Kukla's Korner

Huet Goes Into Hiding

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star,

“I’ll be Cristo.”

That was Brent Seabrook speaking, as he jokingly stepped into Cristobal Huet’s locker and faced a phalanx of reporters, nearly an hour after his Blackhawks had been whacked 6-1 by Detroit.

The real Cristo, as it turns out, never did show his face, taking refuge in the no-trespassing inner sanctum of the Hawks’ dressing room. At 5:30 p.m., the cut-off point for media access, scriveners and TV types ushered outside, Huet was still back there, hiding.

Pretty bush. Which might also accurately describe the No.2-turned-No.1 Chicago goalie, who gave up five Red Wing goals, bracketed around a second period spent largely on the bench – yanked by coach Joel Quenneville and then re-instated, presumably for a bit of confidence bucking-up.

He’ll need all the bucking he can get, the Hawks teetering on the brink of elimination in the Western Conference final, trailing 3-1 as the series swings back to Joe Louis Arena Wednesday night.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cristobal+huet

Emotion Gone From Canes Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,

It’s hard to count this team out after watching what it accomplished against seemingly insurmountable obstacles earlier in the playoffs, but unless the Hurricanes have untapped reserves of emotion that are far from apparent at this point, their future is grim.

If the Hurricanes had that kind of fight left, they would have used it at some point in the first three games, when the opportunity was there to take control. Instead, the Hurricanes capitulated, and now it’s too late.

They got this far on emotion. On heart. On drive. To beat the Penguins, the Hurricanes would have needed as much, if not more, of it. Instead, they’re spent—and their season most likely is as well.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

All Ruslan Fedotenko

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,

Q: Things are going well in the Eastern Conference finals. Is this where you expected the Penguins to be when the playoffs started?

A: We knew we had a good team, had a good chance. It depends on if we play our game, if we play to the best of our potential. And so far, we’ve been doing that.

Q: How has skating on a playoff line with Evgeni Malkin been?

A: It’s been great. He’s a good player. Some games we’re on it, some games not as well. It’s like any other team, any other player. It’s trying to make more consistent games and be a big factor to help the team.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ruslan+fedotenko

Chicago Pays For Their Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of The Spin at the Toronto Star,

The Hawks ruined their own chances by trying to get chippy, the same approach that worked so beautifully against Vancouver in the Western Conference semi-final because the Canucks were so very willing to engage in a tit-for-tat battle.

But not the Wings. They just won’t. So when the Hawks tried to get in Detroit’s face - “scare ‘em off the puck” as Jonathan Toews put it - the Wings just ignored the nonsense as they always do and let the Hawks beat a steady path to the penalty box. The Wings then killed Chicago on the power play, and Mike Babcock kept putting his best guys out at extra strength late in the game as if to tell the Hawks if they wanted to play cheapshot hockey they were going to suffer for it.

more

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

Hold Off On That Optimism Hawk Fans

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

In the very short term?  Sunday’s butt kicking in Chicago brought with it all the typical positives: a 3-1 series lead, a stark example of the Wings’ resiliency and one of the greatest displays of depth we’ve seen in a long time.

Long term? The news may be even better for Detroit.  3 words that should make you smile:

Quenneville. Huet. Campbell.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Memorial Cup

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The Memorial Cup completed on Sunday.  Here was the preview I wrote. 

The Kelowna Rockets won the round robin portion of the tournament.  In fact they had it clinched after only two games as they had a 2-0 record and had defeated both of the Quebec teams (Drummondville and Rimouski), who both had 1-1 records and the Windsor Spitfires were yet to win. 

Windsor had a must win game and Kelowna had a game that didn’t matter at all to end the round robin.  In a hard fought game, Windsor won 2-1 to merely stay alive.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

SCF May Start Earlier Than Expected

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,

According to multiple sources, if the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings can wrap up their respective Conference final series by Wednesday night, the Stanley Cup finals likely would start on Saturday, May 30 in Detroit. In this scenario, Game 2 would be played on Sunday, May 31.

This is a change from a May 22 press release from the league that indicated that the championship series would begin on Friday, June 5, if both Conference final series didn’t end in four-game sweeps.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Playoff Experience Counts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Button at NHL.com,

Come playoff time, we hear the word “experience” being used constantly. “They have a lot of experience on that team.” “That is a very good team, but they lack experience.” “The experience of losing will help them in the future.”

So, is playoff experience, and specifically Stanley Cup-winning experience, mythical or is it a tangible aspect of success?

We often hear that experience is a teacher, and in the playoffs, there are many lessons to learn. At times, teams and players are trying to learn them versus very accomplished players. If you ask players if they want to win, the answer is an absolute yes. If you ask if they are prepared to pay the price, the response will be yes once again.

The tricky part is when you ask if they know what the price is. That is where one can draw on experience.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

You Call This Fan Friendly?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,

What does a team owe its media and fans when it makes a coaching change? There are rules for opening dressing rooms after games, but after firings? The Calgary Flames employed that old political gambit of releasing bad news late on a Friday afternoon to announce that Mike Keenan was out as coach after two seasons. The Flames put out a terse press release and said GM Darryl Sutter would have no further comments till tomorrow, four days later. And that comment would not include the identity of Keenan’s replacement.

While Calgary may not equal Toronto in its media urgency, waiting four days to explain a major personnel change still smacks of arrogance for a franchise that promised it would be more fan friendly when it almost expired earlier this decade.

more plus other NHL topics, including how HNIC viewed the Kronwall hit…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

What Team Do You Associate Scotty Bowman With?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mick Kern of Home Ice XM 204,

A large number of books have been written about Bowman and his coaching style.  Suffice to say, Bowman is arguably the greatest head coach in NHL history.  His two greatest stretches of accomplishements happened in Montreal, and Detroit.  Each incarnation was impressive to behold.  My heart says Scotty Bowman is first-and-foremost identified with the Montreal Canadiens, but my head says that his most impressive coaching job was with the Red Wings.

The better question might be, who would win in a best-of-seven battle between the 1977 Montreal Canadiens and the 1997 Detroit Red Wings?

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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