Kukla's Korner

Keys To Game 5 WCF Blues/Sharks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,

Here are 5 Keys for Game 5:


Blues forwards David Backes and Robby Fabbri left Game 4 with injuries and did not skate Monday morning. Blues coach Ken Hitchcock indicated each will warm up and be game-time decisions. Will they play? If they do, how effective will they be?

Fabbri leads the Blues with 14 points (3 goals, 11 assists) in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Backes is tied with Vladimir Tarasenko and Troy Brouwer for first on the Blues with seven goals and is tied with Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz for second with 13 points.

"Nobody's sure what's really going to happen," Blues forward Kyle Brodziak said. "It's kind of the first time in the postseason that we've seen injuries and had to deal with them. If it does happen, it's kind of old hat for us if you look at the way the whole year went. I don't think we were fully healthy for any part of the season. Whatever happens, whoever gets a chance has the trust in all of us that they're going to make the best of the opportunity, and as a group we feel like we can all step up a little bit."

read on

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

Afternoon news: Alums on the ‘end of the Joe,’ Datsyuk stuff, etc.

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:

1. Via RedWingsFeed, the Free Press's Lev Facher spoke with several Red Wings alumni regarding the end of Joe Louis Arena's tenure as the Wings' home:

McCarty said he’ll miss the Joe, but that its useful life has likely come to an end.

“The analogy I use is that it’s like having to put down your old dog. How many years old is it?” McCarty said. “It’ll be sad, but it’ll be happy. Out with the old, in with the new. It’ll definitely always be remembered.”

Among the more notable moments of McCarty’s career was “Fight Night at the Joe,” a major brawl between the Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche in March 1997 that ended with McCarty scoring the winning goal in overtime.]

The Red Wings went on to win their first Stanley Cup since 1955 later that season.

“Obviously, I have great memories and great highlights (in that building), definitely with the Stanley Cup wins,” McCarty said. “Definitely, 1997 comes to mind.”

Facher continues, speaking with Kevin Miller and John Ogrodnick...

2. The Free Press also posted a summary of the World Championship exploits of players with Michigan ties;

3. At the very end of Sunday's Sportsworks roundtable, John Niyo, Sean Baligian and Dan Miller discussed Pavel Datsyuk's decision-making process...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Video- Goals Of The Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Sportsnet style.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Who Would You Start Tomorrow Night, Marc-Andre Fleury Or Matt Murray?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

The Pittsburgh Penguins' goalie debate will continue until at least Tuesday morning.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan did not announce if Marc-Andre Fleury or Matt Murray would be the starting goalie in Pittsburgh's must-win Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final when he met with the media before boarding the charter flight to Tampa on Monday.

The Tampa Bay Lightning lead the best-of-7 series 3-2 and can close it out in Game 6 at Amalie Arena on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

"I'll have a decision in the morning," Sullivan said.

Sullivan called the decision a "tough one" to make.

"It's just a tough circumstance," he said. "We believe in the guys that we have. We think we have quality people. But it's an imperfect situation so all things considered we're trying to make the best decisions that we can, that we think give the best chance to win. That's what we do and that's what we go with. We'll continue to do that."


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

Finishing The US World Cup Roster

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

On Friday the World Cup teams will finish filling out their rosters.  In early March teams announced the first 16 players on their rosters.  Before that happened I picked my first 16 for Team Canada and Team USA.  Now I am picking the remainder of my teams.  On Saturday I completed my Canadian roster and today I am completing my American roster.  I will discuss my picks and any discrepancies between my roster and the World Cup roster that remain at that point.

The World Cup team left three defencemen spots and four forward spots open.  I think it was a mistake to fill all three goalie spots because there is no more room should a goalie emerge who deserves a spot on the team.  Thus on my team I left one goalie spot open, two defencemen spots and four forward spots.  I argue that my first 16 is a better group than the actual World Cup selections.  I selected Phil Kessel and Tyler Johnson who have been the two best players eligible for the American team in the playoffs and the World Cup team onitted them both.  Thus the World Cup team will almost certainly have to select those two and has less flexibility for other forward picks because of some questionable early forward picks.  We had five discrepancies between the World Cup team and my team.  The World Cup team selected Ben Bishop, Justin Abdelkader, Ryan Kesler, TJ Oshie and Derek Stepan.  In their place I had Justin Faulk, Tyler Johnson, Phil Kessel, Kyle Okposo and Bobby Ryan.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

John Torchetti May Be Interviewed For Detroit’s Assistant Coaching Position

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

via Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,

In other news, sources also say former interim coach John Torchetti, who has another year left on his contract as coach of the Iowa Wild, is a candidate for assistant coaching positions with the Florida Panthers and Detroit Red Wings. He has been granted permission to pursue other jobs. If he doesn’t get one, Torchetti and Fletcher are expected to speak again regarding a job within the Wild.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Morning Line- Evgeni Malkin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul


Game 6 is in Tampa tomorrow night. Pens need a win there to have a game 7 home game.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeni+malkin

What Is Going On With The Florida Panthers?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Harvey Fialkov and Keven Lerner of the SunSentinel,

The Florida Panthers continued their front-office shakeup by firing director of player personnel Scott Luce, according to a source.

Luce, a longtime member of the Panthers' scouting department, was let go by the team on Sunday night after reportedly meeting with newly promoted general manager Tom Rowe in Canada earlier in the day.

Luce was responsible for the Panthers drafting several top players, including Aleksander Barkov, Aaron Ekblad, Erik Gudbranson, Jonathan Huberdeau and Dmitry Kulikov.

Luce spent 14 years with the Panthers after after joining the club’s scouting staff on July 11, 2002. He previously served as the team's director of scouting.

In recent weeks, the Panthers have restructured their front office.  In addition to naming Rowe general manager, former general manager Dale Tallon was promoted to president of hockey operations while Eric Joyce and Steve Werier were named co-assistant general managers.

Outsiders have expressed surprise over the front-office shake-up coming on the heels of the franchise's best regular season ever.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: scott+luce

“Speed And Skill” In The Conference Finals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,

- The NHL semifinals have yet to be resolved but, after a decade in which the forces of speed and skill battled the game's dark side, hockey fans should be encouraged by what they've seen thus far.

Three of the teams still alive in the Stanley Cup tournament are built largely around hockey's more enlightened pursuits. Even St. Louis has those elements in its game. Pittsburgh, Tampa and San Jose, meanwhile, all play an uptempo, attacking style and that's significant because the NHL is a copycat league which enthusiastically mimics any team that has success.

In 2011 and 2012, that was the bigger, heavier Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings. This year speed and skill is the prevailing trend.

- On a related note, in 2011 the Canucks beat a Sharks' team in the Western final which featured Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Justin Braun and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Five seasons later, the Sharks are back in the final four with the same core group and Brent Burns while the Canucks haven't won a playoff series since.

What happened?

Well, the emergence of Burns as a Norris Trophy-calibre defenceman at age 30 was the key development for the Fish, but their success has also been the result of small improvements throughout their lineup. Few outside San Jose had heard of Joonas Donskoi, Melker Karlsson or Chris Tierney before these playoffs, but they've made a huge impact in the bottom six. North Van's Marty Jones was brought in to replace Antti Niemi in goal and he's been an upgrade. New West's Brenden Dillon was acquired for Jason Demers and he's added snarl to the back end.

continued with more topics too...

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

John Brophy Passed Away This Morning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul


more below including two videos...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+brophy

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