Kukla's Korner

Playoff Hits

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,

While the Senators were mauling the Canadiens early in a game that eventually went Montreal’s way on Sunday night, there was a fascinating debate online about the value of hitting.

The #fancystat crowd was resolute in its conviction that physicality is a failed battle plan. The theory in a nutshell: Hits are not a stat that should be glorified because they indicate possession by the opposing team. In other words, you can’t rack ’em up unless you’re chasing the puck. And as every stat geek will tell you, possession is everything.

In a vacuum, or a game played on paper, that makes perfect sense.

The alternate view suggests that, taken in context, the value of doling out punishment is clear.  No team can possess the puck all the time, so how you play when you don’t have it can be critical to the outcome of a series. Hits, after all, aren’t always an indication of a game that is being chased any more than they are about a neanderthal desire to negate skill with brute force.

The goal of hitting is to make life miserable for the other team. To make them rush decisions out of fear of being plastered into the end boards over and over again.

continued plus more hockey topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Hear It All, Game 2 Rangers/Penguins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the NHL YouTube Channel,

The New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins squared off in Game 2 on Saturday night. Listen in as microphones pick up the action on the ice.


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

That (doesn’t) bite

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

FYI, from the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan:

There are pictures from Game 2 that show Lightning forward Steven Stamkos appearing to bite the glove of Kyle Quincey. Stamkos laughed off the charge after the game and Quincey did Tuesday, also.

"If he was biting my hand, it was my glove and not my fingers," Quincey said. "I didn't feel anything. I didn't see any pictures. That's the first I heard of it."

Quincey was more perplexed by getting an extra two minutes of roughing for the scrum, and putting Tampa Bay on a power play, during which it scored.

"I never go after after a guy like Stamkos, that's not in the hockey by rules," Quincey said. "To get two minutes for roughing. ... I never saw him coming. He choked me from behind."

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Practice articles: Red Wings to get Abdelkader back, Smith to play; Garrison out for TB, fans pissed

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 5x at 2:07 PM: The Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning's practices revealed that:

1. Brendan Smith is coming back into the lineup at Alexey Marchenko's expense;

2. Justin Abdelkader is returning at Stephen Weiss' expense;

3. Fans are pretty damn peeved at Mike Babcock today...again...for keeping Joakim Andersson in the lineup and bringing Smith back in...

4. Jonathan Ericsson is battling an ankle injury, which is kind of ironic given that he played some of the best hockey he's played all season in Games 1 and 2;

4. In Tampa Bay, we should expect no lineup changes, though Jason Garrison continues to get closer to returning;

5. Fans are pretty damn peeved at Mike Babcock today...again...Which makes the strong probability that he will continue to frustrate fans with his personnel moves for years to come somewhat ironic (though the whole fans being peeved at the coach and everyone else after dropping a 5-1 decision on Saturday is understandable, no neener-neener finger-pointing from me here, especially given my bafflement at the Andersson-over-Weiss-over-Pulkkinen scenario).

Anyway, the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness was first out of the multimedia chute, posting clips of an oblivious Brendan Smith grousing at the media...

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Bob Nicholson Named CEO In Edmonton

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

(April 20, 2015) EDMONTON – Daryl Katz, Chairman of Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG) announced today Bob Nicholson has been appointed Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Nicholson, who joined the organization as Vice-Chair in June of 2014, will take over an expanded set of responsibilities within OEG that includes authority over all aspects of business and hockey operations for the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club. Mr. Nicholson will continue to serve as an Alternate Governor for the Edmonton Oilers on the NHL Board of Governors.

“Since joining OEG, Bob has devoted his time to assessing all aspects of the organization,” said Mr. Katz. “Going forward, he will have clear responsibility for OEG’s growing sports and entertainment business, and all the support and latitude he needs from me to lead the Oilers back to being a Stanley Cup contender. Bob is the ideal person to lead the organization forward. He is a bold thinker, a strong consensus builder and a very fine individual.”

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bob+nicholson

Time For Doug Wilson To Step Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ray Ratto of CSNBayArea,

Doug Wilson now gets to do something he hasn’t had to do in more than a decade -- redefine the franchise. His stance on the benefits of incremental change has to change, as the evidence that this team has dead-ended itself is now too overwhelming to ignore or wallpaper.

