Kukla's Korner

Custance discusses Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist’s self-driven development

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings-Bruins game-day update post has wound to a close, and ESPN's Craig Custance has penned the kind of feature article that provides food for thought between now and 7:30 PM:

Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist played absolutely dominant hockey down the stretch, but proving that he can still score at a good clip while dealing with the intense checking and one-on-one shut-down match-ups of playoff hockey might tell the tale as to whether Nyquist could be another Henrik Zetterberg in the making.

Custance spoke with Nyquist's coach at the University of Maine, Tim Whitehead, the Wings' Swedish super-scout, Hakan Andersson, Griffins coach Jeff Blashill and former Wings assitstant GM Jim Nill about Nyquist's blossoming, but Custance reports that the biggest difference-maker in terms of Nyquist's physical, mental and skill development was and is Nyquist himself:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

All Those Goals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

So were you like me, watching the first two nights of the NHL playoffs on television and thinking you’d stepped into a time machine?

Suddenly, it was 1986, all over again. Wayne and the boys were lighting it up out West. Bossy and his gang were still a force in the East. Was that Peter Stastny scoring key goals for Quebec, or Paul Stastny scoring them for the former Nordiques, now the Colorado Avalanche? Neal Broten starring for the Minnesota North Stars or Zach Parise for the Minnesota Wild? If Patrick Roy was on the ice instead of behind the bench, would his team have given up four goals?

Maybe, because it seemed like, in the first 48 hours, everybody was giving up goals – 53 total in seven games, six of which produced seven goals or more. That giddy euphoria coming from a nearby living room – that’s the sound of playoff poolies everywhere, off to a roaring start.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Steve Mason May Play Game 2 For The Flyers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,

Mason went through a practice at Chelsea Piers and said he felt good and wasn’t hampered in any kind of movement on the ice.

He last practiced Tuesday and will have a full practice with teammates Saturday.

“I felt pretty good for being on the ice for the first time in a couple days,” Mason said. “It was a good step. I felt great movement wise.”

Can you play in Game 2?

“We still have a couple days before Sunday rolls around, so that’s definitely my goal,” Mason said.

Mason said Flyers management would have to decide on his status. Coach Craig Berube said he’ll make a decision after speaking with all parties later today and what he sees off Saturday’s practice.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+mason

Pavel Datsyuk makes his first appearance in TSN’s Play of the Year Showdown

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

TSN's latest "Play of the Year Showdown" pits Pavel Datsyuk's superb pass against the Boston Bruins...

Against a shorthanded goal by T.J. Oshie:

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No surprise here: Bruins’ broadcasters expect Boston to take out Detroit, and to do so quickly

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Jamming it in: While you're at it, via RedWIngsFeed, go vote for Pavel Datsyuk in TSN's Play of the Year bracket...

I would expect Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond to say something similar regarding the Red Wings, but in case you're interested, the Boston Bruins' play-by-play man and color commentator, Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley (respectively), told the Boston Globe's Chad Finn that they expect the B's to make quick work of the Wings:

“I don’t think this is a lengthy series,’’ said NESN color analyst Andy Brickley, who will join Jack Edwards for the call of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals series Friday. “I don’t see it going six or seven. I think the Bruins take care of business in five games. I think they’ll win a game in Detroit and hold serve at home. I think there will be some really hard fought, close games in this series. But I also see a 4-0 win, a 4-1 win, a game that’s in [the Bruins’] control for most of it.

“I try to be as objective as I can, but when you try to project it, that’s how I see it evolving. I’m not ignoring what Detroit brings to the table, I think the Bruins strengths are stronger than Detroit’s strengths.”

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Red Wings-Bruins Game 1 game-day updates: no lineup changes but plenty of Babcockian bluster

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 8x at 2:34 PM: The Detroit Red Wings hope to upset the mighty Boston Bruins as the teams' first-round playoff series gets underway this evening (7:30 PM on FSD and NESN locally, NBCSN and TSN nationally and on 97.1 FM; does Octopi Hockeytown extend to Boston?), and while the Bruins skated quite early...

WEEI's DJ Bean reports that Claude Julien took a page out of Mike Babcock's book and "held an optional":

Burning hot take: If today's morning skate is an optional, perhaps Bruins just had Paille do his before. Would throw folks off the scent

...

Or he was just skating before because that's what injured players do. That's the more likely, but I'm not assuming anything. #Bruins

Which means that, as the Boston Herald's Steve Conroy notes, more than just Daniel Paille's status remained up in the air:

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Grand Rapids Griffins assistant coach Spiros Anastas busy working both current and future jobs

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Grand Rapids Griffins assistant coach Spiros Anastas will leave the team after the Griffins attempt to defend their Calder Cup championship this spring, and Anastas is going to a lesser-known institution that's a familiar place to the Wings' former coach.

Anastas is going to take over as the University of Lethbridge's (Alberta) coach, taking a position once filled by Mike Babcock, and Anastas spoke with the Lethbridge Herald's Dylan Purcell about his new challenge:

He’s still an assistant coach in the American Hockey League, preparing for the playoffs for the defending league Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins.

He’s recruiting players for the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns men’s hockey team as part of his new head coaching duties.

He has to find a place to live in Lethbridge, and has to evaluate the players he is inheriting and determine what resources he has at his disposal.

And he’s planning to get married this summer.

If it sounds like Spiros Anastas needs a couple of extra hours in the day, don’t worry, he’s found them.

“It’s been really busy. We’ve got the playoffs ahead for the Calder Cup defence. They say sleep is a weapon but I am going to have to use it wisely but I think I can handle it, I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Purcell continues, and Anastas is truly somebody worth rooting for, so I wish him all the best.

Meanwhile, in Grand Rapids...

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

QUICK HITS
* There have been three overtime games in the first seven contests of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. In 2013, there were 27 overtime games (in 86 total games played, 31.4%), including a record 17 in 47 first-round contests (36.2%). Each of the 15 total series had at least one overtime game, the first time that has happened since all four rounds went to the best-of-seven format in 1987.

* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the triple-overtime contest between the Blues and Blackhawks marked just the eighth time in NHL history the opening game of a playoff season required three or more overtimes. The winner of Game 1 went on to advance in all seven previous instances.

* Five of the first seven games in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs have been decided by one goal. In 2013, there were 49 one-goal games (in 86 total games played, 57.0%), two short of the record set in 2007 (51 one-goal games in 81 total games played, 63.0%).

* Home teams are 6-1 through seven games in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Last year, home clubs earned a record 59 victories in the postseason (59-27, .686), including a 30-17 mark in the first round (.638). In 2012, road teams dominated, posting a record 47 wins throughout the playoffs (47-39, .547), including a 30-18 mark in the first round (.625).

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Here’s the Red Wings’ playoff ‘prologue’ video

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Enjoy...

Update: The Wings posted an "Octopi Hockyetown" video, too:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Ready. Set. Vomit…Again

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

No one understands it. There is not a hockey fan reading this blog right now who can possibly grasp what Wing fans are going through, unless they're Wing fans themselves.

No one else. Not in Montreal or Pittsburgh. Not in Boston or Chicago. Certainly not in Denver and definitely not in St. Louis.

None of them can possibly fathom the rumbly in the tumblies of Wing fans because we've been weened on excellence.  The rest of them have hopes. We have expectations. In St. Louis, they have wishes that they know, for a fact, will definitely be dashed. Today, Wing fans can claim we'd be happy to be competitive.  But, in the backs of our minds, because we know the taste of it, we're thinking about a parade.

No group of fans, other than us, understand the horrific stress that accompanies sustained success. 

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

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