Kukla's Korner

GDT - Game #81: Red Wings at Blue Jackets (7:00)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

It is all over but the shouting and the Wings have taken what is theirs.  The Red Wings have emerged from the Peloton of Suck to claim their 19th consecutive post-season appearance.  But now find themselves mired in the Clusterfuch of Seeding; LAK (5), DET (6), NSH (7) all sit with 98 pts.  The LAK and DET each have two games remaining, NSH just one.  Many of the 19 say it doesn’t matter which road trip the Wings journey takes them - - I’ve already announced I’d rather avoid PHX.  It appears Uncle Mike just wants another Fresca, consequences be damned, Jimmah is between the pipes tonight.  Uncle Mike says May and Gator “will have the opportunity to compete” for a roster spot.  Five other Griffins will be on the black ace squad.

Wings are in Columbus for hoping for another happy ending. This is the last game of the season for the BJ’s, they are hoping to get lucky with a lottery pick chance.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Will Claude Noel Be The Columbus Coach Next Season?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

Since Noel took over after the firing of Ken Hitchcock on Feb. 3, most of the team’s young players’ performances have spiked, and the club’s 10-9-5 record - while not glamorous - has been a mild improvement.

But the question that general manager Scott Howson must answer is whether Noel is the long-term solution for the long-suffering Blue Jackets, whether his quirky, unconventional approach is more than just an antidote to Hitchcock’s hard-tack style at the end of another lost season.

“Claude has done an impressive job here under difficult circumstances” is the extent of what Howson would say yesterday.

Still, it’s quite possible - perhaps even likely - that Noel’s last game behind the Blue Jackets’ bench will be at 7 tonight, when the Detroit Red Wings visit Nationwide Arena.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: claude+noel

Jagr Missed At Mellon Arena Reunion

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Gorman of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

It wasn’t the same without Jaromir Jagr.

Jagr was extended an invitation, but was one of a number of members from the Penguins’ first two Stanley Cup champions who couldn’t attend. Neither could Tom Barrasso, Scotty Bowman, Ron Francis, Joe Mullen, Mark Recchi, Kevin Stevens or Rick Tocchet, all important ingredients.

“That’s what it takes to make a championship team,” said Ken Schinkel, the former Penguins player and coach who oversaw the 1984 draft that netted Lemieux. “The elite player that Mario is, he makes everybody better. But you’ve got to have that other talented guy.”

Jagr, indisputably, was that other talented guy.

This summer is the 20th anniversary of the Penguins drafting Jagr. Next season will be the 10th since he left in a forgettable trade that unforgettably returned Kris Beech, Ross Lupaschuk and Michal Sivek. In between those two landmark dates, the Penguins made 11 consecutive playoffs and won the Stanley Cup twice.

“I think later on some things happened that were unfortunate, but I’m sure Mario still has a place in his heart for him,” said Paul Coffey, the Hall of Fame defenseman. “As good as Mario was and is, you still need a supporting cast. Gretzky had Messier and Kurri and the rest of us. You can’t win by yourself — and Jaromir was huge, a great hockey player.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jaromir+jagr

Alexei Ponikarovsky Five For Boarding And A Game Misconduct

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Josh Bailey suffered a cut on the play, did not return but should be ok.

Suspension worthy?

update 2:50pm, Now reports state Bailey out 4-5 weeks with facial lacerationsw.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexei+ponikarovsky, josh+bailey

Flyers Need Two Points This Weekend

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,

With just two games left in their never-ending, 82-game slate, the Flyers’ goal is clear: Capture two points against the Rangers this weekend and they’re in the playoffs.

Just win, baby, either tonight at Madison Square Garden or Sunday at the Wachovia Center.

That’s easier said than done. But the Flyers, going up against a team that cost them home-ice advantage on the final day of the regular season last year, wouldn’t have it any other way.

“We control our destiny,” Ian Laperriere said. “Sometimes you get down to this time of year and you have to hope that other teams lost games to get in. We don’t need that. For us, we need to win one game to get in.

