Kukla's Korner

Niemi’s Stanley Cup Story

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Terry Jones via the Edmonton Sun:

Antti Niemi now admits to getting giddy in private moments at several stages of the remarkable Stanley Cup story he has written so far.

But not now.

It’s almost all real now, he swears.

“Not so much this year, but I think, yes, last year,” he said of those private personal moments while backstopping the Chicago Blackhawks to a Stanley Cup last year.

Niemi began to stop marveling at being a guy who, not that long ago, was driving a Zamboni at the rink in his hometown of Vantaa, Finland, the moment he knew the salary-cap challenged Blackhawks were not going to be able to bring him back for an encore.


Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: antti+niemi

Lightning Showing Improved Discipline

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Jeff Z. Klein at the New York Times:

Last season, the Tampa Bay Lightning was the most penalized team in the N.H.L. This season, under its first-year coach, Guy Boucher, 21 teams took more penalties.

That statistic reflects a new discipline, complemented by a strong power play, that helped lift the Lightning from 14th in the Eastern Conference with 80 points last season to fifth with 103 this season. And as it seeks its ninth consecutive playoff victory Tuesday against the Bruins in Boston, there is reason to believe that the team’s discipline will be tested again, based on how its Stanley Cup semifinal series opener ended Saturday.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Added Scrutiny on Hockey Fights

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Nancy Armour at Forbes.com:

It was an on-ice code of justice, and it’s proven so effective over the years that players like Probert, McCarty and Derek Boogaard built careers dishing out punishing hits.

But Boogaard’s sudden death Friday five months after a season-ending concussion, and his family’s decision to donate his brain to the Boston University project that found Probert had signs of brain trauma resulting from blows to the head, is bringing added scrutiny to fighting’s place in the NHL.

“I think the league does a good job. They’re trying to limit head shots,” Tampa Bay Lightning center Nate Thompson said Monday. “I don’t think they can (ban fighting entirely). That’s part of the game. It’s a physical sport and it always has been. If they take that out of the game that takes a part of the history out of the game.”

Like football, hockey is a game of controlled violence.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: derek+boogaard, fighting

Early Look At The HHOF Class of 2011

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The Hockey Hall of Fame announces its inductions for the 2011 year just after the playoffs complete.  Usually there is no time to give a sufficient look at the candidates because the fallout from the Stanley Cup playoffs is still being discussed.  Thus I like to take a break in the action in the playoffs as a time to discuss them.  Since no games are played today, it is as good a break as any.

This season there is one first time candidate that I think belongs in the Hall of Fame.  He is Ed Belfour.  Belfour is a two-time Vezina Trophy winner who is third all time in goaltender wins.  He has had a Hall of Fame calibre career.  He has also had some off-ice issues.  Thus I would not be too surprised if he was made to wait before his eventual induction.  I think this is a mistake because this creates a backlog of players who will eventually be inducted but have to wait indefinitely as new qualified players become eligible.  Some of these players get overlooked for years, if not forever.  If a player is good enough for Hall of Fame induction at any point, he should be inducted in his first possible year.  There is no point in making a player wait.  His hockey career does not improve as he stays retired.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Retired NHLer Petrovicky in the Boxing Ring

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the Prince George Free Press via BC Local News:

In the ring, nobody will confuse the 34-year-old native of Slovakia as a professional. Regardless, he’s set his sights on a boxing match in Latvia early next month. The tilt is part of a card involving hockey players.

No sticks or skating, but the sweet science.

A first-time experience for the former Prince George Cougars player, Petrovicky isn’t taking this boxing initiation lightly. He’s pleased to have the assistance of one of Prince George’s top coaches guiding him. Inner City Boxing Club head coach Bob Pegues, who trains Boxing Canada national team members Kenny Lally and Jag Seehra, is running Petrovicky through training sessions at the Northern Sport Centre.

“I just tried to get back into shape and Bob is nice enough to come and help me and give me a couple of lessons because I pretty much never in my life did a boxing lesson like this,” Petrovicky said. “It’s very interesting and I’m looking forward to each lesson. He’s trying to teach me something new every time I come by here, and it’s a tough sport. You think it’s just throwing punches, but it’s a lot of technique.”

