Kukla's Korner

Playoff Chances For The Montreal Canadiens Slipping Away

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Boone of Hockey Inside/Out,

The Canadiens playoff hopes almost certainly ended Friday night in Buffalo.

Not with a bang, but a sorry-ass whimper.

Playing against a terrible team that had lost in Philadelphia Thursday night, the Canadiens blew an early 1-0 lead, surrendered four unanswered goals, changed goaltenders, fought their way back into the game and then were held off the scoresheet in a third period that a desperate team should have dominated.

The Canadiens outshot Buffalo 7-4 over the final 20 minutes. They hit two posts.

The late surge wasn’t enough to overcome earlier lacuna that had handed Buffalo its lead.

The loss dropped the Canadiens into 11th place because Carolina got a loser’s point in Pittsburgh. The Hurricanes and Canadiens each have 58 points, but Carolina has 55 games to 56 for the Canadiens.

With 26 games left in their regular season, the Canadiens need at least 34 points to sneak up into a wild-card spot.

Can they do it?

Mathematically, yes.


Below, watch what caused P.K. Subban to receive a misconduct after the Sabres scored an empty net goal.

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

Video- The Action From The NHL Games On Friday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Highlights from the seven NHL games played on Friday night.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The overnight report: Red Wings-Avs wrap-up; on ‘Hockeytown,’ the Wings-Avs rivalry & trades

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Detroit Red Wings did almost everything right against the Colorado Avalanche, out-shooting the Avs 45-21, out-attempting Colorado 87-35 and surrendering 2 goals...But the Wings couldn't solve Semyon Varlamov enough times to defeat the Avs in regulation or OT, and in the shootout, Detroit's tough luck continued and Colorado emerged with a 3-2 victory.

For the Red Wings, earning a point wasn't good enough, but it was good; for the Avs, earning 4 points in a set of back-to-back evenings was absolutely necessary for their playoff push.

Varlamov won the game for the Avalanche, but Petr Mrazek looked surprisingly human during the shootout because Nathan MacKinnon and Blake Comeau found holes in an otherwise sterling netminder, as the Denver Post's Terry Frei noted:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Prospect news: Griffins lose in Iowa; Walleye lose in Ontario; Saarijarvi, Turgeon add helpers

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of prospect-related note:

In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins opened their home-and-home series with the Iowa Wild with a setback, blowing a 1-0 lead and surrendering 4 straight goals en route to a 4-2 loss in which Tomas Nosek had a goal and an assist, Tom McCollum stopped 24 shots and the Griffins out-shot Iowa 37-28, but were less efficient in finding the back of the net.

The Griffins' website posted a recap:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Red Wings-Avalanche quick take: Losing sucks, but a point’s a point

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Red Wings prepared for tonight's game against the Colorado Avalanche with little to no excuse for not sustaining their home-ice winning streak against an Avalanche team coming off a back-to-back tilt against the Ottawa Senators, with Calvin Pickard in the net. In theory, the Avs should have been relatively easy pickings, and Detroit should have been able to win their 4th straight game with not too much trouble.

Things tend not to work out that way on the ice, and Semyon Varlamov was just ridiculously good--and the Avs were ridiculously opportunistic--as Colorado took a 3-2 shootout decision despite being out-shot 45-21 and out-attempted 87-35. Detroit did everything right but score one more goal, in regulation, OT and the shootout, and Mrazek was stellar when necessary, but the Avs just had an extra earned bounce again and again...

And losing sucks, especially when you watch your team deliver such an incredibly dominant performance, but the Wings got a point out of it. That's the key right now, to get a point out of every game possible with the standings so ridiculously tight.

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Good Times

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit

Any time you play against a Team you have a history with, it reminds you of all the good times that were had by one and all. Although those days are long past, there's still an added excitement whenever the Wings face off against the Avs.

The rivalry was one of the very best in Hockey with a certain amount of respect coming from both sides. Hard to believe it was twenty plus years ago when it first started. Where has all the time gone?

This is one of the many times the 19 really miss our Chief. He always had the best Live Blog for the "Dive" bar none. Good times.

But here we are, making do. So let's make the most of it.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

It's a live blog. Bitches!

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Kris Draper discusses the Red Wings-Avalanche rivalry

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Via RedWingsFeed, Kris Draper gave a 7:44 interview to Fox Sports Detroit regarding the Red Wings-Avalanche rivalry, and Draper is refreshingly blunt about the hatred between the two teams and the way the rivalry pushed both teams to be better:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Evening news: Regarding the Avs, Smith, Green, DeKeyser, Mrazek and…Stamkos?

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. Here's the Wings' game-day preview video:

2. On the Avs' side of the ice, the Denver Post's Terry Frei reports that Colorado will start Semyon Varlamov, not Calvin Pickard, in the crease this evening:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Lowest Scoring Games

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The New Jersey Devils are both the lowest scoring team and the team with the fewest goals against.  It makes for some low scoring New Jersey Devils games.  The Devils franchise is famous for slowing down games and keeping scoring down.  They popularized the trap in the NHL with their 1995 Stanley Cup win and survived for years behind Martin Brodeur's goaltending keeping goals against down. 

This year's team is a continuation of that style even though the players have changed.  Cory Schneider is one of the best goalies in the NHL and he has kept goals against down.  New Jersey plays a solid defence.  They have allowed the eighth fewest shots against.  Andy Greene and Adam Larsson are strong defensive defenders who have little offensive value.  Travis Zajac is the defensive leader of a defensively responsible group of forwards.  The problem is New Jersey lacks any significant scorers.  Lee Stempniak is their top scorer with 40 points.  He is 46th in the league.  There isn't much scoring depth.  They have only four more players with more than 15 points on the season in Mike Cammalleri, Adam Henrique, Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

The Second Phase Of The Rebuild In Toronto

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

And, that’s a wrap.

On Episode One. Phase One. Chapter One. Whatever you’d like to call it.

The End of the Beginning?

With the trading of captain Dion Phaneuf this week, Brendan Shanahan and Co. effectively completed the opening stage of the most ambitious, aggressive rebuild in the long history of the Maple Leafs, one that has not yet moved the club closer to becoming a champion again one day but has emphatically ended a frustrating decade of drifting no closer to that goal.

From May 2004 to May 2015 there were two CEOs, four general managers, five different head coaches, 18 starting goalies, one major ownership change, three years when the club didn’t draft in the first round, a period of investment in muscle when the rest of the league was going in the opposite direction and, lest we forget, one seven-game playoff defeat.

Phaneuf’s departure, however, ended any uncertainty the Leafs really have embarked on a definitive new path. They’ve taken it down to the studs, intentionally getting much worse in the hopes of getting much better some day.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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