Kukla's Korner

Overtime In The Stanley Cup Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Tribune,

Sudden death.

It's the most dramatic moment in all of hockey. In all of sports, really. Is there anything more exciting, more agonizing, more gripping than sudden death overtime in the Stanley Cup playoffs?

And the phrase itself — sudden death — is the most provocative in sports. Isn't it fascinating that it is from the perspective of the losing team, not the team that wins?

We don't call it sudden victory or sudden life. And the term is worse than sudden loss, probably because losing feels like more than just a loss.

For a hockey team, it does feel a little like death, as if your season is on the verge of passing on. For many teams, an overtime loss often does lead to the end of a season. Losing that suddenly is like having your heart ripped out. Surely that's what the Rangers must be feeling after losing Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final in sudden death overtime to the Lightning on Wednesday night.

You're so close to victory. Just a goal away. A goal and you win a precious game in a best-of-seven series. A loss in sudden death is like climbing a mountain, slipping just before the summit and falling all the way to the bottom again. All that you worked for is lost in an instant.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Frustration In Chicago

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Barry Rozner of the Chicago Daily-Herald,

The Ducks stifled the Hawks in the third and yet another power play went for naught when the Hawks failed to get bodies to the net and pucks to the goal.

"It's frustrating," Sharp said. "We have to be better. We have to get pucks to the net."

Captain Jonathan Toews did not use the word, but he didn't have to. His remarks were short and his temper not far behind.

"We're not making any excuses," Toews said. "We'll find ways to be better in the next one. It's a great team we're playing and we know we have to be better on special teams."

Most frustrating for Hawks fans was seeing Kris Versteeg and Joakim Nordstrom back in the lineup in place of Teuvo Teravainen and Antoine Vermette.

It meant Andrew Shaw was back at third-line center after some terrific games as a fourth-line winger. It meant the ineffective Versteeg dragged down another line, this time with Sharp on it, and it meant no Teravainen, which is inexplicable.

Perhaps most baffling is burying Sharp on the third line, when he could be helping Patrick Kane shake loose. To this point, Kane has a single point in the series after a Ducks collision offered him a loose puck in the slot and led to a goal late in the first period Thursday.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Nick Kypreos Talks Stanley Cup Playoffs With Keith Olbermann

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Nick Kypreos talks hockey with Keith Olbermann.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: keith+olbermann, nick+kypreos

The Anaheim Ducks Beat The Chicago Blackhawks 2-1

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Instead of letting the past determine their future, the Anaheim Ducks revealed an inner fortitude that now has them halfway to a berth in the Stanley Cup finals.

Less than 48 hours after a crushing triple-overtime defeat in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals, the Ducks turned up in one of the loudest, most difficult buildings to play in and came away with a 2-1 victory that gives them a 2-1 series lead.

It was not particularly pretty at times.

The Ducks seemed to fall into a potentially destructive shell in the third period as they tried to nurse a one-goal lead across the finish line, relying on netminder Frederik Andersen to come up huge -- again -- as Chicago outshot Anaheim 10-5 in the third period.

And the pace was well off the dazzling to and fro that dominated the epic clash in Game 2.

But when it mattered most on Thursday night, the Ducks proved they were made of sterner stuff than could be deflated by a triple-overtime loss. And the battle-tested Blackhawks revealed that perhaps winning a game in triple overtime can be as taxing as losing one.

continued

Watch the game highlights below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The overnight report: variations on a theme, Blashill-Larkin-Babcock version

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Among this morning's stories of pre-Mike-Babcock's-11-AM-presser-which-WJBK-WDIV-WXYZ-and-other-people-will-stream-live note:

We get to call the fact that Jeff Blashill is going to be the Wings' next coach the newest, "Worst-kept sports secret in town," but Ken Holland appears insistent upon not naming him as such until the Grand Rapids Griffins--who begin their 3rd-round playoff series against the Utica Comets on Sunday--have concluded their post-season activities.

Now that the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan's texted Blashill regarding Mike Babcock's seemingly intentional slip-up, Blashill's given out this answer at least half a dozen times:

"I really want to keep our focus on this playoff series versus Utica," Blashill texted The Detroit News on Thursday evening. "I look forward to speaking with Ken next week but right now my singular focus is game one Sunday."

