Kukla's Korner

Sharks Are Ready & Able, Are They Willing?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle,

San Jose is better positioned to break through the conference ceiling than ever before. They have no real tactical holes, they have two very good lines and a decent third line, they are more willing to exchange body blows, their goaltending is solid if not necessarily elite, they don’t have listening issues with the coaching staff, and they almost never lose at home.

That’s the talent side of the team. They’re not quite loaded in that Detroit way, but their weaknesses are harder to repeatedly exploit….

Now comes the fun part. Teams that have gone three years or more without a playoff appearance get knocked out of the first round twice as often as they advance, because there really is such a thing as playoff inexperience. It’s hard to miss the playoffs three years in a row, so teams that get there are usually a little googly-eyed when they arrive, and since the Western Conference has three such teams, Chicago, Columbus and St. Louis, this can only help the hardy perennials like the Sharks and Red Wings.

But whether the Blues beat Colorado tonight, the Sharks will enter the postseason knowing they have done too much too well this season to claim that as an excuse if things don’t go as they wish.

more

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

Motivational Tape For The Habs?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

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

Jacques Lemaire Done As Wild Coach

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,

Jacques Lemaire, the only coach the Wild’s ever known, has coached his final game with the Wild.

With clear signs before the game that Lemaire was indeed done, Lemaire finally confirmed it after the Wild’s 6-3 win.

“I think it’s time for the players to get a new coach and myself look at other stuff.”

With you coach elsewhere? “I’ll see. It’s exciting. It’s an exciting job. I was behind the bench there just before the game there, and I felt I was getting really tight because it’s something I’ve done for 15 years and I like it and I have to go.”

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

BU Wins Frozen Four In OT

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

AP recap via ESPN and watch the OT goal.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, College Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: boston+university

What We Know In The West

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

If St. Louis wins tomorrow, they finish as the 6th seed, Columbus 7th and Anaheim 8th.

If the Blues get one point or lose in regulation, Columbus 6th, Anaheim 7th and St. Louis 8th.

St. Louis plays in Colorado tomorrow at 5pm ET.

added 11:10pm, via NHL.com,

Anaheim’s 5-4 shootout loss to Phoenix and Columbus’ 6-3 loss to Minnesota on Saturday night assured that the last three playoff pairings in the Western Conference won’t be decided until Sunday.

The Jackets’ loss left them with 92 points, sixth in the West. But St. Louis could match them by winning at Colorado on Sunday; the Blues would finish ahead of Columbus because they won the season series between the teams.

If St. Louis gets one or no points on Sunday, the Ducks will finish seventh and the Blues eighth. The Ducks have 91 points and 43 wins; if the Blues get 91 points with an overtime or shootout loss, they’ll have 41 victories.

The sixth-place finisher will play Vancouver, which won the Northwest Division title and the third seed with a 1-0 victory at Colorado. The seventh seed will play Detroit, the Central Division winner and second seed. The eighth seed will play San Jose, which won the Pacific Division and captured the Presidents’ Trophy with the NHL’s best regular-season record.

My question, Blues tied late in the 3rd tomorrow, do they pull the goalie for a regulation win?

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Welllllllllll…..Noonan?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Ted Knight in Caddyshack is the greatest acting performance of our generation. 

And we have a decision on our hands.  But the decision you make, as most decisions made here, will have absolutely no impact on anything whatsoever.  All it’s going to do is pass the time and give us something to talk about.

The playoffs are close and I have lost any ability I ever had to tie consecutive sentences together that carry any sort of similar meaning.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

The First Round Of The Eastern Conference NHL Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

#1 Boston vs #8 Montreal

#2 Washington vs #7 New York Rangers

#3 New Jersey vs #6 Carolina

Philadelphia vs Pittsburgh- Flyers need a point tomorrow for the #4 seed when they play the Rangers in Philadelphia.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Lifeless Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,

...less than 15 minutes after Buffalo’s easy, breezy 6-1 victory over Boston in the season finale, most of the players had slipped into the showers, slithered out the side door and made themselves scarce. Heaven forbid they would actually take responsibility for missing the playoffs in two straight years and five out of seven seasons.

It was typical.

Why rant about their dressing room after the final game? I was waiting for them to address the issue without being told. They shouldn’t need public criticism about a glaring problem before finding a solution. Their willingness to let each other slide this year said plenty about their lack of accountability amid a rumor Lindy Ruff was getting fired….

Minority owner Larry Quinn said an intense evaluation was forthcoming, but he did not say either way whether Regier or Ruff would be canned. Ruff looked like a beaten man Saturday, like someone prepared to put out a cigarette and walk the plank.

We’ll see what happens, but Ruff has been the least of their problems.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Burke After ‘The Monster’

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

The Maple Leafs president and general manager is in pursuit of a Swedish goaltender nicknamed The Monster and planned to meet with him and his agent on Sunday in Copenhagen.

The Monster is 24-year-old Jonas Gustavsson, who was the talk of the Swedish Elite League playoffs. The 6-foot-4 Gustavsson registered five shutouts in 13 playoff games to lead Farjestad to the championship with a .961 save percentage.

Aftonbladet, a Stockholm newspaper, reported that Gustavsson, who is a free agent, has narrowed his NHL choices to the Leafs and the Dallas Stars.

Who is this Monster, watch below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonas+gustavsson

Ford Field Prepares For The Frozen Four

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob Duff of Duffer’s Dabbles at the Windsor Star,

Fresh off their success with the Final Four of the NCAA men’s basketball championships, Ford Field is already preparing for next year, when it will play host to the Frozen Four, the NCAA men’s hockey championship. Monday, Dan Craig, the National Hockey League’s ice expert and the man who put the ice surface in Chicago’s Wrigley Field for this year’s Winter Classic game between the Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings, will be at Ford Field to explain how it will be configured for hockey. The ice surface will be placed directly in the centre of the football playing field and there will be seating for 70,000 spectators.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, College Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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