Kukla's Korner

He’s Come a Long Way in a Short Time

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Dan Rosen at NHL.com,

Instead of playing in Peterborough the last two seasons, [Jordan] Staal has made it big with the Pittsburgh Penguins, so big that now he’s the first teenager to play in the Stanley Cup Final since Dainius Zubrus did it as a 19-year-old with Philadelphia in 1997.

“This is what I have always dreamt about doing, so I haven’t thought about missing anything else,” Staal told NHL.com. “The only thing I would miss is the Cup if we don’t win it. There is no other place I’d rather be.”

That he’s already here is quite an amazing story.

more on the career journey of Jordan Staal

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jordan+staal

Game #2 Audio from the Scrum

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

The Hockey News has been archiving audio from the winner’s dressing room after each game. 

Go here to hear Scotty Bowman share his thoughts, then scroll down the page and you’ll find links to commentary from Niklas Lidstrom, Brad Stuart, Valteri Filpulla and Johan Franzen.

On a related note, a comment from Paul that I thought I’d pass on:

After Babcock finished his post game press conference, he met with Scotty for about ten minutes, one on one, going over the game.  How much of a help Bowman is to the Wings, we may never know, but it certainly cannot hurt to have Bowman use his “consultant” role to the fullest extent.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brad+stuart, johan+franzen, media, mike+babcock, nicklas+lidstrom, scotty+bowman, valteri+filpulla

Lessons to Learn

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From David Staples in his Cult of Hockey blog at the Edmonton Journal,

At this point, I would place the Penguins development alongside the Oilers of 1981 or 1982.

The ‘Guins [...] are getting schooled by a superior team, as happened to the Oilers in 1981, but also humiliated by their own inconsistent, nervous, not ready for prime time effort, as happened to the Oilers against the Kings in 1982, when the “choke” [word] was uttered in Edmonton, just as it is surely now being whispered in Pittsburgh.

The next few games will tell the story for the Pens. Are they really the Oilers of 1983, just a few hard lessons away from Stanley Cup dominance? Or is this a longer road yet? My guesstimate is its the latter. They’ve still got some serious eliminating to do of players who aren’t capable enough, as well as some major maturing of those who are.

more with a breakdown of errors in the game

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

War Stories

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

As mentioned yesterday, the NHL hosted a “Legends” evening on Sunday for the media, featuring Red Wings’ stars of the 1950s including Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay, Marcel Pronovost, Alex Delvecchio, Marty Pavelich and Red Kelly.

Paul Kukla attended and said it was a wonderful event, telling me “it was a great night, where hockey reporters turned into fans too.”  And he wasn’t the only one who was impressed.  As Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun remarked, “every now and then, Gary Bettman’s league gets something absolutely, spot-on perfect.”

Here’s a short video clip from the Canadian Press, talking to some of those Hall of Fame players on Sunday. 

Note:
A nice brochure was handed out at the event “A Salute To The Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup Dynasty” featuring photos of the team and individual players from those Stanley Cup years 1950, 1952, 1954 and 1955.

A nice little collectible—so leave a note in the comments by midnight EST if you’re interested (don’t forget to provide your email address) and we’ll mail the brochure to a randomly-drawn winner.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hockey+legends, media

Not A Fan Of The Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Matt Sober of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Yet as the faithful and newly converted alike celebrate the Penguins’ miraculous berth in the Stanley Cup Final, a few of us still don’t feel the presence of Sid in our lives.

And he has been declared the savior, has he not?

It’s not so much that I don’t like the Penguins as I have never had much interest in hockey, which continues to feel a lot like watching pinball for two-and-a-half hours. Or at least pinball with the occasional bloody nose.

But the Penguins? Well, with the possible exception of Jarkko Ruutu, they all seem likable enough.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

All About The ‘D’

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

The big difference between these teams is defence. Where the Red Wings’ big four of Nicklas Lidstrom, Brian Rafalski, Niklas Kronwall and Brad Stuart got the puck moving quickly out of their own zone in the face of an improved fore-checking effort from the Penguins last night, Pittsburgh’s Hal Gill, Rob Scuderi, Sergei Gonchar and Brooks Orpik once again could not do likewise when the Red Wings stormed the Penguins’ zone.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Winners!

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Last week we put up a last minute contest for THREE gift certificates of $50 (for IceJerseys.com or shop.NHL.com)  to be given away in a random draw. To enter the contest, some KK members were brave enough to share their favorite—and/or weirdest—hockey superstitions and rituals. Quite entertaining.

Winners will be contacted by email within 48 hours. They are:

  • gosabres123
  • eyesris
  • hippy dave

Thank you to everyone for participating—the entries were great and it was good to be reminded there are other people are as nuts as we are.

Filed in: KK Website Business, KK Challenge, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: contest, hockey+fans, kk+challenge, superstitions

What Has Happened

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Who would have thought that after rolling through the first three rounds with a 12-2 record, the Penguins would look so utterly feeble in the final?

The reasons are many.

Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has been ordinary, at best. The Penguins’ other stars, Hossa and Sidney Crosby, are barely noticeable, though Crosby had six shots last night and is facing the best defenseman in the world, Nicklas Lidstrom, on most shifts. Their role players are doing nothing compared to Detroit’s.

And, oh yes, the Red Wings are pretty good.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Game 2 Recap

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from ESPN,

Steve Levy, Don Cherry and Barry Melrose recap Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals, watch the video below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Time For Brad Stuart To Settle Down

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Wigge of NHL.com,

Stuart realizes he may have to give in when it comes to salary to stay in Detroit, but the results of the last 27 games for Brad seem to indicate the two sides should be able to get a deal done.

After Stuart was a minus-16 in his first 63 games in Los Angeles this season, the game plan in Detroit to take advantage of the defense’s mobility and skills certainly plays right into Brad’s wheelhouse.

“Coach Babcock spelled out what he wanted me to do, what my role was from Day 1,” Stuart acknowledged. “The game plan is what you would expect from a winning team like this: Keep it simple ... and if you see you can make a play or make a hit go ahead.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brad+stuart

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