Kukla's Korner

Seats Still Available In Ottawa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Like everybody else across the National Hockey League, Eugene Melnyk is mystified.

The Ottawa Senators are only two wins away from a trip to the Stanley Cup final but, as they prepare for Tuesday's Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the club’s owner is surprised the Canadian Tire Centre isn’t completely sold out.

As the hours ticked towards the 8 p.m. faceoff between the Senators and Penguins, with Pittsburgh leading the series 3-2, the club was still trying to move a large inventory of seats. A check of the seat map in the building indicated there were a lot of the lower-priced seats in the upper decks still available.

Melnyk is choosing his words carefully because attendance has been an issue all season but he is taken aback by the fact there is no guarantee the building — which has a capacity of 18,572 — will be full Tuesday night.

Nobody is certain how many seats are left for the game but it’s fair to the game wasn’t close to a sellout Monday night.

“It’s very disturbing, however, knowing the players and coaches they will be trying their hardest for Ottawa,” Melnyk told Postmedia.


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

Videos- From The Anaheim Side

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

This time was going to be different. After four straight seasons of backing down at the moment of truth, after building what they thought would be enough depth to get through a playoff grind, after bringing Randy Carlyle back to coach them because they believed his calm and resourcefulness would guide them past their mental and emotional postseason hurdles, the ending was the same for the Ducks.

Maybe even more painful than in previous seasons, because they clawed and scratched and were on the brink of forcing a seventh game in the Western Conference finals before they let their last chance slip away.

They got a few steps further than they did a year ago. But if losing to the Nashville Predators in a six-game conference finals one year after the Predators had booted them out of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs meant the Ducks had accomplished something, that theory was contradicted by the tears welling in Ryan Kesler’s eyes and the vacant stares of Andrew Cogliano and Corey Perry after their efforts to mount yet another remarkable rally fell short in a 6-3 loss Monday.

“Personally, I don’t think the better team won tonight but it doesn’t really matter what I think,” said Kesler, who sat at his locker for long minutes with his head buried in a towel before he began to unlace his skates and unpeel the tape that held him and his equipment together. “They got the victory and they move on and we’re going home.”


Below, Mark Whicker of the LA Daily News and video of Perry, Getzlaf and Carlyle post-game...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Dream Away Nashville

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

“Wha-choo gonna have, honey?”

The woman in the Union St. sandwich shop reminds us every time that Nashville has loaned the National Hockey League an entirely unique brand of Southern hospitality. It’s about as far from Schwartz’s Deli in Montreal, or Sarge’s Deli in New York City, as hockey people could possibly find themselves.

It’s kind of Dallas-like down here in Tennessee, but to a Kenny Chesney soundtrack. With a shot of Jack.

Well, guess what, y’all? The Preds are fixin’ to win it all, two-stepping all the way to their first Stanley Cup in 20 years with a 6-3, series-clinching win over the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night.

“It’s a dream come true,” the big Finnish goalie Pekka Rinne, who came here as an eighth-round pick and has become this club’s longest standing member and de facto captain. “But it's a funny thing, though. When everything is happening around us, you still feel hungry, and now we have a chance to play for the Cup.

“It’s a pretty amazing feeling. And you’ve been working for that for a long, long time.”


Highlights and handshakes are below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Ducks erased a 3-1 deficit in the third period, but Colton Sissons scored the go-ahead goal and completed his hat trick with 6:00 remaining in regulation to lift the Predators to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history. Nashville, which began play in 1998-99 and is competing in the postseason for the 10th time, had recorded three series wins prior to the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs (3-9).


