Kukla's Korner

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I’ve never been so close.  It’s definitely exciting, but I know how hard it is to get that last win.

“I’m just waiting for the next game. Hopefully, we can finish it there, but it’s going to be really hard. That would be a dream come true, but it’s going to be a hard step.”

-Marian Hossa of the Detroit Red Wings.  More on the Wings at the CBC 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs Blog.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+hossa

Report- Sutter Leaving Devils

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via CTVCalgary,

CTV Calgary learned late Monday night that Brent Sutter will announce that he is stepping down as head coach of the News Jersey Devils on Tuesday.

This further fuels rumours that Brent Sutter will return to Alberta to join his brother Darryl, who is currently the Calgary Flames general manager.

There has been some speculation that Daryl Sutter has been waiting to make a decision on his team’s head coaching opening to see if Brent would be available.

added 11:14am, via Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

The Devils have scheduled a noon conference call today with Brent Sutter in which Sutter is expected to announce he is stepping down as head coach.

Sutter has been pondering his future with the team since the Devils lost Game 7 of their first round series against Carolina on April 28. He has admitted that it has been difficult for him the last two years to be away from his family in Red Deer, Alberta and the team he owns there.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brent+sutter

History Beckons

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

There’s a little, itty bitty, tiny, eentsy frigging weentsy box on a shelf in a room way in the bottom basement of NHL league headquarters. 

Is that where Gary Bettman’s spine is kept?  No. It’s where the dynasties are stored. 

That box is open…Abel and Howe and Lindsay are making room.  Trottier, Bossy and Smith are bitching because it’s tight in there already.  Scotty Bowman’s smiling because he enjoys any player’s discomfort.

And after tonite?  If all goes as Providence has decreed, there’s going to be a little welcoming bash in that tiny little box, down in a place Gary Bettman doesn’t like to talk about, in a dark corner where parity doesn’t exist.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Answering Some Questions

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

There were a couple of questions left in my elite goalies post by J.J. from Kansas that I would like to address.  He asks:

Has this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs and especially the finals to-date been less entertaining to watch than other playoff years throughout your history as a fan? 

If so, is it because none of the teams are historically elite?

If so, are you saying that a Stanley Cup playoff run featuring one truly historically elite team would be fun to watch?  Wouldn’t that team be an unstoppable titan, making the games less competitive and therefore less fun to watch?

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Conn Smythe Choices

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,

This year, if Detroit were to repeat as Stanley Cup champions, the Conn Smythe pickings are curiously thin.

Detroit as a team may be unmatchable, but its usual stars have not shone nearly as brightly as they have in the past. The two finest players, forward Pavel Datsyuk and defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom, have been injured, missed games and have not been able to play quite at their highest standards. Lidstrom, of course, won the Conn Smythe in 2002. Last year’s winner, Henrik Zetterberg, has had another superb playoffs – leading the team in scoring while checking the other teams’ star players – but he was even more dominant last year when he did win the trophy.

The early chatter line among the media who vote appears to be leaning toward Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood, whose numbers are good even if, at times, he appears to let in soft goals….

Which brings us to the two players who should be given serious consideration, even if the Penguins fail to mount this difficult comeback: 21-year-old Sidney Crosby of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, and 22-year-old Evgeny Malkin of Magnitogorsk, Russia.

more

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

The Evolution Of Nick Lidstrom

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

“The first time I ever met Lidstrom what I remember is how quiet he was,” said Draper, who has played with him since 1993. “I’ve been very fortunate to see the evolution of Nick Lidstrom first hand.”

Maltby recalls that he was surprised the first time he heard Lidstrom speaking Swedish.

“He doesn’t even really have an accent, so the first time he started speaking Swedish, I said, ‘What the ... Oh, I forgot about that,’. ” Maltby said, laughing. “It was funny. ... You almost took it for granted he was North American. He’s the same way now. He’s quiet and he goes about his business.”

Although he was a coach’s dream as a defender early in his career, his quiet demeanor, coupled with Detroit’s high-profile dressing room, stunted his national attention. “For a while, he was the best-kept secret in the league,” Draper said.

With six Norris trophies, Lidstrom now has the best defensive credentials in the game.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nick+lidstrom

What They Actually Meant

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Actual quote: Sidney Crosby was asked about his highly publicized slash of Henrik Zetterberg in Game 5.

“I haven’t seen it replayed, but I don’t have any regrets. He cross checked me earlier on. It’s not about getting back at guys at this point. We’ve got to play hockey here and worry about winning a game.”

Translation: I only regret I didn’t do it harder and before they started waxing us. And, as for getting back at someone, I’m working on a play where I bank it in off Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Don Cherry’s left knee for the winner. See you in Detroit on Friday.

Actual quote: Crosby also was asked about the team’s response to Game 5 and reminded questioners the Pens were in 10th place midway through the season and would gladly take a one-game shot to get to a seventh game of the Stanley Cup finals. “So, we’re keeping things in perspective here knowing what we have to do,” Crosby said.

Translation: If I have to watch Marian Hossa hoist the Stanley Cup on Tuesday night, I might throw up.

more

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

If Wings Win The Cup, Chelios Will Need Some Help To Get His Name On It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Camwest News Service via the National Post,

Since he played in only 24 regular-season games, Chelios doesn’t qualify for a Stanley Cup inscription. A player must suit up for 41 games or appear in at least one game of the final series to get his name on Lord Stanley’s mug.

There is a second chance, however.

The Wings can, and likely will, petition to have Chelios added to the Stanley Cup list. But that might mean Chelios will require a favour from his old rival, National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman.

“I don’t really care what he says anyway,” Chelios said. “If that’s my biggest worry, I’m doing pretty well. If we win it, I’m not too worried about it. My name is already on the Cup.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+chelios

High Praise For Babcock

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

It has been well documented how Holland and the rest of his front office have excelled like no other NHL club at drafting, developing and assembling championship rosters. But Babcock, perhaps, hasn’t quite got the same amount of credit for his job behind the bench.

“I don’t know if he really does,” San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan told ESPN.com on Monday. “People will say that he has very good players. Well, there’s a lot of teams in the league that have very good players. We’re one of them. We have players that are world-class as well and we’re not playing right now.

“So I think a lot more credit to should go Mike’s way and his staff’s way, as well. They’re well-prepared and they never beat themselves.”

McLellan was an assistant coach here last year, winning a Cup alongside Babcock. He didn’t hesitate one iota when asked to describe him as a coach.

“Two words come to mind: committed and focused,” McLellan said. “He knows exactly what he wants to do as a coach and he knows how he’s going to do it. He has a plan and he knows how he’s going to executive it. That’s a sign of a great leader. The Wings are very fortunate to have him coaching there right now.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+babcock

No Hockey Tonight?  No Problem

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Watch game 6, SCF from last year below.

note: Hulu only allows US based IPs to watch…

Continue Reading »

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

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