He has always had owner Hasso Plattner’s ear; now he has to sing a new song. And it isn’t just Joe Thornton that’s the issue. It’s a roster-wide examination that is needed, and an organizational one as well. The old Sharks are dead or close enough to it to require a new Sharks. The question that never had to be asked -- “Do you want to be here?” -- now has to be asked of everyone in the organization, and the answers aren’t as easy to come by as they used to be.

Wilson needs to be good not only at asking the question, but in understanding the answer. If San Jose was once a destination franchise, it is not one currently. In fact, for the next several months, the operation will be defined not by who stays, but by who goes.

And Todd McLellan was the first shot. As in “fired.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Todd McLellan Done In San Jose

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks and Todd McLellan have mutually agreed to part ways.

In related moves, Assistant Coaches Jim Johnson and Jay Woodcroft, and Video Coordinator Brett Heimlich have been relieved of their duties. Associate Coach Larry Robinson moved into his full-time role of director of player development at the conclusion of the 2014-15 regular season.

“I want to thank Todd and his staff for their years of service to the San Jose Sharks organization,” said Wilson. “Sometimes a change is best for all parties involved but nothing will take away from what Todd and his staff accomplished here over the last seven seasons.”

“San Jose will always hold a special place for me and my family,” said McLellan. “I would like to thank Doug and the Sharks organization for allowing me the opportunity to coach at the National Hockey League level. While we both agree that a change is in the best interest of myself and the team, I’m proud of what we accomplished as an organization.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: todd+mclellan

Toronto Would Have Been The Best Landing Spot For Connor McDavid

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Blair of Sportsnet,

This much is clear: Gary Bettman and Bill Daley are the most honest folks in professional sports. Never doubt them again after Saturday’s draft lottery, which will result in a generational player – Connor McDavid – wasting the early stages of his career in Edmonton.

Of all the cities or franchises that didn’t deserve McDavid, it’s Edmonton. Who knew that just one season of tanking wasn’t enough? Who knew you had to tank four times? Or just hire Kevin Lowe – the General Patton of NHL tanking.

Not to be parochial, here – truth is, my fan sentiments lie more with the Winnipeg Jets and Chicago Blackhawks than with the Toronto Maple Leafs – but let’s be honest: McDavid would have been of maximum marketing value and would have had the most immediate positive impact in Toronto. (Sorry, Buffalo.) There is a softening in this marketplace that I’m not certain will withstand a long rebuild without a transformative figure like McDavid. You won’t have to hold a tag day for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Ltd. but you will be able to buy tickets, and as much as I like Morgan Rielly, I’m not certain he pushes product in the manner of a McDavid. Rielly’s a nice player; McDavid is a kilowatt-emitting machine whose first choice (c’mon, you know it as much as I do) was to play with the Maple Leafs.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Home Team in Caps
NY ISLANDERS 2, Washington 1 (OT) – NYI leads 2-1
CHICAGO 4, Nashville 2 – CHI leads 2-1
Montreal 2, OTTAWA 1 (OT) – MTL leads 3-0
CALGARY 4, Vancouver 2 – CGY leads 2-1

Trailing 1-0 in the third period, Dale Weise (2-0—2) notched the tying goal with 5:47 remaining in regulation and the overtime-winner at 8:47 of the extra frame to power the Canadiens to a 3-0 series lead over the Senators.

* Weise recorded his first career multi-goal playoff game and his second career overtime marker (also April 16, 2014 at TBL). Three of his five career playoff goals have stood as game-winners (25 GP).

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Practice Tweets: Weiss out, Ericsson not practicing for Wings; Garrison still out for Bolts

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 13x at 12:44 PM: The Red Wings hit the ice at Joe Louis Arena just before 11 AM, hoping to rebound from Saturday's 5-1 loss to Tampa Bay via some hard work and preparation for Game 3, and the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness reported that the Wings will be making at least one lineup change for Tuesday:

Stephen Weiss is in Red today, meaning he's out Tuesday since he's not skating in Top 6 forwards.


Looks like Jonathan Ericsson isn't going to practice again today due to a nagging foot or ankle injury. Cleary in Black filling in.

MLive's Ansar Khan confirmed...

Ericsson not skating today again. He's been bothered by an ankle/foot issue but has played through it.


Early indication is that Weiss will be scratched for Abdelkader in Game 3 since Weiss is extra forward skating with top six (in red).

And meanwhile, in Tampa Bay...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

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