Kukla's Korner

Ovechkin Not Thinking Vacation These Days

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

If the Capitals fail to get out of the first round after rolling through the regular season like a tornado through open plains, Ovechkin’s reputation will take a major hit. There will be some critics who start to call him a choker, and they’ll try to present viable evidence, too.

He was supposed to lead Team Russia to some kind of medal in Vancouver in February, but instead left only with tattered strings of failure hanging around his neck and a controversy after he shoved a cameraperson.

And now, in the season where he’s supposed to lead the Washington Capitals to the Stanley Cup, there is the potential for a first-round exit that seemed so unfathomable just a week ago. Heck, it was unfathomable just 24 hours ago.

“Tomorrow is a day one team is going to be going on vacation,” Ovechkin said, “and I don’t want to think about vacation right now.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin

Memorable Upsets

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The Washington Capitals finished 33 points ahead of the Canadiens in the regular-season standings, meaning that if Montreal knocks them off in the deciding game of their best-of-seven playoff series Wednesday night, it will go down in history as one of the greatest upsets of all time.

The anatomy of a possible upset always intrigues me. My first year as a hockey writer, I had a chance to witness one of the most shocking of all time. It involved Montreal, but the shoe was on the other foot this time. It was the spring of 1981, in the 21-team NHL and the days of the balanced schedule, when the playoff format made no distinction about conferences or geography. Hence, Montreal - with the third best record overall and 103 regular-season points - drew the 14th-seeded Edmonton Oilers, fourth-place finishers in the Smythe Division with 74 points.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Ready… Set… Gut Check Time

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By VooX

I am a mess.  An excess of nervous energy, my uncontrollable leg (the Jimmy-leg) bouncing, and random hallucinations caused by psychotropic drugs have made me a shell of the man I usually am.  And yet, strangely, I am okay with that.

For some reason these playoffs feel different to me.

Sure I am just as stressed as every other season, but this time I have a strange feeling of resignation.  Whatever will happen, will happen.  Whichever Detroit Red Wings team shows up tonight will determine the 19’s feelings tomorrow.  For me, that has been the way it has been all year, there is nothing different.

Strangely, being involved in a Game 7 in Round 1 is exactly where I want the Red Wings to be.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Buffalo has some of the best sports fans in North America. They live and die with their Sabres and Bills. They take it personally. We can only imagine the callers on AM 550 on Tuesday. How did a team with a Vezina Trophy favorite (Ryan Miller) lose to a Bruins team that was 30th overall in offense this season? They may also ask if this Sabres team has enough character to win when it matters.

-Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.  Four more hockey thoughts from Pierre.

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

Goals & Saves Of The Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

First the goals, then the saves are below.

Total combined runtime of the videos is about three minutes, so go ahead and take a short break and watch.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, NHL Video, | KK Hockey | Permalink

And The Shutdown Dman Is…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Curtis Zupke of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,

This week’s SI doesn’t disappoint when it asks NHL players, “Who is the best shutdown defenseman?”

Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom got 25 percent of the votes, narrowly edging out Boston’s Zdeno Chara (23 percent). Rounding out the top five are Nashville’s Shea Weber (10 percent), former Duck Chris Pronger of Philadelphia (nine percent) and the Ducks’ Scott Niedermayer (seven percent).

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Boston Advantage Over Buffalo

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The Boston Bruins defeated the Buffalo Sabres four games to two in a series that ended last night.  Buffalo was widely considered the favorite as they had a nine point regular season advantage.  One advantage Boston had in the series was that Buffalo failed to score a single goal on the power play in the series.  The Boston penalty kill was perfect.  During the regular season, Buffalo had a mid-level power play.  They were ranked 17th in the league.  It was led by Tim Connolly, Derek Roy, Jason Pominville and Tomas Vanek.  Connolly the Sabres regular season leading point scorer on the power play was limited to one assist in the playoffs.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Versus Attracting Key Demographics

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK, N.Y. (April 27, 2010)- VERSUS, the fastest growing sports cable network in the country, is averaging a .6 HH rating and 552,000 viewers for its 12 days of Conference Quarterfinal round coverage-through Sunday, April 25.  The HH rating and average viewership is up 50 percent and 25, respectively, compared to the same time period of last year’s postseason (.4 HH rating and 442,000 viewers).  Additionally, the network is also seeing viewership increases across all key male demos over last year: Men 18-34 (up 5%), Men 18-49 (up 10%) and Men 25-54 (up 23%).  Due to the momentum of NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, VERSUS garnered its most-watched April in primetime in network history.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink

NHL Foundation Player Award Finalists

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (April 27, 2010) – Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Brown, Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green and Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller are the three finalists for the 12th Annual NHL Foundation Player Award, the National Hockey League announced today.  The award recognizes an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey – commitment, perseverance and teamwork – to enrich the lives of people in his community.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Marc Savard Gets The Green Light

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Nancy Marrapese-Burrell of Bruins Blog,

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli has just announced that center Marc Savard has fully recovered from a concussion and has been cleared to play.

Chiarelli said Savard met with an independent neurologist and, in concert with the team medical staff, say the veteran is ready to join the Bruins for the second round of the playoffs.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marc+savard

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