Kukla's Korner

Capitals Need More From Semin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

The Washington Capitals will be looking for more balanced scoring in tonight’s Game 6 against the Pittsburgh Penguins given that three players, Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Dave Steckel have combined for 12 of the Caps’ 15 goals in this series. Caps coach Bruce Boudreau would specifically like to see more from Alexander Semin, whose contributions have declined as the series has progressed.

“I have no idea what’s behind it. We’ve tried a lot of different things, and hopefully whatever we try today will make him play his best,” Boudreau said. “If you could bottle up why players don’t play good that are supposed to be playing better and why players play above what they’re supposed to be playing, come and tell me and I’ll market that thing.”

continued with more on tonight’s game…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Is The Red Machine Back?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Russia Today,

After winning it’s second consecutive World Championship beating Canada in the final, Russia took over first position in the IIHF World Ranking. But does this really mean the beginning of the new Red Machine era?

It’s the first time since its establishment in 2004 that Russia tops the World Ranking. Consequently, runner-up Canada falls down to second, Sweden remains in third position, Finland in fourth.

Though it’s difficult to overestimate the importance of Sunday’s victory, the Russian team management makes no secret that their main goal is Vancouver 2010 gold.

Before the Winter Olympics 2010 “it was important for us to show that we are stronger than Canada,” Russia’s head coach Vyacheslav Bykov told Itar-Tass after the game.

“This victory is crucial before Vancouver. We showed that we are a team that can win,” Bykov said before adding: “We deliberately gave away the initiative to Canada in the second and third periods. We were sure about the success of our defensive ice hockey,” the Russian head coach said.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Now Thinking Of Getting To Game 7

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,

Right now, in two hotels in two different cities, about 50 NHLers are doing a lot of soul-searching. As members of the Vancouver Canucks and Washington Capitals, their seasons are very close to ending – and they’re not ready to stop playing hockey just yet.

In both cases, a series has slipped away. The reasons therein are different, however.

For the Canucks, who will go into the raucous United Center to take on the Chicago Blackhawks Monday, reverting to bad old habits has backed Vancouver into a 3-2 corner….

A little bit east in Pittsburgh, the Washington Capitals are also wondering what went wrong. If anything, their road should have gotten easier in Game 4, when Pittsburgh defenseman Sergei Gonchar was knocked out of commission (knee) by Alex Ovechkin. But the Gonchar incident has been more curse that luck, as the Caps have been snake-bitten ever since….

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Byfuglien Getting Noticed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Wigge of NHL.com,

“He could play linebacker for the Bears,” teammate Colin Fraser said, and he was quite serious.

At somewhere upwards of 6-foot-3, 250 or 260 pounds, “Big Buff” always has had a big body, plus some big dreams. But a goal-scoring touch was lacking. Until May 9, that is, when he scored twice to lead the Blackhawks to a 4-2 victory in Vancouver in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals.

“The thing about ‘Buff’ is that he’s not just a big guy,” Hawks defenseman Brent Seabrook said. “He has a heavy shot, skates well and is blessed with good hands. He’s got the potential to be a dominating power forward. One of those X-factor-type players everyone dreams of having.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dustin+byfuglien

The Real Wings Show Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Howard Berger of Fan590,

I should have known better.

The Detroit Red Wings had me fooled with their lax defensive play in the final half of the National Hockey League regular season. Blowout losses to Columbus and Nashville, in which the Wings yielded eight goals, were ominous signs that the defending champions had lost the appetite and conviction to ramp it up for another playoff marathon.

Damn, I should have known better.

Consecutive man-handlings of the Anaheim Ducks this week showed me the folly of doubting the best franchise in professional sport during the past decade. Yes, fans of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Lakers will argue that contention, but it’s a no-brainer. The Red Wings have been so good for so long that it’s almost impossible to remember when they were ordinary.

continued

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

Home Teams Tonight Can Move On To Conference Finals…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Will they?

image

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Capitals Know They Can Play Better

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Corey Masisak of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

The Caps will need to find a way to move past a potentially psyche-damaging defeat Saturday at Verizon Center. If yielding a third-period lead only to salvage overtime but still lose wasn’t enough, the fluky circumstances in which Evgeni Malkin was credited with the winning goal made it a night to forget for the franchise.

Still, there is reason for optimism if the Caps can overcome the mental strain of the defeat.

“It was the best game of our series for sure, but it is not as good as we can play,” Boudreau said. “It’s not like we’ve reached the pinnacle, and they didn’t have (top defenseman Sergei) Gonchar and dressed seven defensemen and they still beat us. We can go better, and I know the character on this group. It is always, no matter who you play, the hardest game to win is the last game.”

more

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Best Chance To Win Series Is Tonight For Chicago

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,

The Hawks head into Monday night’s Game 6 with a 3-2 advantage in the best-of-seven series and can advance to the conference finals with a victory over the Canucks at the United Center.

“It’s going to be a chance for us to close it out and go to a place maybe we didn’t think we could get to in the conference finals,” winger Patrick Kane said. “We’re excited for it. We’re going to bring our best game, and I’m sure they will too.”...

“We have to come ready to go knowing they’re going to come [hard] right off the bat,” said Hawks winger Dustin Byfuglien, who had two goals Saturday. “It’s not going to be an easy win. They’re going to battle right to the end. They’re more than capable of coming in with a great game. We just have to weather it.”

more

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

McCarty Will Join Wings For Game Six

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Via the Anti-Digger,

RW Corner

I’m not sure why there’s been a delay, but Darren McCarty was recalled by the Red Wings today and will join the team on their trip to Anaheim for Game 6.

McCarty wasn’t on the original list of players called up from Grand Rapids when the Griffins were eliminated from the AHL playoffs. That list included Ville Leino, Justin Abdelkader, Aaron Downey, Jakub Kindl, Sergei Kolosov and Jimmy Howard.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

World Hockey Championship Playoffs

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Last week I updated the World Hockey Championships preliminary and qualifying rounds.  The playoffs have been played now in the tournament.  Here are the results from the 2009 World Hockey Championships from Switzerland:

QuarterFinals

Russia 4 Belarus 3

This was a much more back and forth game than expected.  Belarus jumped out to a 1-0 and 2-1 lead before Russia evened the score and took the lead for good on a third period goal by Ilya Kovalchuk (one of his two points).  Russia’s other two point man was Alexander Radulov.  Belarus had a strong game from Oleg Antonenko, who scored three points.  Andrei Mezin manned the Belarus goal, keeping his team in the game.  Russia began the game with Ilya Bryzgalov in goal, but pulled him for Alexander Eremenko.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

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