Kukla's Korner

Playoff MVP

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Early in the third round of the playoffs, I picked Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks as the playoff MVP at that point.  Perry has since slipped to fifth overall in playoff scoring.  He has been passed by teammate Ryan Getzlaf in the playoff point race.  When I picked Perry, I thought he had passed Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks for the MVP lead.  Keith has now regained the lead.

Duncan Keith leads all defencemen in points with 16 points in 16 games.  He leads all players with a +11 +/- rating.  Keith had a great game last night with three assists and a goal he saved.  Keith has logged a ton of ice time.  He leads the playoffs with 31:49 played per game. 

Keith has been the best defencemen in the NHL in the last several years.  If he can add a Conn Smythe Trophy to his resume that will go a long way toward his getting that respect.  Of course another possibility is Chicago loses in game seven against Anaheim and Keith's playoff run ends without a trip to the finals.  Likely I would pick a new MVP early in the finals.  The Conn Smythe Trophy goes to the MVP of the playoffs and there is no need for that player to make the finals.  The Conn Smythe winner has never gone to a player who did not make the finals.  I doubt that Keith would be that guy if Chicago fails to make the finals, but it is an interesting thing to consider.

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Will Tony Granato Follow Mike Babcock To Toronto?

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

Update: FYI:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Peter DeBoer Named Head Coach Of The San Jose Sharks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

SAN JOSE — San Jose Sharks (@sanjosesharks) General Manager Doug Wilson announced that Peter DeBoer(deh-BOHR) has been named the eighth head coach in Sharks franchise history. In keeping with club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

This season will mark DeBoer’s 21st consecutive season as a head coach, serving at both the NHL and Canadian Hockey League levels.

“Peter is a well-respected leader who possesses all of the characteristics we were looking for in our next head coach,” said Wilson. “He’s an extremely intelligent and innovative individual who likes to play an aggressive system. Peter has a track record of extracting the most out of his players and is willing to make tough decisions that are based on achieving team success. We’re extremely excited to have him leading our group.”

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Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: peter+deboer

Live Stream- Buffalo Sabres Introduce Dan Bylsma As Their Head Coach

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The press conference is scheduled to begin at 4:00pm, watch below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+bylsma

Live Stream- San Jose Sharks Press Conference

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The San Jose Sharks are expected to name Peter DeBoer as their new head coach today.

The conference is scheduled to begin at 4:00pm ET and you can watch it below...

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

Keep Or Trade Dustin Byfuglien?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Winnipeg Sun hockey writer Ken Wiebe and sports editor Ted Wyman delved into the issue this week and now present their arguments as to which direction the Jets should take.

Sign Buff to a long-term contract: Wiebe
Finding a way to get Dustin Byfuglien's signature on the dotted line is the best option for the Winnipeg Jets.

After bouncing back and forth between defence and forward during the past two seasons, Byfuglien moved back in December out of necessity and took his game to another level.

Though there were still some lapses, the high-risk element was more under control.

The physical component was much more consistent -- just ask the likes of Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty -- who found themselves on the receiving end of some big hits that ended up on Byfuglien's expansive highlight reel....

Trade Dustin Byfuglien: Wyman
It won’t be an easy decision to make – and it certainly won’t be popular – but the Winnipeg Jets should seriously consider trading Dustin Byfuglien this off-season.

No question, Byfuglien can be a dynamic player, a rarity who can easily shift from defence to forward and back again and a big presence who can dominate physically while making significant contributions on the scoreboard.

But he can also be a liability on the blue-line, as evidenced by Claude Noel’s decision to move him permanently to forward in 2014 and Paul Maurice’s decision to keep him there for the first 26 games of last season.

And then there’s the issue of his contract status, which complicates the matter considerably....

much more from each...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dustin+byfuglien

Dan Bylsma Named Head Coach Of The Buffalo Sabres

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul


Press release is below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+bylsma

The Tampa Bay Lightning Are Prepared For Game 7

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe Smith of Lightning Strikes,

Much has been made about the reslience of the battle-tested Rangers, who are 15-3 in elimination games since 2012, and 7-0 in Game 7s at home.

