 season, the team has had many great regular seasons, many division championships and many appearances in the postseason. The only thing missing: Lord Stanley.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: san+jose+sharks

Vancouver’s Olympic flame becomes Cup beacon

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

The Vancouver Canucks’ Cup hopes will receive a significant symbolic boost on Monday, according to the Vancouver Sun:

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark is hoping to ignite some magic for the Vancouver Canucks by re-lighting the Olympic cauldron.

The flame will be lit at 3 p.m. PT Monday, just hours before the puck drops in Boston for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final.

Some of the attendees expected to join Clark include former Canucks goalie Richard Brodeur, part of team’s run to the Stanley Cup finals in 1982, and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Remaining Loyal To The Bruins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at The Hockey News,

The love of the Boston Bruins among Maritimers can run deep, bolstered by family ties, historic north-south loyalties and long-held passions for Bobby Orr.

As the Stanley Cup finals unfold, the Boston loyalists are increasingly spotted around the region in their jerseys, cheering for their rugged team against a suddenly disliked Vancouver Canucks squad.

The fan passion can run to extremes as the series switches to Boston.

Before each game, Nova Scotia Transport Minister Bill Estabrooks drops his front false teeth in his Bruins beer mug—part of his pre-game ritual in a den crammed with autographed player photographs that go back four decades.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Hartsburg Appears To Be Headed Back To The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at TSN,

It looks like Craig Hartsburg is set to make a return to the NHL.

The Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League announced Sunday that Hartsburg was stepping down as the team’s head coach “to pursue an opportunity in the National Hockey League.”...

It has been reported that Hartsburg is in line to join Brent Sutter’s coaching staff with the Calgary Flames.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+hartsburg

The Perfect Goalie For The Philadelphia Flyers - Tim Thomas

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chuck Gormley of the Delco Times,

The Flyers should go after Thomas. Hard. But they should not sacrifice Carter, who is in the prime of his career with at least four or five productive seasons left in him. Thomas now has two years remaining in his contract and provides the perfect bridge to Sergei Bobrovsky, who at 22 could benefit from an entire season as a starter in the American Hockey League.

How can Holmgren make it happen?

First, the Bruins need to convince themselves they can win without Thomas. They have 24-year-old Tuukka Rask waiting for the opportunity, but Rask lost the starting job to Thomas early this season and never got it back.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tim+thomas

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

They’re in big trouble. That’s rather obvious. But they have demonstrated far too much spunk and resilience throughout these playoffs for anyone to bury them now. Game 3 is tomorrow night. They’ll be ready.

-Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe on the Bruins, who are down 0-2 to the Canucks.  More from as the Bruins head home.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Don’t Go Praising Bettman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Engstrom of the Winnipeg Sun,

The unlikely return of big league hockey to Winnipeg has caused an even unlikelier thing to occur.

The thing I’m referring to, of course, is a handful of Winnipeggers saying NHL commissioner Gary Bettman — the guy who ushered our beloved Jets out of town 15 years ago — perhaps isn’t such a bad guy after all.

Heck, some obviously inebriated or otherwise medicated Winnipeggers even had the gall to call Bettman a — gasp! — hero.

No, really. A few people said it.

Of course, this is utter nonsense. In his dream world, Bettman’s plan to export Canada’s national pastime to the U.S. Sunbelt would have been a giant success with full arenas and giant ratings, allowing him to forever turn his back on small Canadian markets like Winnipeg and Quebec City.

Unfortunately for Bettman, that scheme had about the same chance of long-term success as Kim Kardashian’s upcoming marriage: Little to none.

continued

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

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