Kukla's Korner

Canes Looking For Production

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,

Through earlier upsets of New Jersey and Boston, it was the stellar goaltending of Ward combined with the relentless offence of Staal that carried the Cardiac Canes.

But now, two losses into the series, Carolina desperately needs a big performance from both those players in order to keep that deficit from becoming insurmountable.

Staal has not scored in the last five games and has but a lone assist in the conference final. Ward gave up six goals in a 7-4 loss Thursday, the most he has ever allowed in a playoff game. In 38 previous post-season appearances, Ward had never given up more than four goals.

As he watches Crosby and Malkin put up big numbers – nine points between them in the first two games – Staal understands he also has to produce.

read on

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

Keenan Didn’t Adapt To The Current NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald,

“Mike’s a guy who was coaching in his heyday in the ’80s and early ’90s when he had his success,” Regehr said late Friday afternoon after news of Keenan’s dismissal broke. “If you don’t adapt, it doesn’t work anymore. It’s become a lot more technical.

“We just were lacking in that area.”...

Since 1996 in St. Louis, his teams have not advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs.

“The biggest difference from back then is the margin of error,” Regehr said.

“The margin of error was a lot greater back then. You were able to play that type of hockey. There was so much talent on some of those teams. There was a big, big discrepancy. They could just turn it on in a period and win games and do it on a regular basis.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+keenan, robyn+regehr

A Look At The SCF Schedule

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,

After lollygagging through the first three rounds of playoffs with nonsensical extra off-days thrown in willy-nilly, the NHL is prepared to play Games 1 and 2 of the Cup final on back-to-back nights, because NBC is weak in prime time on Fridays and Saturdays, and will deign to telecast both games if the NHL doesn’t mind twisting itself into a pretzel to co-operate….

If they play on the 5th and 6th, and go every second day from that point on, they would play Game 3 on June 8, Game 4 on the 10th, and so on, meaning a possible Game 7 on the 16th, a day later than the NHL’s written-in-stone pledge to have the season end by June 15.

So in order to keep its promise, the league would have to schedule another back-to-back within the series….

If the league’s owners had the stones they were born with, they might actually rise up and challenge the commissioner once in a while when his desire to be bigger than he (or the league) really is — regardless of the cost to its dignity — makes hockey look pathetic.

But he has led them this far, and they have drunk his Kool-Aid. Evidently, they are unwilling, or unable, to rally in the name of common sense.

more

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

The Most Popular Name On Ice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Branch of the New York Times,

At least one well-known American vehicle manufacturer is rolling out vehicles as usual. But before a Zamboni can take the ice, it hits the pavement on Colorado Avenue.

The neighbors are used to it by now, seeing one of the blocky ice-resurfacing machines rumble out of the low-slung Zamboni factory and trudge down the block — top speed: 9 miles per hour — toward the corner KFC. It whirls and comes back, is checked for leaks and fitted with studded tires.

Then the Zamboni is sent someplace like Dubai or Prague or Milwaukee. A handwritten tag on a string near the ignition tells where. Zamboni may be the most famous name on ice, a pop-culture icon more recognized than any of the four remaining National Hockey League playoff teams, with a moniker more familiar than Crosby or Ovechkin, probably even Gretzky or Lord Stanley, whose trophy goes to the N.H.L. champion.

continued

Filed in: Hockey Equipment, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Brent Sutter Not Thinking Calgary

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Everson of the NY Post,

Devils coach Brent Sutter told The Post last night that the firing of Mike Keenan by elder brother Darryl Sutter in Calgary “has zero impact” on whether he will return behind the New Jersey bench next season….

“Absolutely not. It has nothing to do with my thinking,” Sutter told The Post. “I’m employed by the New Jersey Devils, and that’s the way I look at it.”...

There have been rumbles that GM Lou Lamoriello would not be heartbroken if Sutter decides not to return for the third year of his lucrative contract. One wise man suggested that if Sutter isn’t coming back after next season, Lamoriello might want to cut the cord now.

But Lamoriello surely would want compensation from a team that might sign Sutter, a first-rounder is the going rate, especially if the coach was to go to Calgary.

more & I recall reading that compensation for a situation like this is no longer allowed…

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

Malkin Causing Problems For The Hurricanes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,

They simply call him “Geno,” which doesn’t have much of a menacing—or marketing—ring to it. A native Russian, he still speaks halting English and shies away from media interviews.

But it was Malkin who was the NHL’s leading scorer this season, winning the Art Ross Trophy. It is Malkin who could be the league’s MVP. It is Malkin, at 22, who is making many wonder what’s next and how high the center’s professional ceiling can be.

More than that, it is Malkin, No. 71, who quickly is becoming the Carolina Hurricanes’ No. 1 headache in the Eastern Conference finals.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeni+malkin

A Hockey Hit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Staples of The Cult Of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal,

The only thing wrong with the Kornwall hit was that someone truly deserving of such a masterpiece such as Jordan Tootoo, Steve Ott, Matt Cooke, Sean Avery, Ben Eager, Adam Burish or Robyn Regehr wasn’t on the receiving end of it.

The puck came around the boards to Havlat and shortly after it arrived in his skates, Kronwall rammed into him with his shoulder, as if he were Jack Lambert, Mike Singletary, Lawrence Taylor, Scott Stevens and Brian Herosian all rolled up into one ball of explosiveness.

It was a brilliant open-ice hit and, at first, neither referee raised his arm to call a penalty on the play, though that should have happened,...

The apologists at the NHL’s website said that Kronwall “appeared to have left his feet” making the hit.

Hogwash.

more and thanks to a KK reader for the screenshot.

image

added 9:32am, from Damien Cox of The Spin at the Toronto Star,

But in a playoff season in which the NHL has gotten so many calls wrong time after time, Kronwall’s was arguably the worst miscarriage of justice outside the inexplicable non-suspension of Carolina forward Scott Walker for his goon sucker punch on Boston’s Aaron Ward.

Who actually made the call? What was the explanation? The NHL needs to explain itself on this one. And apologize for screwing up so badly.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: martin+havlat, niklas+kronwall

Coaches Respond To Kronwall Hit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from CBC,

“It was a hard hit and a dangerous hit when you still haven’t touched the puck,” Quenneville said.

Havlat did not return to the game and is listed with an upper-body injury.

“He looked better after the game,” Quenneville said. “We’ll see how he presents himself (Saturday). We’ll call it day to day.”

Babcock bit down hard on his tongue when asked whether he thought the NHL might take further disciplinary action against Kronwall.

“I’d be shocked,” Babcock said. “I’d be absolutely shocked. You know what? No, I’m not allowed to say that.”

Then he said it anyway. “Players have bad games,” Babcock said. “Coaches have bad games, but (officials) are not allowed to have bad calls or games.”

more on the game last night…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Before You Suspend Kronwall…

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

...you’d better take a look at this.

From a comment thread over on the Emperor’s main page, a joint effort from Nathan and Moocat.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Holik Plans On Retiring

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

frm Mark Everson of the NY Post,

Bobby Holik told The Post yesterday that he is retiring from hockey after 18 NHL seasons, 11 of those with New Jersey.

“I’m done. I’m retiring,” Holik said from his home in Wyoming. “I miss being with my family every day. I knew when the season ended, but I wanted to leave and get home first, and not make a big deal of it.

“A player is what I was. Now I’m a husband and a father.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bobby+holik

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