Kukla's Korner

A cheer-up comment from Brian Rafalski

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Okay, so the news that Chris Osgood is apparently still “too sore” to back up Jimmy Howard for tonight’s Red Wings-Capitals game isn’t exactly great news. In fact, it’s downright worrisome. But maybe this quip from Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski, who spoke to NHL.com’s Bob Snow about his long and winding road to the NHL, as well as his three Stanley Cup wins with the New Jersey Devils and WIngs, might cheer you (and me) up:

“The two experiences [with New Jersey and Detroit] are very similar,” Rafalski said. “The first year, obviously, winning the championship at each and then losing in the Finals the second and then being knocked out [of the playoffs] early in the third year. I guess that means we’re supposed to win it this year,” he said, smiling about the Wings possibly paralleling the Devils’ three-year Cup calendar in 2000 and 2003 by replicating it in 2008 and 2011. 

“I’ve been on some very good teams,” Rafalski said. “I came into New Jersey with some very skilled players and fit in real nice playing with some real good defensemen early in my career like Scott Stevens, and Scott Niedermayer, and having Larry Robinson as coach.

“All that continued [in Detroit]. I’ve just tried to learn from who is around you. Take this, and ask, ‘Can I use that? How can I use it, and in what part of my game?’ Just absorb things that are important. Each Cup was special with the path to each; each takes just as much effort. It is the highest echelon of this sport.”

I sure hope we’re due.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Sabres Warded Off Again

Blog: The Sabres Observer By @DaveDavisHockey

It’s funny how Cam Ward’s name is typically mentioned when people argue that you can win a Stanley Cup without an elite goaltender.  From Buffalo’s perspective, he’s been about as tough to beat as they come.

Last night Ward pitched a 40-save shutout at HSBC Arena.  About two weeks earlier, he was solid in a 3-2 Hurricanes overtime win over Buffalo at the RBC Center.  You have to wonder to what extent he’ll be in the heads of the Sabres forwards when they meet again in a possible playoff berth-clinching game in Carolina on April 3.

In the big picture, though, it would be shortsighted to rail on the Sabres for losing in their 9th game in 15 days.  That stretch included road wins against teams backstopped by Tim Thomas and Henrik Lundqvist, so fans and media stating that this team can’t beat the league’s prime time netminders might want to put that card back into the deck.

The Sabres will be idle until they start a stretch of three games in four nights this Saturday at home against Atlanta.  Contrary to what will be popular opinion in Buffalo, I wouldn’t be the least bit upset if Ryan Miller started all three of those games.

Follow me on twitter

Filed in: | The Sabres Observer | Permalink

GM Meetings Are Completed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at TSN,

After dedicating two days discussing issues, the NHL’s general managers wrapped up their annual meetings by tackling some other topics.

Among the items discussed were the possibility of expanding video review to include high-sticking calls and defining exactly what type of spinorama move is allowed in shootouts.

Those issues will be discussed further when the GMs convene again during the Stanley Cup final in June.


Update 3pm ET: More from NHL.com

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

Red Wings-Capitals game-day updates: Datsyuk, Ovechkin ready to face off

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 8x with Osgood news, other stuff at 3:16 PM: The Detroit Red Wings will face off against the Washington Capitals tonight (7:30 PM EDT, Versus/the game is also on Fox Sports Detroit and Comcast Sportsnet Washignton/WXYT) in a showdown which will showcase two of the league’s most highly-skilled teams and two of the league’s most dynamic players in Pavel Datsyuk and Alex Ovechkin, who, as the Free Press’s Helene St. James notes, happen to be good friends as the pair played together for Dynamo Moscow during the lockout:

Wings superstar Pavel Datsyuk and the Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin are old friends, and chatted prior to the morning skates. Inside the Wings’ locker room there’s a good deal of excitement about seeing Ovechkin play, as he’s about as dominant as they come. He’s racked up four goals and eight assists during the winning streak.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Crosby Gets Concussion Advice From Leopold

Blog: The Sabres Observer By @DaveDavisHockey

From Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News,

Concussed Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby skated for the first time in more than two months Monday, a 15-minute session on his own early in the morning at the Consol Energy Center. Later in the day, the NHL’s biggest star met with reporters and said he’s talked to hardly any players around the league about his injury.

