Kukla's Korner

A 5-day-old Babcock interview that’s still worth your time

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

This blog is community-driven in terms of its content, from the comments section, from Twitter, from Facebook, email, my readers are very interactive, and while I may not get into some of the disputes, we do talk about topics that need to be addressed and content that you'd like to see.

RWBill stated that Mike Babcock's interview with Mitch Albom last Friday was not to be missed, and while it took a full five days for WJR to post the interivew, I agree that this offers a different perspective on Babcock's decision-making process and his perspective after having made media appearances in both Tornoto and Detroit. This is a little more reflective Babcock, and that's intriguing...

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Gave: Red Wings don’t need Larkin to become an overnight NHL sensation

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

We received a "very disappointed" from Jimmy Devellano when Keith Gave asked the Red Wings' vice president about Anthony Mantha's rookie-season struggles, and today, Devellano spoke with Gave regarding Dylan Larkin, urging caution regarding an 18-year-old (he doesn't turn 19 until July 30th) who still has the developmental curve ahead of him--because the Wings have the depth to be patient with Larkin:

[Y]es, with Pavel Datsyuk (who turns 37 on July 20) and Henrik Zetterberg (35 in October) on the back nine of their careers, the Wings are desperate for a star to emerge in the next couple of years. They're privately as delighted as fans are by what they've seen from Larkin over the past year, but all the front-office optimism comes with a healthy dose of caution, as well.

Larkin, who grew up in Waterford Township, is just 18, after all. It's hardly necessary that the club puts him on a fast track to Detroit that they know spoiled the potential careers of other prospects in the formative years of a team that has qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs for 24 straight seasons.

"There's a big difference between now and where we were in the '80s, when I was the general manager," said Jim Devellano, the team's senior vice president. "We had been so bad and the cupboard was so bare. And when your team's not good, the coaches get impatient."

That's now how the Wings run any more, and as Ken Holland told Gave, if Larkin can prove that he's NHL-ready in training camp, that's one thing, but it's also not an expected outcome:

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Friedman updates Wings-Blashill meeting status

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

This is no surprise, especially given the insistent nature of Jeff Blashill's "no comments" to the media today:

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All About NBC Sports Group’s Center of Attention: The Unreal Life Of Derek Sanderson

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Stamford, Conn. – May 27, 2015 – NBC Sports Group announced today the launch of NBC Sports Films, a new initiative that will leverage NBC Olympics’ Emmy Award-winning storytelling heritage and personnel to produce sports documentaries that will air across NBC Sports Group’s multiple platforms. NBC Sports Films will annually produce multiple long-form projects to be presented across NBC, NBCSN, NBC Sports Regional Networks and NBC Sports Digital.

NBC Sports Films’ first project, Center of Attention: The Unreal Life of Derek Sanderson, a one-hour documentary that chronicles the remarkable life of former NHL star and two-time Stanley Cup Champion Derek Sanderson, will premiere on NBCSN on Monday, June 8, following Game 3 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.

“Storytelling has always been a prominent component of NBC Sports’ coverage of signature events. We are excited to expand those efforts and further serve our audience by providing additional long-form content across all NBC Sports Group platforms,” said Mark Levy, Senior Vice President, Original Productions and Creative, NBC Sports Group. “Our debut film, Center of Attention, is a compelling portrait of the extraordinary life of Derek Sanderson, who has lived the highest of highs and the most challenging lows a life in the spotlight can produce.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, NHL Media, , | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: derek+sanderson

What Will Peter DeBoer Bring To The San Jose Sharks?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea,

DeBoer will likely have a heavier hand than his predecessor. One of the central reasons that the Sharks and McLellan parted ways on April 20 was that management wasn’t always happy with McLellan giving his veteran or established players extended ice time, despite prolonged slumps or perceived weak efforts. That should change under DeBoer, who has never been afraid to send messages through reduced ice time or the occasional healthy scratching.

According to a Sharks source, the club likes the fact that DeBoer will make “tough decisions, but he’s also creative and innovative.”

DeBoer is also known as a strong puck possession coach, as more and more teams gravitate toward those types of so-called advanced metrics. The Sharks have typically been strong in that area, although they finished just 13th in the league in possession (as measured by shot attempts) in 2014-15.

In his press conference on April 20, Wilson said: “We’re trying to acquire players that are puck possession players, because that’s the style of game we believe in. You can see where we’re going and where we think the game is going. … We want to play a possession game.”

