Kukla's Korner

Penguins Handling All Situations

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

It’s too early to say whether the Pittsburgh Penguins have what it takes to repeat as Stanley Cup champions, although the graduation of Sidney Crosby from merely superb player to out-and-out hockey legend suggests that as long as he’s around, wonderful things are going to happen.

But the commodity that the Penguins have in more copious amounts than the other 15 clubs in the NHL post-season parade is, quite clearly, poise.

Sure, they have goaltending and quality skill players and grit and experience, but what they don’t get enough credit for is their collective ability to confront difficult situations and emerge victorious.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Devils Covering The Devils

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Richard Perez-Pena of the New York Times,

Sharp-eyed readers might have noticed something truly unusual in Gannett’s New Jersey newspapers. A new byline started appearing this month on articles about the New Jersey Devils hockey team, with a note under each piece stating that the author, Eric Marin, is employed by the Devils, not Gannett.

Newspapers struggling to plug the gaps in their newsrooms have been turning to outside organizations to supply articles, raising questions about their ability to vouch for the material they print. At the same time, professional sports teams, trying to make up for declining news coverage, have been hiring journalists for their Web sites.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink

You Knew It Was Coming

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Wes Goldstein of CBS Sports,

Howard wasn’t the only reason the uncharacteristically tentative Red Wings lost 4-2 at home to Phoenix in a nationally televised game on Sunday that left them behind 2-1 in the series. But he certainly played a role. In fact Howard is arguably the biggest reason Detroit is facing a surprisingly uphill battle

His play has been anything but steady, in marked contrast to what is happening at the other end. Ilya Bryzgalov, a leading candidate for the Vezina Trophy and the Hart Trophy as league MVP this season, has been giving his upstart team a chance to win in each of the games so far, while Howard, well, has not.

Jitters might have explained Howard’s effort in the series opener, even though it was his best effort to this point. Truth is the rookie Red Wings netminder has been fighting the puck since the outset of the series in the desert, and if it wasn’t apparent before, it had to be after Detroit dropped this pivotal Game 3.


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jimmy+howard

Halak’s Cage Being Rattled

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Stanley Cup Blog at CBC,

Alexander Ovechkin said at Sunday’s practice in Arlington, Va., that he believed Canadiens goalie Jaroslav Halak looks shaken.

“I watched the replay when Fehr scored the goal and his arm was shaking when he drank water,” Ovechkin said of Halak after he allowed Eric Fehr to score on a breakaway in the first period of Game 2. “So, he’s nervous. He knows all the pressure is on him and that’s a good sign for us.”

Halak did not address reporters after last night’s game, and he declined again today, choosing instead to send a message through the Canadiens PR department that he won’t get into a war of words through the media.

That’s fair enough, and frankly whether Halak wants to talk to reporters or not is his prerogative.

But when an opponent claims you look nervous and that the pressure is getting to you, then you choose not to address those comments, does it not in some small way prove that he is right?


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Shane Doan Out With Upper Body Injury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Doan goes into the end boards after falling over Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard and must have hurt a shoulder or ribs.

Doan did not return to the game and the Coyotes are just saying upper-body injury.

Coyotes still went on to beat Detroit 4-2 with game 4 on Tuesday night,.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: shane+doan

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“There was no one day that I was suddenly ready to move on.  It just comes and goes, and you learn to live with it. I still struggle every day. I still think about Carly every day. But I’m not as emotional as I was. I can smile and laugh about the good times we had. I love playing hockey, and I’m excited about this team and its chances. I’m looking forward to getting that happiness and joy back in my life.”

-Taylor Pyatt of the Phoenix Coyotes on trying to get over the death of his girlfriend Carly Bragnalo.  More from James Duthie of TSN and watch the video here.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: taylor+pyatt

Don’t Teams Ever Just Lose Anymore?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tony Gallagther of the Vancouver Province,

We all are learning to love conspiracy theories here in Vancouver with respect to hockey, so much so that we could be made honorary Americans who seem to celebrate the genre like nobody else.

So here goes, although sadly many Vancouver fans have suspected this one before.

Did you notice when the Montreal Canadiens were up big in their game against the Washington Capitals and were threatening to take a 2-0 series lead against the league’s most promoted team and most promoted player in Alex Ovechkin, they suddenly ran into a series of highly questionable penalties.

Odd how that happens, sort of reminds you of how a team threatening to take a big lead in nationally televised NBA game suddenly runs into weird offensive fouls and travelling violations while the trailing team seems to be able to pull a gun and not get a foul.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Vanek Doubtful For Game 3

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Harrington of Sabres Edge,

Thomas Vanek and Lindy Ruff reached the same conclusion Sunday after the Sabres’ optional workout: Vanek will likely play again in this series against the Boston Bruins although it’s highly doubtful the star winger plays in Game Three Monday night in Boston, as he was walking with a pronounced limp in his left foot.

But testing showed Vanek has no broken bones and no major damage. The Sabres are classifying it as a lower-body injury, but you and I can likely call it a severe ankle sprain. Vanek did travel with the team to Boston.

“I’m sore obviously from what happened there,” Vanek said of his crash into the boards after getting slashed fby Boston’s Johnny Boychuk. “Overall, it could be worse. It sucks but it’s better than it could be. Nothing is broken.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: thomas+vanek

Hockey Viewing Parties

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Last year in the playoffs, one controversy was the outdoor viewing parties outside Mellon Arena for Pittsburgh Penguins playoff games.  When the games were broadcast on NBC, this viewing party, which was good for the promotion of the game was killed.  NBC argued that this cost them money - which it did on a small level.  The few thousand viewers at the Penguins viewing party were watching the NBC feed.  The problem is that they are not counted.  The Nielsen TV ratings count the number of TV sets watching a game and not the number of viewers.  Advertising ratings are linked to Nielsen ratings.  Thus NBC wants the maximum number of TVs on.  They may lose some viewers in the process (as some people who go for the viewing party would not bother watching a game at home) but it increases revenue marginally.  For the same reason NBC does not like sports bars or large families that watch TV together.  It is a broken system where an event that is great for promotion of hockey with an NBC feed watched by thousands is not in NBC’s best interests.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Note To Phoenix (for now): Welcome To Michigan And The Gales of November.

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

It’s Phoenix. Seriously.  This isn’t Chicago, or even San Jose or Pittsburgh. It’s Phoenix (for now).  I don’t care that they won 36 games (figure it out math geniuses).  And the only thing they had going for them coming in was a goalie named “Breezy”.  Now he’s been exposed and it all boils down to work.  And you know as well as I do that if the Wings are willing to put forth equal effort, then there is no team anywhere who can beat them in a seven-gamer.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

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