Kukla's Korner

Current Playoff MVP

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

I last picked Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings as the playoff MVP.  Since his team has been eliminated from the playoffs it is time to make another choice.  On a per game basis, he is probably the still the playoff MVP.  His 15 point performance in 11 games with a still playoff leading +10 +/- rating is extraordinary.

My current playoff MVP choice is Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks.  Kesler has 17 points which places him in a tie for second place in the scoring race (behind teammate Henrik Sedin).  The difference between Kesler and the Sedins (or any other top scorers in the east) is that he plays a more defensive role with his team.  He has more zone starts in his own zone than in the offensive zone, which is outstanding for a top scorer. 

At this point, Ryan Kesler is the playoff MVP and best candidate for the Conn Smythe Trophy.

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Raffi Torres Hit on Joe Thornton

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Joe Thornton was gone for the latter part of the game and no updates on his condition were available to the press in the post-game press conferences. 

Others may disagree, but I think it was a clean hit. Still, Thornton’s had a great playoffs and it would be unfortunate if this turned out to be serious at all. We’ll cross our fingers that he’s alright. 

Video:

Update 6:58pm ET: From Working the Corners

The Sharks did not make Joe Thornton available to the media after that 4-2 loss and Todd McLellan said he had nothing to report yet when he was asked about his captain’s status during the post-game press conference.

But a text message to Thornton several hours later did get this response when he was asked the chances he’d be ready to play in Game 5 on Tuesday night.

“100 percent,” he wrote to my Mercury News colleague Mark Emmons. “It’s playoffs, got to play through everything.”

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+thornton, raffi+torres

Post-Game 4 Transcript: Sharks’ Coach Todd McLellan

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Post-game Q&A with Todd McLellan. (Post-game Canucks transcripts available here.)
__________________________________

Q. Your power-play, you came in today 46%. Was there an adjust that they made today that was the difference or your execution?

COACH McLELLAN: I think the game itself was played, in my opinion, in three different phases. The first phase of the game was when we had our power-play opportunities. And we obviously weren’t very sharp.

They tightened things up. They stood at their line a little bit better. But when you look at our execution, our passing, our faceoff opportunities to win pucks, we started breaking down all the time.

You have to, when you’re against the number one penalty kill in the league, you have to be sharp, and we weren’t. It was as simple as that. As you start rolling, you get more and more frustrated, you start to press a little bit. It snowballs, it gets worse and worse.

Continue Reading »

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

Sealing Luongo’s Legacy in Vancouver

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Joe Yerdon at MSNBC:

Now in Vancouver, he’s earning loads of accolades including a Vezina finalist spot this year in helping the Canucks to the Presidents’ Trophy. In the playoffs, however, Luongo’s had his fair share of issues, most of which are Chicago-related. While Luongo was able to help Team Canada win a gold medal in the 2010 Olympics in front of the home town fans in Vancouver, the Stanley Cup eludes him. Should he help the Canucks win that this year, his legacy in Vancouver would be sealed for good.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: roberto+luongo

A Quick Observation

Blog: Goal Line Report By Patrick Hoffman

Looking at the four starting goaltenders for the remaining teams in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it is easy to see that a few of them have had trouble handling the puck in the Conference Finals’ series.

In Game 1 against the San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks’ goaltender Roberto Luongo put a pass right on Joe Thornton’s stick and Thornton than put it past a diving Luongo to give his team a 1-0 lead.

In Game 4 against the Lightning, there was a miscommunication between Bruins’ netminder Tim Thomas and Bruins’ defenseman Zdeno Chara that led to Lightning forward Teddy Purcell’s first goal of the game. Had Thomas just moved it away from Chara, the play would have been over and done with and the Bruins would have more than likely gotten out of their own end.

In that same game, there was miscommunication between Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson and his defenseman, leading Bruins’ forward Patrice Bergeron to to wrap the puck around the net and put it through Roloson’s legs to give his team a then 1-0 lead.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: boston+bruins, dwayne+roloson, joe+thornton, roberto+luongo, san+jose+sharks, tampa+bay+lightning, tim+thomas, vancouver+canucks, zdeno+chara

Is Brad Richards the Answer for the New York Rangers?

Blog: Goal Line Report By Patrick Hoffman

In an e-mail, my good buddy, Stan Fischler, wanted my thoughts on what the New York Rangers need to do to bolster their hockey club between now and the start of the season.