"It seems like they always step up at the right moment and everyone is on their game when they need it the most," said D Anton Stralman, a former Ranger.

But as the Lightning enters tomorrow's Game 7 against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden, it enters with confidence having "been there" before, too, learning a lot from its Game 7 victory over Detroit in the first round.

"When you have success in them, we went to Game 7 and won, and right away, you just know you can do it," coach Jon Cooper said. "Knowing you're under the highest boarding pressure of situations when the season can potentially end, or you can go on and play for the Stanley Cup. Our guys have responded. We had success and found a way to win. I think that's what really pushed us in the Montreal series, and helped us in the Rangers series. We know we can do this. It's just a matter of have to do it again in a short couple weeks."

D Victor Hedman said that Game 7 against Detroit was "huge" for this young team, realizing how it has to play to be successful with its back against the wall.


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

Grand Rapids Griffins-Utica Comets Game 3 game-day stuff

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Among this afternoon's "set-up" articles ahead of Game 3 of the Grand Rapids Griffins-Utica Comets series (7 PM EDT on the AHL Live/WOOD Radio/alternate means):

The AHL posted a "morning skate" entry...

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Wings GM Ken Holland discusses his offseason outlook with FSD’s Gave

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Via RedWingsFeed, Fox Sports Detroit's Keith Gave spoke with Red Wings GM Ken Holland about the fact that the Wings pushed the Tampa Bay Lightning to 7 games, which seems improbable now that the Lightning are a win away from advancing to the Stanley Cup Final...

"That's sports," Holland said. "We thought we had the potential to make some noise in these playoffs, but in the end, we weren't good enough. We've got to find a way to get a little better."

"Getting a little better" depends largely upon Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist, Riley Sheahan, Tomas Jurco, Luke Glendening, Danny DeKeyser, Brendan Smith and Petr Mrazek's continued improvement and maturation, as well as bounce-back campaigns from Henrik Zetterberg, Jonathan Ericsson, and yes, even Jimmy Howard.

The offseason -- from the moment the Wings are eliminated through the rush of free agency that begins on July 1 -- is the busiest time of the year for Holland. And this year has been busier than usual as he tried in vain to negotiate a new contract with his coach. Mike Babcock left for Toronto, so Holland is occupied this week talking with Jeff Blashill, who's preoccupied himself trying to win a third playoff series this spring and get the Grand Rapids Griffins into the Calder Cup finals for the second time in three years.

Blashill is expected to be introduced as Detroit's next coach at the end of the Griffins' season.

In a few weeks, Holland will meet with his pro scouts to discuss potential free-agent targets in July. That will be followed by meetings with amateur scouts to prepare for the NHL Entry Draft in Florida.

The period between the draft on June 26th and July 5th-8th is when teams make the vast majority of their roster moves these days, trades included, so if the Wings are to move a Stephen Weiss or Jakub Kindl, that period of time is likely to result in any trades or free agent signings.

Holland also tells Gave that he's not expecting to make a gigantic splash in free agency; this summer's class is incredibly thin, and while the Wings will probably look at Mike Green, Jeff Petry and Christian Ehrhoff on the blueline, the cap rising by only $2 million + the team having to re-sign Gustav Nyquist, Brendan Smith, Tomas Jurco, Teemu Pulkkinen, Landon Ferraro and possibly Joakim Andersson as restricted free agents = the Wings' cap space will disappear in a hurry. [Edit: That's not to say that they won't have any money to go after a free agent, but $5-7 million in free space if Weiss and Kindl return = one target, not two /end edit].

Instead, the Wings are likely (at least for the present moment) to lean on the players engaging in a "long playoff run" with the Grand Rapids Griffins:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

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