Kukla's Korner

Here’s the Griffins’ pre-Lake Erie Monsters series press release

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Here's the Grand Rapids Griffins playoff scene-setting press release ahead of this week's series against the Lake Erie Monsters:

GRIFFINS BATTLE MONSTERS IN CENTRAL DIVISION FINALS

Series Schedule:
2016 Calder Cup Playoffs
Central Division Finals – Best of Seven
Game 1  Thu., May 5  GRIFFINS at Monsters  7 p.m.
Game 2  Sat., May 7  GRIFFINS at Monsters  Noon
Game 3  Sun., May 8  Monsters at GRIFFINS  4 p.m.
Game 4  Tue., May 10  Monsters at GRIFFINS  7 p.m.
*Game 5  Sat., May 14  GRIFFINS at Monsters  7 p.m.
*Game 6  Mon., May 16  Monsters at GRIFFINS  7 p.m.
*Game 7  Tue., May 17  GRIFFINS at Monsters  7 p.m.

* If necessary
All times Eastern and subject to change
All games on ESPN 96.1 FM and AHLLive.com

How We Got Here: Entering the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs as the fourth seed in the Central Division, Grand Rapids swept division champion Milwaukee in the division semifinals. The Griffins outscored the Admirals 9-3 and completed their first sweep in 13 years. Second-seeded Lake Erie also made quick work of third-seeded Rockford, outscoring the IceHogs 15-6 during a three-game sweep that saw the Monsters celebrate the franchise’s first-ever playoff series win.  As the regular season wound down and with Milwaukee clinching the division, it appeared the Griffins and Monsters were on a collision course for a first-round playoff matchup as the teams jockeyed for second and third place in the division. However, a five-game losing streak to close the season by Grand Rapids coupled with a 6-1-1-0 stretch by Lake Erie and a 4-2 mark by Rockford saw Grand Rapids fall into the fourth spot and Lake Erie claim the second.

Setting the Stage: The Griffins qualified for the postseason for the 14th time in their 20-year history with a 44-30-1-1 record, claiming the fourth seed in the Central Division and finishing 12th overall in the AHL. Grand Rapids will face the second-seeded Lake Erie Monsters (43-22-6-5, 97 pts.) in the Central Division Finals, marking the first time the teams have squared off in the postseason. Grand Rapids won the season series against Lake Erie by way of a 7-4-0-1 record, including a 4-2 tally at Van Andel Arena. Lake Erie returned to the playoffs for the second time in the franchise’s nine-year history, with its lone appearance in 2011 resulting in a Game 7 loss to Manitoba in the North Division Semifinals. Grand Rapids is 8-2 in playoff series over the last four years, while Lake Erie is 1-1 in series over its nine years of existence.

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Griffins sign Mathew Santos

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From the Grand Rapids Griffins:

GRIFFINS SIGN SANTOS TO 2016-17 CONTRACT

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins have signed forward Mathew Santos to a standard player’s contract for the 2016-17 season.

Santos, 21, has spent the last four seasons competing for the North Bay (Brampton) Battalion of the Ontario Hockey League. The 2015-16 season proved to be the most productive for the 6-foot, 209-pound forward as his 69 points (29-40—69), 29 goals and plus-29 rating all ranked second on the team. Santos’ seven shorthanded goals placed fourth in the league.

Santos also appeared in 11 games in the 2016 playoffs for North Bay, registering five goals and six assists as the Battalion advanced to the second round.

A native of Etobicoke, Ontario, Santos has played in 251 games for the Battalion since 2012, accumulating 127 points (53-74—127) and 186 penalty minutes. In 53 career playoff contests, he has totaled 23 points (13-10—23).

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Open Post- Tonight’s Second Round NHL Playoff Games

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Tampa Bay @ NY Islanders 7:00 PM ET. NBCSN (Kenny Albert, Brian Boucher), CBC and TVAS

San Jose @ Nashville 9:00 PM ET USA (Chris Cuthbert, Joe Micheletti) SN360 and TVAS2

Dallas @ St. Louis 9:30 PM ET NBCSN (John Forslund, Pierre McGuire), SN and TVAS

Feel free to comment on the games tonight and if you need a refresher- Lightning/Islanders tied at 1, Sharks up 2-0 and Stars/Blues tied at 1.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Your NHL Foundation Player Award Finalists

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (May 3, 2016) – Defenseman Mark Giordano of the Calgary Flames, forward Matt Martin of the New York Islanders and defenseman P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens are the three finalists for the 2015-16 NHL Foundation Player Award, which is presented to “an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey – commitment, perseverance and teamwork – to enrich the lives of people in his community,” the National Hockey League announced today.

