Kukla's Korner

The Maven Observations

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stan Fischler of Game On,

• The Red Wings are not unbeatable; it’s just that it’s hard to catch them.

• I’d like to see what would happen if Chris Osgood REALLY was tested in the Detroit goal.

• If Nik Lidstrom got any better he’d be Zdeno Chara.

• I’m very interested in seeing how Sid (Days Of Whine and Roses) Crosby plays against team that can spell D-E-F-E-N-S-E; otherwise known as Carolina.

more bullet points…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Hall Of Fame Class Of 2009

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Since the Hall of Fame inductees for the year are announced quickly following the Stanley Cup playoffs, I like to discuss the probable inductees at some point during the playoffs.  Today is as good a day as any.

There are five players who are first time Hall of Fame eligible who I think should one day be inducted.  In order of the strength of their Hall of Fame credentials they are: Steve Yzerman, Brett Hull, Brian Leetch, Luc Robitaille and Dave Andreychuk.  Since a maximum of four players can be inducted in any given season, it is clear that at least one of those five will get overlooked this year.  Dave Andreychuk is the likely candidate.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

The Power Of Radio

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,

It’s a bully pulpit his fellow sports commissioners wish they had. Every Thursday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman hosts his own private klatch on The NHL Hour on Sirius XM Radio. For the most part, Bettman has played harmless interlocutor on his program, hockey’s version of Art Linkletter asking, “Don’t players say the darnedest things?”

But with Jim Balsillie at the door, Bettman has used the unfettered radio access to talk over the heads of conventional media to fans. Bettman plays the reasonable fixer, the man who only wants solutions, not conflict in Phoenix….

While Bettman has told listeners in the fireside chats why Balsillie is a queue-jumping opportunist, he hasn’t said how Jerry Reinsdorf — his white knight in the desert — will succeed in Phoenix where others have failed miserably.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman

They Kept Coming & Kept Coming

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Tribune,

Still searching for an explanation for the Game 1 disappointment? Maybe the Hawks were simply overmatched.

“I don’t think we looked overmatched at all,” Seabrook said. “I think they’re a great team, and they come with a lot of speed. We had our chances too.”

Speed is supposed to be the Hawks’ advantage, and we’ll take it on faith that it eventually will show itself in this series. But speed doesn’t mean anything if you cough up the puck.

The Red Wings looked tired in Game 7 of their conference semifinal against Anaheim. But on Sunday, as Seabrook put it, “they kept coming, they kept coming and kept coming.”

They did indeed, and let it be a lesson to these baby-faced Hawks that the great teams know how and when to turn it on.

more

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

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“Jim’s great strength is his consistency, and because of that you see that kind of calm, evenness throughout the whole organization,.  He doesn’t get overly excited and at the same time when we’ve had our tough stretches this year he has been the calming influence, he’s been the guy that settles things down when they need settled down. He’s got a great feel for the team, which is a talent because he’s not in the locker room every day. He’s not one of these guys who are down there micro-managing everything. He allows people to do their jobs. So, when he does come down with a concern or suggestion you know it’s going to be well thought out and there is quite a bit of merit to it.”

-Carolina Coach Paul Maurice on GM Jim Rutherford.  Much more on Rutherford from David Droschak of CarolinaHurricanes.com.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jim+rutherford

Penguins Have Learned From Past Failures

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com,

The lessons learned from last spring’s grueling climb to the hockey mountain—one that ended just two wins short of reaching the desired peak—were the foundation, they say, of the comeback the Penguins fashioned against the favored Washington Capitals in the second round.

“We’ve had some challenges and gone through different things,” Pittsburgh superstar Sidney Crosby said after Sunday’s practice. “I look back to last year, and pretty much every game we really played well in the playoffs. We found a way to win.

“There have been times in these playoffs where we’ve played some good hockey and haven’t gotten breaks. That can be frustrating and that can force you to change things. But I think we’ve really stuck by what we need to do to play well and to be successful. And going through those things builds confidence for sure.”

continued

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

Wings Take Blackhawks To School

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Game 1 of the Western Conference finals looked awfully familiar.

It reminded us of the first two games the young Pittsburgh Penguins played in Detroit last June in the Stanley Cup finals. The Pens never touched the puck and wondered what had just hit them. By the time they recovered in the series, it was too little, too late.

The Detroit Red Wings delivered that same lesson Sunday, controlling large stretches of the afternoon in a dominating 5-2 victory over the young Chicago Blackhawks.

The class in question Sunday was Puck Possession 101, a course the Red Wings have taught many times to the rest of the league.

“Welcome to the Western Conference finals, kids,” the Wings seemingly said loud and clear Sunday. “Did we tell you this was our eighth trip here in 14 seasons and third in a row?

continued

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

Burish A Lucky Man Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Kimelman of NHL.com,

Adam Burish knew immediately there was a problem.

“I saw his skate come right up my throat, and right away I grabbed my neck and said there’s something coming out here,” Burish said. “There were a couple drips, so I was pretty darn lucky.”

It was the second period, and Burish and linemate Ben Eager were forechecking in the Detroit zone when Eager and a Detroit player got tied up. Eager lost his balance and his skate flew up and clipped Burish in the throat.

It was a play reminiscent to the scary Richard Zednik incident last season, when Olli Jokinen’s skate blade sliced Zednik’s jugular vein.

But Burish was more fortunate; he skated away from Eager’s out-of-control skate knowing he was a lucky man.

“I don’t know how I’m so darn lucky,” Burish said. “It was centimeters, millimeters away from slicing (his throat).”

continued

added 8:27pm, Video of the incident is included in the game hightlights from NBC via ESPN below.  The skate to throat incident starts at the 45 second mark…

added 9:45pm, A 2nd video of the incident has been added below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: adam+burish

Detroit Coach Babcock After Game 1

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Q. Talk about the job that Dan did today.

        MIKE BABCOCK: You know, obviously he’s playing with real good players, playing on a good line. They’re playing against important people in the game.

        I thought we were in trouble really off the start of the game, whether it was engagement, whether it was coming off a big series, whether it was not as much time, whatever, we weren’t very good, and they were taking it to us. They were up 1?0. He made a real good shot. Then I thought we settled in and got playing real well after that point. Any time you’re driving into the net, get your stick on a puck, that’s just a good hockey goal, a good playoff goal.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+babcock

Chicago Coach Quenneville After Game 1

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Q. Surprised at all at the quality of chances those guys were able to generate against Seabrook and Keith?

        JOEL QUENNEVILLE: I think both teams had a number of chances, high quality chances. We’ve got to be way better than that today. I didn’t like our game. We have to be - we got to play perfect hockey. Today we certainly, even though we were at 2-2 in the third, even though we probably would love to be there at that stage of the game, we’ve got to be better.

        Q. Your best penalty killer needs to be your goalie. Can you talk about Nikolai’s play tonight.

        JOEL QUENNEVILLE: I think our best penalty killing is going to be staying out of the box. They’re dangerous. He had a couple key saves there in the second, held us in the game.

        But I think their power play has so many looks and weapons on it that trying to stay out of the box, but certainly we’re going to need our goaltender to make some key saves, and he did there today.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joel+quenneville

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