Kukla's Korner

Matt Cooke On His Suspension

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,

Matt Cooke, suspended seven games for injuring Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie with a knee-on-knee hit Monday night, addressed the media this afternoon.

Cooke didn’t field questions but made an unwritten statement.

“First and foremost, I want to say that I’m disappointed and sorry that Tyson Barrie can’t play for the Colorado Avalanche tonight. I wish that he could. Unfortunately, it was not my intent to collide with him knee-on-knee. It was my intent to finish my check. Playoffs are a hard and physical time and it’s my job to be physical. I’ve led my team in hits in all three games and it’s an intense time. I’ve led my team this year in hits and in this series.

“Since March 20, 2011 (the elbow to Ryan McDonagh that resulted in a 17-game suspension), I’ve been a changed player. I’ve approached the game differently, I think differently about the game. That stats that I’ve collected over those three seasons prove that I’m a changed player and the plays that I make and the plays that I don’t make prove to that point as well. At the end of the day, this situation was not my intent.”

Cooke has until tomorrow night to decide if he will appeal his suspension to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. Cooke didn’t respond when I asked if he would.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: matt+cooke

Wallner: New and old faces will help the Grand Rapids Griffins defend their Calder Cup championship

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Grand Rapids Griffins spent yesterday traveling from GR to Abbotsford, BC as they'll begin their 5-game first-round playoff series against the Abbotsford Heat on Friday and Saturday. The Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner wrote a fantastic, comprehensive article (and this excerpt is just part of it) which sets up the series by asking both last year's Calder Cup Champs and this year's new faces how they plan on defending their title.

Wallner duly pointed out that several of the Griffins' biggest early-season contributors are in Detroit now, and he did note that Anthony Mantha may eventually join the cause if Mantha's Val-d'Or Foreurs continue to get ran over by the QMJHL's defending champion Halifax Mooseheads:

“I think you draw upon all of your experiences,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “One of those is the emotional roller coaster than we went through a year ago. I don’t know if that’s an advantage, because, no matter the experience or how you’ve been playing, it’s how you execute on Friday that matters the most.”

The most consistent – and regularly available – player has been Teemu Pulkkinen, who led the Griffins with 31 goals and 59 points during the regular season. A year ago, the right winger from Finland got into 14 playoff games before the arrival of the Detroit players put him on the bench.

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Wrist Surgery Up Next For Ben Bishop

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,

Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop will have surgery on his injured right wrist next week to repair ligament damage that has bothered him since January. Bishop will have the surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. He said he will be in a cast for six weeks.

Total rehab time is three to four months, though he said he is confident he will be ready for the start of training camp.

Additionally, Bishop finally confirmed he had a left elbow injury that kept him out of the playoffs, saying the joint was dislocated when he extended and fell catching a floating puck April 8 against the Maple Leafs.

He said had the Eastern Conference quarterfinal against the Canadiens been extended, he likely would have played Game 6.

"We were laughing about it because as a goalie how do you hurt your wrist or your elbow?" Bishop said. "Usually it's the groin or something in the lower body."

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ben+bishop

Penguins Should Play To Their Strength

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ryan Dixon of Sportsnet,

Crosby can’t be held without a goal much longer; Evgeni Malkin is probably on the verge of a four-point game; Fleury is going to make some more jaw-dropping saves. And when it happens, we’ll all be tempted to once again believe in this giant Cup tease.

But that faith is misplaced. As Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review pointed out, of the Pens’ past 20 playoff losses dating back to 2010, nine have occurred after the team blew a third-period lead. Fleury? Sure. But that’s about more than goaltending; that’s about a team with systemic issues that won’t be worked out this spring.

The best approach for Penguins fans right now, difficult as it may be, is to embrace the ride. And from a tactical standpoint, you wonder if Pittsburgh shouldn’t actually try to blow teams out of the water. It sounds crazy, but protecting leads clearly isn’t working. Maybe they need to further exploit Sergei Bobrovsky’s .900 save percentage and stretch those goal gaps out as much as possible.

That may run counter to conventional playoff thinking, but at least Pittsburgh would be playing to its strength instead of trying to be something it’s not.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

[04/24/2014] GDT: Red Wings vs Bruins

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By RedMenace

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Jordin Tootoo still a fan favorite, ‘good guy’ in Grand Rapids, as illustrated in stick-giveaway vid

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I tend to post the Grand Rapids Griffins' videos as a matter of course, so I stuck this little ditty in the Griffins-Abbotsford Heat 1st round preview post, and since that time, Jordin Tootoo's kind gesture's "gone viral":

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

DUBINSKY, FOLIGNO HELP BLUE JACKETS POST HISTORIC COMEBACK
Brandon Dubinsky scored the tying goal with 22.5 seconds remaining in regulation and Nick Foligno potted the winner 2:49 into overtime to help the Blue Jackets overcome an early three-goal deficit and even their series with the Penguins.

* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this marks the first series in Stanley Cup Playoffs history in which four consecutive games have been won by a team trailing by two or more goals:

Game 1: PIT overcame 3-1 deficit (4-3 W)
Game 2: CBJ overcame 3-1 deficit (4-3 W in OT)
Game 3: PIT overcame 3-1 deficit (4-3 W)
Game 4: CBJ overcame 3-0 deficit (4-3 W in OT)

* Elias also says the Blue Jackets’ victory in Game 4 marks the first time the team has overcome a three-goal deficit since Jan. 5, 2007, when they scored four goals in the final 10:02 of the third period to pick up a 4-3 regulation win over the Ducks.

* Dubinsky posted 1-1—2 and now leads the Blue Jackets with 1-5—6 in the playoffs, including at least one point in all four games.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Your Frank J. Selke Trophy Finalists

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (April 24, 2014) -- Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins, Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks are the three finalists for the 2013-14 Frank J. Selke Trophy, which is awarded “to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game,” the National Hockey League announced today.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Red Wings-Bruins Game 4 game-day updates: Zetterberg a ‘game-time decision’

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated 19x at 2:25 PM:

If we believe what the Hockey News's Ken Campbell is reporting, Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg may end up skating in Game 4 between the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings this evening (8 PM EDT on FSD and NESN locally, NBCSN and TSN nationally and 97.1 FM; again, I still believe that "the other guys" have to carry the team), and the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness and MLive's Ansar Khan report that Zetterberg's skating with the regulars--though the rest of the lineup is in flux:

I love this little piece of art from the Detroit News's David Guralnick, too:

Per Pleiness...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Smart Spenders

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (April 24, 2014) – Today Bloomberg Businessweek released its Smartest Spenders in Sports 2014 ranking of all 122 franchises in the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB, rating them based on how much they spent in player payroll for every win during the last five seasons. The NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks come in #1 thanks to their five playoff trips, two Stanley Cups, and placing 13th in spending. The Blackhawks are followed by MLB’s St. Louis Cardinals at #2, NHL’s Boston Bruins at #3, NFL’s New England Patriots at #4, and MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays at #5. 

more here including all the rankings...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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