* The Predators, who ranked 16th in NHL’s regular-season standings and qualified for the postseason as the second Wild Card team in the Western Conference (41-29-12, 94 points), became the third club seeded lowest in its conference to advance to the Stanley Cup Final since the League adopted the conference-based playoff format in 1994. The others: the 2006 Oilers (4-3 L vs. CAR) and 2012 Kings (4-2 W vs. NJD).
* At least one team outside the top 10 in the NHL’s regular-season standings now has reached the Stanley Cup Final in eight of the past 15 seasons. The others: the 2002 Hurricanes (16th), 2004 Flames (12th), 2006 Oilers (14th), 2010 Flyers (18th), 2012 Kings (13th), 2014 Rangers (12th) and 2016 Sharks (11th).
* Sissons, who has one hat trick in his regular-season career (109 GP), recorded the second three-goal game in Predators playoff history – following Filip Forsberg’s hat trick in Game 5 of the 2015 First Round vs. CHI. Elias notes that Sissons became the first player to score a hat trick in a series-clinching win in the Conference Finals since Chicago’s Patrick Kane in 2013 (vs. LAK).
* Sissons, who had 8-2—10 in the regular season (58 GP), now has matched that point total during the playoffs (5-5—10 in 16 GP). He did not register a point in any of his 10 career postseason appearances prior to 2017.
* The Predators next will face the winner of the Eastern Conference Final between the Penguins and Senators. Only one player on Nashville’s roster has previously appeared in a Stanley Cup Final game: Mike Fisher, who collected 2-2—4 with Ottawa in 2007 vs. ANA (5 GP).

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Prospect news: Sambrook’s Otters shell the Sea Dogs at the Memorial Cup

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of prospect-related note:

At the Memorial Cup, Jordan Sambrook had an assist on the Erie Otters' first goal...as Erie scored TWELVE TIMES to defeat the Saint John Sea Dogs 12-5. You can watch highlights from the game here.

Erie will play the Windsor Spitfires on Wednesday, and the team that wins Wednesday's game will advance directly to the Memorial Cup Final.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

The Nashville Predators Advance To The Stanley Cup Final

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Nashville defeated the Anaheim Ducks 6-3 to win the series 4-2 and now advance to their first Stanley Cup Final.

Here is the game winning goal by Colton Sissons, his 3rd of the game.





Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A historical note and the stuff of playoff legend

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

There's a wee bit of irony in this note from NHL.com's John Kreiser, because what happened during and after this game is the stuff of playoff and hockey (urban) legend:


2009: Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom sets an NHL record by playing in his 228th consecutive Stanley Cup Playoff game, a 4-3 overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final at United Center.

Lidstrom's second-period goal starts Detroit's comeback from down three goals. Lidstrom breaks the record set by Larry Robinson from 1973-92. He finishes his NHL career with 263 postseason games played, second all-time to former teammate Chris Chelios (266), and plays on four Stanley Cup-winning teams before retiring in 2012.

Lidstrom didn't play a 229th consecutive playoff game because he was accidentally speared in the groin by Jonathan Toews, and he required surgery to rectify the issue. There are Wings fans who insist that Lidstrom lost a testicle thanks to the spear, and there's no doubt that Lidstrom played through pain in the Stanley Cup Final rematch with Pittsburgh.

The NHL also posted a short video reflecting upon the cheerier part of Lidstrom's 228th consecutive playoff appearance:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Video- Nick Ritchie Hit On Viktor Arvidsson

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Ritchie received five for boarding and a game, Arvidsson went to the room.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nick+ritchie, viktor+arvidsson

Open Post- Game 6 Western Conference Final

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Anaheim Ducks need a win to play in a game 7 on Wednesday, the Nashville Predators need a win to set-off a big party in Nashville.

Personally, I feel the Ducks are done but we will soon find out.

Anaheim @ Nashville, NSH leads 3-2, 8 p.m., CBC, TVAS, NBCSN    

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

If The New York Rangers Want To Sign Brendan Smith

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

Brendan Smith’s sights are not necessarily set on hitting the open market on July 1, but the impending free-agent defenseman’s agent made it clear Monday that while the 28-year-old could eschew free agency to remain with the Rangers, it would have to be for a fair market value deal.

“Brendan has told me that he enjoyed the entire experience of playing in New York and being with the Rangers and that he certainly would consider signing a new deal and going back instead of becoming a free agent,” Anton Thun told The Post. “But at the same time, I want to make it clear that he hasn’t told me, ‘Get a deal done with the Rangers.’

“He’s looking for a good fit with a good organization, and the Rangers certainly qualify. But to pass up free agency, Brendan’s going to need a contract that reflects market value.”...

It is difficult to project the Rangers’ cap space for next season until a resolution is reached regarding potential buyouts of Dan Girardi and/or Marc Staal and possible trades of core forwards. Suffice to say, however, it will likely take a deal of four or five years between $4 million and $4.5 million per to keep Smith from sniffing around the open market. The Blueshirts certainly should be able to afford that.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brendan+smith

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