Kukla's Korner

A Must Win For The Kings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rich Hammond of the Los Angeles Register,

How does a strength become a weakness, seemingly in a matter of days? That’s the riddle the Kings are trying to solve in this first-round series against San Jose, and they’re running out of time.

The Kings, who allowed the fewest number of goals in the NHL in the regular season, have given up 17 in this series, and face a 3-0 deficit going into Thursday night’s Game 4 at Staples Center.

“Anything is possible,” Kings center Mike Richards said Wednesday. “If you’re still playing hockey, you still have a chance. You just can’t look at the mountain and expect to do it all at once. … You can’t win four unless you win one.”

Can the Kings slow the Sharks? Consider that the Kings haven’t allowed more than 17 goals in any three-game span since early in the 2007-08 season, when they allowed 18. The Kings also allowed 17 goals in Games 4-6 of the 2010 first round against Vancouver and lost all three games and the series.

What’s the problem? Well, it’s more of a flood than a leaky faucet. Goalie Jonathan Quick has been OK, but not great. The defense has been flat-footed at times. The forwards have turned the puck over excessively.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Failing Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

Another Boston win here Thursday would be the de facto series closer. The difference in these two teams is as obvious as it is stark for the Wings. Their alleged speed has been neutralized, if nonexistent. Their goaltending less than average. Their will, sense of urgency, and pushback just not there.

True, it’s the playoffs, and crazy things do happen, but right now it would be crazy to think this ends well for the Wings. Their feet have failed them, and when that happens, everything else usually follows.

more

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

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

So however many offences you want to include on Cooke’s rap sheet – and technically, he does not qualify for repeat-offender status because he has no fines or suspensions on his resume the past 18 months – the fact is, he represents a clear and present danger to NHL opponents whenever he is on the ice. The sooner he follows the Patrick Kaletas and Sean Averys of the world into obscurity, the better off everyone will be.

-Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail where you can read more on Cooke.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: matt+cooke

Videos- In The Room With Dallas And Columbus

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NHL.com followed both the Dallas Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets into the dressing room after their wins last night.

It is not often you get to see a coach talking to his team post-game.

The Dallas Stars are up first...

 

Then the Columbus Blue Jackets...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Post-Game Reaction After The Dallas Stars Defeated The Anaheim Ducks 4-2

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Stars Head Coach Lindy Ruff 

On the Stars’ resiliency tonight:

“Obviously we didn’t play our best first period.  I thought we were slow to move the puck and didn’t quite get our feet moving.  We had a couple of good offensive chances that we were just a little bit slow to.  We talked about trying to get a little more speed through the neutral zone and getting more pucks in behind their defense and then that was probably one of the better second periods we’ve played.”

 On his comments to the team in the first intermission:

“I just said I wasn’t happy.  I thought we got outworked.  I thought we weren’t playing smart enough and it was our turn to answer and that group in there answered the bell.  It’s not often that we get outworked but I thought after that, the last forty was as hard as the boys could go, they emptied the tank.”

 On the physical nature of tonight’s game:

“That’s just playoff hockey.  It was fun for everybody I think.  It’s just playoff emotion.  I really feel like we’re in a playoff series now.” 

 On the series going forward:

“It’s starting from scratch.  We’ve got to go there and win a game.  We’ve got to win a game in Anaheim.  We’ve got to be better and I have to do a better job with the team.  I thought in Game two we played, in my eyes, a real good game but we didn’t finish and we made some big mistakes.  We eliminated some of those big mistakes here and it’s now just focusing on one game…no more.  We’ve done it all year.”

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Will Marc-Andre Fleury Bounce Back?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Fleury's toast now. He's a train wreck that not even a team of the planet's most advanced sports psychologists could cure. He'll give up floater after floater in Game 5 and beyond, right up until the Penguins are eliminated and, then, spend their summer searching for another franchise goaltender.

If I know my city, the invectiveness sprayed at TV sets across Western Pennsylvania was all that and a whole lot uglier.

Well, count me out.

Don't misunderstand, please. Fleury blew it. He blew it big-time. He had no business straying from his net or conceding Foligno's shot from somewhere south of Cincinnati. He let the team down when it needed him most.

But sorry, this just doesn't come with the same feel of the Fleury we've seen flop in years past.

I remember Fleury on Long Island last spring, ramming his forehead against a cement-block wall at the back of the locker room. He was a mess of the worst kind. Dan Bylsma didn't want to turn to Tomas Vokoun, but he had no choice.

This just isn't that. Not yet, anyway.

more and below, watch the game tying goal and OT goal by Columbus to even the series at 2 games...

Continue Reading »

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

Video- Patrick Kane Works Some OT Magic

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Patrick Kane goes short-side on Ryan Miller to even up the series at two games...

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrick+kane

Red Wings-Bruins Game 4 set-up and overnight report: with or without Zetterberg, Wings must dig out

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Ahead of tonight's slightly-late-starting Game 4 between the Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins (8 PM EDT on FSD and NESN locally, and NBCSN and TSN nationally, as well as 97.1 FM), the tenor of the series has started to shift.

While the Bruins' press kept reminding us again and again on Wednesday that the Wings' 3-0 loss in Game 3 signals a series heading toward a 5-game conclusion, the voices of the Bruins' media who chose to stay home (I'm starting to wonder whether they'd argue that they simply chose to save on airfare for the second round) have been supplanted by those of the people who will probably be following whichever team advances to play Montreal next week.

National writers, new newspaper or online outlets and head correspondents showed up on Tuesday stuck around for Wednesday's practice. Today, they're preaching the same chorus: wouldn't it be a great story if Henrik Zetterberg returned from his back surgery to rally the struggling Wings?

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Red Wings prospect news: Wheaton, Tvrdon and Kelowna on ropes; Mantha, Val-d’Or lose ground

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

If Xavier Ouellet does not play for the Red Wings on Thursday--and MLive's Brendan Savage reports that the signs aren't necessarily positive regarding "X-Man's" playoff debut--he may get to Abbotsford, British Columbia in time to join his Grand Rapids Griffins teammates when they begin battling the Abbotsord Heat on Friday and Saturday.

The Griffins may receive another blueline addition as they amass Wings prospects who've been eliminated from playoff competition (see: Mattias Janmark, Mattias Backman, Andreas Athanasiou, Zach Nastasiuk), and neither the big defenseman nor his WHL-playing teammate will have to travel far:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Matt Cooke’s Suspension

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

There has been a significant suspension in the playoffs already.  Matt Cooke of the Minnesota Wild has been suspended for seven games for a kneeing incident that put Tyson Barrie of the Colorado Avalanche out of the playoffs.  Should Minnesota not last seven more games in the 2014 playoffs, the suspension will be completed at the beginning of next season.  The incident occurred in Monday's game three of the Colorado/Minnesota series that Minnesota won 1-0 in overtime.

Cooke is no stranger to being suspended.  This is his sixth NHL suspension.  It is his first since a 17 game suspension he served for a headshot to Ryan McDonagh of the New York Rangers in 2011.  It was widely reported that Cooke changed his style of play after that suspension to better conform to NHL rules.  In fact some misguided people suggested that Cooke should win the 2012 Masterton Trophy for changing his style of play.  That would have been a ridiculous result.  Matt Cooke wins an award for not getting suspended that season.  That is a feat that hundreds of players accomplish annually.

Matt Cooke is showing us that leopards do not change their spots.  His suspension should surprise no one.  Even those who supported him for the Masterton Trophy cannot be surprised right now.  His seven game suspension is about right given his crimes.

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

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