Kukla's Korner

The Winnipeg Jets Are Closing In On Post-Season Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press,

They have not wilted. No fade and no quit. And if they can manage to get into the post-season, the Winnipeg Jets just might prove to be a tough out.

With each passing day, the Jets appear to be getting stronger. They've won six of seven, they're getting brilliant goaltending and, little by little, they're getting healthy.

After 75 games, it appears they will need three more wins to achieve their first goal. After that, well, they say anything can happen.

There's reason to believe with the way the Jets are constructed, this won't be a team that reaches the playoffs only to be swept away in short order.

Big, fast and willing to bang, the Jets will be inexperienced but built with some of the characteristics needed to win in the post-season.

Their offence comes from hard work and not flash. The blue-line has size and mobility. And right now, at this most crucial of junctures, they are getting outstanding goaltending.

Last night's 5-2 bouncing of the visiting Montreal Canadiens gave the Jets 90 points on the season. They're knocking at the door. Soon they'll be pounding at the door. And maybe, just maybe, in the immortal but slightly sanitized words of Bum Phillips, they'll kick the son of a gun in.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Mike Babcock Talk

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

via Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

- "We had 'D' that didn't box out and wasn't ready to go from the start."

"We'll come in here tomorrow, and we'll get it fixed.

"The outcome is: We can't keep it out of our net. So, until we get that fixed, nothing else. We're going to get that fixed tomorrow.

"You guys have a good night."

- "I agree with you," Babcock said when it was asserted Howard looked uneasy. "It's one of those things.

"Obviously, it didn't go the way he wanted.

"He's a proud guy. We gave him the opportunity to bounce back. He didn't do that."

- I didn't like the second goal that went in on him," Babcock said of a goal by Logan Couture that went under Mrazek's blocker arm, next to his ribs, and in.

"They can't chicken wing it. Couture's shot is a great shot. That can't happen to you."

- "We're going to get regrouped tomorrow, and I guarantee we'll be back and ready to go."

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

The Latest On The Las Vegas Ticket Drive

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Dreger of TSN,

"There will be a formal announcement soon," is how prospective NHL owner Bill Foley responded when asked if his group is moving closer to expansion to Las Vegas.

Foley won't divulge specifics, but says he hopes to be in position to make the announcement in a month.

"We're really pleased with how it's going," Foley told TSN.   "Now we want to expand our base to ensure the support we have is as widespread as possible."

Sources familiar with this process suggest the corporate sector, including the many casinos in Las Vegas represent the next phase of the ticket drive and overall market study.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Claude Julien Wanted Goalie Interference On Corey Perry’s Game-Tying Goal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,

The Bruins had their closers on the ice with Chris Kelly, Patrice Bergeron, Loui Eriksson, Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg playing in the final minute, but Corey Perry managed to tip a Ryan Getzlaf shot past Tuukka Rask for the game-tying score with 38.5 seconds remaining.

That led to the Getzlaf overtime game-winner in the 3-2 loss for the Black and Gold at TD Garden and a closer look at Perry’s third-period score for the game-tying goal. Both Perry and Matt Beleskey made “incidental contact” with Rask in the crease just before the game-tying redirection, and either player could have been called out on it.

Julien wanted a call at that crucial point in the game, but that isn't meant to be for this year's team.

“[It’s] really disappointing that the goal was allowed. There was, no doubt, goalie interference there and that’s why they talk about reviewing those kinds of goals and coaches’ challenges,” said Julien. “You can’t allow those kinds of goals. This was a big point we lost tonight on a missed call. Those are the things that are hard to swallow right now.”

more

Watch the goal below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: corey+perry

Video- Recap Of A Busy Thursday Night In The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Catch the action from the 11 NHL games played last night.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The overnight report: Red Wings-Sharks wrap-up; prospect notes, etc.

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings' 6-4 loss to the San Jose Sharks wasn't more costly because the Wings "got help in the standings" for the first time in a long time: Ottawa, which is 5 points behind the Wings, lost 5-1 to the Rangers, and the Bruins, who are also 5 points back having played 1 more game than both Detroit and Ottawa, dropped a 3-2 OT decision to Anaheim.

After the game, Wings coach Mike Babcock, who's become a media-beleaguered gentleman during the Wings' 3-7-and-1 March schedule, chose to announce that Petr Mrazek would start Saturday's all-important showdown with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and you will have to take what he told the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness about Mrazek vs. Jimmy Howard as you will:

When Babcock was asked if he had a No. 1 goalie he responded with, “I’m starting Pete Mrazek next game.”

At the same time, Babcock told Pleiness and the assembled media that he didn't feel that his goaltenders--plural, because Petr Mrazek gave up two soft goals, too--were solely to blame for the Wings' issues...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Quick take, Red Wings vs. Sharks: More like it or more like s***?

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

With the Wings having just completed their 10th remaining game of the 2014-15 campaign, I've changed my mantra from, "Catch the Bolts" to "get a point!"

The Wings' disastrous March 3-7-and-1 record and game-to-game and period-to-period performances have deteriorated to the point that it's all but essential for the Wings to "go .500" to not drop into a Wild Card spot, and as such, the goal of earning one point every night might be a little more realistic than hoping for wins.

Thursday, the Wings placed fans on an emotional roller coaster that resulted in a 6-4 San Jose win and what was an exasperating, infuriating and incredibly frustrating effort in which BOTH Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek weren't good enough, NOR were the players in front of either--Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar had 4 giveaways apiece, at least on paper, and 3 of Nyquist's giveaways yielded Sharks goals on a -11 team.

As a result, I'm sure that more of you are going to insist that Howard's incompetent, but you will see him on either Saturday against Tampa or Sunday vs. the Islanders, the coach remains the coach, friends, and the Wings' games against Ottawa on Tuesday and Boston on Thursday, with both teams 5 points behind Detroit, become monumental ones.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Audio/Video- Scotty Bowman On A Few Hot Topics

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet,

Chicago Blackhawks senior advisor Scotty Bowman joins Prime Time Sports to talk about coaches challenges, the lack of scoring and reducing the size of goaltending equipment.

 

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Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: scotty+bowman

Get It Together

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit

As the Wings pursue a playoff berth, the 19 are questioning everything that is going wrong with the Team as we see it. Starting behind the bench (Babcock), and working it's way around behind Howard.

As I see it, the Coach had better start to take care of business instead of offering up empty platitudes and self help books.

I think I can say that we are tired of excuses. Excuses are for losers.

This is a direct hit at Babcock. Get it together. It's your bench, your game plan, your orders.

Do your job.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Don’t Expect Dubnyk Back

Blog: Oil Patch By Lisa Brown

It came as a shock to everyone this year the extent of and sheer success of goaltender Devan Dubnyk. Having bounced around from team to team, most hockey fans would have expected Dubnyk’s on ice performance to have suffered, this would have been an extreme blow to his confidence. Instead, Dubnyk has taken the moves and changes and flourished into one of the hottest stories of the NHL this season. This must of course mean that the Oilers are looking at their roster and picking up the phone right? Well… not exactly.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Edmonton Oilers, | Oil Patch | Permalink
  Tags: craig+mactavish, devan+dubnyk

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