NHL clubs submitted nominations for the NHL Foundation Player Award and the finalists were selected by a judging panel. The NHL Foundation will present $25,000 to the chosen charitable organization of this year’s recipient. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 22, during the 2016 NHL Awards – hosted by actor Will Arnett – at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Following are the finalists for the NHL Foundation Player Award, in alphabetical order:

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Afternoon Line- Dan Steinberg On NHL Discipline

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Would the Washington Capitals be better off if forward Marcus Johansson had been unable to return to the ice during Monday night’s loss to the Penguins? No one would seriously hope for such an outcome. And yet the NHL’s disciplinary process for dangerous hits at least raises such questions.

-Dan Steinberg of DC Sport Bog where you can continue reading on this topic.

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

Bill Foley’s Dream Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review-Journal,

His vision for a Las Vegas team: Think the New England Patriots....

Foley would encourage an atmosphere of discipline and accountability, with quotes from Patton about how perseverance, study and eternal desire can make any man great and ones from MacArthur about there being no security on earth but rather only opportunity, being displayed in the locker room.

He would have hockey people handle hockey business.

“I would know what’s going on at all times,” Foley said this week from his Las Vegas office across the street from TPC Summerlin. “I’m not going to let anyone screw things up. I know what I know. But whoever we would hire can certainly convince me of things. I would want open-minded people who want to be part of a team and who listen to others, but when tough decisions need to be made, you make them.

“Team work. No bickering. Free communication. The ability to talk to anyone up and down the line with no fear of retribution. A free flow of information. I talk to everyone in my organizations. I find out who’s working hard and who isn’t, and what’s good and what’s bad, and how we can do a better job from the bottom up.

“You delegate responsibility and give people the authority to make decisions within a certain area. And if they sway from it, I stop them. People would want to play here. They should believe in me, have confidence in me that we would be very successful in a positive environment. Hockey guys are good people. They don’t screw around. They’re fighters. They want to win.”

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Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bill+foley

Boston Bruins Announce Successful Surgery For Three Players

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

BOSTON, MA – The Boston Bruins announced today, May 3, that forward Matt Beleskey (left hand), forward David Krejci (left hip) and defenseman Torey Krug (right shoulder) have all undergone successful surgeries and are expected to make full recoveries.

Beleskey’s surgery on his left hand was performed by Dr. Matthew Leibman at Newton-Wellesley Hospital on April 14, 2016. His recovery time is expected to be six weeks. Beleskey completed his first season with the Bruins in 2015-16 and established career highs with 80 games played, 22 assists, 37 points and 65 penalty minutes. He finished tied for fifth on the team in goals (15), fifth on the team in penalty minutes and tied for seventh on the team in points. Beleskey also led the team and ranked eighth in the NHL with 260 hits. 

Krejci’s surgery on his left hip was performed by Dr. Bryan Kelly at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, NY on April 25, 2016. His recovery time is expected to be five months. Krejci finished his 10th season with the Bruins in 2015-16 after being drafted by the club in the second round (63rd overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. He led the team with 46 assists, tied for second on the team with 63 points and finished fourth on the team with 17 goals in 72 games played.

Krug’s surgery on his right shoulder was performed by Bruins Head Team Physician, Dr. Peter Asnis, at Massachusetts General Hospital on April 21, 2016. His recovery time is expected to be six months. Krug finished his third full season with the Bruins in 2015-16, establishing career highs with 81 games played, 40 assists, 44 points and 33 penalty minutes. His 40 assists ranked second on the team, while his 44 points ranked sixth among all Bruins players. 

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: david+krejci, matt+beleskey, torey+krug

Video- Kris Letang Suspended For One Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Here is your explanation...

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kris+letang

Video- Brad Treliving On Dismissing Bob Hartley

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet,

GM Brad Treliving outlines the Calgary Flames decision to fire head coach Bob Hartley, saying there’s much blame to made throughout the organization, but Bob taken this team as far as he could at this time.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bob+hartley, brad+treliving

Calgary Fires Coach Bob Hartley

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Bob Hartley is the reigning Jack Adams Award winner.  He won it as coach of the year in the 2014/15 season.  Today he has been fired by the Calgary Flames.  This story helps to show how poorly the coach of the year is determined.

Often coach of the year is chosen as coach of the most improved team.  Teams improved for many reasons.  Often teams improve for a combination of reasons.  Common reasons for improvement are better performances from the players on the team or merely good luck.  Sometimes it is because of coaching.  We have tended to give the credit to coaching without exploring other options.  This leads to some poor coach of the year choices.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

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