Kukla's Korner

While In Vegas, You May As Well Play Poker

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob Condor of NHL.com,

The National Hockey League took its first shift Monday in this sun-drenched city during a press conference to highlight its move of the 2009 NHL Awards here June 18. While explaining this year’s event will feature more players, celebrities, business partners and fans than ever before, the League also announced it will be staging an all-day celebrity/pro athlete charity poker tournament June 17.

“For years there has been a charitable component to the Awards program,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman at the Ghost Bar outdoor patio in the Palms Hotel Las Vegas high above the famed strip of hotels and casinos. “I am pleased to announce today that the NHL will team with Pokerstars.net and the NHL Players’ Association to present [the poker tournament] in connection with the 2009 NHL Awards.”

continued

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

Rangers Fans Deserve Better

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Soldwedel of the Blue Seats at the NY Post,

Even if they squeak into the playoffs this year, does anyone—even the most starry-eyed idealist among the Garden Faithful—believe the Rangers can compete for the Stanley Cup? Measuring them against potential opponents that have put on far better performances, and against rivals of equal quality like the Panthers, to favor the Blueshirts in any series is either great hope or boundless delusion.

Negative critiques are often met with the harshest criticism, but it’s about time the fans lobbed some harsh criticism of their own at the Rangers franchise. Put pride and loyalty aside for a moment to see how people like James Dolan and Glen Sather have hoodwinked the fans, proving P.T. Barnum right year after year. The only reason the Rangers continue to be a poor performer is because the fans enable it. So long as fans continue to shell out money and throw their support behind a disappointing team, the people counting the cash will have no reason to change their tactics.

more

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

9 Hours Later?  I Still Want Poultry

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

I read your arguments most of the day.  The travel. The abuse.  The potential for sadness at the hands of a hot goalie.  I read about the joy affiliated with knocking the bitter bitches out in the first round. All of that made plenty of sense.  Plenty of it.

But you know what?  I still think Anaheim’s our best bet for a first-rounder.  If the Wings are lacking venom heading into an opening series, the first ten minutes against scum like Chris Pronger and Corey Perry should solve it.  A bucket of cold water over your head around noon on the day following an all-nighter that featured a class brand of whiskey like Ten High.  That’s what the Ducks will be and that’s why I just dig that matchup.

Tonite?

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Fans Ask, Duhatschek Answers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail answered emails from hockey fans-

Hi Eric, enjoying your work this season, as always. Is it safe to assume that San Jose and the Red Wings will meet in the Western Conference final?

Eric Duhatschek replies: Is it logical to assume that? Yes. Is it safe? No. I saw both the Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks play live in Calgary on back-to-back Mondays and those two teams perfectly illustrate why everybody loves the NHL playoffs and especially why everybody loves the first round. They are both excellent teams, and at different times can be wildly entertaining, but each has a potential Achilles heel; in Detroit, it’s goaltending; and in San Jose, it is the weight of heavy expectation.

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Ducks Were Mugged Last Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Randy Youngman of the OC Register,

Referees Dan O’Rourke and Chris Lee, the guys wearing the decorative orange armbands Sunday night, apparently had a plane to catch.

Or maybe they had to be escorted to a local hospital for emergency surgery to have small metal objects removed from their digestive systems.

What other reason could there be for the refs ignoring the muggings outside the San Jose goal crease in the closing seconds of the Ducks’ 3-2 loss to the Sharks at sold-out Honda Center?

They must have swallowed their whistles.

continued and if you missed the video, you can watch here...

added 9:55pm, from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

No supplementary discipline has been imposed against the Ducks or San Jose Sharks for their misdeeds at the end of the Sharks’ 3-2 victory Sunday at the Honda Center, and it’s likely no suspensions or fines will be imposed at all.

A league executive who requested anonymity because he didn’t want either team to view him as biased in one direction or another said he didn’t see anything that crossed the line that most concerns the NHL now: injuries to the head. The final say will come from Colin Campbell, if there’s anything to say, which there might not be.

continued

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

Canes Now Playing For Home Ice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Paul Branecky of CarolinaHurricanes.com,

There’s a very real chance the Canes can climb up to fourth place and play their first two playoff games at the RBC Center, but they would need a little help. Even if they win all three of their remaining games, they would need Philadelphia to lose one of their remaining four contests. In that scenario, the teams would be tied on points but Carolina would have the total wins tiebreaker.

Given the way the team is playing at in their own building, home ice should be something to strive for at this point, even if Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, who the Canes would be likely to play in that scenario, would represent two of the tougher potential match-ups.

“We’re trying to win as many games as we possibly can and stay on our roll,” said Coach Paul Maurice. “We want to do everything that we can to climb as high as we possibly can. Clearly we would like to have home ice advantage, but if that doesn’t happen we’re still charged with the same task to win in the first round.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Stars Of The Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (April 6, 2009)—Montreal Canadiens right wing Alex Kovalev, Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin and St. Louis Blues center David Backes have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Apr. 5.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Secure Goaltending

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,

Outside of Boston (Thomas), San Jose (Evgeni Nabokov), Carolina (Cam Ward) and Vancouver (Roberto Luongo) among teams that are certain to be in the playoffs, which teams feel secure about their goaltending?

The defending champion Detroit Red Wings? I happen to think Chris Osgood is a very competent goaltender, but based on his play this season, which has been decidedly inconsistent, he’ll need to make huge strides if the Red Wings are to win back-to-back Cups. Osgood insists he’ll be fine when the playoffs start, but I’ll believe it when I see it. His backup, Ty Conklin, has blown numerous opportunities to steal the No. 1 job away from him.

The Washington Capitals are hoping this is the season they take a huge step in the playoffs and with the probable MVP in Alexander Ovechkin and best defenceman in Mike Green, you’d have to think it is a distinct possibility.

But can they do it with Jose Theodore in net?

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Trotz Standings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,

Trotz spent much of our conversation talking about the NHL’s looney-tunes points system that makes it virtually impossible for teams to gain ground in the standings during the second half of the season.

“At the end of the year, I’d love to see the games sorted out and the standings re-jigged to reward teams that won in regulation,” said Trotz, noting he’s brought it up with his GM, David Poile, in the past. “He just kind of looks at me and says, ‘Well, some teams will wind up with 150 points if we do things that way.’ And I say, ‘Who cares? If you’re a team like Detroit that wins a lot in regulation and you recognize and reward them for that, that just means they’re really good.’ ”

more & some HHOF talk too…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: barry+trotz

Getting To Know Jack Edwards

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Puck The Media,

PTM: ...are you kind of glad that ESPN doesn’t cover hockey anymore?

JE: Well, I think that all you need to know is - for those who wish that hockey was back on ESPN - last Saturday, which was probably the single most amazing night of the NHL season.  Just in terms of teams switching places, dramatic things happening, crazy games, that kind of thing. 

We went from Toronto to Philadelphia, we were in (Bruins radio play-by-play man) Dave Goucher’s room, having a couple cold ones.  Now, the Sweet 16 is going on in college basketball at the same time, the only hockey we saw in the entire sportscast of “SportsCenter” was about 45 seconds of the UNH-North Dakota game, which was the one UNH tied with one-tenth of a second to go, that went into Overtime.  That was 56 minutes into the telecast.  There was nothing on the NHL in the entire show. 

So, for those of you that hope that hockey gets back on ESPN, that’s what you’re gonna’ get.  That’s where it belongs in ESPN’s hierarchy, because there are some bozos sitting in the accounting department in a bunker in Burbank, California running Disney, who look at the numbers and completely ignore the passion of hockey fans.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jack+edwards

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