Kukla's Korner

A New Start In Detroit

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

The dawn of a new era here in Hockeytown earlier this month was not celebrated with champagne and ribbon-cutting ceremonies, but rather with men sloshing around in greyish goo wearing hard hats, galoshes and smiles.

Just two weeks ago, a series of trucks took part in an all-day concrete pour for the rink floor of the under-construction Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit. With their boots crusted in cement, crews meticulously encased the network of ice-cooling pipes in concrete in order to keep the future ice surface completely smooth.

While the actual ice will not be installed until early summer, seeing the foundation of the playing surface being laid would no doubt have made the likes of Gordie Howe and Mike Ilitch proud. It was, after all, a significant moment in the rich history of the Red Wings and the city of Detroit, one that signalled the much-needed arrival of a brighter future.

Truth be told, this proud franchise could use one, given the tumultuous 12 months it has endured.

There will come a day, after the cranes have hoisted their final beam, when hockey fans from Canada will cross the state-of-the-art Gordie Howe International Bridge en route to a Red Wings game at the Little Caesars Arena, aka The House That Ilitch Built.

continued

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Video- Highlights From Monday’s NHL Games

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Time to catch up.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Detroit Recalls Ben Street

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today recalled center Ben Street from the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins under emergency conditions.

Street has appeared in 60 games with the Griffins this season, ranking among team leaders with 25 goals (2nd), 29 assists (2nd), 54 points (1st), 10 power-play goals (2nd), two shorthanded goals (T1st) and 194 shots on goal (2nd). The 30-year-old also sits among AHL leaders in goals (T8th), points (T11th) and power-play goals (T9th). A 2014 AHL All-Star, Street has played 350 career AHL games for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Abbotsford Heat, Lake Erie Monsters, San Antonio Rampage and Griffins, totaling 291 points (123-168-291), a plus-23 rating and 108 penalty minutes since 2010-11. Signed by Detroit as an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2016, Street has also picked up two assists in 29 NHL games between the Calgary Flames and Colorado Avalanche since making his NHL debut in 2012-13.

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No Morning Skate And Other Detroit Notes

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

via Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

They play for the third time in three days when they take on the Carolina Hurricanes tonight (7, FS-Plus) at PNC Arena. If the Wings lose in regulation and Toronto gains at least one point and Boston wins in any fashion, it will eliminate the Wings from the 2017 playoff race and end a streak that lasted 25 seasons.

Jimmy Howard is up in the goalie rotation. Forward Luke Glendening suffered a lower-body injury during Monday’s 4-3 overtime victory at Carolina, and coach Jeff Blashill said afterward that Glendening won't be back as soon as tonight. That leaves Tomas Nosek as an option, unless someone gets called up during the day. There is no morning skate today, as the Wings need to rest up for an unheard-of three games in three days (and four in five, taking into consideration that they play Thursday at Tampa Bay -- and five in seven when adding in last Friday’s game against the Lightning).

The Wings are 5-1-1 their last seven games. If they gain a point tonight, they remain mathematically alive for another day. But the streak is about to end.

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Picking The Stanley Cup Champion

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from ESPN,

If the playoffs started today, which team would be the favorite to win the Stanley Cup?

Craig Custance: It's the Washington Capitals. Without a doubt. I'm not letting franchise history that has nothing to do with this current group cloud reality. This is the best team in the NHL. They're deep in every position. They have a franchise center in Nicklas Backstrom turning in a Hart-worthy season. They have a game-breaker in Alex Ovechkin. Yes, they have the burden of disappointing playoffs from the past, but they're good enough to overcome it. The San Jose Sharks had to deal with the same issues and that didn't stop them from advancing to the Stanley Cup finals last year. I expect a similar and better breakthrough for the Capitals this spring.

Scott Burnside: It's been fashionable for many springs to pick the Capitals to win their first Stanley Cup. Hasn't happened. In fact, as is often repeated, since Ovechkin joined the team in 2005-06, the team has never advanced beyond the second round. Shocking but true. That streak ends this spring. And for me, it doesn't matter whether they finish first in the Metropolitan Division or not. Too deep. Too ready. The fact they will likely earn the Presidents' Trophy for a second straight year is just further reason to pick the Caps. But I'd pick them regardless.

continue for more opinions....

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Corsi Out The Window This Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

The rise of analytics — in particular the statistic known as Corsi, which measures five-on-five shot attempts — owes a great deal to the fact that the best teams by that measure typically make the playoffs.

The NHL even says so in the introduction to what it calls Enhanced Stats and Shot Attempts Percentage Close, another term for Corsi.

But not this year.

Some of the best Corsi teams are not making the playoffs, starting with the leader: the Los Angeles Kings, who sit at 54.24 per cent. That is to say the Kings, for every 100 shot attempts (including blocks and misses), typically outshoot opponents 54-46. In other words, they carry the play.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Negotiations Continue Between USA Hockey And U.S. Women’s National Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from A.J. Perez of USA TODAY,

An agreement between USA Hockey and the members of the U.S. women's national hockey team wasn't ratified on Monday, although there remains some hope a deal could be worked out before the IIHF Women's World Championships begin later this week.

