Kukla's Korner

The Chicago Blackhawks Found A Way To Win

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

The Blackhawks endured an improbable three-goal Ducks onslaught in a 37-second span in the third period, an onslaught that erased a 3-1 Chicago lead. And they withstood a further onslaught from the Ducks in overtime, being outshot 21-7, before Vermette found the back of the net from a sharp angle with just his second shot of the night.

"I think we worked hard to get to where we were in the third period with a 3-1 lead. I guess when it rains it pours, in some moments, especially today for us in the third. I think a lot of teams wouldn't feel too good about themselves," said a still-sweaty Toews, who scored his first goal of the series Saturday to break a five-game goalless drought.

"I think we did a great job of staying calm, collecting ourselves. It is what it is. You can't change that. You have to move forward, find a way to get yourself back in the game. Obviously, when we get into late overtime periods, I think we have a feeling as a group that we're going to find a way to win."

If there was one person who personified that will to win, that belief in the collective when in the face of adversity, it was Vermette, who was inexplicably scratched for Game 3.

He watched that Game 3 loss from the locker room, working out with some of the other scratches.

"The emotion, it's not a pleasant one," Vermette said. "As a proud competitor, like anybody else on this team, you want to be part of the team. You think you can help the team. I think that's a natural emotion to get. At the same time, very supportive of the group.

"Hopeful we get a couple more wins here."


Below, watch the game highlights...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The overnight report: did ‘Mike Babcock’ get too big for the Wings?

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The "aha" moment for me didn't happen until sometime late on Friday evening. I realized that the last thirteen months' worth of Babcock contract questions had yielded an unanswered question that became bigger than the team, and when someone, anyone becomes bigger than the team--and likes it when they remain that way--then it's time for them to leave.

A coach can be larger-than-life, a coach can be just as important to his team's success as the players, a coach can be a media phenomenon unto himself, but by December, Mike Babcock's future became a sideshow, and the few times the "verboten" subject and un-answerable question was asked and parried away, the coach did nothing to diminish its distraction-worthy qualities.

Is it realistic to blame the Wings' late-season swoon upon Babcock's up-in-the-air status? I don't believe so, but I do believe that the late-season swoon certainly illustrated that Babcock might have been a little burnt out as the Red Wings' coach, and perhaps his realization that his time was at an end yielded some dog-eared pages out of the playbook being leaned upon far too heavily by a team that didn't need to hear, "If we just stick with it, we'll be fine" for the third season in a row.

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Vermette gives Chicago a double OT win

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

Antoine Vermette finished off what was nothing less than a wild and wacky game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night, scoring 5 minutes and 37 seconds into the second overtime period:

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anaheim+ducks, antoine+vermette, chicago+blackhawks

Ducks’ 3 in 37 yield double OT

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

The Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks are currently heading to double overtime because Anaheim scored 3 goals in 37 seconds, the second-fastest 3 goals scored in playoff history:

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anaheim+ducks, chicago+blackhawks

Saturday Headlines discuss coaches’ moves and Dubnyk

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

On Hockey Night in Canada, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman discussed the post-Babcock coaching dominoes (Todd Nelson of Edmonton "free to look around," Don Sweeney meeting with Claude Julien to discuss "personnel and style of play," Dan Bylsma's status, Ken Hitchcock's future) and Devan Dubnyk's desire to re-sign with the Wild:

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: boston+bruins, claude+julien, devan+dubnyk, don+sweeney, edmonton+oilers, ken+hitchcock, minnesota+wild, st.+louis+blues, todd+nelson

Red Wings fans, meet ‘Blash’

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Free Press's Jeff Seidel has written what I can only describe as the definitive profile of soon-to-be Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill, and this column deserves its own entry and all sorts of praise because this is how those of you who don't already know someone who allows people to call him "Blash" who exactly "Blash" is:

Blashill is the perfect choice — and not just because he is basically a younger, less-experienced version of Babcock, minus the hard-edged personality. Blashill checks all of the boxes you want in a coach. Well, all of them but NHL head-coaching experience.

He is demanding, a hard worker, highly prepared, detail-oriented, intelligent, a tremendous communicator, able to motivate, confident, even-keeled under pressure, loyal, able to make adjustments on the bench, focused, a proven winner and a coach whose players would run through a sheet of Plexiglas for him.

Ask anyone who has spent some time with Blashill, and they all come back to the same phrase: He just gets it. All of it. How to handle players. How to prepare for games. How to deal with the media. How to talk to the front office. How to develop players. And how to treat those who work under him with respect. He even lets someone videotape his pregame speeches and put them online (Youtube.com/griffvision).

"He's awesome," said Grand Rapids Griffins equipment manager Brad Thompson, who has worked under 10 coaches. "He's just a good guy, a great guy. I probably respect him the most of any coach, just for the fact that he doesn't look at us as the schleps or the grunts of the team."

Other than a lack of head coaching experience in the NHL, what's Blashill's biggest weakness?

It might be his golf game. "His golf game is not as good as he thinks it is and that's what gets him into trouble," Ferris State hockey coach Bob Daniels said, with a laugh.

Seidel continues, and this is a must-read

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Prospect playoff news: Walleye rally again via Frk hat trick

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Toledo Walleye are trying to make some playoff history, and Martin Frk's lending them quite the hand. Two games after scoring a hat trick, Frk registered yet another as the Walleye rallied from a 4-2 deficit to defeat the South Carolina Stingrays 5-4 in overtime on Saturday.

The Walleye have rallied from a 3-games-to-none deficit to close to 3-games-to-2, with the teams playing Games 6 and possibly 7 in Toledo on the 26th and 27th; on Saturday, Frk scored a hat trick and added an assist on 8 shots.

The Walleye's website posited a game recap:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Video- Hockey In Chicago

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet,

Elliotte Friedman takes an in depth look at the resurgence of the Chicago Blackhawks in the Chicago sports scene.


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

Evening Line- Steve Simmons

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

(Dan) Bylsma was not a fan of Babcock as coach or person. He barely played in those two seasons in Anaheim. Now, oddly enough, Bylsma, who beat Babcock for a Stanley Cup, might end up coaching the Sabres because Babcock said no to Buffalo.

-Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun where you can read more hockey notes...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Brandon Saad’s Short-Handed Goal Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Not sure why ref Chris Rooney was where he was....


Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brandon+saad

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