Kukla's Korner

The Ottawa Senators Must Now Win Four In A Row Against The Montreal Canadiens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

They sat quietly in their dressing room and tried to put on a brave face.

Craig Anderson couldn’t pull off his own heist Sunday night and now the Senators stand on the brink of elimination.

The move to change to the club’s top goalie was viewed as panic in the morning, it was looking brilliant heading into the third period, but in the end nothing was working for the Senators as Dale Weise scored his second of the night at 8:47 of OT to give the Montreal Canadiens a dramatic 2-1 victory.

Anderson made 47 saves but Weise beat him short side for the win.

The packed house of 20,500 at Canadian Tire Centre left in a state of shock as Weise beat Anderson to give the Habs a commanding 3-0 series lead. Only Clarke MacArthur was able to beat Carey Price on the 33 shots he faced as Weise beat Anderson in regulation to send it to OT.

“It was a close one,” said Anderson. “It’s frustrating. The guys battled so hard, played so well and to come up short is frustrating.

“I gave the team a chance to win and that’s my job. It’s frustrating I wasn’t able to get the win for the guys. We’ve got to put this behind us and get ready to go.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Calgary Flames Get Physical

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

Vancouver has all the experience, but in that case they ought to know that the team that wins the physical battles to the extent Calgary won them Sunday almost always wins at playoff hockey.

Bieksa is looking a tad old. Luca Sbisa looks more than a tad scared. And the Vancouver Canucks as a group, well, when the game was in the balance on Sunday night, they simply could not handle the fast, hard-hitting and emotional Flames.

“Combination,” said Bieksa. “They played well, they came hard on the forecheck, but we weren’t as clean. We were a little too spread out. They kept a lot of pucks in on us, we weren’t as clean as last time.”

That’s fair. We’ve seen, over the years, too many playoff series that look to be going one way, turn on a dime. A win here on Tuesday and the Canucks will have reclaimed the momentum heading home.

But that prospect seems a distant dream after Game 3, where the Calgary forecheck was simply too much for Vancouver’s defence to handle.

more including videos of some of the 'physical play'...

Video highlights are below...

Continue Reading »

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

Monday Morning Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

- Is this a good time to remind everyone that the Capitals have won two of their past six series as the higher seed going back to 2009 with a group that included Ovechkin, Mike Green, Nicklas Backstrom, Brooks Laich, Jay Beagle and Eric Fehr and was joined a year later by John Carlson, Karl Alzner, Jason Chimera and Marcus Johansson?

You know, kind of the core.

- look at it this way. If Mr. Snider’s team hires John Tortorella to replace Craig Berube behind the bench, Vinny Lecavalier would get 25 minutes a night.

He’d have to, seeing as how Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek would probably both be down with broken ankles from blocking shots.

read on for some Edmonton Oilers talk...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Recap Of The NHL Playoff Action From Sunday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Four minutes of highlights from the playoff games on Sunday.


Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink

The overnight report: Talking points and disparate narratives from an off day

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Neither the Red Wings nor Lightning practiced on Sunday, so you'd expect a quiet day subsequent to the Lightning's 5-1 win on Saturday, but there are clicks to be fought for, eyeballs to attract to websites and ads to sell to pay the bills--and it's the playoffs--so it would've been uncharacteristic at best and a bad business model at worst for the mainstream media folks to emulate the teams' decision to take a rest day.

That being said, Sunday and Monday morning's stories offer a scattershot selection of Red Wings and Lightning-related topics, so I'm going to split this entry into sub-topics, with the first being this:

Outside of Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, the Red Wings are not a team full of established stars or superstars, though Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist, Riley Sheahan, Justin Abdelkader and (very quietly) Danny DeKeyser made strides toward establishing themselves as key contributors this past season.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Playoff prospect news: Holmstrom, SAIK tie SHL final; Turgeon advances; Griffins to play Marlies

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

In playoff news involving Red Wings prospects:

