Kukla's Korner

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

FRIDAY’S RESULTS
Home Team in Caps
NY RANGERS 2, Pittsburgh 1 (OT) – NYR win series 4-1
Ottawa 5, MONTREAL 1 – MTL leads series 3-2
Minnesota 4, ST. LOUIS 1 – MIN leads series 3-2
 
HAGELIN’S OT GOAL LIFTS RANGERS INTO SECOND ROUND
Carl Hagelin scored at 10:52 of overtime to lift the Rangers to a Game 5 victory over the Penguins and into the Second Round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. 


* The Rangers clinched a series in overtime for the first time since May 11, 1997 (Game 5 of CSF at NJD; GWG: Adam Graves). The last time they accomplished that feat at Madison Square Garden was May 27, 1994 (Game 7 of CF vs. NJD; GWG: Stephane Matteau). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, New York has clinched 10 all-time series in overtime – including three on home ice.

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Quick Hits- Wings/Lightning

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun,

- One factor that could play in the Wings’ factor is experience. “The leadership in this room is unbelievable,” Glendening said. “It starts with Z (captain Henrik Zetterberg) and Kronner (defenceman Niklas Kronwall) and Pav (Datsyuk), those guys lead the every night on the ice and off. We will lean on them heavily here.”

- Special teams have come under scrutiny and for good reason. The Lightning has had 21 power-plays — the most for any team in the playoffs before games were played on Friday — but had managed to score just two goals with the man-advantage. “For our power play to not be clicking the way we want it to, and the series tied 2-2, it may work in our favour,” Cooper said, “because eventually it is going to (start producing goals). I will take our chances with some of the skill we put out there.”

- While the Wings are thrilled that they’ve been so successful while shorthanded thanks to the efforts of Drew Miller, Kronwall and goalie Petr Mrazek and others, it’s getting to be a little much. Babcock said as much earlier in the week, and forward Gustav Nyquist had a similar thought. “We have taken too many penalties and it’s something we have to change because they have dangerous guys,” Nyquist said. “Any time you get a penalty, the penalty killers have to go out and your lines are a little disrupted. There’s no flow, and it wears on the guys.” 

more on the Wings and Lightning...

from Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times,

The Red Wings can talk all they want about feeling fine and how today is a new day, but deep down they have to be an emotional wreck after letting the Lightning crawl out of the grave. They were moments away from needing to win just one of three games left to take the series. Now they need to win twice, including once in Tampa Bay.

So going into tonight's game, the Lightning has the mental advantage. But just imagine what the shift will be if the Lighting loses Game 5.

"All we did was put ourselves back in the series,'' Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "We didn't win the series. Clearly, this is a pivotal game. … We were thinking about Game 5 five minutes after 'Johnny' scored (in overtime).''

The Lightning needed to immediately turn its attention to Game 5 because the Game 4 victory has not solved all its problems. Though momentum and emotions are sporting blue-and-white sweaters with a big Lightning bolt on them, Tampa Bay still has issues.

more

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Video- Ready For Today’s Playoff Action?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Full playoff mode today...

 

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How Bad Is It In Toronto?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Neil Davidson of the CP at the Toronto Star,

The blue-chip Maple Leafs brand has survived bad seasons in the past. But 2014-15 took its toll.

“I’ll tell you there’s a bunch of us down here that are losing sleep about it,” said Dave Hopkinson, chief commercial officer for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment.

Toronto finished 27th in the league with a 30-44-8 record, losing 34 of its last 43 games and finishing with the NHL’s worst road record (8-27-6).

It took just two games for a disgusted fan to toss a Leaf jersey onto the ice, during a 5-2 loss to Pittsburgh. More followed as the season went south.

“If there was a tipping point on fan frustration, I think we saw it this year,” Hopkinson said in an interview.

“Just the overall mood about this team around this city, I’ve never seen it that bad,” he added.

continued

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Pieces Falling Into Place For The Edmonton Oilers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

Ten days ago Bob Nicholson had no real belief he was going to get Connor McDavid. Nor had he given any real thought to the idea of ever being able to hire Peter Chiarelli as his head of hockey operations and new general manager.

None. Zero.

A week ago Wednesday, Chiarelli was fired by the Boston Bruins. Saturday the Edmonton Oilers won the right to draft Connor McDavid No. 1 overall. Monday Nicholson was made boss of everything for the Oilers Entertainment Group. Friday he introduced Chiarelli as the new President of Hockey Operations & General Manager.

As the bingo ball effect began to happen, Nicholson knew one thing. He had to move and move fast if he was going to get Chiarelli.

And Chiarelli knew one thing, first because his wife told him so and then because he figured it out on his own. He wasn’t meant to be out of hockey longer than five minutes.

Almost overnight the terrible team that spent nine seemingly endless seasons out of the playoffs made a lot of things go right.

It’s called seizing the moment.

“These are really exciting times for this organization,” said Nicholson about an hour and a half after the press conference had concluded to introduce Chiarelli.

read on

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Min-Preview- Detroit Red Wings vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Game 5

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

Puck drops just after 6:00pm ET.

from Brian Hunter of NHL.com,

TV: NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports, FS-D, FS-F

Best-of-7 series is tied 2-2

Instead of attempting to avoid elimination from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Tampa Bay Lightning find themselves with a chance to push the Detroit Red Wings to the brink when Game 5 of their Eastern Conference First Round series takes place Saturday at Amalie Arena.