Monday's emergency board meeting didn't yield a deal that would mark the end of the threatened boycott by the 23 players, and negotiations are expected to continue on Tuesday, two people with knowledge of the content of the meetings who are not authorized to speak publicly told USA TODAY Sports.

About 70 of the 90 members of USA Hockey's board of directors took part in the meeting held via teleconference, which lasted more than three hours.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+usa

Quite The Comeback For The Tampa Bay Lightning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,

As much resilience as the Lightning has shown recently, this looked pretty darn bleak.

Like season-over bad.

With any loss potentially crippling Tampa Bay's perilous playoff hopes, it fell behind 4-1 midway through Monday's showdown with the Blackhawks. The Lightning's No. 1 goalie, Andrei Vasilevskiy, had already been pulled and re-inserted into the game. The large portion of red-clad Chicago fans drowned out the sellout crowd of 19,092 at Amalie Arena.

Cooper summed up the feeling perfectly: "This (stinks).'"

But the Lightning didn't sink. It surprised — again —roaring back for a thrilling 5-4 overtime win over Chicago. Tampa Bay's third consecutive come-from-behind victory was a significant swing in the standings. It pulled the Lightning one point ahead of the Islanders and within one point of Boston for the final wild-card spot with seven games to go.

"We didn't quit," Cooper said. "We just kept hanging around, hanging around, hanging around."

Said wing Yanni Gourde: "We knew we could come back. We've got the firepower."

Gourde, a rookie who was in the ECHL just a few years ago, was the unlikely hero, scoring the overtime winner on a breakaway with just under a minute to go.

continued

Watch the game highlights below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Wings Win And Show Concern For Eddie Lack

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

 It was an exhilarating finish, followed by a frightening scene.

The Detroit Red Wings' enthusiasm for their 4-3 overtime victory Monday over the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena - on Andreas Athanasiou's second OT goal in as many games - was dampened when they saw goaltender Eddie Lack flat on his back on the ice, being attended to by medical personnel.

Athanasiou, cross-checked in the back by Victor Rask, collided with Lack, who appeared to injure his head and neck.

The Red Wings remained on the ice for several minutes while Rask was being secured to a stretcher. There was relief when he gave a thumbs-up sign as he was being wheeled off the ice. Players from both sides tapped their sticks on the ice....

The final sequence started when Petr Mrazek (39 saves) stopped a shot and Gustav Nyquist backhanded the rebound down the ice. The speedy Athanasiou chased it down and cut in front of Lack, tucking the puck in at 1:59 just before being pushed into the goalie.

Athanasiou said didn't know immediately that Lack was injured.

"I had no idea I hit him," Athanasiou said. "I tried driving the net and I felt the D's stick on my back, hit me pretty hard. I was just trying to put the puck in the net and even after that, I had no idea I came in contact with him. I didn't know if it was me or the D. I spoke to the ref after and he said I think after the contact from the D, I must have ran into him."

read on

Below are two videos, extended game highlights and Jeff Blashill post-game.

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

MONDAY’S RESULTS
Home Team in Caps
Detroit 4, CAROLINA 3 (OT)
BUFFALO 4, Florida 2
Nashville 3, NY ISLANDERS 1
TAMPA BAY 5, Chicago 4 (OT)
ST. LOUIS 4, Arizona 1
CALGARY 4, Colorado 2

LIGHTNING MOUNT COMEBACK, CLOSE GAP IN EASTERN CONFERENCE
Jonathan Drouin (2-0—2) and Anton Stralman (1-1—2) combined for three goals in a span of 4:39 in the second period and Yanni Gourde scored the first overtime goal of his career (15 GP) to help the Lightning overcome a 4-1 deficit and earn their third straight victory.
 

 

 
* Tampa Bay (37-29-9, 83 points) moved within a point of Boston (39-30-6, 84 points) and two points of Toronto (35-24-15, 85 points) – whom they will visit on April 4 and 6, respectively – for third place in the Atlantic Division.
 
Nikita Kucherov (0-2—2) registered multiple points for the fifth straight game (7-4—11). Kucherov (38-42—80) has recorded career-highs in goals, assists and points, and moved into a share of fourth in League scoring with Brad Marchand (37-43—80). Elias notes that Kucherov is the first Lightning player with five straight multi-point games since Steven Stamkos accomplished the feat from Feb. 9 - March 2, 2010 (5-6—11 in 5 GP).
 
* Per Elias, Tampa Bay overcame a three-goal deficit to win for the first time since Nov. 6, 2011 (4-3 W vs. FLA).
 
Victor Hedman (0-3—3) recorded three assists for the fourth time this season to reach the 50-assist plateau for the first time in his career (15-50—65).
 

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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