Kukla's Korner

Evening Line- Roy MacGregor

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Now I am ready for the puck to drop.

If hockey has a moment that defines, it is fast approaching.

By the end of the third round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the game is profoundly different, as are the players – at least those still standing.

Thursday night at PPG Paints Arena, it will be decided which of the Pittsburgh Penguins or Ottawa Senators will move on to meet the Nashville Predators in the Stanley Cup final.

In this spring of oddities, the eyebrows just keep bouncing. The Predators were the final NHL team, 16th out of 30, to qualify for the playoffs. The Ottawa Senators are 0-for-5 in playoff Game 7s, which should comfort the Penguins but for the fact that Pittsburgh has never won a Game 7 at home after dropping a Game 6, as it did 2-1 in Ottawa on Tuesday.

-Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail where you can read more on this topic.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Ryan Johansen On His Injury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Battaglino of NHL.com,

Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen on Wednesday detailed the path from a hit during the Western Conference Final to emergency surgery on his left leg that will keep him out of the Stanley Cup Final.

"It was absolutely incredible how much this thing was swelling up," Johansen told TSN 1040/1410 Vancouver radio. "I couldn't even believe it looking at it."

Johansen was injured during the second period of Game 4 on May 18 when he was checked against the boards by Anaheim Ducks defenseman Josh Manson.

"It all started right there. That was the play," Johansen said. "He just kind of led with his knee a little bit, and I was trying to reverse hit him a bit just to create some separation and [he] just got me on the right spot I guess, and it just kept getting worse from there."


Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+johansen

Ready For Game 7

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

Guy Boucher remembers. “It still hurts, I’ll be honest with you,” he says 2,188 days after the fact. “That’s the non-excitement part of it.”

Game 7. Sixty minutes, and perhaps a few more, to decide who plays for the Stanley Cup.

There’s magic built into that equation because every single person with a stake in the outcome has literally spent time in a driveway or basement dreaming about a chance like this, and now it’s at hand. But … there is also a but.

“I look back, you know, it was the Boston Bruins back then,” said Boucher, the Ottawa Senators coach, of his previous dance across a tight-rope with no safety net. “It was a tough game. It was 0-0 with seven minutes left in the game. It was quite a game and a lot of pressure. What I remember most is the excitement of an opportunity that very few people get in their lives, and I’m part of that.

“I can’t be blessed more than that.”

That’s how the Senators felt coming into Pittsburgh for one last shot at the defending champs. Blessed. They have had a crazy season – one marked by personal torment and collective triumph – and it’s all on the line Thursday at PPG Paints Arena.


added 9:22pm, from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Toledo Walleye post videos saying, ‘Thank You’ to fans, highlighting 2016-17 season

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Toledo Walleye posted three videos as part of their fan "Thank You," thanking fans first and foremost...

Offering player "Thank-Yous"...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

‘Two Things,’ Wings version: A heads-up regarding a TV special and Nyquist and Abdelkader go golfing

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of brief Red Wings-related note this evening:

1. Per WDIV Local 4:

From Little Caesars Arena, join Bernie Smilovitz as he talks to some of the biggest names in Detroit sports, with special guests Mickey Redmond and Lomas Brown.

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and his wife Kelly talk about raising new twin girls and Lions football life.

Bernie also talks to Red Wings star Justin Abdelkader and his fiance' Julie; Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy and his wife Kim; and Tigers catcher James McCann and his wife Jessica.

"Detroit: All In" airs tonight at 8PM on Local 4.

2. MLive's Ryan Zuke reports that Justin Abdelkader and Gustav Nyquist took part in a LPGA pro-am in Ann Arbor today:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

‘Two Things,’ Griffins version: a Game-Day Preview and a Griffins-Sharks series primer

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Of Grand Rapids Griffins-related note ahead of tonight's Game 3 between Grand Rapids and the San Jose Barracuda (7 PM EDT at Van Andel Arena; on ESPN 96.1 FM and the AHL Live):

1. The Grand Rapids Griffins posted a Game-Day Preview video in which Bob Kaser sets up tonight's game:

2. NHL.com's Patrick Williams wrote an article which contains "series primers" for the AHL's Western and Eastern Conference Finals:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Video- Hits Of The Week

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Sportsnet style, two minutes in length.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Craig Cunningham Now A Pro Scout For The Arizona Coyotes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- Arizona Coyotes General Manager John Chayka announced today that the Coyotes have signed Craig Cunningham to a two-year contract to serve as a pro scout. In addition to his scouting responsibilities, Cunningham will assist in player development with the Coyotes' prospects. As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+cunningham

A fluffy little story about a cat at the Joe

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

This is quite the unique story from WDET's Sandra Svoboda:

A stray kitten scored a new home after Joe Louis Arena workers caught it on the ice. ”Josie” is likely the last visitor to play in the Detroit stadium.

She’s going to live with a Red Wings team staff member.

WDET’s Sandra Svoboda talked with Art Regner, editorial assistant for DetroitRedWings.com about the cat. Click on the audio link above to hear their whole conversation.

Click away...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

St. James’ mailbag feature: on DeKeyser, goal-scoring and Frk

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Free Press's Helene St. James posted a mailbag feature today, and here are some of her answers to reader questions:

Regarding Danny DeKeyser, and Jonathan Ericsson's trade value...

HSJ: DeKeyser was solid for USA at the World Championship, surrounded by a more talented defense corps than he is in Detroit. DeKeyser is two seasons removed from a career year in 2014-15, when he put up 31 points in 80 games and was a plus-11. He was among the many Wings who underperformed this past season, with a paltry 12 points, and a minus-22 in 82 games. In fairness to DeKeyser, the decline of Niklas Kronwall has forced DeKeyser into a top-pairing role when he really should be slotted as a no. 3. If the Wings can turn some of their plethora of wingers into an upgrade on defense, I think DeKeyser will thrive as a second-pairing guy. He’s only 27, just coming into his prime. As for Jonathan Ericsson, I don’t see a trade there, and I’d expose him in the expansion draft to protect Nick Jensen.

Determining which player will lead the Red Wings in goals during the 2017-18 season:

HSJ: Tomas Tatar surged from nine goals at season’s midpoint in January to lead the Wings with 25 goals. I doubt he’ll repeat as off-season shoulder surgery leaves him iffy for the start of next season – and then that’s a tough injury for a goal scorer to bounce back from right away even when he does start playing. I’ll go with Anthony Mantha. The message seems to be sinking in with him that he has to exert himself every game to stand out in the NHL. If Mantha plays to his size, skates and goes to the net (especially on power plays), he should light it up.

St. James continues, discussing Martin Frk's chances of making the team...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

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