The Red Wings must put a potentially devastating Game 4 loss behind them and come up with an answer for Lightning forward Tyler Johnson.

Johnson, one-third of the "Triplets" line that includes Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov, has a series-leading four goals. He started Tampa Bay's rally from down two goals with less than six minutes to play in Game 4 and finished it by scoring 2:25 into overtime for a 3-2 win.
"All we did was put ourselves back in the series. We didn't win the series," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said Friday. "Clearly, [Game 5] is a pivotal game."

Despite the note of caution, the Lightning are in prime position at home, where they were an NHL-best 32-8-1 during the regular season and won 5-1 in Game 2 after losing Game 1 3-2.

"At this stage there aren't many surprises left," Lightning center Brian Boyle said. "We've seen their best and they've seen us play some good hockey too. It's all about who wants to do those little things and who can take advantage of the breaks."

The good news for Detroit is forward Luke Glendening will be available. Glendening's line has been matched against Johnson's, but Glendening left in the third period of Game 4 because of a hand injury and Johnson scored twice and set up Palat for the tying goal. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said Friday that Glendening will play in Game 5.

continued

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

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On To Round 2 For The New York Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

And so the Rangers are now 5-0 in potential series clinchers at the Garden over the last four years, and the common denominator to the team’s success is the uncommon goaltender named Henrik Lundqvist.

It’s on to the second round for the Blueshirts following Friday’s Game 5, 2-1 overtime triumph over the Penguins on Carl Hagelin’s goal from the right at 10:52. It’s on to the second round for the fourth straight season, a perhaps modest achievement, but not really, not in this NHL, not when the Rangers are the only team in the league to win at least one round every year beginning in 2012.

“It’s not a new feeling, but it’s not like you shrug your shoulders,” said Lundqvist, who turned in a sterling 37-save performance in withstanding the Penguins’ most stern challenge of this first round. “You don’t get too far in front of yourself, but you really appreciate the moment.”

continued

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The St. Louis Blues Now Face Elimination

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

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

There they go again, your St. Louis Blues, the most appropriately named franchise in professional sports. I can’t figure them out. Can you? Why do they insist on giving us the blues? They don’t need a better coach or game plan; they need to go sit on Dr. Phil’s couch. Maybe he can holler at them.

With a wonderful chance to take a crucial 3-2 series lead over the Minnesota Wild at home on Friday night, the Blues scored early and then skidded on their own flop sweat, losing 4-1 before a full house of oh-no disbelievers at Scottrade Center.

Instead of returning to the Twin Cities with an opportunity to put the Wild down and advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Blues will seek to avoid elimination from the tournament for a 47th consecutive season.

With the galloping Wild up 3-2 in the best-of-seven series, perhaps this will motivate the Blues to play their best hockey again. For some reason, the Blues require desperation for adrenaline, and their wake-up call is the sound of a crises. The Blues absolutely refuse to make it easy for themselves.

And of course it makes no sense. By now, any attempt to psychoanalyze the Blues will result in even more confusion and frustration.

continued

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Now What Pittsburgh?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

So even though the Penguins don't want to end the Sidney Crosby/Evgeni Malkin era, I'm not sure they're going to have a choice in the matter.

It's not that the franchise centers are unhappy. (They are, but they've been that way since last summer). They've lost faith in the direction of the franchise. And I'm not sure what can be said — especially to Malkin — to make things right.

Something has to be done in the wake of the Penguins' 2-1 series-ending overtime loss to the New York Rangers in Game 5 on Friday at Madison Square Garden that eliminated them from the Stanley Cup playoffs. Otherwise, the Penguins might have to sell another early playoff exit and a trade they'd rather not make.

Co-owners Ron Burkle and Mario Lemieux could have a lot more to consider than whether to let pride — or stubbornness — get in the way of doing what's best for business. They must hire a new general manager, one who understands the NHL's not-so-new salary-cap dynamic, a hockey boss with autonomy to make hockey moves.

Because this isn't what Crosby and Malkin signed on for when each agreed to a second long-term contract at below market-value salary.

The Penguins are unrecognizable. They've gone from the marquee to the second stage. Or, put in hockey terms, from Stanley Cup contender to playoff pretender.

read on

added 8:40am, from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

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Dave Cameron Calls Out Brandon Prust For Spear On Craig Anderson

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the CP at NHL.com,

With 2:03 left in Ottawa's 5-1 victory on Friday night, Prust moved into the crease and brushed against Anderson, who responded with a stick jab in the back. Prust then began spearing the goaltender in the midsection and a skirmish broke out.

Prust was called for roughing and cross-checking and Patrick Wiercioch got a roughing minor, while P.K. Subban and Eric Gryba got 10 minute misconducts for a lively wrestling match.

"There's certainly frustration on their part," said Cameron. "A sure sign of frustration is when they're taking cheap shots at your goaltender, who's a real good player for us.

"Cheap, extremely cheap. Prust, I've known for a long time. I think he's a respectable guy. A real good player for a long time. But that was cheap what he did tonight."

Prust did not speak to the media after the game and coach Michel Therrien made no comment.

Anderson was unfazed by the incident.

"He's going to the net hard. It's just a battle of emotions there," said Anderson. "I'm fighting for my ice, he's fighting for his ice. I got a little stickwork, but no harm, no foul."

Watch the incident below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brandon+prust, dave+cameron

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