Kukla's Korner

Will The Best Goalie Win?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,

People like to joke that a game with poor goaltending could be decided by the last shot on goal.

When it comes to Friday’s huge Game 7 between the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning, that literally could be the case. It’s not that either Boston’s Tim Thomas or Tampa Bay’s Dwayne Roloson isn’t capable of stealing the show by tossing a shutout, but based on their uneven play in the Eastern Conference final, what is the likelihood of that happening?

Thomas gave up five goals in each of the first two games at home, winning one and losing the other, but was on his game in Game 5 when he allowed just one goal. Roloson, meanwhile, has performed miserably in three of his last four starts and was even sat out a game, giving way to backup Mike Smith for Game 5. There are some who have wondered aloud if Tampa Bay shouldn’t roll the dice on Smith again in the decisive game.


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

Keep Bettman Off The Ice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Adam Proteau of The Hockey News answers some emails…

Hi Adam. Trying to get my mind off the impending doom around here, so I thought I’d ask something that I have wondered about. The only thing I do not like about the final, the Stanley Cup winning game specifically, is seeing Mr. Bettman present the Cup. He grates on my last nerve. Why can’t the teams pick the person that presents the Cup to them, i.e., a former player? It seems that if they won the Cup, they should have the spoils. Cheers,
David, Atlanta

I like your idea very much. In fact, I like it so much, I’ve been making the same argument for the past few years.

Each and every year – and it doesn’t matter where the Cup final is – the Cup-awarding ceremony loses a bit of its luster when Bettman comes out with the trophy and is mercilessly booed by the crowd. Taking the focus off of him, and putting it on the players (either by having the captain of the previous year’s Cup winner or by having it handed out by a beloved veteran of the winning franchise), is an idea the NHL should have adopted long ago. Here’s hoping the league comes to its senses.

more q & a….

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

18 Years Ago

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kerry Fraser at TSN,

from a reader…Do you remember what happened 18 years ago today? Have you cleared your mind of it since or do you carry it around with you like luggage?...

No official wants to make or miss a call that has an impact on a game or a series. It becomes a bitter pill to swallow.

On the 18th anniversary of the infamous “Missed Call,” for many a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, the bitterness has never subsided.

Every year, right up to my final season as a referee in the NHL I was contacted by the media on this day and asked to rehash the play. They always ran with it and feelings were dredged up from old wounds that have never healed; especially from those that harbour hatred towards me. I devoted an entire chapter in my book (coming out in updated paperback and e-book versions this fall - nice plug!), “The Final Call” entitled, “The Missed Call” and put it all out there; including a sincere apology to Leafs fans everywhere for not having seen the play.

read on

Can’t recall the incident?  Watch it below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

An E-mail Interview with Josh Rimer of NHL Home Ice

Blog: Goal Line Report By Patrick Hoffman

As I like to do, I would like to share with you folks an e-mail interview I did with Josh Rimer, a producer of various shows on NHL Home Ice.

Josh was kind enough to take time out of his extremely busy schedule to tell us about how he got into hockey, how he got his start in the hockey industry and much, much more.

PH: How did you get into hockey?
JR: I was born with a hockey stick in my hand. When I was born in 1978, my father Jeff was the Sports Director and Montreal Canadiens Pre- & Post Game show host at CFCF with Dick Irvin. I always wanted to tag along with my Dad and go to the games.

PH: Growing up, who was your favorite player/NHL Team?
JR: Growing up, I lived in Montreal, Baltimore, and Florida. I lived in Montreal till I was 6 years old, and was a Canadiens Fan during that time. I liked Brian Engblom, Larry Robinson and Chris Nilan, whose jersey I’d wear to Montreal Games. I also was a huge fan of Wayne Gretzky and had his jersey too. 

After Montreal, we moved to Baltimore, Maryland where my Dad ended up taking over as Pre- & Post Game Show host of Washington Capitals Games on Home Team Sports after Larry King left for CNN. Again, I always wanted to tag along with my Dad to the Games, even dressing up like him with a suit and tie and the HTS logo on my Sports Jacket! I was a HUGE Caps Fan when we lived there!

My favourite player was Dino Ciccarelli, and to this day still is. I liked Dino because he was always the guy not afraid of anyone, standing in front of the net, taking punishment from the Goalie and Defensemen! Dino was also a good friend of my Dad’s and he would always be at the house. I’ll never forget the time when Dino joined our neighborhoods weekly roller hockey game one time with all my buddies or the time Dino and I were playing street hockey on my driveway and I took a slap shot with a tennis ball and it smashed my Mom’s rearview mirror. Dino took the blame and said it was him, and now 20 years later I’m prepared to fess up and admit it was me. Sorry Mom!

In 1994 Dad got the job doing Play by Play for the Florida Panthers, so we moved to South Florida, and I became a Florida Panthers Fan. Pavel Bure & Dino Ciccarelli were my favourite Panthers!  Last year, I was lucky enough to be at Dino’s Induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and I also still believe that Pavel Bure is next!