“It won’t be easy. That’s the team that wants to pass us. The pressure is there. We need to play hard and with emotion.”

continued

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

Bruins Can Win With Shutdown Defense

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

They can win without Savard, even without a semblance of a power play, by gumming up the middle, trapping like 18th century Quebec frontiersmen, and leaving it to Tuukka Rask to brick up the net.

Exciting? Hardly. Total snoozefest. But winning is its own excitement, and the Bruins will go into the postseason most likely second only to New Jersey for goals allowed. It usually takes three things to win a Cup: a power play, real defense, and strong goaltending. No one’s going to make the Bruins a favorite, but they have two of the three essentials. Although, with backliners Andrew Ference (hernia), Dennis Seidenberg (torn wrist tendon), and Mark Stuart (ailing pinky finger) out of the mix, real defense could be more in peril than even a legit power play.

Does it get any better than this? No. But it could be worse, just as there are times when things can be worse than .000.

more

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Rangers Must Win Two

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jay Greenberg of the NY Post,

So now that the Rangers have defied the odds and their own limitations to fight back to the equivalent of a must-win Game 6, the most important guy on the team says they, like their wired fans at Madison Square Garden tonight, will enjoy every minute of the unexpected opportunity that begins tonight with a home-and-home against the Flyers.

“We’re happy and excited to be in this position,” said goalie Henrik Lundqvist. “Both teams are pretty excited I’m sure, but the difference is we have been on the outside [of the playoffs] the whole time and [the Flyers] have been on the inside, so hopefully they feel more pressure than we do.”

read on

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

A Standing-O For Mike Modano

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

With just over five minutes to go in the 3rd period, a three minute ovation for Modano.

Mike went on to tie the game in regulation and score the shootout winner.

via Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

“It was tough to leave the ice there not knowing what the future holds; if that was it or it wasn’t,’’ he (Modano) said. ``You have nights like that, you think ‘this could keep going.’ You can play well if things go well for you like that; you finally score on your first shootout of the year. I don’t know if there was fate there, but certainly when you have nights like that it makes you ponder that decision a little longer.”

added 8:41am, Watch below a video with all the Modano highlights from last night.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+modano

Quick May Be A Concern For Kings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott at the Fabulous Forum,

The physical and emotional readiness of goaltender Jonathan Quick has become an issue for the Kings. He was rested for two games last week to work on his technique and give him a mental break, but he’s winless since his return after an overtime loss to the Ducks on Saturday and a no-decision against the Ducks on Tuesday in which he gave up three goals on eight shots and had to watch the Kings’ rally from the bench.

Quick was scheduled to start against the Coyotes on Thursday at Staples Center, his seventh attempt at winning his 40th game of the season. He has two no-decisions, three regulation losses and an overtime loss since his last win, March 22 against Colorado.

Coach Terry Murray has been adamant that Quick is his No. 1 goalie and that Quick is fine with a heavy workload. But a look at the NHL’s 10 busiest goalies finds that Quick, who has gone from 2,494 minutes on ice last season to 4,128:52 before Thursday’s game, is the youngest goalie in that group. Which makes it reasonable to wonder if, as he finishes his first full NHL season, he has had enough experience to smoothly handle this kind of jump.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+quick

Will Capitals Go With Two Goalie System In the Playoffs?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post,

The prevailing sentiment around the league is that Boudreau hasn’t committed to neither José Theodore nor Semyon Varlamov because he believes that it’s possible, if not likely, the Capitals could need both in their quest for the franchise’s first Stanley Cup.

While that’s not the conventional approach, it’s not unprecedented in recent NHL history, either. Three of the past four champions, in fact, started the playoffs with one goaltender and switched to another en route to the Cup.

Goaltending-by-committee is also consistent with Boudreau’s longstanding philosophy of riding the hot netminder and the pattern he has established over the past two months.

read on

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

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