Kukla's Korner

Grading the Stanley Cup Final

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the Canadian Press via the Sporting News:

A report card look at the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings, evaluating their performance in the Stanley Cup final:

FORWARDS

Penguins, A: The prevailing thought was that Pittsburgh couldn’t match the Red Wings depth up front—WRONG. The Penguins won the two biggest games of the year without even receiving a goal from either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. And how about Max Talbot? His four goals in the series were two more than anyone else could muster. And how about managing to win Game 7 after losing Crosby to an injury? Impressive.

Red Wings, C-plus:
This group was clearly hurt by the foot injury to Hart Trophy finalist Pavel Datsyuk. Even though he was back in the lineup for the last three games, there’s no way he was at 100 per cent. Henrik Zetterberg, the best Wings player in the series, did all he could to pick up the slack but it wasn’t enough. It was a miserable final for Marian Hossa.

read on

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

Congratulations, Penguins!

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

imageCongratulations to the Pittsburgh Penguins on this year’s Stanley Cup win.  I’ll defer to Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters for the final minutes of play…

3:00: Three minutes. Tick, tick.

2:30: Two and a half minutes. Tick. Tick.

2:13: A shot by Kronwall from the right point just clinks off the cross bar after hitting a body or two. (thump, thump). Geez.

1:30: One and a half minutes. Tick. Tick. That’s bad grammar. We know.

1:17: The Red Wings take a time out to get organized with a faceoff in the Penguins’ zone. We can’t believe we’re watching this in person. Osgood is pulled.

1:00; One minute. Tick. Tick. [...]

0:00: End of game. End of season. End of playoffs. End of finding the way back to the Stanley Cup. Penguins 2, Red Wings 1.

Update 11:06pm ET: Malkin wins Conn Smythe. via TSN

The reluctant superstar put together the most productive spring in more than a decade, racking up a playoff-best 36 points and helping lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Stanley Cup.

That helped earn Malkin the Conn Smythe Trophy on Friday night, making him the first Russian ever to be named playoff MVP. In fact, he’s just the third European following Henrik Zetterberg last year and Nicklas Lidstrom in 2002.

“Big day in my life,” Malkin told CBC while his teammates paraded around with the Stanley Cup. “My friends are happy, I’m happy.”

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

Hello Summer

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Bottom line: any team that can beat the Red Wings four out of five games when the temperature’s above 75 deserves to win the Stanley Cup.

They, the team, deserve our congratulations. 

Because I don’t have to, I’m not watching the Cup presentation, the Smythe, the handshake.  We’ll be seeing quite enough of that for the next 12 months thanks…the hobbled “captain” lifting the greatest trophy in all of sport.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

No Decision on Coyotes This Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Shi Davidi with the Canadian Press:

The bitter fight for control of the Phoenix Coyotes seems headed to overtime after courthouse hours came and went Friday without a ruling from the Arizona bankruptcy judge presiding over the insolvent team’s fate.

A ruling was expected sometime this week after Tuesday’s tense and dramatic hearing ended with Judge Redfield T. Baum telling the parties he wanted to sleep on the matter before deciding how they should proceed.

continued with a summary of this week’s events

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

Report: Robert Esche on Philly’s Radar

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Darren Dreger at TSN:

Another bizarre twist in goaltending may soon unfold in Philadelphia.

Sources tell TSN former Flyers goaltender Robert Esche is on Philadelphia’s radar and may be lured back from the Kontinental Hockey League where he was playing with SKA St.Petersburg.

Philadelphia is one of a few teams believed to be interested in Esche, who spent four seasons with the Flyers before moving to Russia following the 2006-2007 season.

Barry Smith, the head coach for SKA St.Petersburg confirms the NHL interest in Esche, but says he won’t be able to let Esche out of his contract, which has one year remaining, unless he can find a suitable replacement in goal.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: khl, robert+esche

One More…It’s A Live Blog For Those Born And Raised In South Detroit

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

I honestly believe this.  There is no doubt in my mind that the Red Wings see this as an opportunity to lift their state’s spirits.

