Kukla's Korner

The Flyers Chances In The Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

When the playoffs start this week, will they resemble the team that went 13-1-3 earlier this season?

Or will they look like the team that played around .500 for the last six weeks?

Anyway, here are some theories why the Flyers will go deep into the playoffs. Or why they could make an early-round exit:

Seven reasons the Flyers could be playing in June

1. With a year of experience, they are much stronger than last season, when they reached the Eastern Conference finals. This is a team that has a perfect blend of rookies, players entering their prime, and veterans….

Seven reasons the Flyers could make an early exit

1. If you take away a solid five-week stretch, Biron has been frighteningly inconsistent. An inconsistent goalie in the playoffs spells an early exit….

read on

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

The NHL Got It Right

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,

A couple of weeks ago, Vancouver Canuck teammates Ryan Johnson and Mats Sundin watched an ESPN Classic broadcast from the NHL’s paleolithic era and were shocked at what they witnessed.

There was clutching and grabbing all over the ice. Defencemen impeded with impunity. Puck carriers were subject to all manners of harassment. The battles along the boards looked like the backseat of a drive-in.

The two teammates agreed it was a different game than they now play with the Canucks.

“There would have been 30 penalties in five minutes today,” said Johnson.

And that’s funny because the game in question was from the ’98 Stanley Cup final between Detroit and Washington, which was Sundin’s eighth NHL season and Johnson’s rookie campaign.

“We weren’t trying to reinvent the game,” says Steven Walkom, the NHL’s director of officiating. “All we were doing is calling the rules.”

But reinventing the game has been a happy coincidence.

continued

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

The Winning Process Begins In St. Louis

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan O’Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

“Just because we happen to get into the playoffs this year doesn’t mean we’re automatically in next year,” Davidson said. “So it’s just starting, this is just a process.”

The strong finish and developmental strides this season bode well for that process. The roster will be embellished next season with the return of Johnson and Kariya, as well as injured defenseman Eric Brewer. In addition, recent draft picks such as Alex Pietrangelo, Ben Bishop, Lars Eller and Brett Sonne will come to camp, hoping to push the growth spurt.

“There’s been a lot of things here that have been positive,” Davidson said. “The development of our young kids has been good. The coaching staff, despite all the adversity, has done a nice job. And our fans have trusted us so much. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. That’s the bloodline.”

And once again, St. Louis bleeds Blue.

more

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

Sunday Morning Hockey Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

• If I’m in an NHL playoff pool, I’m loading up on Red Wings, Sharks, Bruins and Penguins.

• You know Mike Babcock has made it big in Detroit when his players are starting to complain about him behind his back. For the record, the irascible Scotty Bowman never won a coaching popularity contest.

• The Leafs say they made a three-year, $5.1 million US offer to Dominic Moore before trading him. A Moore lawyer insists the offer was no more than two years.

• GM Darcy Regier is to blame for the Buffalo Sabres missing the playoffs. He didn’t come up with an adequate backup goaltender for Ryan Miller. Miller won 58% of the games he started. His backups, primarily Patrick Lalime, won 25% of their starts

a few more hockey notes…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Wild Players Had Issues With Lemaire

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,

In recent days, players stood up to Lemaire in the locker room. At one point during a practice huddle Thursday, one veteran actually cursed at him in front of his teammates.

Players were disenchanted he didn’t use Marian Gaborik on a 4-on-3 overtime power play in a must-win vs. Vancouver on March 31. In Dallas in March, players were furious the coaching staff took the bus back to the hotel while a dozen of them were left at the arena.

He has been in a rift with 20-year-old James Sheppard, one that came to a head in February when Sheppard asked Lemaire to loosen his grip.

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jacques+lemaire

All Dean Lombardi

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rich Hammond of Inside the Kings,

Question: I talked to Brown and Kopitar and asked them, `If Dean asked you how to improve the team next season, what would you say?’ They both said, `Scoring left winger’ without much hesitation. Obvious?

LOMBARDI: ``I’d say another thing is obvious too.’‘

Question: What’s that?

LOMBARDI: ``All of these young players have to get better. No doubt about it. Actually, that part is even more important, because if they don’t make the commitment this summer, it doesn’t matter. When you put a bunch of young players together, learning to be pros and learning to make the commitment to be the best they can be, learning to be teammates, is as critical as their physical condition, their play on the ice. That starts immediately after (today’s) game.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dean+lombardi

Ranger Observations

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stan Fischler of Game On,

• One of my best John Tortorella “insiders” suggests that we should not be surprised if the underdog Blueshirts pull a first round upset. “Nobody,” my Tampa Bay tipster advises, “is a better playoff planner than Torts. Say what you will about any other part of his style but, when it comes to the post-season, there isn’t a better coach.”

• Henny Lundqvist’s learning curve suggests that — hard to believe — his BEST is yet to come. The Maven predicts that THIS will prove to be his best playoff since he arrived on Seventh Avenue.

• Nik Zherdev is SO skilled that he always manages to pull off a deluxe move just when half the house is about to give him The Bronx Cheer.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Rumor Talk In Denver

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs, T

he other rumor - and this has been going around for a year now - is that Patrick Roy will be the next Avalanche coach.

I’ve been trying to get ahold of Patrick the last couple of days, to no avail.

But he did tell my buddy Bertrand Raymond of Le Journal Montreal recently that he no longer is intent on staying as a coach at the junior level, in Quebec, while his sons are still playing there, that he “will listen” to any offer to coach in the NHL next year.

Personally, I would LOVE to see Patrick Roy back in Denver. He didn’t always like me, and I didn’t always like him, but who cares about me - he’s a legend, and I have always liked being around him - even when he was cursing at me using every last profane word in the English and French dictionaries.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrick+roy

Notes From Brooks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

• Speaking of making sense, there is nothing more absurd in sports than the NHL’s revenue-sharing system, under which the Maple Leafs, the league’s wealthiest and most profitable franchise, get a rebate check worth between $4-4.5 million because the rest of the teams’ combined payrolls created an excess of escrow money.

The Maple Leafs did not come close to spending at the $56.7M cap, coming in at an approximate $49M. They invested, what, maybe 40 percent of their hockey-related revenue on payroll, yet they will get a refund because other teams invested up to 65 percent of their income on players?

That would be tantamount to the Yankees getting revenue-share money from MLB because the Royals, Pirates, Marlins and Rockies went on a spending spree.

• Understand this: The NHLPA will decide whether the cap remains flat, goes down slightly or increases again through its decision on whether to trigger the automatic 5-percent bump. The decision will be made by a vote of the 30 player reps, presumably at the conclusion of the playoffs.

more NHL talk…

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

Hippy Challenge: Name your favorite next Wings player theme song

Blog: KK Members Blog By Hippy Dave

So remember how good the Wings’ hockey DJ used to be with player name tunes?  Shanahan’s Jig.  Wooley’s Wooley Bully tune; Now all I know is Cleary’s ‘I can see clearly now,’ Sunshiny Day tune, nice try but having lost a few players we need more.

Sure we have the “Hold Me” song for holding, “Get over it” when we’re trying to get over a bad goal, but I’m talking player-specific tunes.

I’m calling out the Kuklas Korner readership, soliciting clever ideas for future theme songs our trusty Wings DJ (Paul: Got his name?) should play for whenever a certain active player on our roster is worth noting for a goal, fight, over otherwise.

I’ll open the bidding:

Why aren’t they playing the Hossa Hossa Hossa Hossa! song?

Another,
Chris Chelios: “Old Man” by Neal Young : http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/neilyoung/oldman.html

Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink
 

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