DeBoer has shown he can do that.


Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: peter+deboer

Watching The Conference Finals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via NBC Sports Group press release....

Through the first nine games of the Conference Finals (May 24), NBC Sports Group’s coverage has averaged 1.906 million viewers, up 10% vs. viewership of the first nine games of the 2014 Conference Finals (1.739 million).

Saturday night’s Game 4 on NBC between the Ducks and the Blackhawks (8 p.m.-12:15 a.m. ET), which was decided in double overtime, delivered a 1.78 rating and averaged 2.801 million viewers, ranking as the highest-rated and most-watched game of the 2015 playoffs to date. Viewership peaked in the 11:30 p.m. ET quarter hour, averaging nearly 4.7 million viewers (4.655).

In addition, the game marked the highest-rated Conference Final matchup in two years, since the deciding Game 5 of the 2013 Western Conference Final between the Blackhawks and Kings (2.89). NBC led the night among the Big 4 networks in adults 18-49, adults 18-34, adults 25-54 and most other key demos.

Locally, NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the Lightning-Rangers Eastern Conference Final has produced four of the Top 5 NHL ratings ever on NBC or NBCSN in the Tampa Bay market, highlighted by a record 8.65 rating in Game 2 on NBCSN. Through six games, the Tampa Bay market has averaged a 7.7 local rating, up 48% vs. the average rating in the Tampa Bay market for the 2011 Eastern Conference Final (5.2), which featured the Lightning and Bruins.

NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the Ducks-Blackhawks Western Conference Final has averaged a 2.8 rating in the Los Angeles market through five games, including the highest-rated Ducks game ever on NBCSN (Game 2; 3.1) and the highest-rated Ducks game on NBC since Game 5 of the 2007 Stanley Cup Final (Game 4; 3.2).

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, , Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The San Jose Sharks Will Announce Their New Coach Tomorrow

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via a San Jose Sharks press release...


San Jose Sharks press conference to introduce the team's new head coach.




1:00 p.m. (PDT)


* Doug Wilson, General Manager - San Jose Sharks

* Sharks new head coach

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

It’s All About The Stanley Cup For The New York Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

It is all about the silver chalice, that has been established, but here in New York, here on the Broadway stage, this can become the golden era of Rangers’ hockey.

Another Game 7 at what has become hockey’s big room east of Chicago, another Game 7 at the Garden, the site of 38 playoff matches since 2012, and counting.

The Rangers haven’t won this fascinating and often exhilarating conference finals against their formidable foes from Tampa, yet. They haven’t won anything yet, when the Stanley Cup is the only object of value they covet.

But you know what this band of Rangers has accomplished over the last four years? They have brought hockey back to New York as springtime appointment viewing and they have brought New York back to front-and-center of the NHL.


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‘Two Things’: On Zetterberg’s TSN Play of the Year showdown and Chris Chelios-themed beer

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

This entry is more than a litte offbeat, so:

1. You might want to vote for Henrik Zetterberg in TSN's "Play of the Year Showdown," where he's in tough against Carey Price...

2. And the Globe and Mail's Beppi Crosariol reports that the NHL Alumni Association has collaborated with Chris Chelios on a "pale ale" that is only available in Canada:

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Griffins coach Jeff Blashill continues to toe the ‘no comment’ line

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 3x at 4:39 PM: Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill either met Ken Holland yesterday or will speak with Holland today regarding the Wings' vacant coaching job, but he insists to the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner that a "no comment" line is best for himself and the Griffins as they remain locked in a Western Conference Final battle with the Utica Comets:

Blashill, who has the Griffins in the Western Conference finals against Utica, was to meet with general manager Ken Holland either Tuesday or Wednesday, according to sources. But even if he is targeted as the next coach – and all signs point that way - no formal announcement is expected until after the Calder Cup Playoffs, or mid-June.

"I owe it to our players to make sure my sole focus is on trying to win this series," Blashill said after practice Wednesday, adding that he will not comment on it further during the series.

The third-year coach said it is not difficult to separate between his job interest and the playoff pursuit.

"No, it's not difficult for me and that's why I choose not to comment right now because it's real easy for me to focus on the task at hand," he said.

Wallner continues, and the Griffins play home games against Utica on Thursday and Friday at 7 PM and Sunday at 5 PM.

Update: Wallner also posited a set of Griffins notes:

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