Kukla's Korner

Video- Habs And Rangers Need A Win Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet,

The Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers currently face uphill climbs in their respective series, if either want to return the Eastern Conference Final, they’ll need to step it up.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Good And Bad From The Games Last Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Backlund keeps the Flames burning, Crawford chills out the Wild, Patrick Kane, Sam Bennett and more in Scott Cullen's Statistically Speaking.

ZEROES

Brad Richards - Even though he started 83% of his Game Three shifts in the offensive zone, Richards had game-worst possession stats (6 shot attempts for, 16 against, 27.3%).

Frederik Andersen - Not that the Ducks goaltender let in any softies, but he allowed four goals on 21 shots and received the benefit of the doubt on a disallowed goal late in the third period.

Hampus Lindholm - The Anaheim blueliner was on the ice for three of Calgary's four goals - with one scored at even strength, one shorthanded and one on the power play.

more from Cullen at TSN...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Mike Green Doesn’t Want To Talk About His Future

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Alex Prewitt of The Washington Post,

Mike Green had no desire to discuss the future, because the future might take him away from here. He did not want to consider life beyond this season — whenever the Washington Capitals’ playoff run ends, the defenseman’s contract expires and he enters unrestricted free agency. Sitting at his locker stall in a private moment Monday, inside the practice facility that became his office a decade ago, he tapped his foot and fiddled with his stick. He would not allow himself to think about leaving behind this city, these friends, this home.

“Excuse my language,” he said. “It scares the [heck] out of me.”

The fear is kept at bay, Green explained, by what’s happening all around him. The Capitals have moved within two wins of advancing into the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in his career. They are using a new system under Coach Barry Trotz that liberates Green inside the offensive zone and allows the skilled puck-mover to pick his spots. The summer signings of defensemen Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik have lessened the burden on Green, allowing him to finish second among NHL blue-liners in points per 60 minutes, despite averaging his lowest ice time since 2006-07.

Green has never been this happy with the Capitals, he said. 

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+green

The Tampa Bay Lightning In Control Heading To Game 3

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Martin Fennelly of the Tampa Tribune,

It took two wins this playoff series — seven wins, if you count the regular season — but the Lightning have rattled le Club de hockey Canadien into a whimpering, whiny mess.

To be continued?

A Tampa Bay sweep might be a public service. I mean, Canadiens pouty game misconductor Brandon Prust threw his smelly elbow pad into the Lightning bench near the end of the Lightning’s 6-2 Game 2 rout in Montreal. If this thing went seven games, Prust would be down to his skivvies, or less. No thank you.

The naked truth: The Lightning appear to be inside the Canadiens’ heads.

To be continued?

Just last season, on the way to being swept by the Canadiens, the Lightning put up a brave face as they headed to Montreal down 0-2. That lasted 11 seconds into Game 3, when Rene Bourque scored for the Habs.

Now the skate is on the other foot.

On to this Game 3.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The St. Louis Blues Will Be Careful With Roster Moves

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

For those expecting the Blues to make a major roster turnover this offseason after yet another quick exit from the playoffs, here’s the reality: It won’t be easy.

For a team such as the Blues, which is up against the salary cap at a time when the salary cap isn’t going to change much, club officials’ hands effectively are tied. Moves will require trades — and unless the Blues can make a deal for draft picks or prospects, they usually require to be in the dollar-for-dollar neighborhood.

Change for the sake of change isn’t coming.

“What I don’t want to do is hurt the franchise long term, be a good headline tomorrow and then regret it for five or six years.’’ Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said. “No manager says. ‘I’m going to make a really bad trade.’ I don’t want to be the first. … To move player X for an inferior player doesn’t make you better.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Confidence Is The Key Word For The Montreal Canadiens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,

“We’re due.”

That’s coach Michel Therrien’s optimistic view as the Canadiens look to snap a seven-game losing streak against the Tampa Bay Lightning when the teams meet in Game 3 of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series Wednesday night at Amalie Arena.

