Kukla's Korner

The Motor City’s Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Reed Albergotti of the Wall Street Journal,

As the ailing Motor City rallies around the Detroit Red Wings, who face the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, there is one tiny bit of irony: Michigan’s top team is powered more than ever by European imports.

Less than half the Red Wings’ roster comes from North America. The rest, and most of the team’s top talent, hail from Sweden, the Czech Republic, Russia and Finland. In all, five players are from the U.S.

Swedes Henrik Zetterberg, left, and Nicklas Lidstrom, center, and Pavel Datsyuk of Russia are the team’s three captains.

Years ago, when the Big Three auto makers were allowing overseas competitors to pull ahead, the world was getting flat inside Joe Louis Arena. Starting in the 1980s, the Red Wings began building a dynasty by recruiting talent from Russia and adopting a new, European style of hockey.

continue the in-depth look at the Wings…

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

AO Cover Boy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy,

The official announcement from 2K Sports is due on Friday, but here it is: Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, your NHL 2K10 cover boy. Will virtual Don Cherry criticize his video game box celebration?

read on for a picture of the cover and some commentary…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin

Are The Wings About To Decline?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle,

After another deep run that ought to result in another Stanley Cup (they are playing at home, after all), the Wings showed more age and thinning tread. They may end up being today’s champs, but one has to wonder more seriously about their chances for 2010.

Their core players are still superb, but Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Nicklas Lidstrom, Valteri Filppula and Johan Franzen are all difficult players with which to cope. And as the league’s oldest team, it may have to reinvent itself. . The long list of injuries the Wings have endured makes their choices this summer even more complicated. The Wings aren’t going anywhere, but it is fair to say that their arc has leveled off and may in fact begin to decline. That can’t be anything but good for the Sharks.

There are, of course, the other moving parts here. Pittsburgh remains better than San Jose and in fact has widened the gap based on performance. Chicago has passed the Sharks by any reasonable analysis, St. Louis and Columbus suddenly are part of the mix, and Anaheim is still Anaheim.

more on other teams the Sharks may be competing against…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

“You Mindless Bunch Of Pukes!”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

A fair-weather hockey fan calls into the Wings flagship station.

A short listen...

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

Top Ten Game 7 Issus That Matter

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

There is no question that this Stanley Cup Finals has been one of the more entertaining series in NHL history, maybe the most entertaining since the Edmonton Oilers and the Philadelphia Flyers locked horns in 1987.

Now with Game 7 scheduled for Friday, I offer an analysis on what might happen, knowing that this series has followed no script and every game has been a separate melodrama.

Here are 10 issues that matter to the Penguins:

1. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury’s confidence is probably at its high point in the series, coming off an exceptional bacon-saving third period performance in Game 6….

Here are 10 issues that matter to the Red Wings:

1. Pavel Datsyuk, a Hart Trophy candidate, is closer to being 100% healthy. Clearly, his foot was broken or he would not have been off the ice as long as he was. He should be a significant factor in Game 7.

read on for all the issues that matter for both teams…

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

Good Advice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

For some reason, the Pittsburgh Police felt the need to issue the following press release:

PITTSBURGH:  On Friday, June 12th, 2009, in anticipation of the overwhelming crowds that may be present at surrounding establishments throughout the City, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police together with assisting law enforcement agencies have put in place guidelines to ensure that any celebration is focused on public safety.

continued and if Detroit wins the Cup, well if the last four celebrations tell the story, there will not be any problems in Motown.

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

24.  27.  12.

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

24 hours until the wait ends.

24 hours until the real pain begins.

In 24 hours every shift is going to be a sharp breath you feel in places you don’t talk about at parties with people who don’t know hockey.  You’ll only exhale when the Wings clear the zone or when Lidstrom has the puck.  And yes, for more than a decade the puck on The Swede’s stick has been the universal “breathe” signal for Detroit fans.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“If the right job with the right organization is as a consultant, I’ll take it. If it’s as a coach, I might take it. I need to see what will suit me the most, and that’s easier when everything is all on the table. To find that out, you have to talk to people — so no wonder you talk!”

-Jacques Lemaire & more on Lemaire from John Shipley of the Pioneer Press.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jacques+lemaire

Penguins Need To Play Their Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Deborah Francisco at PittsburghPenguins.com,

“No matter what has happened in the past here, it’s one game,” Crosby said. “It’s a one-game, winner-take-all and that’s something that doesn’t change. The main thing is not to have any regrets. We want to leave it all out there. You just have to empty the tank if you haven’t.”

For Game 7, Pittsburgh is sticking with the same strategy that its utilized all season – a strategy that has them one win away from becoming NHL champions.

“Even if Detroit grabs a 2-0 lead in the game, we have to keep playing the same way,” defenseman Rob Scuderi said. “Eventually, we feel that with the way our team plays and with the guys that we have in here that we will be able to come back, and get back and stay in the game.”

more

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

Why The Wings Should Win

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,

No room for errors. None, as well, for anyone to bring anything less than their best to what has been a series to remember.

So all together together now … breathe in and hold it! Game 7 only hours away and if the results of the first six can be used as a measuring stick, you can pencil in the Detroit Red Wings to repeat as Stanley Cup champions.

There are several reasons why the Red Wings should win. They’re at home. They have the crowd with them. They have the experience. They know what it takes to win and the personnel to do it – but nothing is engraved in stone in a game where one bad bounce, one unlucky break can bring the industry of an entire season crashing down.

more

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

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