Kukla's Korner

Safe Leads

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,

Maybe we’ll see a comeback yet in these Stanley Cup finals. Maybe we’ll see one team spot the other a lead and then roar back, on the strength of their talent or their will or even just because the puck took a funny hop on the soft ice of the Mellon Arena.

That was how it was supposed to be in the new NHL, right? Players told you all the time: No lead was safe anymore. With the dark forces of obstruction finally exorcised from the game, teams could not go into lock-down mode if they got an early advantage. They had to play until the final whistle.

Except … in these playoffs, with these two teams, every lead but one has been safe. The Pittsburgh Penguins are a perfect 11-0 when they score the first goal; the Detroit Red Wings are almost as efficient, at 12-1.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Holmstrom Unlikely for Saturday

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From ESPN:

Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Tomas Holmstrom would not skate at practice Friday and is unlikely to play in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“Game 4, I don’t know, Holland said. “We like to think he’ll be back in the series.”

And Red Wings Corner has more on the lineups that were used in practice today.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+holmstrom

Checking Out Stamkos

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Erik Erlendsson at Bolts Report,

I’m currently up in Toronto for two purposes. The first was to have the chance to meet Steven Stamkos and his family, which I did on Thursday night. The other was to swing by the combine today for the physical testing of the top prospects, including Stamkos, to find out about this VO2 bike test they put the prospects through, which has barf buckets right next to the bikes. Look for that story in Saturday’s paper.

As far as Stamkos goes, he certainly seems like one of the nicest high-profile teenagers you might ever meet. Spent just over two hours at the family house outside of Toronto and had some great conversations. Very humble family and you can see how that has carried over to Steven. Despite all the heavy marketing the Lightning have already done with Stamkos, they still answer everything with “if Tampa Bay drafts’’. They are taking nothing for granted, and that’s just how they are, they don’t want to get ahead of anything.

more on Stamkos

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL Talk, NHL Prospects, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steven+stamkos

Friday with Penguins Coach Therrien

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Q. Holmstrom may or may not play. What does that change, if he’s not in the lineup?

COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: They still have a lot of quality players. And it’s not going to change anything for us. It might change something for them, but for us our focus will remain the same.

Q. The numbers with Fleury on home ice are pretty staggering. Is there something that you’ve noticed, something in his play, like is there something that changes for him in this building?

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: michel+therrien, quotes, transcript

Friday with Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Q. There’s been a lot of attention in terms of the Red Wings, maybe their top 5-man unit, particularly with the defense, people focus on Lidstrom. But can you talk about what Brian Rafalski means. He played with a tremendous Hall-of-Famer in New Jersey, and just kind of gets the short shift of attention in Detroit.

SIDNEY CROSBY: He’s a good puck moving defenseman. He skates well. He’s not the biggest guy, but I think he’s smart and plays his position well. So I think he probably makes up with his size with how well he plays his position, and probably helps anybody he plays with to be that much more solid.

Q. This is a time to kind of celebrate the game, but there’s some sad news yesterday with Luc Bourdon. I know you new him a little from Atlantic Canada Midget Hockey, can you talk about how you’re getting set to play the biggest game of your career and there’s some sad news like that?

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kris+letang, quotes, sidney+crosby, transcript

Worst Kept Secret in Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Damien Cox at the Toronto Star,

One of the worst kept secrets in hockey is expected to become public in the next few days as Barry Melrose returns from TV exile to take over the coaching reins of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Melrose, who last coached in the NHL with the Los Angeles Kings 13 years ago, is expected to get the Tampa job, replacing John Tortorella, who has yet to be replaced or reassigned.

continued…

More at TSN.

Update 8:42pm ET: Melrose responds on ESPN‘s SportsCenter—

“This is no different than any of the last 10 years,” Melrose said in response to a report in the Toronto Star. “I’ve been contacted by a handful of clubs every year since joining ESPN. My desire to coach again has never been a secret, but I love what I do at ESPN.”

Melrose’s return to NHL coaching has been speculated upon several times in recent years but, when asked about the report on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” on Friday, Melrose added: “I want to coach again in the NHL. But nothing’s going on. Uh, I work for ESPN and I’m very happy working for ESPN.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: barry+melrose

Laraque’s Purpose in Life

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Daniel Malloy at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Away from the ice, though, the ferocity disappears, replaced by an aggressive philanthropic spirit.

Mr. Laraque doesn’t turn down a request for his time—“There are no bad charities,” he says—and spends about four days a week during the season working in the community, mostly with children.

“A lot of athletes will talk about doing good things, a lot of them do good things, but Georges takes that to an entirely different level,” said Cliff Benson, who has collaborated with Mr. Laraque on various charitable initiatives around town.

“He makes that a purpose in his life. That makes him different from most.”

more…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: georges+laraque

Slowly Forgetting the Jets

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Randy Turner at the Winnipeg Free Press,

It’s difficult to forget how in the immediate aftermath of the Jets’ departure to Phoenix, the sense of mourning—for most hockey fans, at least—was palpable. There were fond and fresh memories of white-outs, now a staple in the land of the Penguins. Then there were long-standing feelings of bitterness and cynicism toward a league that never really wanted Winnipeg in the first place.

Not to mention the subsequent hundreds of millions of dollars frittered away to finance the facade of the NHL someday operating a successful franchise in the Arizona desert.

But now, with the passage of time, there’s a void replaced by… what? Ambivalence? Acceptance? Disinterest?

more…

*thanks to a KK reader for passing this on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winnipeg+jets

Moment of Silence

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

PITTSBURGH—National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman today released the following statement:

“The National Hockey League family grieves with the family, friends and teammates of Luc Bourdon. We send heartfelt condolences to the Vancouver Canucks’ organization and the community of Shippagan, N.B. To honor a young life ended long before its promise could be fulfilled, a moment of silence will be observed Saturday night prior to Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.”

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman, luc+bourdon, stanley+cup+playoffs

Blogging the Combine

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From TSN,

Over 100 of the top prospects available in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft are in Toronto to take part in the league’s Combine. The players will take part in physical testing and most have a series of interviews set up with representatives from NHL clubs.

TSN is at the combine, too, and will file reports on the various activities throughout the day in this Combine Blog.

9:39 - The NHL annual meat market is already well underway with one group having completed the physical testing portion. The prospects are all wearing heart monitors so their heartbeats can be tracked during the workouts.

updates being added throughout the day. 

P.S. TSN’s Draft 2008 page and the NHL’s Draft Guide can both provide more information on all the prospects.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Prospects, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl+combine, prospects

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