Kukla's Korner

Your Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy Finalists

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK -- Goaltenders Devan Dubnyk of the Minnesota Wild and Andrew Hammond of the Ottawa Senators and defenseman Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins are the three finalists for the 2014-15 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is awarded "to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey," the National Hockey League announced today.

The local chapters of the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) submitted nominations for the Masterton Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season and the top three vote-getters were designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 24, during the 2015 NHL Awards from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Khan offers Zetterberg’s take on the rebuilding/reloading process

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I don't want to post another article about the coach until the coach makes his end-of-season remarks tomorrow, but I sure as *#$%@& agree with Henrik Zetterberg's comment to MLive's Ansar Khan about where the Wings are at in the rebuliding/reloading-on-the-fly process:

"The rebuilding that everyone talks about that all the teams go through, we're doing it," Zetterberg said. "We see guys that come in like Sheahan, Nyquist, Tatar. They took big steps this year. They're not just young players anymore that just show up once in a while. They were solid all year. We have some good things that we can build around. We just have to make some key decisions."

Khan continues, discussing Babcock's situation and his end-of-playoff remarks vs. Zetterberg's (he's tired of one-and-done playoff outings just like the rest of us), but if I may be particularly blunt:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Your Second Round Predictions

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Bringing this into focus just in case you want to get your picks in by puck drop tonight.  Original post was 4/30/15 at 9:18am.

First off, you can review how KK members did with their predictions here.

Now to the 2nd round...

Eastern Conference

New York Rangers vs. Washington Capitals

Montreal Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Western Conference

Anaheim Ducks vs. Calgary Flames

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

How About Evgeni Malkin To The St. Louis Blues?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

The former Hart Trophy winner does have a complete no-trade clause, so he can veto any move, but the Penguins should be listening to all pitches on Malkin.

They need help, and right now. He’s their best bargaining chip.

Evander Kane, a very good winger but no all-star, fetched the Winnipeg Jets top-three defender Tyler Myers, second-line winger Drew Stafford, and two strong prospects in Joel Armia and Brendan Lemieux. Surely, Malkin can get more than that.

Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford should call up St. Louis Blues counterpart Doug Armstrong, who may be looking to shake things up with his core, and ask about T.J. Oshie, David Backes and draft picks for Malkin.

Backes would be the Ryan Kesler-type second-line centre with Oshie on his wing and Patric Hornqvist could still play with Sidney Crosby on the first line. And the Penguins badly need draft picks after giving way too many away in their desire to keep current and play for the Stanley Cup now, acquiring the likes of Jarome Iginla and Marian Hossa in their failed recent runs.

Malkin, meanwhile, could play with Vladimir Tarasenko in St. Louis.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeni+malkin

The Washington Capitals Are Ready For The New York Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Zach Braziller of the New York Post,

The Capitals aren’t talking like heavy underdogs. They enter the Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Thursday night at the Garden saying this is just as much their series to win as the favored Rangers.

“Statistically, media-wise, obviously we’re the underdog, but I don’t believe anyone in here looks at it as far as being overmatched,” Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby said. “The league now is so close. You look at the last playoffs, it really doesn’t matter where you finish. It’s how you play, how you prepare. It’s something that doesn’t really cross your mind.

“We believe we can beat any team in the league. I’m sure everyone does, every team. We know that chances were we had to go through the Rangers to accomplish our goal. It’s not a shock to us. It’s not like we’re intimidated by any teams. We respect them a lot, but if you’re going to win, you have to beat the best regular season-wise. They were the best. We’re ready for the challenge.”

Capitals forward Tom Wilson, who drew the ire of the Islanders for his controversial hit on defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky that resulted in a concussion in the opening round, expects the series to be heated, with plenty of trash talking and physical play.


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

Big Against Bigger- Flames/Ducks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The Ducks have a decided size and weight advantage over the Flames, but Boudreau wasn’t prepared to write off Calgary’s willingness to engage in a battle. Defenceman Deryk Engelland played for Boudreau in the minors, and Boudreau also singled out Brandon Bollig and Micheal Ferland as two players who can play a physical game. Combined, the trio had 89 penalty minutes in a volatile opening round victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

“Just because they’re small doesn’t mean they don’t hit,” said Boudreau. “In playoffs, everybody plays bigger than they are. I don’t think it’s a mismatch at all. I think it’s going to be a physical series. I think they’ll come out at us and do what they do. When they’re fore-checking, they’re physical all the time. At the same time, we don’t want to change our DNA either. We want to be a big, physical tough-to-contain team – and we’ve got the size where that’s potentially possible if we play the game right.”


