Kukla's Korner

And now we wait for Datsyuk to make his decision

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From TSN...

Pavel Datsyuk might not be done quite yet.

The Russian superstar told TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger that he has lots of hockey in his future and hasn't made a decision on what he plans to do next season.

This came on the heels of Russia's 7-2 throttling of the United States in the bronze medal game at the World Hockey Championship from Russia. The 37-year-old picked up three helpers in the victory.

And the Free Press's Helene St. James:

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Red Wings at the World Championship: Datsyuk registers 3 assists in Russian bronze win

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

With Pavel Datsyuk looking more mobile than he has in months (his ankle's about 11 months into an 18-month recovery process) and Alexey Marchenko playing very solidly (save a bit of a dumb penalty), the Russians decided that they wanted to earn a medal, and they systematically dissected Dylan Larkin and Team USA, winning the bronze medal via a 7-2 margin.

Ray Ferraro made a very wise point after the first period, in which the U.S. went down 2-0, pointing out that the bronze game is hard to battle through when you're down a couple of goals early, and while Larkin was strong in terms of his skating and making his stick available for passes, especially given that he was mostly matched-up against the Ovechkin-Kuznetsov line.

However: Sergei Bobrovsky was quietly brilliant in the Russian goal, the Russians picked apart the American attack, scored clutch goals at the right times, and the Americans could just never recover from the early deficit as the Russians poured it on in the 2nd period.

There was most certainly some "saving face" involved for the Russians, America's incredibly youthful roster showed some cracks, and it was just Russia's day.

Pavel Datsyuk had three assists:

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Broken Ankle For Trevor Daley

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

 

If you missed the injury, watch below...

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  Tags: trevor+daley

Video- Gord Miller On Calling The Games From The World Championship

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Gord Miller and Ray Ferraro have made watching the World Championship games more enjoyable in my opinion.

 

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  Tags: gord+miller

Sergei Fedorov among 5 players inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

From IIHF.com's Andrew Podnieks:

Former players Peter Bondra, Sergei Fyodorov (Fedorov), Valeri Kamenski, Ville Peltonen, and builders Pat Quinn and Ben Smith form the 2016 induction class.

Hungarian forward Gabor Ocskay is the recipient of the Richard “Bibi” Torriani Award, and Nikolai Ozerov has been given the Paul Loicq Award.

The 2016 IIHF Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place in Moscow on 22 May, the final day of the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. The venue will be the brand new Russian and Soviet Ice Hockey Hall of Fame.

...

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Penguins In Six

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Let me explain why the Penguins still will win the series in six games.

Marc-Andre Fleury will play well in goal the rest of the way. It’s not as if rookie Matt Murray played poorly Friday night when he was benched after the second period. His teammates were lousy around him. It’s just time for Mike Sullivan to go back to Fleury — the Penguins’ best player all season — after getting him some action in Game 4 for the first time since Fleury left the lineup with a concussion after the March 31 game against Nashville. The other players love Fleury, easily the most popular player in the room. They will rally around him, just as they did Friday night when they scored three third-period goals but ran out of time.

Olli Maatta, who was benched for the past three games after a series of mistakes earlier in the playoffs, will do a serviceable job filling in for injured Trevor Daley, who went down in Game 4 with what looked to be a serious left leg injury. Daley’s loss can’t be overestimated. It is significant because of his quickness, puck-moving ability and overall defensive skills. But Maatta has too much ability and too much pride not to bounce back. All of the defensemen will play better around Fleury. Letang, for sure, won’t lose his mind again, although Boyle will do everything he can to tempt him.

Kessel will continue to torment Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. He scored the Penguins’ first goal in Game 4 and has points — five goals and four assists — in six consecutive games. Kessel is feeling it like never before in his career. You could see it Friday night the way he fired 10 shots at Vasilevskiy, six making it on net. You could see it the way he chirped at Vasilevskiy after his latest goal.

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“Hats Off” To Ken Hitchcock

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Hitchcock and the Blues were in desperate need of a spark. They needed something different and better. So with their playoff lives in serious peril, the man considered the Blues’ most valuable player of the playoffs sat and watched Allen between the pipes for Game 4 at SAP Center.

Allen wasn’t the only reason the Blues finally showed up offensively and defensively to the Western Conference finals. But there’s no denying Hitchcock got the spark he wanted with a dominant 6-3 victory over the Sharks.

“He gave us exactly what we needed,” Hitchcock said of Allen. “He’s a competitive son of a gun. We needed a battler in there. We needed somebody to really help us play better defense. We played with more passion in front of him in our own zone because I made the goalie change.

“I had to make that decision. I just felt like we were allowing them too much open space with Ells in there, and Ells was getting bombarded. We needed to just dig in a little bit deeper defensively if we were going to have a chance in this series.”

read on

via Curtis Pashelka of the Mercury News,

Asked about the adjustments the Blues made, DeBoer said, "I'm sure Hitch will tell you he made all kinds of great adjustments and every one of them worked," he said. "Hats off to him."

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The St. Louis Blues Played Their Brand Of Hockey In Win Over The San Jose Sharks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

A gutsy goalie change, tweaked forward lines and some altered tactics produced the momentum shift the St. Louis Blues needed to get off the mat, producing a 6-3 win Saturday over the San Jose Sharks, tying the series up at two games each.

After poring over five hours of video at the team's hotel on Friday, the veteran coach concocted the needed formula.

"Playing faster from effort and much more physical," said a rival Western Conference head coach via text message during the game Saturday night. "Tactics are simple: hard to the O-zone and have a purpose when you get there. And don't turn the puck over."

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Check out the game highlights below...

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Regretting The Carl Hagelin Trade In New York

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

From the Fool Them Once file: If the Rangers trade Chris Kreider to a Western Conference team, then general manager Jeff Gorton must attach a clause to the deal through which the Blueshirts would receive additional value — say, in the form of a first-round draft choice — should Kid K be sent back east within three years.

Call it Rule 62.

It is impossible to recall a trade of a support player backfiring as badly on a team as the Carl Hagelin deal has blown up in the Blueshirts’ faces. Not only did the Rangers lose a unique, and thus far irreplaceable, piece of the puzzle who personified a large part of their identity as a speed team under coach Alain Vigneault, Hagelin has wound up in Pittsburgh, thriving as an instrumental part of a powerful division rival.

This turn of events has to make the Rangers sick. All of it: the negligible return from Anaheim in the trade, which materialized out of thin air at last year’s entry draft and was completed within about five minutes; the switcheroo to Pittsburgh in mid-January after Hagelin had failed to adapt to Anaheim (or the Ducks failed to adapt to him); the revitalization of the Penguins, with the Swede playing the same role as a catalyst as he had in New York from the moment of his promotion from the AHL the day after Thanksgiving 2011.

 

continued plus more NHL topics....

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carl+hagelin

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

BLUES OFFENSE BREAKS OUT IN GAME 4, SERIES TIED 2-2
The Blues snapped a scoreless drought of 156:59 with six goals in Game 4 – including the first four tallies of the contest – to defeat the Sharks and even the series 2-2.
 

 
* The Blues earned their sixth win as visitors in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, extending their franchise record for road wins in a single postseason. St. Louis improved to 11-3-0 in their last 14 road games dating to March 19 (regular season and playoffs).

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