Kukla's Korner

Two Elimination Games Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Both Pittsburgh and Detroit can move on to the conference semi-finals tonight with a win and the Ducks can go up 3-1 if they defeat the Sharks.

Carolina/New Jersey series is tied 2-2 and has the look of a seven game series.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Proteau Looses A Bet

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,

When I arrived in costume for the game at Nationwide Arena, one subtle Jackets fan waiting to get in saw me and yelled “PRRRRROOOOOOTOOOOOHHHHHHHH!” while Red Wings GM Ken Holland had a good giggle at my expense when USA Today writer Kevin Allen told him who just passed them in the bowels of the building. And in the press box during the game’s first intermission, Gary Bettman good-naturedly came up and told me that I should look like I did if I lost a bet.

I couldn’t disagree with the NHL commissioner; that was all part of the fun. And my night was made easier by team employees – including Jackets PR man nonpareil Todd Sharrock and his staff – as well as fans and the players themselves, chiefly because they all were gracious enough to stifle their laughs until I was out of earshot.

more with a photo of Adam in full Cival War dress!

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Bruins Dance Their Way To Victory

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Bruins Blog at the Boston Globe has more information on the series of ads the Bruins have been running.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Lightning Financial Situation

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,

...But two things are certain: The Lightning are losing money, and the clock is ticking for the ownership group to either pay off or refinance about half the purchase price.

For all their travails, there are recent indications the team’s leadership is learning. On the March 4 trading deadline, they shipped various pieces of hockey flotsam and a fourth-round draft pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs in return for a middling prospect. It was a canny deal, wiping roughly $600,000 off the payroll in pro-rated salaries. And the Lightning stand to save hundreds of thousands more in bonuses that won’t have to be paid to players like forward Gary Roberts, who retired in March.

One murmur had it that the deal took Tampa below the midpoint of the NHL salary cap range, making the team eligible for an extra payout from the more than $120 million in player salaries that is expected to be distributed among the league’s 30 teams later this year. But the NHL denies the trade had any impact on Tampa’s revenue-sharing position.

more

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Personnel Changes Ahead

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,

Seven coaches were fired in midseason, and two more — Jacques Lemaire in Minnesota and Craig MacTavish in Edmonton — parted ways with their respective teams after the season ended.

But the shuffling is far from over, not only at the coaching level but also in the front office. There are varying degrees of unrest in at least a dozen NHL franchises. In some cases, the chance of a change is remote, but in others, it is almost inevitable. Here is the way the league unfolds at the moment.

Boston: General manager Peter Chiarelli has been negotiating a new deal and it’s not far from being signed. But he is being mentioned as a potential replacement for Doug Risebrough in Minnesota and could opt for a new challenge. He’s not likely to head west, but it’s a possibility.

Calgary: The word around the league is that barring a long playoff run, coach Mike Keenan will get fired.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Your Norris Trophy Finalists

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John McGourty of NHL.com,

Will it be a lucky seven for Nicklas Lidstrom in Las Vegas?

Lidstrom, the Detroit Red Wings’ star defenseman and winner of six of the last seven Norris Trophies as the NHL’s top defenseman, is in the running for a seventh on June 18 when the NHL Awards are handed out in Vegas at the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel (VERSUS, CBC).

The other finalists as selected by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association are Boston Bruins’ captain Zdeno Chara and Washington Capitals dynamo Mike Green.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Flyers Ready For Penguins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from CBC Sports,

Being down two games and staring elimination squarely in the eye is tough enough, but for Philadelphia, the task is even more daunting: The Flyers have lost their last five playoff visits to Pittsburgh and have won just twice in Mellon Arena in the past two seasons.

Last year in Game 5 the conference final, the Flyers were trounced 6-0 by the Penguins.

The Flyers are prepared for the Penguins to come out strong from the opening faceoff Wednesday night.

“We expect them to come out really hard in the first few minutes and try to put the game away early and try to get us to quit early and I don’t think any of us are going to do that,” Flyers winger Mike Knuble said.

“We’ve all been there before, we won’t get caught off guard.”

read on

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

Putting Time To Good Use

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from E.J. Hradek at ESPN The Magazine,

In the NHL’s looooong postseason, great coaches make every short second count. So we asked Cup-winning bench bosses Mike Babcock (Wings, 2008), Randy Carlyle (Ducks, 2007), Ken Hitchcock (Stars, 1999) and John Tortorella (Lightning, 2004) for the secrets to using every trick to their advantage.

00:40 — STOP AND GO

Detroit assistant coach Paul MacLean is never without his stopwatch, clicking it each time the Wings make a line change. “We use our own time,” says Babcock, eschewing the arena stat sheet. For playoffs, he wants short shifts—40 seconds, tops—making sure stars like LW Henrik Zetterberg stay fresh enough to sustain the tempo his two-way game demands.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

No ‘Stop Yapping’ Memo

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,

The war of words between the Calgary Flames and the Chicago Blackhawks has caught plenty of attention around the NHL.

But not to the point the league has fired off a memo to all parties involved to cease and desist.

A published report stated the NHL’s senior executive vice-president of hockey operations, Colin Campbell, sent a letter to both teams to curb the on-ice chirping and post-whistle scrums.

Only problem, it didn’t happen.

“I did NOT send one,” Campbell replied yesterday in an e-mail.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Economy Ends Ducks Playoff Sellout Streak

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Curtis Zupke of Ducks Blog,

Earlier this year, the depressed economic climate was enough for the Ducks to freeze ticket prices for next season.

But fans are feeling the pinch more than ever this season.

That was the main factor for the Ducks’ playoff sellout streak ending at 20 games Tuesday, according to Tim Ryan, executive vice president and chief operating officer.

“You don’t have to look any further than the economy,” Ryan said.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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