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Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: josh+rimer, nhl+home+ice

Where’s That Contract Extension For Ron Wilson?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Two months ago, when Brian Burke was telling one and all that Ron Wilson would most certainly be behind the Maple Leaf bench next season, it was indicated and expected that a contract extension for the veteran coach would follow.

Well, it hasn’t. And it won’t.

Wilson, sources say, won’t get more years on his already lucrative deal for a 56th birthday present on Saturday — and if he does eventually get an extension from the Leafs before his contract expires on June 30, 2012, he’s clearly going to have to earn it by winning hockey games with far greater consistency than in his first three seasons at the Air Canada Centre.

Once, having a “lame duck” coach working in the final year of his contract would have been anathema to Burke. But something changed.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ron+wilson

Too Much Exposure?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stephanie Law of the Vancouver Sun,

The first flash was seen by hockey fans across the continent. A Canucks fan raised her shirt to taunt the San Jose Sharks’ Ben Eager in the penalty box during Game 2 of the NHL Western Conference finals and was broadcast live on CBC.

Another woman was photographed revealing her breasts on Granville Street after the Canucks clinched the series Tuesday night.

Chances are that there will be more exposures during the Stanley Cup Final, beginning Wednesday in Vancouver.

The trend for women to doff their tops is not that rare in the world of sport, particularly hockey.


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

Just Another Elimination Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Romano of the St. Petersburg Times,

Welcome to the Rapture, Part V.

For 34 days, we have been bracing for hockey’s version of the end times in Tampa Bay. Not just some vague notion of all-good-things-must-end, but actual 60-minute showdowns with the entire season on the line.

Three times, the Lightning fended off elimination against the Penguins in the opening round. Once more, the Bolts survived do-or-die against Boston in Game 6 Wednesday.

And now comes a fifth trip to the precipice and a chance to make hockey history if the Lightning remains standing by night’s end.

No team in modern NHL history has ever made it to the Stanley Cup final after facing five or more elimination games. A few have come close. Several have actually won more than five elimination games in a single postseason, and a few others played their fifth elimination game after reaching the final.


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

You Could Say A Game 7 Was Expected

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe,

Somewhere in Greater Boston, there is a bunch of guys who are thinking the following: “That place we’re going for the rehearsal dinner had better have a TV!’’

You know who you are, and that goes for the bride in question, although in fairness to her, it’s almost impossible to pick a wedding date that doesn’t interfere with some sporting event of consequence.

OK, when the Stanley Cup playoffs began April 13, no one knew for sure there would be a Game 7 on May 27. But when this Bruins-Lightning series began, the idea that it would come down to a Game 7 was a reasonable supposition.

Start with this: Each team had 103 regular-season points. The Bruins received the third seed as a division winner, but fourth-seeded Pittsburgh had more points than either of these clubs. Their seeding means the Bruins get to play Game 7 in TD Garden, but it hardly testifies to them being a better team.


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

What Do You Know, Someone Complaining About The SCF Schedule

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,

It made for funny quotes when, a few minutes after finishing off the San Jose Sharks in five games, Alex Burrows hoped the Tampa-Boston series would go seven, with quadruple-overtime in each of the last two.

But he didn’t really mean it.

What the feisty Canucks winger meant to say was: “It doesn’t really matter to us, because the winner of that series, even if it goes seven, will get five days off to rest and recharge. And that’s only fair. We have no desire to play a tired team for the Stanley Cup, and ask no reward for our efficiency.”

Thanks, Alex.

Happily for all, NBC agreed, so when it released the schedule for the best-of-seven Cup final on Thursday -preempting the NHL on its own announcement, which just shows you who wears the pants in that relationship -it was with a five-day lead-in, a June 1 start, and two extra off-days, mid-series.

One game, No. 2, is on a weekend. Stuff that in your pipe, Hockey Night in Canada


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Red Wings overnight report: Option #3: spend wisely

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated: Per Capgeek, the Wings have signed Adam Almqvist to a 3-year entry-level deal: Aside from mentioning the news of the day—overnight, the Free Press’s Helene St. James revealed that the Red Wings want to keep assistant coach Paul MacLean in the fold, but they do plan on allowing MacLean to apply for head coaching positions…

We continue our conversation regarding the options which the Red Wings can avail themselves of in terms of attempting to “replace” Brian Rafalski’s offensive production. The Hockey News’s Adam Proteau argued that adding grit to the blueline and simply expecting the Wings’ incumbents to fill the void while using Rafalski’s $6 million worth of cap space on a back-up goaltender and a bottom-six forward, and Fox Sports Detroit’s Dana Wakiji suggested that the Wings may and probably do hope that Brendan Smith can prove his NHL readiness in training camp and join the team, adding a little more offensive pop while working into the lineup as Jakub Kindl did this season.

GM Ken Holland does believe, however, that the Red Wings will use most of Rafalski’s cap hit to pursue an offensive defenseman as the team believes that the best way to play defense remains cycling the puck in the offensive zone, and as such, puck-moving defensemen are foundational players for Detroit. Holland told the Detroit News’s Bob Wojnowski that he plans on spending wisely while acknowledging that the crop of defensemen who will reach the market will probably be a thin one:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

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