Kukla's Korner

Blackhawks Dealing With Favorite Tag

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times,

But the Hawks were trying kind of hard to ignore the favorite’s role Wednesday. If they could have put their fingers in their ears and hummed to drown out the talk, they would have.

‘‘It’s going to be tough,’’ defenseman Brian Campbell said of the Cup finals. ‘‘It’s not going to come easy for us.’‘

It’s no surprise the Hawks are trying to downplay the fact that Las Vegas is picking them to beat the Flyers. Most people don’t want to say they were born rich; most want to say they pulled themselves up by their bootstraps.

But the Hawks are the deeper team. They played well most of the season. They’re better.

You won’t hear that from the Hawks, who aren’t prone to bouts of woofing and chest-thumping.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Thank The Flyers Owner

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stephen A. Smith of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Assuming that e-mails, letters and voice-mail messages have some value, it’s fair to surmise that Ed Snider isn’t Mr. Popularity in these parts.

If his dismissive ways don’t turn you off, perhaps it’s the way he saunters around, appearing as if he has all the answers - with absolutely no championship hardware since the days when his hair was still brown. But if these Flyers pull off the unthinkable, recapturing a Stanley Cup once given to Philadelphia in a double dose 35 years ago, the fans can feel free to scream “We did it” all summer long. As long as they pause for a moment to pay homage to the man who made it happen.

The Flyers would not be in the playoffs if Snider did not get them there. Scratch any dreams about a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals, too. Had it not been for the man cutting the checks, this season of miracles - from making the playoffs in a shoot-out in the regular-season finale to overcoming a three-games-to-none deficit to Boston - would have fallen far short of euphoria.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ed+snider

Philadelphia - The Winning City

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Reuters at the National Post,

The Philadelphia Flyers’ surprising run to the Stanley Cup final has given the city the unusual distinction of having a team in the championship series of all four major North American sports in the past decade. Once called a city of losers, Philadelphia can boast having teams from the NHL, NBA, MLB and NFL represented in the title game or series of each sport since 2001. No the other North American city with teams in all four professional sports leagues can make the same claim during the last 10 years.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

AHL Playoffs: SemiFinals

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The semi-finals in the AHL playoffs completed last night.  Look back at the second round here and the first round here.  These are the results:

Hershey Bears defeat Manchester Monarchs four games to two   Hershey is the minor league affiliate of the Washington Capitals and Manchester is that of the LA Kings.  Hershey was led by its strong offence, which has been led by Chris Bourque, Alexandre Giroux and Keith Aucoin.  Michal Neuvirth has provided goaltending.  Lower scoring Manchester was led offensively by Bud Holloway and Gabe Gauthier.  Their main strength has been goalie Jonathan Bernier who posted a .939 saves percentage in the playoffs.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Frolov Looking For More Money Than The Kings Want To Pay

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider,

Dean Lombardi did an interview this morning with a friend of mine, Dustin Nielson, who does the morning show for 1260-AM in Edmonton. Some of the interview covered some familiar ground, but at one point Lombardi was asked about the future of Alexander Frolov, and whether he saw Frolov returning to the Kings or whether it was time to move on….

He’s a good player. I guess at times, like you say, you think he’s capable of more, but he’s still a productive player. But you still now have to really be astute in how you attach a price tag to that, or you’re going to get yourself in trouble down the road, and then all this building we’ve done makes no sense if we can’t keep these young players that have come through our system. So I’m not too optimistic, given what he’s looking for. The other thing we’re confronting here, don’t forget, is the KHL, and they’re offering an awful lot of money…

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+frolov

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“Obviously this organization is one of the best organizations in the NHL.  We took a huge step this year and I hope to be part of the next step. But we’ll see.”

“Let’s face it, the mission is not accomplished yet.  I want to be a part of it, but I don’t know if it’s up to me.”

-San Jose Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.  More on the Sharks from David Pollak of Working the Corners.

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeni+nabokov

Own A Piece Of Canadian History

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Andy Blatchford of the CP at the Toronto Star,

The hockey sweater worn during one of Canada’s greatest sporting moments is up for auction.

Paul Henderson wore the battle-scarred, stick-marked jersey when he buried the winning goal in the 1972 Summit Series against the former Soviet Union.

The sweater’s owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, is a cancer survivor who plans to donate some of the proceeds to charity, said Marc Juteau, president of Classic Auctions, the Montreal-area company handling the sale. Henderson was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia last fall.

“It’s somebody that really cares about what’s going on with Mr. Henderson, somebody who’s been there,” Juteau said

continued

Watch a feature on Henderson below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+henderson, team+canada

Even With A Deep Playoff Run, Montreal Will Raise Ticket Prices

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at TSN,

Published reports have estimated that the team earned $3 million from each of its eight home games in the post-season. Fans also filled the Bell Centre to watch the Habs on giant TVs as they beat the Penguins in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals in Pittsburgh. The club played a total of 19 playoff games this year, compared to just four last year.

“All of Montreal and Quebec benefited from the success of the Canadiens,” said Molson, noting how fan interest helped bars, restaurants and merchandise sales.

Despite the success this year, the Canadiens plan to raise ticket prices next year.

“We will increase ticket prices but it is directly related to the growth of the economy,” Molson told reporters.

more

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

Making The Stanley Cup Final

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

On some levels, the teams are mirror images of one another.

Toews’s counterpart with the Flyers is Mike Richards, two players whose maturity level belie their relative youth; ’Hawks winger Patrick Kane’s is Jeff Carter, two skilled goal scorers and playmakers. There is accomplished secondary scoring (Daniel Brière, Simon Gagné for the Flyers, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp for the Blackhawks); there are big, imposing physical specimens (Pronger on the Flyers blueline, while the Blackhawks have one of the more unique players in the NHL in Dustin Byfuglien, a 257-pound net-front presence, who has scored four game-winners in these playoffs).

Philly has had a series of remarkable wins these past two months: First, to qualify for the playoffs in a shootout on the final day of the regular season, and second, to eliminate the Boston Bruins in seven games after being down 3-0.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

How The Winning Started In Chicago

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Shannon of Sportsnet,

The Blackhawks playoff success has revitalized the franchise in the Second City. Obviously owner Rocky Wirtz has become a folk hero, with the team going to the final for the first time since 1992. Former GM Dale Tallon has received credit, as has Joel Quenneville and the Bowmans (Stan and Scotty), but for my money John McDonough has to be given his own due for what has happened with the Hawks.

McDonough was Wirtz’s first hire after taking over the team. He came from the Chicago Cubs, a franchise that has done an outstanding job selling the experience of Wrigley Field. McDonough has brought much of that experiential feel to the United Center. He started with mimicking the Cubs by creating a team convention in July. Then he partnered the club with the same radio and TV stations (WGN) as the Cubs, and he welcomed back some of the teams’ alumni.

more and other hockey topics too…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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