As noted by Grand Rapids' WZZM 13, Blashill had to say something very similar to the media after Thursday's Griffins practice:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Mike Babcock’s Hockey Night in Canada close-up

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

The end of Mike Babcock's media tour took him to Sportsnet's Hockey Night in Canada studios, where he sat down with George Strombolopolous for an 11-minute interview that aired during the 1st intermission:

If it's possible to make Mike Babcock feel warm and fuzzy, and if it's possible for Mike Babcock to make himself seem fuzzy, this is as close as it's gonna get.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+babcock, toronto+maple+leafs

Salary cap likely to rise by $2 million, says Bettman

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

From the Associated Press:

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman expects the salary cap for the 2015-16 season to settle in around $71 million, depending on the fluctuations of the Canadian dollar.

Appearing between the first and second periods of Game 3 of the Western Conference finals Thursday night between the Anaheim Ducks and hometown Blackhawks, the commissioner said he expects it to climb five per cent from this year’s cap figure of $69 million.

Bettman also faced several questions about concussions three months after the death of former defenceman Steve Montador, 35, who was subsequently found to have suffered from chronic traumatic encephelopathy — or CTE — a degenerative brain disease.

Continued

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman, salary+cap, steve+montador

Scotty Bowman speaks with Jim Matheson about Mike Babcock’s departure

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I'm getting more than a little tired of talking about Mike Babcock, but I'm sticking this story by the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson in TMR instead of Kukla's Korner because one very specific person spoke with Matheson regarding both Toronto and Detroit's likely wishes in the Babcock-to-Toronto scenario--William Scott Bowman, a senior advisor to hockey operations with the Chicago Blackhawks:

"I wasn’t surprised Mike left Detroit,” said Bowman, a former Red Wings head coach. “The offers were high in Buffalo (and Toronto). I don’t know if Detroit wanted to go that high."

"They knew it would be tough to keep him because it had gone on for so long,” Bowman said about the fact Babcock hadn’t signed an extension last summer or in January, when one was offered. There’s the lure of Toronto and Canada; it’s the biggest market, the wealthiest team.”

The Maple Leafs don’t have anywhere near the young talent Detroit had. There’s no Pavel Datsyuk or Henrik Zetterberg at centre, which makes a coach’s job easier than most.

“Detroit probably expected something to happen (with Babcock) because they retained Jeff Blashill,” Bowman said about the Red Wings’ farm team coach. “I think he’ll be the leading candidate to coach there now. They didn’t want to lose him last year and said they were counting on him (replacing Babcock) if he was willing to wait.”

The Red Wings gave Blashill a healthy salary to stay another year in the American Hockey League and know another team wouldn’t get permission to talk to him about an NHL job.

“With Toronto, there’s (team president Brendan) Shanahan there. They didn’t hire a high-profile general manager and I presume they won’t. So Mike will have a say (in personnel matters), maybe a big one in who to keep and who to trade,” Bowman said. “He had a pretty good say in Detroit, too, but when you have a pretty good manager like Kenny Holland, he’s making lots of moves you don’t know about. This is tough on Buffalo … there’s good (unemployed coaches) out there, but they didn’t get the lottery (No. 1 pick) and the poor guy going in now knows he’s second choice. Not that it matters, I guess, because they’ll be back coaching. It’s not (the Sabres’) fault, but it sort of looks bad on them.”

Matheson and Bowman continue, and Matheson has this to say about the prospect of Jeff Blashill coaching the Wings...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Open Post- Game 3 Western Conference Finals, Anaheim Ducks vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Puck drops just after 8:00pm ET on NBCSN, CBC and TVA.

The series is 1-1 and the series shifts to Chicago for the next two games.

Discuss as you wish.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Ken Holland appears on TSN 1290, The Fan 590 (and Babcock, too)

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Red Wings GM Ken Holland made the sports talk radio rounds in a big way, discussing the end of his working relationship with Mike Babcock, the process by which Babcock chose to part ways with the Wings and possibly the future, suggesting that at least Jeff Blashill is a leading candidate to be the next coach--though no final decisions, "Will be made until after the Grand Rapids Griffins' season is finished," to use his words--and he appeared on both Winnipeg's TSN 1290's Hustler and Lawless show to discuss said topics...

And Holland appeared on The Fan 590's Prime Time Sports show for about 20 minutes, just after 6 PM EDT, also discussing said topics with Bob McCown.

Below, you will also find Babcock's interview with McCown from earlier in the day. Babcock insisted that Jeff Blashill will be the Wings' next coach (for what it's worth, TSN's Bob McKenzie also reported that Wings assistant coaches Jim Hiller and Andrew Brewer will be leaving for Toronto).

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

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