Kukla's Korner

NCAA Men’s Hockey Champion Will Be Crowned Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Albright of ESPN,

The similarities are striking.

Both schools have 28 wins this season. Both are No. 1 seeds. Both played in outdoor games this season. And both schools scored a weekend’s worth of goals in Thursday’s national semifinals wins.

So when Boston College (28-10-3) and Wisconsin (28-10-4) face off Saturday night at Ford Field (7 p.m. ET, ESPN HD/ESPN3.com) to decide this season’s NCAA men’s hockey champion, the Eagles and the Badgers will be near mirror images.

“They’ve got a lot of speed and a lot of skill and if you give them a lot of room to work with they’ll take advantage of it,” Wisconsin defenseman and captain Ryan McDonagh said. “We’ll be able to [watch video] of their goals and see what they did to put themselves in that position. And if anything try to learn from what Miami didn’t really execute as well as they wanted to and hopefully not make the same mistakes.”


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, College Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

No Elite Goalies In The 2009 SemiFinals - One Year Later

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Last year during the Stanley Cup semi-finals I wrote that no elite goalies were left in the Stanley Cup playoffs.  At that time the four remaining starting goalies were Cam Ward of the Carolina Hurricanes, Nikolai Khabibulin of the Chicago Blackhawks, Chris Osgood of the Detroit Red Wings and Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins.  The comment was heavily criticized as people wanted to argue that Osgood or Fleury were elite goalies.  There was significantly less concern about ward and Khabibulin.  The next NHL season is complete and it stands to reason that if any of those goalies were elite goalies last year, they probably still are.  As elite goalies they probably would be in the running for the Vezina Trophy, post-season All Star teams or made significant contributions to their respective Olympic teams.  None of these goalies clearly measure up this year.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Modano Back To Where His NHL Career Started

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,

Modano will be honored by the Wild during a video tribute during the second TV timeout (first non-icing or goal stoppage after the 10-minute mark of the first period). It’s his call, but it appears as if at some point tonight Modano will slip on a North Stars sweater. It’s unknown if that will be in warmups, during a stoppage or after the game. He said maybe “during the game,” but I emailed Bill Daly and he says that request hasn’t been asked yet or considered.

I don’t see how he’d be allowed to wear it during the game (he wore seven or so Stars sweaters during his home finale the other day), if for no other reasons than Reebok sponsors NHL jerseys.

Modano reunited with former North Stars/Stars teammate Neal Broten this morning during a hilarious conversion that took place for about 25 minutes with us media and others contributing. Some great lines.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+modano

Bruins In The Playoffs Thanks To Shorthanded Goals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brian Hunter of NHL.com,

Matt Hunwick took the most valuable penalty of the season for the Boston Bruins, who wrapped up one of the final Eastern Conference playoff berths on the next-to-last day of the regular season.

With Hunwick in the box for hooking, Daniel Paille, Blake Wheeler and Steve Begin all scored shorthanded in a span of 1:04 early in the second period and the Bruins went on to a 4-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday afternoon at TD Garden, clinching their third straight trip to the postseason.

Boston set an NHL record for the three quickest shorthanded goals and became the first team ever to score three shorthanded goals on the same penalty kill.


added 4:40pm, Highlights of the game can be viewed below.  The ‘shorties’ start at the 1:50 mark.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink

Torn ACL For Kovalev

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Habs Inside/Out tweet,

Torn ACL, surgery ends season for Kovalev

added 11:22am, via Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,

Senators right winger Alex Kovalev has a “completely torn” ACL in his left knee and is gone for the season.

The 37-year old will have surgery in two weeks.

“He will recover but it will be a big project for him going forward,” Senators GM Bryan Murray said Saturday morning.

Kovalev injured his knee in the second period of Thursday’s shootout loss to Tampa.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexei+kovalev

11 Games Today, Some With Playoff Implications

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Carolina at Boston starts the action today just after 1:00pm today.

Montreal needs one point against Toronto tonight to assure a playoff position.

Playoff seeds yet to be determined:  1 & 2 and 5-7 in the West and in the East 2, 3 & 4 plus 5-8.

See today’s NHL schedule below.and all the scenarios for the last two days of the regular season.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Sweaters In Africa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bonnie Allen of the National Post,

Under the shade of a lush green palm tree, a hefty Liberian man sells pineapples and tries to escape the muggy tropical heat. All the while, he proudly sports a long-sleeved heavy-knit Toronto Maple Leafs hockey sweater.

“We don’t know the game,” Joe Peters admits, wiping sweat off his cheek. “But the jerseys are very fine. Very high quality.”

The booming and controversial used-clothes business in Africa means hockey jerseys can be found sprinkled throughout this war-torn West African nation.

continued with pictures…

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

It’s All About Playoff Match-Ups

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,

Lies, damn lies – and statistics.

Do not believe what you read in the NHL standings.

Otherwise, how can it be that the most feared team on the eve of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Detroit Red Wings, sits in the lower half of those teams in the Western Conference that will be moving on?

And how can it be that the Northeast Division winner in the Eastern Conference, the Buffalo Sabres, would tremble in their skates if they have to meet the Ottawa Senators, a team that barely challenged for that same division title?


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Waiting For An Injury Update On Duchene

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,

The Avs’ 5-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks at the Pepsi Center was a distant second in the night’s order of disappointing results.

The Avs, who listed Duchene’s condition as a torso injury, initially gave no further update on his condition after the game, but NHL sources said he was taken to a hospital while the game was still in progress. The Avs later confirmed Duchene went to the hospital for further tests but didn’t provide any results….

“We wanted to hold him out for the rest of the game for precautionary measures, and we’ll know more (today),” Avs coach Joe Sacco said.

more on the Avs…

added 8:24am, Dater has more at All Things Avs,

Nobody could seem to figure out when or how he was hurt in the brief time he was on the ice in the first period against Chicago, leading to a second theory: that Duchene actually hurt himself in Edmonton the other night. Some who have studied tape of the game believe Duchene was hurt after a hit from the Oilers’ Zach Stortini.

The trouble with that is, Dutchy seemed fine at the morning skate today, and obviously he suited up for the game. So what happened? I’m not a doctor, but seriously, it can be anything. Is it a broken rib? Did a hit from a previous game damage an internal organ that gave out tonight? Did he burst a spleen? Did he severely pull a muscle like Claude Lemieux did back in 1996 and needed abdominal surgery to correct it?

read on

added 8:27am, Dater just updated All Things Avs with this…

my text was chirping in the black hours of morning, with word from golden, trusted sources that Matt Duchene “will be fine.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: matt+duchene

Flyers Lack Of Energy Questioned

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

With everything to play for against the New York Rangers, the Flyers charged onto the ice with the competitive fire of Bambi on the interstate.

“I don’t know if it’s confidence or we came out a little bit deer-in-the-headlights, waiting to see what was going to happen,” coach Peter Laviolette said after a 4-3 loss left his team one game from being roadkill. “You’ve got to play a full 60 minutes. You’d rather go down swinging instead of keeping it close. You’d rather swing for the fence.”

It wasn’t just Laviolette, either. Flyers captain Mike Richards couldn’t explain how his team lacked the “energy” to match New York’s. Veteran forward Daniel Briere was similarly at a loss.

“I don’t know if we were tight or what was it,” Briere said. “We didn’t look like a very confident group in the first period. That’s the mind-set we have to change….”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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