The Lightning swept the five-game, regular-season season series against the Canadiens and won the first two playoff games at the Bell Centre. That puts the Canadiens in a must-win situation Wednesday night, but the players appeared upbeat after a fast-paced but short workout Tuesday afternoon.

Therrien said the confident attitude was genuine and was based on the team’s play in the 2-1 double- overtime loss in Game 1 and a strong performance in the first period of Game 2.

“We’ve played well 5-on-5,” said Therrien, who gave his troops a lecture on the importance of staying disciplined after allowing four power-play goals in the 6-2 Game 2 loss. “The guys came in today and they were upbeat and they know where we have to be better. We have to make some adjustments on the special teams, but this group has been through some tough times through the course of the season and they react the right way all the time.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Simply Put The New York Rangers Need Goals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

The Rangers are going to dance — and maybe that’s the operative word — with the ones who brung ’em to the league’s best record. They’re not going to become a half-court team now. But they’re going to need more. They’re not going to win 11 more games wringing blood out of a stone.

Nash needs to score. St. Louis, brought here at a great cost to be a game-breaking scorer, needs to finish before he’s finished. Keith Yandle, also brought here at great cost, can’t possibly continue to play as indecisively and ineffectively as he has in this series.

This is the player for whom the Rangers sacrificed a first-rounder and their top prospect? It can’t be. It simply cannot be.

Derek Stepan, whose numbers mean he’s in for $6 million next year, has to find the way to make a consistent impact in the offensive zone. He needs to win pucks. Ryan McDonagh hasn’t come close to the level of excellence expected of him. The captain needs to use his legs to create some space for himself.

And Vigneault himself has to be willing to adjust to the moment. Specifically, the coach needs to get Dominic Moore, one of the select few Blueshirts whose game is built for the grind of the playoffs, into a top-nine assignment, and maybe onto the power play.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Anaheim Ducks Move On From Game 3 Loss

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

The poise, patience and discipline that had become the Ducks' hallmark in their sweep of Winnipeg and their first two victories over the Flames deserted them on Tuesday. The Flames pushed them, and for the first time in this series—for the first time in seven playoffs games this spring — the Ducks didn't push back.

Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, the voice of calm this season and in the postseason, maintained his cool after the game, setting a tone of reflection backed by a continued belief in their strengths, though they didn't show all of those strengths Tuesday.

"They haven't quit all year. We didn't expect that," Getzlaf said of the Flames. "I didn't think we played our best game tonight. We made some errors that were uncharacteristic, but it's bound to happen. You're in the playoffs. It's going to happen."

But it hadn't happened until Tuesday for the Ducks. They had almost forgotten what it felt like to lose, and it didn't feel good. It stung, and it should have, after losing with so little time left.

"We've just got to win the next one," Andersen said. "That's what we want to do right now."

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Talent An Issue For The Minnesota Wild

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune,

The Wild felt quietly confident about its chances this series. Instead, Act III has been more of the same, more of the Blackhawks imposing their will on a team that can’t take that next step without first clearing this enormous hurdle.

And here’s something sobering for the organization as it ponders how to conquer the Hawks:

Jonathan Toews just turned 27 years old.

Patrick Kane is 26.

Brandon Saad is 22.

Teuvo Teravainen is only 20.

In other words, the Hawks aren’t going anywhere any time soon.

The Wild counters with Thomas Vanek, who skates as if he’s 45.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning Line- Don Cherry

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“Someone asked me when I’m going to retire, and I said, ‘Retire from what?’”

“No, I’m having fun. As long as I’m having fun, that’s the name of the game. If I’m not having fun, then you’ll see it on Coach’s Corner. But I can hardly wait to get on Coach’s Corner. It hasn’t got blasé. I’m still jumpin’.”

-Don Cherry via David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail where you can read more on Don Cherry.

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+cherry

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