Kukla's Korner

The Chicago Blackhawks Face Elimination

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,

It was the first time the Hawks have lost under Joel Quenneville after a series was tied 2-2. They had been 14-0 in Games 5 and 6 in such situations, the league’s ultimate closers. Now they face the daunting task of having to win two elimination games in a row to reach the Stanley Cup Final for the third time in six years.

It could have been one of the greatest comebacks in Hawks history, one of the unlikeliest wins for a team with a long list of them. Down 4-2 with time ticking away and Corey Crawford on the bench, Toews unleashed a monster slap shot off the iron and in with 1:50 left to make it a game. Then, with 37.2 seconds left, his seemingly harmless fling on net from the corner behind the goal line somehow got through Frederik Andersen — an unimaginably soft goal in such a situation — to tie the game, and stun the Honda Center crowd into utter silence.

“We’ve been through that before,” Patrick Sharp said. “We won the Stanley Cup with two goals in 17 seconds. They don’t get much higher than that. It’s a good series. Good team over there, good team in here.”

And the Ducks, as they have all series long, rebounded in a big way, right away. They have yet to lose in regulation this postseason.

“It’s Ducks hockey,” Kesler joked. “We don’t like to do anything easy.”

more

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

The Anaheim Ducks Are One Win Away From The Stanley Cup Final

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

This was the kind of game that could have haunted the Anaheim Ducks forever.

It was the kind of game that could have destroyed a Stanley Cup dream and perhaps stained the career of netminder Frederik Andersen for good.

And in an instant, when Matt Beleskey snapped home the rebound of a Ryan Kesler shot just 45 seconds into overtime, the Ducks stared back those doubts and specters and instead found themselves one win away from a trip to the Stanley Cup finals.

In the wake of their epically improbable 5-4 overtime win over the Chicago Blackhawks Monday night, the Ducks tore down at a little of the mythology of the Blackhawks, and in doing so mythologized themselves a little.

"We wanted this game and we believed we could win this game," said forward Patrick Maroon, who scored what appeared to be the insurance marker in the third period to give the Ducks a 4-2 lead. "I think the guys feel good about it. I think the guys feel good about going into Chicago in Game 6 and ready to play."

continued

Game highlights are below...

Continue Reading »

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

Toews’ late goals can’t snuff out resilient Ducks

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

The Anaheim Ducks' 5-4 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night was nothing less than wild and woolly. Jonathan Toews' 2 late-3rd-period goals gave erased a 4-2 deficit (and the Ducks' initial 3-0 lead) and forced overtime...

But 45 seconds into overtime, Matt Beleskey erased the Hawks' comeback, and gave the Ducks a 3-games-to-2 series lead via a 5-4 OT victory:

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anaheim+ducks, chicago+blackhawks, jonathan+toews, matt+beleskey

Prospect playoff news: Larkin’s goal-scoring, McCollum’s goaltending deliver in Griffins win

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Sometimes box scores paint wildly inaccurate pictures of hockey games, but in the case of the Grand Rapids Griffins' 4-2, Western Conference Final-tying win over Utica, the box score actually does a fine job of telling the game's story.

The Griffins got two late-1st-period goals from Dylan Larkin, they earned a pair of power-play markers in a 2nd period where they were playing rope-a-dope hockey, and in the 3rd period, they held on for dear life. Grand Rapids was out-shot 26-8 over the last 40 minutes of play, and they surrendered a pair of 3rd-period goals as a result, but Grand Rapids held on for the 4-2 victory.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Quick note: Griffins defeat Utica 4-2, Larkin scores first 2 pro goals

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Utica Comets 4-2 on Monday, building a 4-0 lead and hanging on for the 3rd period as they were out-shot 32-18 overall and had 8 shots after the 1st, but Tom McCollum was very strong in the net, and despite giving up 2 late PPGs, Grand Rapids has tied the series at 1-1 going into 3 home games (Thursday, Friday and Sunday).

Dylan Larkin also happened to score his first two pro goals in the game:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Open Post- Game 5 Western Conference Finals, Anaheim Ducks vs. Chicago Blackhawk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The puck drops just after 9:00pm ET on NBCSN, CBC and TVA.

Game 5 is in Anaheim tonight with the series tied at two games apiece.

One team will be facing elimination on Wednesday, who will it be?

Feel free to discuss the game tonight as it plays out.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Grand Rapids Griffins-Utica Comets Game 2 open post

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Grand Rapids Griffins hope to rally from a 1-game deficit in the Western Conference Final against the Utica Comets this evening (7 PM EDT on The AHL Live/WOOD Radio).

Here's an open thread to suit your needs and hopefully include some "alternate means" of watching the game.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

A bit about Petr

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Free Press's George Sipple has penned another "emptying the notebook" article, this time discussing Petr Mrazek's outlook going into an offseason in which his summer preparation better prepare him to battle for the starter's job in an open competition with Jimmy Howard for said spot:

"Only one goalie can play," Mrazek said recently. "I'm going to do my best to play as much as I want to and do the best job."

Mrazek was 16-9-2 with a 2.38 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage in 29 games for the Red Wings during the regular season. He also had two shutouts in the playoffs with a 2.11 GAA and a .925 save percentage in the seven-game, first-round loss to the Lightning.

Mrazek, 23, will compete next season with Jimmy Howard.

Howard, 31, was 23-13-11 with a 2.44 GAA and a .910 save percentage in 53 games.

Mrazek said he wouldn't prepare differently this summer than he did previously despite knowing that he would make the team next season. He said he learned a lot from the opportunities he received this season.

Sipple continues....

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Afternoon Line- Bob Ford

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Choosing a college coach isn't what will define Hextall's courage. He could have chosen a Labradoodle and won the same number of Stanley Cups if he doesn't have the guts to defy owner Ed Snider (or at least fool him) with a plan that will require a patient rebuilding of the roster. Snider is still wed to the patch-and-fill philosophy that kept the franchise from becoming relevant on a long-term basis under general managers Bob Clarke and Paul Holmgren. If that doesn't change, then the coach will. Again....

Coaches don't change cultures in the NHL. It isn't about the coach. Players create the culture and they are the ones who decide whether it will rise or fall. The rest is just yelling from behind the bench and putting the cones on the ice at practice.

-Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer where you can read more abou the Philadelphia Flyers.
 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

OT Games May Be Slowing Marian Hossa Down

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times,

In three games following the multiple-overtime games in this year’s playoffs coming into Game 5 of the conference final, Hossa has no points and a minus-2 differential. In the 11 other playoff games, he has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) and a plus-6 differential.

Hawks coach Joel Quenneville has been cognizant of managing Hossa’s time on the ice in recent seasons. Hossa was given several “veteran’s-practice-off” days during last year’s playoffs. And it was working magnificently — Hossa scored nine points (one goal, eight assists) and was a plus-7 in six games against the Wild in the second round of the playoffs.

But eventually, Hossa wore down at the end of the conference final against the Kings. In the final six games, Hossa scored one point (an assist) and was a minus-5. After the 5-4 double-overtime victory in Game 5, Hossa had the lowest Corsi percentage (29.0) of the season in  Game 6. He wasn’t all that much better (41.1) in Game 7.

Hossa as much as any Hawk gives it all he’s got. You can see the determination in his game. But the reality is that after 17 seasons in the NHL, he is challenged more than most to maintain his level of impact as the minutes pile up. In nine games after playing 20 or more minutes in the last two postseasons, Hossa has one point (a goal) and is a minus-8; in the other 24 games, he has 23 points (three goals, 20 assists) and is a plus-12.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+hossa

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