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

Don’t be that jerk fan

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

This story is making the rounds, and I don't want to report it but I'm going to...But I'm going to phrase this simply: "Red Wings nation" is a big family, and we are generally an incredibly inclusive group, despite our cliques. Generally speaking, if you love the Wings, you're welcome here.

If you're an asshat like this lady, however, as reported by the Tampa Tribune, you're not welcome in our family:

A Detroit Red Wings fan set fire to a huge Tampa Bay Lightning flag as it was passed over the sold-out crowd at Wednesday night’s decisive NHL playoff game at Amalie Arena.

Lena Sinishtaj, 35, off Sterling Heights, Michigan, was booked on a charge of first-degree arson of an occupied structure. She was being held without bond.

About 200 people in Section 130 were under the 20-by-30-foot flag during a pregame show when Sinishtaj held a lit lighter to it, authorities said. The fire caused a small burn to the flag, authorities said.

Tampa police were notified by arena security and arrested Sinishtaj at 7:45 p.m., just after the game began.

No injuries were reported.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

A dissenting opinion: Maybe the Wings’ best avenues for improvement involve the I-96 shuttle

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I generally try to not discuss the Red Wings players' futures until after locker room clean-out day, and given that Bob McKenzie's article seems to indicate that Babcock will resolve questions about his future tomorrow, it appears that we'll know whether the coach returns sooner than later...

But as I look at the decisions the Wings have to make regarding restricted free agents-to-be Joakim Andersson, Brendan Smith, Gustav Nyquist, Teemu Pulkkinen, Tomas Jurco and Landon Ferraro, I look at the all-but-certain-to-be-gone unrestricteds in Daniel Cleary, Marek Zidlicky, Erik Cole and Jonas Gustavsson, and I recall that the Wings will probably be working with a "flat cap"...

To me, the best answers to the Wings' "questions" go like this:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Do You Want Stanley Cup Playoff Odds?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Bovada,

Odds to win the 2015 Stanley Cup

New York Rangers                     13/4 

Chicago Blackhawks                 4/1 

Anaheim Ducks                         9/2 

Minnesota Wild                         11/2 

Montreal Canadiens                   13/2 

Tampa Bay Lightning                 15/2 

Washington Capitals                  9/1 

Calgary Flames                         12/1 

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Kerry Fraser suggests that Kyle Quincey was committing interference on Bolts’ 1-0 goal

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Kerry Fraser's drawn the ire of many Wings fans for his breakdowns of Red Wings-related plays of late, and those of you who believe that Alex Killorn interfered with Kyle Quincey en route to the Lightning's 1-0 goal last night aren't going to be thrilled with Fraser's take on that play, in his latest "C'Mon Ref" column:

As the two players came to the the end boards, Quincey lost the battle for the puck and Killorn found his stick pinned in front of Quincey's body against the end boards. Killorn pulled back on Quincey with his right hand, more in an effort to create puck separation and to extract his stick than to haul the Red Wings player down as you suggested, Jason.

The next part of the play is key, in my mind, to eliminate the potential question of interference by Killorn. Having lost the battle for the puck, Quincey 'chicken-Winged' Killorn's stick with a right-arm clamp and proceeded to roll to the ice, either through a loss of balance or quite possibly to contain or eliminate the Tampa player hoping that support would soon arrive. Killorn's body position and visual focus remained on the puck but fell on top of Quincey as a result of the Detroit defenceman's stick-lock and body contact the Tampa player received on his back from Luke Glendening.

Killorn got up to one knee in an effort to rejoin the play but decided to keep his head down behind the net as he saw a shot from Braydon Coburn was imminent. Quincey, on the other hand, demonstrated no urgency or effort to remain on his feet and rejoin the play. Even after the puck entered the net, Killorn can be seen yanking hard to extract his stick from the body and grasp of Quincey.

I think that Fraser likes taunting Wings fans, but that's just my theory...

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

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