Kukla's Korner

First Round Playoff Predictions

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

It is playoff time and time to make first round playoff predictions.  As always, I expect to get some of these predictions wrong.  If hockey was completely predictable, why would we bother to watch?  I do expect that I will get more of these predictions correct than wrong and that it isn't possible to get them all right without an extreme amount of luck on your side.

Anaheim defeats Dallas.  The Ducks probably overachieved to win the West Conference but they have a good team.  Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf may be the best healthy one-two punch in the game (given that Malkin's health in questionable).  Jim Nill has done a lot to right the Dallas franchise and get them back into the playoffs, but that will likely be their high-water mark this season.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

The Florida Panthers Win The Draft Lottery

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from NHL.com,

The Florida Panthers will pick first in the 2014 NHL Draft after winning the lottery Tuesday.

As the 29th place team in the final 2013-14 NHL standings, the Panthers entered with an 18.8 percent chance of getting the No. 1 pick.

The Buffalo Sabres had the best chance to win the lottery (25 percent) based on their 30th-place finish. The Sabres will pick second.

The draft will be held June 27-28 at Wells Fargo Center, with the Philadelphia Flyers as host.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Break out the Van Halen and put the beer on ice, it’s playoff time

Blog: The Upper Canadien By The Upper Canadien

It's the most wonderful time of the year. The tulips are sprouting, the birds are chirping...and the snow is falling? Regardless, it's playoff time, and the Montreal Canadiens are getting ready to take on Tampa Bay in the first round. Montreal looks to be a more complete team than they have in at least 6 or 7 years, if not a lot longer. Tampa Bay also look solid top to bottom, and this matchup has the makings of a good series. A quick summary as we get set for puck drop, 23 short hours from now.

Up front:

Tampa Bay has Stamkos. Arguably the most naturally gifted goal scorer in the NHL. Is he at full health? Does he have a partner to dish like Martin St. Louis did? Who cares. This guy can change a game on his own. Beyond the captain, you know the supporting cast well. Ryan Callahan. Purcell. Palat. Johnson. Tampa has more depth than you may think, and they play a strong defensive system. 

Montrea counters with what may be the hottest line in hockey over the past month, as Pacioretty-Desharnais-Vanek lead the way. Their depth is also impresive, as players such as Tomas Plekanec, Brandon Prust, and Travis Moen will be counted on to check the ever-threatening Stamkos. Scorers such as Brendan Gallagher, Brian Gionta, Daniel Briere and Lars Eller litter the second through fourth line. Montreal has the supporting cast necessary to get the job done. But they don't have Stamkos.

Edge: Tampa Bay

On the back end:

Tampa Bay has a strong defensive core, led by Victor Hedman, Matthew Carle and Eric Brewer. However, it gets thin after that, as players such as Keith Aulie, Mike Kostka, and veteran Sami Salo hold down the fort. Tampa's defence isn't exceptionally fast, but they can control the play in their own end, and make a good first pass. Without question though, this is the Hedman show.

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Filed in: | The Upper Canadien | Permalink
 

Bryan Murray On The Senators Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Warren of Senators Extra,

In Tuesday’s post-mortem on what went so wrong with his team this season, he was an open book about a club that started slowly and only found a degree of consistency when the season was already lost.

He had some harsh words for the work of coach Paul MacLean, saying his approach to players must change. He said captain Jason Spezza’s future with the team is undecided. He acknowledged the loss of former captain Daniel Alfredsson last summer was pivotal.

He recognized that young defencemen Jared Cowen, Patrick Wiercioch and Eric Gryba didn’t meet expectations, and he was disturbed by the “careless” and “confused” moments inside the Senators’ blueline.

He steadfastly defended some of his own controversial trades. He also said it’s paramount for the organization to find a “harder forward that can play the game hard and stick up for teammates if necessary,” and says there will be other changes.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bryan+murray

Watching The NBC Sports Group

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

STAMFORD, Conn. – April 15, 2014 – On the strength of the inaugural NHL Stadium Series, the return of the NHL Winter Classic, and the second season of Wednesday Night Rivalry, the 2013-14 NHL regular season set a full-season viewership record for NBCSN, and is expected to do the same for NBC when final figures become available later this week, according to The Nielsen Company.

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Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nbc, nbcsn

The Model Franchise

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Chad Finn of Boston.com,

Maybe the rules of superstition suggest we should wait for the Bruins' first-round playoff series with the long-admired Detroit Red Wings to be complete before making such a declaration.. But it's the truth now, and it should be acknowledged now.

The Bruins, not the Red Wings, have become the model franchise in the NHL. And the exclamation point on that sentence will be provided by this series, which starts Friday night at TD Garden.

Make no mistake, the Wings are worthy of the respect Bruins fans are affording them. Much of that is due to their remarkable success over the last quarter-century, give or take a season or two....

No, it won't be easy. The Wings did win three of four matchups this year, including one of Boston's rare clunkers, a 6-1 Detroit win on November 27 in which Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi didn't even play.

The Bruins' lone win was by a 4-1 score in the second game of the season; it was so long ago that Jordan Caron was one of the three stars.

And it won't be easy because they are the Wings. Accomplished, respected, skilled and decorated. They wear that sweater with pride. They have a lot going for them. still.

Just not as much as the Bruins, their successor as hockey's model franchise.
 

more

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Video- On The Eve Of The Stanley Cup Playoffs, Gary Bettman Talks Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Gary Bettman appeared on the Squawk Box on CNBC today to talk hockey...

 

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman

Malkin At Ease The Day Before The Playoffs Start

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Malkin missed the final 11 games because of a hairline fracture to a bone in his right foot. He participated in a full practice Tuesday and centered a second line with Neal and Jussi Jokinen as his wingers.

Malkin said he felt “no pain” immediately after the session. He needed to meet with Penguins physicians to gain clearance to play in Game 1.

Malkin appeared at ease on and off the ice Tuesday. His skating stride was fluid, and he handled turns and stops without signs of discomfort. He even took a friendly jab at Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, a fellow Russian.

“He stays in the net,” Malkin said, smiling. “All Russian goalies do.”

Malkin said he likes how the Penguins match up with Columbus. He cited the clubs' similar systems and structure, hinting that the Penguins' familiarity could lead to a sense of calmness he feels they lacked in two previous opening-round series against Philadelphia and the New York Islanders.

more

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

Rivalries Dominate First-Round Matchups and Ticket Prices for Stanley Cup Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

By Nick Tranfaglia of TiqIQ,

In what is sure to be a promising and competitive postseason, the first round of this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs will feature a few of the league’s most historic rivalries. The Philadelphia Flyers will head north on the New Jersey turnpike to take on the New York Rangers beginning April 17, with the two teams splitting their season series 2-2. The Chicago Blackhawks will look to defend their championship title and continue writing the script to a long-storied rivalry with the St. Louis Blues. The Los Angeles Kings square off against their Northern California foes in the San Jose Sharks, while the Kings took the season series 3-1-1. As one would expect, prices for these matchups are becoming expensive on the secondary market according to TiqIQ.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tiqiq

Quack, Quack, Quack - A Trio of Goalies to Choose from for the Playoffs

Blog: KK Members Blog By Cubanpuckstoppr

In the words of Bruce Boudreau, "We’re in position with three good goalies. I don’t think I can screw it up too bad whoever I choose.”

How would you like to be a SCP coach, and have this trio of goalies as a luxury.  This does not even include Victor Fasth who started the season with the Ducks.

The complete story, which actually features Jonas Hiller at the link below

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
 

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