I don’t care that they’re from Sweden and Medicine Hat or Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, Chicago or Finland.

They live in Detroit.  They walk amongst us and they are your neighbors.

They see what is going on in our state and it affects them.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

The Handshake Tradition

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Chris Johnston at the CP:

“When you lose a series, the last thing you want to do is congratulate the other team or wish them good luck,” said veteran Detroit forward Kirk Maltby. “But it’s kind of the nature of the beast. It’s just part of our sport and something that’s carried over.

“I think it’s one of the few things that we do that maybe other sports don’t.”

Cooke can think of at least one where it does.

“You can go to one of the roughest games that’s out there in rugby and they do it after every game,” he said. “And most times they’re going for beers after with each other.

“They put their egos aside and know that they’re out there trying to win. That’s what it’s about.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kirk+maltby, matt+cooke

Ducks GM Denies Pronger Trade Rumors

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail:

There is some compelling logic behind the possible move – of the Anaheim Ducks’ Chris Pronger moving to the Los Angeles Kings for Jack Johnson plus a No. 1 draft choice, speculation that was making the rounds Friday prior to the seventh game of the Stanley Cup final. After all, the Ducks may ultimately need to trade Pronger to get to the $46-million (U.S.) budget that they’ll operate with next year. If they can coax Scott Niedermayer back to play again and can’t trade J.S. Giguere’s contract, it may be an option they have to look at.

But for now, the official word from Ducks’ GM Bob Murray, in a short but pointed e-mail note, is that it did not happen. In fact, Murray texted back a NO (caps his), when asked if there was any truth to the report.

Certainly, there can be no official deal anyway between teams until the Stanley Cup is won tonight.

continued…

Update 4:50pm ET: From Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy, more on the source of these rumors, plus the Kings’ denial:

Steve Ludzik of The Score in Canada is putting it on the line this afternoon by reporting that “the Anaheim Ducks have traded defenseman Chris Pronger(notes) to the Los Angeles Kings for D Jack Johnson(notes) and the 5th overall pick in the upcoming draft.”

Chasing the story, Rich Hammond of Inside The Kings has received a text message from Kings GM Dean Lombardi that simply said, “Rumors not true.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+pronger, jack+johnson

Salvaging Bad Deals in the Post Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail:

Once in a while, these long-term commitments between team and player develop into a happily-ever relationship that works for both parties.

On a great many other occasions, however, the marriages don’t work out the way they imagined – and the price of divorce is high.

In the next fortnight – or from the time of Friday night’s seventh game of the Stanley Cup final until the first day of the entry draft in Montreal two weeks from now – NHL trade talks will heat up.

Increasingly, virtually every one of these possible transactions is going to be filtered through money, money invested in the flush of the last two free-agent frenzies that has not paid good dividends.

Contracts that were signed amid great hopes and expectations and – for reasons of injury, underperformance, or just the simple lack of a good fit – have backfired will now be shopped around the league, to see if there’s a willing trading partner.

more with a list of the 10 worst contracts in the NHL right now

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Stanley Cup Gear Ready To Go

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From WPXI.com,

The day after the Pittsburgh Penguins beat Detroit to force Game 7 in the Stanley Cup finals, a couple hundred championship T-shirts with their logo and colors were made to go along with ones already produced for the Red Wings.

Pittsburgh’s victory on Tuesday night at home forced Detroit to keep its T-shirts in a box and bottles of champagne on ice.

What happens to the T-shirts made for the team that loses Friday night?

“The customers have to sign a waiver that they’ll send them back or destroy them,” said John Wangler, who owns the Michigan-based company Top Cat Sales that distributed licensed products for Reebok. “If they send them back, and teams usually do, we end up sending them to a third-world country.”

more

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

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