In the SHL, Skelleftea AIK tied its SHL final series with the Vaxjo Lakers via a 2-1 win on Sunday (follow the link for highlights), and Axel Holmstrom's 1-0 goal in 15:01 played places him 2 points ahead of the Sedins' playoff rookie scoring record. He's registered 7 goals and 9 assists for 16 points in 13 games palyed;

In the WHL, Dominic Turgeon registered an assist in the Portland Winterhawks' 3-2 win over Everett, winning the second-round series in 5 games played. Turgeon's Winterhawks will battle Mitch Wheaton's Kelowna Rockets in the WHL semifinal;

And in the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins discovered their playoff opponent on Sunday, while Teemu Pulkkinen wrapped up the AHL's goal-scoring title despite playing in only 46 games.

In terms of the playoff opponent, the Griffins will open their 5-game first-round series against the Toronto Marlies on the road, and they'll do so on Saturday, April 25th, per the Griffins:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Evening Line- Eric Duhatschek

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Oilers need a goaltending upgrade, better personnel on the blueline and an improved commitment to defensive hockey to move up the NHL ladder.

Saturday’s draft lottery win is a great starting point. It provided their franchise with a defining ‘wow’ moment and a genuine opportunity to fast track the rebuild within the rebuild.

This time, they’d better get it right.

-Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail where you can read more on the Oilers.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Tim Murray On Jack Eichel

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Tim Murray wants to make one thing clear -- he's thrilled that he's likely getting Jack Eichel with the second overall pick in the June NHL draft.

"We love him," the Buffalo Sabres GM told ESPN.com Sunday, one day after seeing the Edmonton Oilers win the draft lottery in a bit of an upset.

Sure, Murray was disappointed Saturday night after losing the lottery, that's the competitor in him, he doesn't want to lose at anything.

But he's thrilled, as was the likeliest scenario all season, that the Sabres will get a great player in Eichel.

"People took my comments last night as an insult to Jack Eichel, that's the furthest thing from the truth, I love Jack Eichel," said Murray, referring to him saying he was disappointed for the Sabres fans.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jack+eichel, tim+murray

Early Playoff MVP

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Now that teams are beginning to play their third game in the playoffs, I think it is a good time to make my first pick as a playoff MVP.  I select Vladimir Tarasenko of the St Louis Blues.  He has three goals and four points in two games played.  Both of those numbers place him in ties for the league lead.

Tarasenko is an interesting player.  He has appeared to develop into a Hall of fame track player this year.  His offensive totals have been continually improving in his three year NHL career.  He scored 19 points as a rookie, 43 points in his second year and 73 points this year.  That is a remarkable annual improvement.  Is it possible that he can continue that improvement next season and beyond?  Is it more likely that a player who takes such big steps forward is due for a regression?

As a rough guess, Tarasenko has scored .75 points per game in his NHL career.  There are 82 games played in a season.  As a rule of thumb, a player's best season is about 25% better than his peak.  If we assume 80 games played a season (with a couple missed games) a player's best offensive season will be approximately 100 times his career points per game.  That would suggest that Tarasenko is playing near his peak - assuming he doesn't continue to improve.  When we look back on his career, Tarasenko will probably have a career best offensive total that is around 100 times his career points per game, however I think it is likely that his points per game improves in his career.  Thus I would argue that Tarasenko does not have the ability to make another big jump in his offensive totals in the future but he will likely show some improvement into the near future. 

At any rate, Vladimir Tarasenko is the best player in the playoffs so far.  He is a developing young star.  It will be interesting to see if he can keep up this level of play into the playoffs and how long he will continue to improve his regular season numbers.

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

The Latest On An NHL Team In Las Vegas

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

The trial season-ticket drive by prospective owners of a new NHL franchise in Las Vegas is expected to top the 11,000 mark by the end of Monday, a source told ESPN.com.

While there remains widespread belief within the hockey community that the NHL will become the first major professional sports league to put down stakes in the gambling mecca, it is now believed that the earliest a team would begin play is the 2017-18 season.

Bill Foley, the main investor in the group, had initially expressed optimism that an expansion team could take the ice in the fall of 2016, about four months after the Las Vegas Arena is expected to open on the strip.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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