He admitted to one notable exception: A chat last week with Buffalo Sabres defenseman Jordan Leopold, who suffered a concussion during the playoffs last year while playing with the Penguins.

“Sid was in a pretty good mood that day. I normally try to talk to him every time I’m in town or when they come in here,” Leopold said prior to Tuesday’s game in HSBC Arena against the Carolina Hurricanes, which was not complete in time for this edition. “I think his spirits were up. He knows he’s got better days ahead of him, of course. I just wanted to reach out to him and let him know I was thinking about him and ask him how he was doing.

more, including Leopold’s firsthand experience of dealing with the emotional aspect of a concussion.

Filed in: | The Sabres Observer | Permalink

Have The Flames Run Out Of Gas?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

But the Flames have hit a lull at precisely the wrong time of the NHL season and last night’s 4-3 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes at the Scotiabank Saddledome makes it three defeats in a row, further imperiling their playoff hopes.

The only good news for Calgary: The team immediately ahead of them in the Western Conference standings, the Dallas Stars, and the team immediately behind them, the Nashville Predators, also lost in regulation, meaning the Flames will cling to the eighth and final playoff berth for at least another day.

read on

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

Washington/Detroit Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Capitals are on a 9 game winning streak (6 on the road) while the Wings are trying to find their game again.

Puck drops at the Joe Louis Arena just after 7:30pm EDT and is on VERSUS.

added 1:03pm, I understand VERSUS will be picking up the Caps feeds of the game but the Detroit TV crew will be broadcasting on FSD for Detroit area viewers only.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink

GDT - Game #70: Red Wings host Capitals (7:30)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

After starting March 0-2-2, the Red Wings (41-20-8) have put together a modest two-game winning streak, beating the Oil 2-1 in OT, and posting a 5-3 win over STL. If DET are going to hold off the surging SJS for 2nd spot in the Conference (SJS trail DET by only 2 points), they are going to have to start beating quality opponents.  Tonight DET face a quality opponent in the high-flying Caps.

WSH (41-20-10) lead the Southeast, and are 2nd overall in the Eastern Conference, trailing PHI by just one point.  The Caps are riding a 9 game winning streak, including last nights 4-2 win at MTL. The Caps GA/G is 2.37, fourth in the league, and their 85.8% PK is third.  WSH play a high-tempo game, and their PK is very aggressive.  DET must get the puck deep tonight.  Any turnover is most likely a quality scoring chance the other way.  The DET PP, with their blueline passing, and tendency to point shots should be especially careful.

Game On Bitches(!)

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Canucks Cup Bound?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,

This is the 40th year of the franchise and perhaps the hockey gods have decreed that, after 40 years of wandering in the desert, this is enough suffering for one city and the promised land will finally be reached. Why not? And yet, outside of a few people who’ve had one or two too many beers on any given evening, this possibility hasn’t even really been seriously considered. Disaster is too ingrained in the psyche of people in Vancouver when it comes to hockey. They expect everything will turn to bleep and aren’t really happy until it does, and they can proclaim that they told everyone so. But really, when have they had a team this good?

This isn’t to say the Canucks are going to breeze to a Cup because it’s too hard a trophy to win for that to happen. But who is to say it has to end the way it always has? Because in all but three of those years, the Canucks really had no realistic business competing for a Cup. Where fans see a long history of disappointment, in reality, it’s only really been the last two seasons and 1994.

Seriously, in what other year did they have a team good enough to hope for the big prize?


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

Video- Head Shot Or Not- Douglas Murray On Loui Eriksson

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News

, “Colin Campbell has his hands full, that’s for sure,’’ Ott said in regards to the NHL’s chief disciplinarian, who will have to review the game. ``The Loui Eriksson hit, I think that is prototypical. He’s reaching for the hit. The big guy knows what he is doing….


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: douglas+murray, loui+eriksson

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