Kukla's Korner

GDT - W.C. Semifinals, Game 1: Red Wings host Ducks (7:00)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

T.G.I.F.  It has been eight days since the Wings swept through the B.J.‘s; eight days since the Wings were last in the playoff grinder.  Naturally, you would think the long layoff cannot be a good thing.  Recall that Ozzie had to make the majority of big saves early in games, when the Wings were stumbling in the dark, searching for that damn switch.  Uncle Mike doesn’t appear to be overly concerned:  “We’re going to be real fresh,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said Thursday after his team skated at Joe Louis Arena. “At the same time, you’re obviously concerned about it right off the hop, but we’ve made it very clear to our players that

they’ve got to be ready to start on time

. They’ve got to be ready to battle for every inch. I think the layoff’s been a great thing for our team. It was an opportunity to get healthy.” 

The numbers are below, and they are interesting.  The Getlaf, Ryan and Perry line have accounted for half the Duck playoff goals; neutralize that line and things should be good.  Also look at shots for and against, and you realize Hiller (.957%) could cause issues (that or the Fins could not create any traffic in front of the crease).  Ducks start playing fowl (sorry couldn’t resist), and the Wings PP (sizzling at 31.8%) may play an important role.  To me, assuming Ozzie holds his playoff form, this series will be won or lost by the teams respective depth at Forward, and that edge is decidedly in the Wings favor.

Game on Bitches (finally), see you early tonight.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Blackhawks Had Their Chances

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Rosenbloom of Rosen Blog at the Chicago Tribune,

One line of hockey thinking is that the first game of a series is the easiest to win because teams don’t hate each other like they will.

This should’ve favored the Blackhawks in their second-round deal with Vancouver that began Thursday. If they could steal a road game, they would take the home-ice advantage they rightfully deserved after finishing the regular season with more points than the Canucks.

It also should’ve favored the Hawks because they blew into British Columbia with momentum from a big road win in Calgary that closed out the Flames and were facing a team that had been off for more than a week after sweeping St. Louis.

And look at that, the Hawks got a power play two minutes into the game. A chance to take a lead, get a jump on stealing home-ice, and punish a team that wants to hit them the way Calgary did.

So much for that.

continued

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

We’re Gonna Go Ahead And Say All Aboard

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Good morning. 

The Delicate Genius is an expert again.  He knows the Wings like no one else.  Now, tell me what surprises you about this sentence.
Albom

“The wrist!” I say. “Is that upper body?”

 

 

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Phoenix Coyotes Dying

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The news slipped out a couple days ago that the NHL has been running the Phoenix Coyotes since February.  It was a statement from Glendale, Arizona (home of Jobing.com Arena which is the Coyotes home) city manager Ed Beasley.  He was trying to assure local taxpayers that the Phoenix Coyotes were paying their debts for parking fees and security costs at the arena.  He was entirely unconcerned about the NHL public relations department that hade been trying to hide this information.  Almost immediately the Phoenix Coyote front office denied that they are “reporting to the league”.  This appears to be a carefully parsed statement to appear as denial to the Arizona Republic newspaper reports of Ed Beasley’s claims.  Bill Daly of the NHL responded by saying “I believe the Coyotes will be in Phoenix next season.  I won’t comment specifically on the article, other than to say it contains some inaccuracies,” which is clearly not a denial of the story.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Staal Will Have A Giant Shadow

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Droschak of CarolinaHurricanes.com,

Staal won’t be able to breathe in this series without the 6-foot-9, 270-pound Chara knowing if the Carolina star is chewing Dentyne or Trident. Bank on it. 

“It doesn’t matter who we play.  Eric Staal is going to see, not just one, but different guys shift-by-shift. He gets a lot of attention. That’s what All-Star players get,” said Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford. 

“I don’t think I played my best against them this year,” added Staal, who including playoffs has logged a remarkable 368 consecutive games. “I’ve had success against Boston in the past and I like playing in their building. So, it’s about getting ready to play in this series now. The regular season doesn’t really matter this time of year.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: eric+staal

Hard To Beat The Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Dreger of TSN,

There are a number of reasons why the Detroit Red Wings - the defending Stanley Cup Champions - remain the favoured team among the final eight (at least in my mind).

However, what’s more interesting as we embrace round two is the exercise of identifying how the Anaheim Ducks intend on dispatching the second of the top two seeds in the West.

Really, it boils down to three things and no, devine intervention isn’t one of them.  We have more respect for the Ducks and the team’s recent history of success than to suggest that.

The Ducks intend on establishing a hard forecheck. Anaheim wants to force Detroit to defend in an effort to try and wear the Wings down.

That won’t be an easy task as Detroit’s size is often underrated.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Capitals Financial Picture

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,

The NHL, its sponsors and the league’s television partners all stand to benefit from Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals reaching the second round. But so does the team’s bottom line, according to club president Dick Patrick.

With four home games in the opening round, the Capitals anticipate turning a profit of between $400,000-$500,000, Patrick said. Those figures are after the team returned an estimated 60-65 percent of its gross ticket sales revenue to the league, which redistributes the money to the revenue sharing program and to players’ postseason bonuses. The Capitals are among the teams that benefit from revenue sharing.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sundin Will Be A Target For The Blackhawks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

What kind of shape is Mats Sundin really in?

Well, we’re about to find out.

“He’s a target,” promised agitating Chicago Blackhawks winger Adam Burish. “If you asked him, he’d know he has a target on his back.”...

“They’ve got to understand that they’re going to have earn their space,” said Burish, fresh off of driving Jarome Iginla to distraction in Chicago’s six-game victory over Calgary in Round 1. “They have to earn every inch of ice.”

more

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

Madden Feels His Game Is Still There

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,

Does he feel wanted here?

“Yeah,” Madden responded.

Has he felt that way all season?

“No.”

There are, of course, those who wonder if Madden has lost something. Is he the same player?

“Tough question. Yes, I am, but I think my role changed so I had to be a different kind of player,” Madden said.

Might he be over-the-hill?

“No. In fact, I don’t believe that at all,” he said. “And I’ll prove it.”

more on the Devils

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+madden

Odjick Appreciates Message From The Pope

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fernando Carneiro of MetroNews,

Former Vancouver Canuck Gino Odjick, an Algonquin from Maniwaki, Que., said that being at the Vatican this week to hear the Pope express his sorrow for the “anguish” Canadian Aboriginals suffered in residential schools was bigger than any hockey game he’s ever played.

Odjick, a Canuck for eight years, said he remembers a time at about age 14 when he stepped on the ice, looked at the non-native kids and felt inferior.

“I used to look up to NHL players and it was like they could walk on water,” Odjick said from Italy on Thursday. “I didn’t think native kids could ever get there.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gino+odjick

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