Kukla's Korner

Looking At The West Matchups

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,

A look at the top storylines in the Western Conference’s first-round series:

Best series

San Jose Sharks vs. Anaheim Ducks
This Battle of California could be the most compelling series in either conference. Like the Pennsylvania series in the East, these two teams don’t like each other. Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov once called Ducks forward Corey Perry a crybaby, and the last time these teams played in the regular season, 64 minutes of penalties were handed out….

Upset special

Vancouver Canucks vs. St. Louis Blues
Nobody wants to give the Blues much of a chance against Roberto Luongo and the Canucks, but St. Louis was as good as anybody in the second half of the season….

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Devils Want To Take Advantage Of Home Ice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

A year ago, the Devils lost all three of their home games in a five-game first-round playoff loss to the Rangers, including the series clincher.What made it tougher was having the nearly half the fans in the building be Rangers’ fans.

They’re expecting things to be different in their series against the Carolina Hurricanes. They’ll again be looking for their first ever playoff victory at Prudential Center in Game 1 on Wednesday night,.

“You work hard to get the home-ice advantage. You’ve got to take advantage of it somehow,” goaltender Martin Brodeur said. “Last year was tough for us. For whatever reason, we didn’t feel at home in the playoffs. Tomorrow we’ll feel at home for the first time in the playoffs and that’s going to feel good.

“For the guys that have been here, that was not a fun experience and deserverdly so. We didn’t play well. To a certain extent, our fans had a hard time cheering about anything when we played in this building in the playoffs last year. But this time around it will be different and, hopefully, that home feel will take us a long way.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Dealing With Playoff Pain

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

How bad did Brent Gilchrist want a Stanley Cup in 1998?

Wharton would hold one of Gilchrist’s hands. Piet Van Zant, now the Wings trainer, held the other. Gilchrist bit down on a towel. David Collon, the team physician, gave the shot.

“We literally could hear him screaming,” Yzerman said. “It was awful.”

“I walked away,” Holmstrom said. “I didn’t want to hear.”

More from Dave Dye, and if you visit the Detroit News Wings page you’ll see several stories on the subject of hockey players playing in extreme pain for a chance to win the Cup.

And below…Guralnick’s picture of the Kronwall check that injured, in a “minor, minor” way, Dan Cleary yesterday.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Giguere Anticipates Hiller In Goal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Stephens at NHL.com,

As the Ducks approach Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against San Jose, it is Jonas Hiller who will likely get the nod Thursday night in front a frenzied crowd at HP Pavilion. Hiller has clearly been the better goaltender through the regular season and Giguere accepts that fact.

“I don’t anticipate playing,” Giguere said. “I won’t lie to you. Jonas is a great young goalie and I know he’s going to do the job. On my end, I’ve just got to get ready, prepare and do the things that are needed.”

At the moment, the focus figures to be on the Swiss-born Hiller. When Giguere couldn’t shake himself out of his season-long struggles, the Ducks turned to their 27-year-old backup for their playoff push.

read on

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

Parity In The Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Jim Hughson of HNIC sums up the start of the playoffs in a 2 minute or so video.

Check it out but you will probably walk away with more questions than answers.

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“Just a frustrating year. It was tough on everybody, coaching staff, players and management. ... Overall, it was the worst year in probably along time. We just couldn’t seem to win that six or eight games out of 10, or 15 out of 20, to get back in the race. We weren’t really there. Sometimes when you get a little taste of being close to being in the playoffs, you get that extra motivation and you can win 10 in a row or eight and get into the playoffs. It just seems like we weren’t there ever. That’s what made it really tough.”

-Vinny Lecavallier.  More from Vinny from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vinny+lecavalier

How To Beat The Capitals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stan Fischler of Game On,

I’m sitting in the barber chair getting my locks clipped, while reading the latest issue of Sports Illustrated. Lo and behold, my eyes drifted down to the Eastern Conference predictions made by Pierre (What Doesn’t He Know) McGuire. Alas and alack,  Pierre selected Washington over New York in six games. Poof! Just like that; my doubts about the Rangers were erased.

Since Sports Illustrated’s predictions are always right, about 20 percent of the time, I immediately knew that everything will be just hunky-dory with the Blueshirts. If Sports Illustrated picks them to lose, it automatically means that the Rangers will win.

But I also know that my loyal and intelligent readership wants more than that little SI snippet to prove my point, so I’ll move on to The Fischler Guaranteed to Work Game Plan.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

2009 NHL Draft Lottery Result

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

The NHL Draft Lottery 2009 has been drawn and the top-5 picks came out as the odds predicted.  Via TSN television:

1. New York Islanders
2. Tampa Bay Lightning
3. Colorado Avalanche
4. Atlanta Thrashers
5. Los Angeles Kings

As a reminder, the top-10 prospects are featured here.

Update 8:27pm ET: From TSN, the updated draft order.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Entry Draft, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: entry+draft

Minor, Minor…Maybe

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Here’s a new one.  And don’t get me wrong. I dig it when Tick Tock lies to us.  I do.  So when I read something like this? Well it makes me chuckle…kinda.

MacLeod

Holland said that Cleary is “day-to-day”. Cleary could skate in Wednesday’s practice. His status for Game 1 will be determined after Thursday’s morning skate.

“It’s a minor, minor injury,” said Holland. “There’s a chance he could be in Thursday.”

I’m in no position to question anything Kenny Holland ever says.  And I mean anything. But “minor, minor” doesn’t typically equate to “chance he could be in.”

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

SC Playoff Preview:  Detroit Red Wings (2) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (7)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

Statistics, numbers, MSM predictions, opinions, and scouting reports;  just about anything and everything having to do with this opening round match-up can be found below; Bitches.  I intend to update this post as more current information becomes available. I also know that you are trembling with anticipation for the fact that the GDT will continue until “12”.  As usual the GDT will have the most recent news on injuries and line combinations.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

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