Kukla's Korner

The Nashville Predators Head To San Jose On A High Note

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe Rexrode of The Tennessean,

Defensive driving is good. Careful and in control. Overly skittish driving is not good – get a couple of drivers together who are petrified of making a mistake and watch them mash bumpers.

That’s overtime hockey in the Stanley Cup playoffs. It’s weird giveaways and stunning offensive chances, over and over, as onlookers blurt out gasps.

Make it two exhausted drivers in the wee hours and you have double-overtime hockey in the Stanley Cup playoffs. And I don’t have an appropriate analogy for triple overtime. I just know this was the longest game in Nashville Predators history.

And it probably would have been the toughest to lose. But at 1:03 Friday morning, when Predators center Mike Fisher blasted a rebound past San Jose goaltender Martin Jones exactly 4 hours and 53 minutes after the puck dropped on Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals, it just might have been the best yet to win.

“The guys played so hard, it’s just, when you get that deep into a game, there’s a lot invested,” coach Peter Laviolette said after the Predators prevailed 4-3 at Bridgestone Arena to even the series at 2-2 and set up Saturday’s crucial Game 5 in San Jose. “So happy for the guys for pulling it out and getting the win. They invested a lot. There’s a lot of character in our room.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The San Jose Sharks Had Their Chances

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,

As the Sharks and Nashville Predators entered the third overtime period, only one thing was certain. Whichever team lost was in danger of a mental letdown heavier than the heaviest pickup truck cruising Broadway in front of all the honky-tonks here.

The Sharks lost.

So instead of taking a 3-1 lead in the series back to San Jose for Game 5 on Saturday night, the two teams are tied at two victories each. That's a huge difference.

"We'd like to be up, but it is what it is," said Sharks' goalie Martin Jones, who was brilliant in stopping 18 overtime shots--including a save on one breakaway attempt that was a hold-your-breath moment.

"Nothing we can do now but move on to the next one," Jones said.

"We had so many chances," said Sharks center Logan Couture, who insisted he and his teammates could avoid that mental letdown and shake off the 4-3 loss to the Predators after five hours of intense rushes, gutsy shot blocking, multiple lead changes, world class goalie play and frustration.

Especially for the Sharks, frustration.

continued

Watch the game highlights below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The St. Louis Blues Fail To Go Up 3-1

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Benjamin Hochman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Here it was for the St. Louis Blues, and it was happening in St. Louis, too: A third period to essentially clinch a third playoff round.

Blues win, series is over; Blues lose, series just starting.

And what happened at Scottrade in the most-important period of the series?

St. Louis looked sloppy and slipshod and sluggish and, ugh, can you believe it, the Blues blew it.

Entering the third period, the game was tied at two. Now the series is. They looked lost in the third, and then they lost it in overtime.

“We can do a better job of managing the puck,” Alex Pietrangelo said.

continued
 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Highlight Package Of The Two NHL Games Played Last Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Just over foru minutes long...

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Dallas Stars Are Back In Their Series With The St. Louis Blues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Custance of ESPN,

They lost ugly in Game 3. They were all but written off going against a veteran St. Louis Blues team on a mission. And they couldn't care less.

All they did was go out and beat the Blues 3-2 in overtime in Game 4 to regain home-ice advantage and head back to Dallas with the series locked up 2-2.

The Game 3 debacle might have lingered in the minds of observers, but not the guys on the ice. They're having fun and they just announced that this series is going deep when it looked like it might be a quick one.

"You can't play perfect hockey all the time," said Stars captain Jamie Benn, in the understatement of the series. "It was just magnified a bit because it's the playoffs. The message was stay positive, get back at it."

It's hard to truly get behind this Stars team because it's unlike any of the recent Western Conference powers. When things break down, they break down in a big way, as was on full display in Game 3 -- and those moments stick in the memory.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

PREDS WIN LONGEST GAME OF 2016 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS, EVEN SERIES
Mike Fisher (2-0—2) scored his second goal of the game at 11:12 of the third overtime period to help the Predators win the longest game of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs and even their series with the Sharks at two games apiece.
 

 

 
* The Predators, who tied the game with 4:21 remaining in regulation, improved to 3-7 in all-time playoff overtime games and earned their first such victory on home ice (1-3). Half of their postseason overtimes games have required multiple extra frames, including each of their past three (0-2 vs. CHI in 2015 FR).
 
* The Predators tied a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Playoffs series at 2-2 after losing the first two games for the third time in franchise history (also 2004 and 2008 CQFs, both vs. DET).
 
* Both playoff overtime games between the Sharks and Predators have extended past the first extra session. Sharks forward Patrick Rissmiller scored the winner in Game 1 of the 2007 Conference Quarterfinals (88:14) in the Predators’ first-ever playoff overtime game.
 
