Kukla's Korner

Byfuglien Getting Noticed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Wigge of NHL.com,

“He could play linebacker for the Bears,” teammate Colin Fraser said, and he was quite serious.

At somewhere upwards of 6-foot-3, 250 or 260 pounds, “Big Buff” always has had a big body, plus some big dreams. But a goal-scoring touch was lacking. Until May 9, that is, when he scored twice to lead the Blackhawks to a 4-2 victory in Vancouver in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals.

“The thing about ‘Buff’ is that he’s not just a big guy,” Hawks defenseman Brent Seabrook said. “He has a heavy shot, skates well and is blessed with good hands. He’s got the potential to be a dominating power forward. One of those X-factor-type players everyone dreams of having.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dustin+byfuglien

The Real Wings Show Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Howard Berger of Fan590,

I should have known better.

The Detroit Red Wings had me fooled with their lax defensive play in the final half of the National Hockey League regular season. Blowout losses to Columbus and Nashville, in which the Wings yielded eight goals, were ominous signs that the defending champions had lost the appetite and conviction to ramp it up for another playoff marathon.

Damn, I should have known better.

Consecutive man-handlings of the Anaheim Ducks this week showed me the folly of doubting the best franchise in professional sport during the past decade. Yes, fans of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Lakers will argue that contention, but it’s a no-brainer. The Red Wings have been so good for so long that it’s almost impossible to remember when they were ordinary.

continued

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

Home Teams Tonight Can Move On To Conference Finals…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Will they?

image

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Capitals Know They Can Play Better

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Corey Masisak of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

The Caps will need to find a way to move past a potentially psyche-damaging defeat Saturday at Verizon Center. If yielding a third-period lead only to salvage overtime but still lose wasn’t enough, the fluky circumstances in which Evgeni Malkin was credited with the winning goal made it a night to forget for the franchise.

Still, there is reason for optimism if the Caps can overcome the mental strain of the defeat.

“It was the best game of our series for sure, but it is not as good as we can play,” Boudreau said. “It’s not like we’ve reached the pinnacle, and they didn’t have (top defenseman Sergei) Gonchar and dressed seven defensemen and they still beat us. We can go better, and I know the character on this group. It is always, no matter who you play, the hardest game to win is the last game.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Best Chance To Win Series Is Tonight For Chicago

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,

The Hawks head into Monday night’s Game 6 with a 3-2 advantage in the best-of-seven series and can advance to the conference finals with a victory over the Canucks at the United Center.

“It’s going to be a chance for us to close it out and go to a place maybe we didn’t think we could get to in the conference finals,” winger Patrick Kane said. “We’re excited for it. We’re going to bring our best game, and I’m sure they will too.”...

“We have to come ready to go knowing they’re going to come [hard] right off the bat,” said Hawks winger Dustin Byfuglien, who had two goals Saturday. “It’s not going to be an easy win. They’re going to battle right to the end. They’re more than capable of coming in with a great game. We just have to weather it.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

McCarty Will Join Wings For Game Six

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Via the Anti-Digger,

RW Corner

I’m not sure why there’s been a delay, but Darren McCarty was recalled by the Red Wings today and will join the team on their trip to Anaheim for Game 6.

McCarty wasn’t on the original list of players called up from Grand Rapids when the Griffins were eliminated from the AHL playoffs. That list included Ville Leino, Justin Abdelkader, Aaron Downey, Jakub Kindl, Sergei Kolosov and Jimmy Howard.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

World Hockey Championship Playoffs

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Last week I updated the World Hockey Championships preliminary and qualifying rounds.  The playoffs have been played now in the tournament.  Here are the results from the 2009 World Hockey Championships from Switzerland:

QuarterFinals

Russia 4 Belarus 3

This was a much more back and forth game than expected.  Belarus jumped out to a 1-0 and 2-1 lead before Russia evened the score and took the lead for good on a third period goal by Ilya Kovalchuk (one of his two points).  Russia’s other two point man was Alexander Radulov.  Belarus had a strong game from Oleg Antonenko, who scored three points.  Andrei Mezin manned the Belarus goal, keeping his team in the game.  Russia began the game with Ilya Bryzgalov in goal, but pulled him for Alexander Eremenko.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

All The Ducks With The Same Theme

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Whicker of the OC Register,

No, the Ducks really were paying attention. They proved it after Game 5. If not during.

Todd Marchant: “At times it looked like we didn’t want the puck.”

Teemu Selanne: “We had no business being in that game. We weren’t mentally prepared.”

James Wisniewski: “We can’t play like it’s Game 38 of the regular season.”

Instead, it might well have been Game Next-To-Last of the whole season, this 4-1 loss to the Red Wings that shoved the Ducks into a 2-3 hole in the NHL Western Conference semifinals, with Game 6 in Anaheim on Tuesday.

continued

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

Bruins Win To Live Another Day

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Boston Bruins shutout the Carolina Hurricanes 4-0.  Chara was dominant on the ice tonight and the Canes could not match the desperation the B’s played with.

added 10:27pm, With the game well in hand, Bruins up 4-0 and about three minutes to go, Scott Walker of the Canes punches Aaron Ward of the Bruins.

Ward received 2 for roughing, Walker, 2 for instigating, 5 for fighting and a 10 minute misconduct.

added 10:57pm, Julien said in post-game presser that there is some fear Ward may have a broken orbital bone.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: aaron+ward, scott+walker

Washington/Pittsburgh Observations

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Roy MacGregor (Monday edition) of the Globe and Mail,

• Washington defenceman Mike Green, a regular-season sensation and some say the favourite to take the Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenceman, may have played himself off the Canadian Olympic team with his performance in this series. His play in his own end has been horrific; his play at the other end far below his regular-season standard.

• Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby never takes a shift off. Though observers have often criticized him for being a “whiner,” he plays with a passion and determination that should make him captain of the Canadian Olympic hockey team.

• Washington’s Alexander Semin, who had lead the league in scoring before getting injured earlier in the year and who is widely held to be one of the game’s great talents, has been a bust this series after being the star of Washington’s first-round victory over the New York Rangers.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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