I will post here exactly what I told Stan yesterday:

After finishing eighth in the Eastern Conference and then getting knocked out by the Washington Capitals in the first round in five games, it is apparent that the New York Rangers are not at the level that they need to be at to have success at the most important time of the season.

For much of the season and then in the playoffs, the team was inconsistent on offense when they needed it the most. Yes, the team had five players score 20 or more goals but in the end, it was not enough to get them where they wanted to be.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: brad+richards, new+york+rangers

Plenty of Coaches Worthy of Consideration

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Adam Kimelman at NHL.com

While most of the attention of the hockey world is focused on the conference finals, five teams—the New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators, Minnesota Wild, Florida Panthers and Dallas Stars—have their view in other places.

Those are the only teams with coaching vacancies, and as the summer nears, those five teams are zeroing in on potential candidates.  Big names and coaches working their way up the professional ladder all have been tossed into the rumor mill. Here are a few of the candidates whose names you might be hearing more of in the not-too-distant future.

THE VETERANS

Marc Crawford—He won the Stanley Cup in 1996, his second season with the Avalanche, and then guided the Canucks to the playoffs four times in seven seasons. His two seasons in Los Angeles and Dallas weren’t as successful, but a team could take a chance on him.

continued with more veterans available, some assistant coaches ready to take the reins of a team, and some other possibles you might not have thought of.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers, Minnesota Wild, New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Bruins coach Claude Julien, Bolts coach Guy Boucher’s off-day presser transcripts

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

Updated with Guy Boucher talking about Roloson at 4:32 PM: Here’s the transcript of Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien’s off-day presser. I’ll post Guy Boucher’s off-day presser and the players’ stuff here as well:

On where he feels his team stands mentally at this point…

We’re fine. I think this is what hockey’s all about. It’s a tight series and we understand that we didn’t do a very good job from the second period on last night or yesterday afternoon. And you have to think about what you need to do tomorrow to be able to bounce back. And that’s all we’re thinking about right now. You make corrections, make adjustments, you do what you have to do. But when you’re this far into the playoffs, you certainly don’t let the mental part of the game get to you.

On if he would rather see the players reserved and focused or on edge after Game 4 going into Game 5…

I just need us to be ready and focused. I don’t know about reserved or, I think everybody understands what we did wrong because we’ve certainly addressed it. Now it’s time to turn the page and correct those things and move on. I think we need to think about what we have to do tomorrow than what we did yesterday. You make minor adjustments but you don’t change your system and you don’t change your style of play. So we just have to be focused on tomorrow and making sure that what we did in the first period of yesterday is what we have to do for three periods.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Remembering Derek Boogaard

Blog: Goal Line Report By Patrick Hoffman

From New York Rangers’ beat writer Jesse Spector at The Daily News:

About 40 members of the Rangers’ organization made the trip, including nearly the entire roster of players. NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr was there, as was NHL vice president Brendan Shanahan, who flew in with the Blueshirts delegation that included Madison Square Garden Sports president and Rangers alternate governor Scott O’Neil.

Boogaard was mourned by teammates and rivals alike, as Jody Shelley, the Rangers’ enforcer at the tail end of the 2009-10 season, came from Philadelphia to pay his respects. Boogaard was remembered as a menacing figure on the ice, but quite the opposite once he had taken off his skates.

“He was a giant with a giant heart, and he leaves behind a giant hole,” longtime friend Jeremy Clark, who met Boogaard and trained the 6-7, 265-pound hockey player to box, said in one of the eulogies. It was a theme echoed by former Wild GM Doug Risebrough, now a Ranger consultant, as well as Minnesota defenseman Brent Burns and agent Tobin Wright.

Click here for more on the funeral of Rangers’ enforcer Derek Boogaard.

 

 

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: derek+boogaard, new+york+rangers

Komisarek Won’t Face Charges For Nightclub Incident

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From TMZ:

Mike Komisarek—an all-star defenseman for the Toronto Maple Leafs—will not face charges after he was accused of punching a woman in a nighclub back in January ... TMZ has learned.

As TMZ first reported, Komisarek was under investigation by the LAPD after a woman claimed she slapped him in the face ... and he responded by punching her.

We’re told after reviewing the case, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office decided against filing any criminal charges.

Komisarek tells us he’s pleased the case is closed.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+komisarek

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