Although different in nature, there are similarities between hockey and boxing. Both activities are a cardiovascular endurance test, where periods of exercise and rest are shot. Hockey players push themselves during shifts on the ice, and reenergize on the bench. Boxers dangle in the ring, and take a short break in between rounds.

continued… and Ronald Petrovicky hasn’t ruled out a return to the NHL either

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ronald+petrovicky

Red Wings evening report: Hoping for Nick, HF’s organizational ranking and more Dick (Axelsson) news

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Our mid-day’s worth of Red Wings updates provided the only real radio interviews that team members engaged in (that I can find, anyway), which may speak for the attention span of sports talk radio hosts, who, aside from talking about the Wings-moving-to-the-East scuttlebutt, have moved onto this year’s usual topics in the Tigers and Lions.

The Free Press’s and WCSX’s Jamie Samuelssen, however, chose to weigh in on Nicklas Lidstrom’s possible retirement in his blog, suggesting that the Wings captain has neither slowed much, nor does he seem to exhibit a Mike Modano-like level of weariness regarding off-season training and the regular season grind:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

World Championship Experience for Young Players

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Craig Custance at the Sporting News:

The party in Finland is still going on after Team Finland took home the gold in hockey’s World Championships on Sunday. But the tournament wasn’t just good news for the Fins. There are plenty of cities and NHL franchises over here that can be pleased by what developed.

A few young players had a strong tournament and that can be an indication of good things to come next season in the NHL.

“Definitely. Any time you have a positive experience, I think it leads to the next year,” Blues GM Doug Armstrong told Sporting News. “It just gives you confidence that you’re at a level that you can do things and play against (elite) players.”

read on for thoughts on Patrik Berglund, Derek Stepan, Craig Smith, Alex Pietrangelo and Viktor Fasth

Speaking of Finland, Pasi Nurminen did some celebrating after their championship win.  The video below will clarify…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink

Transcript: Sharks Practice Day Quotes

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the Q&A session with coach Todd McLellan and Logan Couture of the San Jose Sharks.

*today’s Canucks transcripts here.

Q. (No microphone.)
I thought that line wasn’t very sharp. It was a little sluggish, didn’t produce a lot. Not a direct reflection on Logan by any means, because there were three of them there. But they can be better.

Q. Joe Thornton is always the center of the attention. He’s been criticized for his playoff performances in the past. Can you talk about his performance in this year’s playoff?

COACH McLELLAN: I’ll go backwards and start from last year. Last year I thought he showed good signs of growth, the ability to lead the team. As a result, when we were looking at our vacant captaincy, he proved to us last year he was a deserving candidate. We picked him.

Throughout the year he’s had an excellent season. Many will say his numbers are down, which they obviously are. But ultimately I think the results are up when you look at his play. That may sound strange, but I truly believe he’s come a long way. His leadership ability in the locker room is very strong. I think he does it as much by example now on the ice as he does it verbally in the locker room. He’s come a long, long way.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: logan+couture, todd+mclellan

Selling the NHL Around the World

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Etan Vlessing at The Hollywood Reporter:

TV hockey where there’s no ice?

The National Hockey League clearly believes countries where the game is no winter sport still want its TV product.

The pro league on Monday unveiled a tender process for international media rights to live hockey games to be sold throughout Europe and the hot tropics of the Middle East and Africa.

The NHL said Evolution Media Capital will conduct an open auction for the foreign rights to live NHL games covering the 2011-12 through 2014-15 seasons.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Post-Playoffs with Pekka Rinne

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Dmitry Chesnokov at Puck Daddy:

Q. They say the playoffs breed hate. Do you hate the Anaheim Ducks and the Vancouver Canucks now?

RINNE: I don’t think you could say we now hate either one of them. I think ‘hate’ is a pretty strong word. For sure, you don’t like them when you play against them, you want to beat them. But I wouldn’t say I hate either one of those teams.

What was the mood like inside of the Predators’ locker room after the elimination loss to the Canucks?

There was a feeling of huge disappointed. I don’t think anyone in the media believed that we could win that series. But unlike the media, we truly believed we could take on those guys and beat them. We thought we had a real chance. And that’s how it was for us. Every game was a one-goal game for most of the time. They were all close. I can honestly say we gave our best. No point of saying what could have been, what would have been. We gave our best.

And after that loss there was a feeling of total emptiness. You play a very long season and then it’s tough to realize that this is it. It’s a pretty empty feeling.


Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink

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