Kukla's Korner

Steven Stamkos Can’t Score

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times,

The Lightning's top scoring threat was held without a goal for the eighth consecutive playoff game, dating to last season's first-round defeat against Montreal. Including the regular season, Stamkos is on a six-game drought without a goal and has only three in his past 14 games.

"It's tough," said Stamkos, who was second in the league with 43 goals during the regular season. "Obviously I want to produce. It's not for lack of effort. … It's just not going the way I want it to right now."

Detroit's defensemen have been a big reason for that, limiting him to two assists in Game 2 and nothing since.

The Red Wings have made it a focus to limit Stamkos' opportunities by keeping the puck away from him. He had only two shots Saturday in 19 minutes on the ice, including 2:43 on the power play.

"Obviously when you look at their team, the guys who are going to get the most attention are (Tyler) Johnson and Stamkos," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "You do everything you can to make sure those guys have the fewest touches possible."

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning Line- Brandon Dubinsky

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brandon+dubinsky

The St. Louis Blues Face Elimination Today In Minnesota

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Let’s get this out of the way up front: I’m not counting the Blues out. The Note is certainly up against it, trailing the Minnesota Wild 3-2 in the best-of-seven series. The Blues must win Sunday’s Game 6 to haul the series back to St. Louis for a final showdown.

I don’t rule out a win in St. Paul. Since the calendar flipped to 2015 the Blues have played their best hockey on the road, revving up for an impressive 16-4-3 record that includes Games 3 and 4 of this series.

We’ll see how the Blues will choose to confront their potential demise in Game 6. Can they win two consecutive games, survive and advance to a spot in the second round?

I’m highly skeptical, because this team is so fragile.

I really believed that would change after the Blues’ emphatic statement in their 6-1 victory in Game 4. Refusing to slide into a 3-1 series deficit, a skittish team that had been so easily dismissed in three previous Stanley Cup tournaments finally put up a fight and trounced the Wild.

But just when you thought it was safe to believe the Blues would show up and doggedly protect their home-ice advantage in Game 5, they had another letdown.

continued

from Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune,

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Game 5 Video Recap

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

First, the NHL's recap of the Wings 4-0 win over the Lightning...

 

 

Below, Mike Babcock post-game and awood40's exended highlights...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Corey Crawford To The Rescue

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times,

To be a goalie is to be the target for target practice, the easy excuse for every goal and the person most likely to be benched. Yet goalies eat their gruel and ask for more.

Saturday was another reminder of the job’s wild extremes and why, given a choice, an aspiring goalie might want to seek more stable employment, such as bomb defuser.

Scott Darling, the biggest sports story in Chicago a few days ago, was pulled after allowing three goals in the first period and likely won’t see the ice again during the playoffs. Corey Crawford, treated like a communicable disease around town last week, took Darling’s place to huge roars at the United Center and even louder ones when the Blackhawks came back to beat the Nashville Predators 4-3 and advance to the next round of the playoffs.

It would be a miracle if neither of these guys has major trust issues in life.

There would seem to be no turning back now for coach Joel Quenneville as it concerns his goalies. Crawford replaced Darling with 11 minutes, 16 seconds left in the first period, and it will be a shocker if we see Darling again in the playoffs. A coach can’t keep yo-yoing his goalies like this. Make a decision and stick with it.

In the end, when the horn went off, there seemed to be extra meaning in the hugs that teammates gave Crawford. First Duncan Keith, who scored the winning goal, then the rest of the Hawks, who know what Crawford has been through.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Tampa Bay Lightning Can’t Score

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times,

This sudden and unexpected power outage is partly the Lightning's own doing. Leading goal-scorer Steven Stamkos has been invisible. Nikita Kucherov and Ryan Callahan, both 20-goal scorers, have been ghosts. The power play is on the fritz to the point where the Lightning should decline all future Detroit penalties.

Give some credit to the savvy and well-prepared Red Wings, who have turned the rink into a mosh pit full of bodies with no room to breathe, let alone skate.

And, if you want to do a little bit of whining, the officiating has let the Red Wings get away with some of the clutching and grabbing and interfering that you can't get away with in the regular season.

Then again, this isn't the regular season and, when you get right down to it, that's the point. The Red Wings are playing the type of grinding, irritating defensive style that you need for postseason success, and the Lightning is still searching for that extra gear. Detroit deserves to be a game away from winning this series.

"There's not a whole lot of room," Lightning center Valtteri Filppula said. "We don't get odd-man rushes. I don't know. They played real well, and we aren't getting a whole lot."

Check that. The Lightning isn't getting anything. Nothing. Zip.

Forget winning a game. It would be a major accomplishment at this point to get a lead.

more

from Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune,

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

The Calgary Flames Now Face The Anaheim Ducks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Mitchell of the Calgary Sun,

The thing about playoff hockey is the longer you play, the harder it gets.

Minutes after dispatching the Vancouver Canucks in six games thanks to a rousing come-from-behind 7-4 win at the Saddledome on Saturday, the Calgary Flames quickly turned their attention to the Anaheim Ducks.

And the Honda Center.

It’s been a house of horrors for the Flames, who haven’t won in Orange County in the regular-season since 2004.

They did pick up a win at The Pond in the playoffs back in the ’05-06 season, but lost that series in seven games.

“Thanks for reminding me,” quipped Flames winger Jiri Hudler, whose sensational two goal, two assist performance in the clincher helped book the date with the Ducks.

Can they change their fortunes in Southern California?

“We hope so,” Hudler said. “We’re going to play hard and we’ll see what happens.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Videos- Recap Of The Four NHL Playoff Games Played On Saturday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Here is the NHL's recap...

 

 

Below, Sportsnet's has a shorter version...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Flames advance to play the Ducks

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

The Calgary Flames rallied from a 3-0 deficit to pull of a staggering 7-4 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night, advancing to the second round, where they'll play the Anaheim Ducks.

Jiri Hudler scored the game-winner for Calgary, scoring 6:14 in:

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anaheim+ducks, calgary+flames, jiri+hudler, vancouver+canucks

Monday’s Wings game starts at 7 PM EDT

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From the NHL:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / APRIL 25, 2015
        STARTING TIMES SET FOR 2015 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS FIRST ROUND GAMES SCHEDULED FOR MONDAY

NEW YORK (April 25, 2015) – The National Hockey League today announced updated start time and national television information for the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round games scheduled for Monday, April 27.

The starting time for Game 6 of the series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Detroit Red Wings has been set for 7 p.m. ET in Detroit. In the U.S., the game will be televised on CNBC. In Canada, the game will be televised on CBC and TVA Sports.

 The starting time for Game 7 of the series between the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders has been set for 7:30 p.m. ET in Washington, DC. In the U.S., the game will be televised on NBCSN. In Canada, the game will be on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

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