Kukla's Korner

For One Team It Is Incredible For The Other Team It Is Disappointing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Five years after the Penguins started spiraling into a sordid playoff history, a history at its most vexing and twisted for Game 7’s in the place they call home, you may now pronounce all of that officially over, dead and gone, as the new house Lemieux built is finally ready for the Stanley Cup.

For all of their brilliance, resilience, and unflagging faith in themselves and their common goal, the Penguins might not have produced a Game 7 star on Tuesday night as incandescent as the building, by which I mean the people in the seats, who generated an atmosphere so perfect for the special urgency of ultimate playoff hockey that it nearly made head coach Mike Sullivan’s voice crack trying to describe it.

“I thought it was incredible,” Sullivan began. “The third period, it was electric. It was the loudest that I’ve heard a building in all the years I’ve been associated with this league. It was to the point where we had to scream to the players as to who was up next.”


from Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times,

In the end, it all goes down as a disappointing season, a step back even though adversity conspired to keep the Lightning from playing for the NHL's holiest grail. It played most of the postseason without Stamkos. It played the conference final without goaltender and team MVP Ben Bishop.

Somehow, the resilient Lightning marched on, reaching the conference final. It nearly won this series in six games, but couldn't close the deal on home ice. Still, even without its top two players, it pushed Pittsburgh to seven games.

"I'm pretty sure a lot of people wouldn't have picked us to get this far," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.

For that reason, it's hard to beat up this team that has shown as much heart as it has skill, as much guts as it has talent. It's close to miraculous that it got as far as it did.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink

World Cup Of Hockey Rosters Being Released Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

So far today, Team Russia, Team Czech Republic and Team Finland have been released.

You can view the rosters below...

Continue Reading »

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

Phil Kessel Reacts To Playing For The Stanley Cup As The Penguins Move On

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters,

Right winger Phil Kessel is a pretty low-key personality in his dealings with the media. He is usually brief and offers few words beyond the bare minimum wheather his team wins or loses. He's introverted and slow to reveal much in the way of a personality. 

Tonight, the excitement he displayed over going to a Stanley Cup final for the first time in his career was so powerful it could have lit up a nuclear submarine.

“I'm so thrilled right now," Kessel said. "I… I... I... don't know what to say. Um … This ... is a … uh ... a huge moment in my career. I have nothing but good things to say about everybody here.... Heh … heh...”

Seriously, no transcription of this quote does his joy justice. You can listen to him giggle through his answer here.

The story of the 2015-16 Penguins, at least over the past six months, is excitement. They play a thrilling breakneck brand of hockey and it drives them to wins more often than not. They faced a team with a similar style of play of play and comparable depth in the Tampa Bay Lightning.


Below, watch the game highlights and handshake line...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phil+kessel

Alexey Marchenko named to Team Russia’s World Cup roster

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

International hockey federations are naming the balance of their World Cup of Hockey rosters today, and:

Teemu Pulkkinen didn't make Finland's roster, which isn't surprising given his status as a spare part on the Finns' World Championship team;

Alexey Marchenko was named to Team Russia's roster, which already included Pavel Datsyuk;

And Petr Mrazek had already been named to Team Czech Republic's roster.

The balance of today's announcements are as follows:

Team Sweden 11 a.m. ET

Team Europe 6:09 p.m. ET

Team USA 6:13 p.m. ET

Team North America 6:16 p.m. ET

It's expected that Gustav Nyquist will be named to Sweden's roster at 11 AM EDT.

Justin Abdelkader (USA), Tomas Tatar (Europe), Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall (Sweden) and Dylan Larkin (Team North America) have already been named to their teams' rosters, as have Datsyuk (Russia) and Mrazek (Czech Republic).

As such, a total of 9 Red Wings could take part in the World Cup of Hockey.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Steven Stamkos Returns, Feels Horrible After Game 7 Loss

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Gulitti of NHL.com,

The emotions were still too raw for Steven Stamkos to ponder what comes next for him.

The Tampa Bay Lightning captain had worked so hard and endured so much to get back in time to play in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final on Thursday, and there was a lot for him to digest after the season-ending 2-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. A question about whether he had considered that this might have been his final game as a member of the Lightning produced a curt reply.

"No," Stamkos said.

Stamkos' future with the Lightning appears murky at best; his contract is set to expire and unrestricted free agency awaits him on July 1. But it was understandable that the future was the furthest thing from his mind Thursday.

Playing in his first game in eight weeks after recovering from surgery to clear a blood clot near his right collarbone, Stamkos had hoped to spark the Lightning past the Penguins and to their second trip in as many years to the Stanley Cup Final.

"All the adversity that we overcame as a group, I couldn't be more proud of the guys with how far we came with the injuries that we had," a teary-eyed Stamkos said. "I feel horrible for the guys that battled every night. I was able to play one game, but those guys had a [heck] of a postseason. It was just an honor to be on the ice with those guys tonight. Too bad the result wasn't better."


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steven+stamkos

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Bryan Rust scored twice, including the decisive goal just 30 seconds after the Lightning tied the contest in the second period, to help the Penguins win Game 7 and advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the fifth time in franchise history (also 1991, 1992, 2008 and 2009).

* Rust registered his second career multi-goal game in the postseason, both of which have come in series-clinching wins (also Game 5 of FR vs. NYR: 2-1—3). Per Elias, he became the second rookie in NHL history to record multiple goals in two series-clinching wins within a single postseason. The other: Chicago’s Jeremy Roenick in 1990.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

‘Three Things’: A charitable date to note, Adam Lidstrom ‘turning pro’ and prospects

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of brief Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. I know that the Joe Kocur Foundation's annual charity softball game is the high point of late summer for many of you, so:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

The Pittsburgh Penguins Advance To The Stanley Cup Final

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Pittsburgh Penguins earned the right to represent the Eastern Conference by defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 tonight.  Bryan Rust had both goals (which you can watch below) for the Penguins.

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against the San Jose Sharks will be on Monday at 8:00pm ET.

Who do you have?

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Coach’s Corner Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet,

Don Cherry shares his strong feelings about Steven Stamkos playing in Game 7 and why it’s a mistake.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Open Post- Game 7 Eastern Conference Finals Pittsburgh/Tampa Bay

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

STAMFORD, Conn. – May 26, 2016 – NBCSN presents a win-or-go-home Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final tonight at 8 p.m. ET with a trip to the Stanley Cup Final hanging in the balance, when Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins host Tyler Johnson and the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Three-time Emmy Award-winning play-by-play commentator Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member and analyst Eddie Olczyk, and Emmy Award-winning ‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst Pierre McGuire will have the call of tonight’s Game 7 from CONSOL Energy Center.

Pre-game coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN with NHL Live, hosted by Liam McHugh, alongside analysts and former players Mike Milbury and Keith Jones.

The winner of tonight’s game will advance to the Stanley Cup Final and face the San Jose Sharks, who won Game 6 of the Western Conference Final last night to advance to the first Cup Final in franchise history. The full telecast schedule of the upcoming Stanley Cup Final will be announced on Friday.

In Canada, the game is on CBC and TVAS.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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