Kukla's Korner

Scotty Talks Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,

When approaching the playoffs, it’s always sound judgment to check with the greatest coach in NHL history, listen to the stream of consciousness of Scotty Bowman and marvel at the insight.
This was the guy who four months ago, when Anaheim was making a mockery of the Western Conference, said the Ducks would come back to the pack before it was all over.
When a fellow has won as many Stanley Cups as Bowman, it’s generally a good idea to avail yourself of arguably the greatest mind in hockey history.

continued

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

Kings Looking Ahead

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Sun,

“When you make the moves that we made this year, you obviously are signifying that you are looking towards better days in the future,” Crawford said.
“We felt that it was better to strip things down and to build in the way that we thought was the right way and that is what we have done. We have been much more competitive here, especially in the latter half of the season when our goaltending kind of solidified itself with [Mathieu] Garon getting healthier and Sean Burke coming in and giving us real quality outings. We have played a lot better.”
Veteran defenceman Rob Blake, who will serve as a mentor of sorts to Johnson, thinks the Kings are heading in the right direction.

more

Filed in: Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

In Torts They Trust

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the St. Petersburg Times,

Lightning defenseman Shane O’Brien said coach John Tortorella showed “a lot of guts” to do what he did.
Captain Tim Taylor said it shows “he’s putting a lot of trust in us.”
And left wing Andre Roy added, “It shows he believes in us, and we’d better believe, too.”
In case you missed it, Tortorella, after Tuesday’s disheartening loss to the Panthers, guaranteed Tampa Bay will make the playoffs. It wasn’t quite Joe Namath guaranteeing the Jets would win the Super Bowl. But Tortorella did put himself out there a bit.

continued

Filed in: Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Define Soft

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I think the Blueland Blog has had enough of the “soft” talk…

Filed in: Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

B’s Owner Disappointed With Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Boston Globe,

For all the millions it cost him to push that franchise “EASY” reset button, club owner Jeremy Jacobs, who has grown accustomed to failed seasons since the early ‘90s, sounded reasonably composed when contacted earlier this week. Disappointed, and somewhat lost for answers, but composed.
“I had high hopes for the season,” said Jacobs, speaking by phone from Delaware North’s headquarters in Buffalo. “It turned out to be a lot less than I thought it was going to be. I thought we had put together a real team, to put us back in contention. But that hasn’t materialized. It seems to me that the skill is there, and the talent is there, but it didn’t jell this year.”

more

Filed in: Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Admit It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Wallace Matthews at Newsday,

Hiding injuries from opponents is one thing. Denying injuries to yourself, or minimizing their severity, is something else. Something foolish and potentially destructive, to the player and to the team.
Clearly, DiPietro suffered a significant concussion against the Canadiens, and a couple of days off weren’t quite enough to clear it up. Then he suffered another one against the Rangers. By the team’s acknowledgment, he “hasn’t been right” ever since.
Nobody involved with the Islanders wants to say the words “post-concussion syndrome,” because to do so would be to acknowledge that what is afflicting DiPietro is potentially career-threatening.
We understand that the NHL is the most stoic of our sports leagues, a modern-day Sparta in which players think nothing of losing teeth, leaking blood, getting sewn up and going back out to play, preferably without missing a shift. This is admirable, if a bit anachronistic in an era in which baseball players are routinely hospitalized for a case of the sniffles.

more

Filed in: New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Close To Strutting

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Columbus Dispatch,

So yesterday, as the Blue Jackets went through off-ice workouts, Hitchcock was asked whether his boys have reached the point of struttin?.
“To me, you?re strutting when, instead of bowing your head when the opponent is tough, you?re looking him right in the eye,” Hitchcock said. “Whether you?re good enough at the end of the day, you play like you?re in it right up to the end.
“I don?t know that the strut is there just yet, because it?s a consistently high level of play over a long span. It gets to a point where it?s self-sustaining, where it?s just part of who you are as a team.
“We?re not there. But we?re getting really close to it.”

read on

Filed in: Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

OK, One Exception

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Darren Dreger at TSN,

The NHL’s injury disclosure police are out in full force. While mindful of players’ safety, the league is reminding teams to follow the guidelines of a policy introduced last week that encourages clubs report proximity of injuries.
On Tuesday night the Ottawa Senators reported Patrick Eaves suffered a “lower body” injury after getting hit with the puck.
According to policy, “lower body” is no longer acceptable.
Based on the video evidence that clearly shows where the puck made contact…in this case, an exception is understandable.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Nashville Needs To Get In Playoff Mode

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Tennessean,

“They forecheck really well; they finish their checks well; and their forwards also chase you hard back to their zone,’’ Hamhuis said. “They just do a good job protecting the middle. That has to do with their speed and smarts.’‘
In a strange twist from yesteryear, the Wings’ tough defensive tactics also had the Predators complaining that they weren’t getting enough calls from the officials.
“There was an awful lot of clutching and grabbing going on out there,’’ Predators center David Legwand said. “It looked like the old NHL out there. But in the playoffs, that’s what we’re going to have to work through.’‘

more

Filed in: Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Blame The Band

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Sun,

If Dany Heatley doesn’t get 50 goals for the second straight season, it won’t be because of defencemen like Andrei Markov or goaltenders like Martin Brodeur.
Blame The Pussycat Dolls.
The Senators winger won’t decide until this morning if his sore ankle is good enough to allow him to play tonight against the hot Canadiens at Scotiabank Place.
Heatley, who has 46 goals with five games left, caught his toe in some bad ice Tuesday night against the Bruins and twisted his ankle.
The Senators said the ice was soft and in poor condition after the Christina Aguilera/The Pussycat Dolls concert the night before.
When asked if Aguilera is to blame, Heatley replied: “Maybe just The Pussycat Dolls. They were melting the ice, apparently, and it made for bad ice for the game.”

continued

Filed in: Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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