* Fisher, who has one other multi-goal game in the postseason (Game 1 of 2011 CQF at ANA), registered his second career playoff overtime goal (also Game 6 of 2004 CQF vs. TOR w/ OTT).

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

TMR late night line: Is Troy Brouwer a free agent fit?

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I'm sensing a bit of a theme here, if not a little "intelligence" reporting, from the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson here. The night before the Red Wings cleaned out their lockers, Matheson said this about a potential Wings free agent target...

One team that will go hard to sign UFA Troy Brouwer this summer is Detroit. Other than Justin Abdelkader, they are painfully small up front. “Detroit’s got skilled forwards but they’re small and not that fast,” said one Eastern-based pro scout. Detroit needs help on defence, too, because Niklas Kronwall’s body is beat up. UFA Alex Goligoski (Dallas) is a possibility.

And on Thursday night, Matheson said this:

Winger Troy Brouwer is doing a nice job driving up his free-agent price July 1 with his playoff work for the Blues. The Red Wings badly need Brouwer’s size to give Justin Abdelkader some added muscle on a second line.

It's one source twice, and that's exactly one third of the way toward the, "Three sources, minimum, for confirmation" rule, but it IS one well-connected and highly-esteemed columnist we're talking about. So take this for what you will.

Brouwer is 30 going on 31, 6'3" and 215 pounds, and he made $3.75 million this past season for St. Louis, registering 18 goals and 39 points in 82 NHL games. He's a 30-to-40-point guy who is big and relatively mean when necessary. It's an interesting thought at least.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

The World Championship begins today; Team USA’s game vs. Canada will air on NBCSN

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

For those of you who aren't aware, the World Championship begins today in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia, and 5 Red Wings are taking part in the tournament: Dylan Larkin for Team USA, Teemu Pulkkinen for Finland, Pavel Datsyuk and Alexey Marchenko for Russia and Tomas Jurco for Slovakia.

NBCSN and/or its "Live Sports XTra" app will be airing the vast majority of Team USA's games, and as "Team USA's" website's Paul D. Bowker notes, Team USA's game against Canada will air at 9:15 AM EDT on NBCSN in the U.S. and TSN in Canada:

The U.S. Men’s National Team begins play against a familiar rival Friday when the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship begins in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia.

Team USA will face Canada in its opening game Friday in St. Petersburg, followed by games against Belarus on Saturday and Finland on Monday, both in St. Petersburg.

The tournament, which features 16 nations, is split into two groups of eight teams each. After preliminary round play finishes on May 17, the top four teams from each group will advance to the May 19 quarterfinal round. The medal round is May 22.

Matt Hendricks, a forward with the Edmonton Oilers, is team captain. Hendricks was captain of the 2015 U.S. team that won the bronze medal at the world championships. Alternate captains are Nick Foligno, a Columbus Blue Jackets forward, and Connor Murphy, a defenseman with the Arizona Coyotes.

The U.S. team also includes Dylan Larkin, a Detroit Red Wings forward who was a teammate of Hendricks on the 2015 national team; Brady Skjei, a New York Rangers defenseman who won a world championship gold medal with the U18 team in 2012; Frank Vatrano, a forward with the Boston Bruins who also won a gold medal with the 2012 U18 squad; David Warsofsky, a New Jersey Devils defenseman who won a gold medal at the 2010 world junior championship; and Boston College goalie Thatcher Demko, a two-time national junior team member.

Goaltenders Keith Kinkaid of the New Jersey Devils and Mike Condon of the Montreal Canadiens combined for 25 saves in an exhibition game Tuesday against Finland, but Team USA lost 3-2 in overtime.

By the time that Pavel Datsyuk and Russia take to the ice in Moscow, hosting the Czechs at 1:15 PM EDT (no legal TV in the U.S., but there are always quasi-legal streams available), I'm pretty sure that Datsyuk will be named Russia's captain for the tournament.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Mike Fisher delivers a Triple OT winner for Nashville

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

Mike Fisher scored the 4-3 OT winner for his Nashville Predators at 11:12 of the 3rd overtime, tying the Predators' series with the San Jose Sharks at 2 games apiece. Roman Josi led both teams in ice time at 49:42.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+fisher, nashville+predators, san+jose+sharks

Apparent Pavelski goal negated by incidental contact ruling

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

This call had the San Jose Sharks shaking their heads. Joe Pavelski appeared to score the OT winner as the San Jose Sharks' captain was shoved into Pekka Rinne by Predators forward Paul Gaustad, but the referees ruled that Pavelski made "incidental contact" with Rinne, preventing Rinne from making a save and thus negating the goal:

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+pavelski, nashville+predators, paul+gaustad, pekka+rinne, san+jose+sharks

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