Kukla's Korner

Bylsma Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Q. Can you address just the advantage that the home team has had winning every game in this series? Are the match-ups that critical in this series? Does that have anything to do with it? Or what is your estimation of why the home team’s got everything?

        COACH BYLSMA: I don’t believe it’s the match-ups. You know, that does help out, does maybe - easier to get into your rhythm with your team and what your players are expecting because you get to make the final change.

        But I think you’re talking about two teams that are playing pretty hard with skilled players, and it’s even enough that the home ice is an advantage for you.

        I mean, playoffs it’s not always the case that home ice is a strict advantage or much easier to play at, but we played two pretty good games in Game 1 and Game 2, they were better. They were better in and around their net. They got those wins. We came home and played two pretty good games. And we got the advantage with two victories. And Game 5, they obviously were much better than us, and it’s that close.

        Now we have the task of having to come back here and use the home ice advantage, use the energy of our fans, and use our surroundings to draw even in the series and prove that we’re that close.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+bylsma

No Staff Shakeup Planned In Carolina

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News & Observer,

An announcement on the Hurricanes’ coaching staff could be made in the next few days, general manager Jim Rutherford said today, and it is expected the staff will remain intact.

Rutherford met last week with team owner Pater Karmanos, Jr., in Detroit.

“We’d like to keep everything together and the way it was at the end,” Rutherford said of the staff.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Watching Versus Game 4

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Paul

note:  Versus released this today due to an issue with Arbitron over the weekend.

NEW YORK, N.Y. (June 8, 2009)-VERSUS, the exclusive cable television home of the National Hockey League (NHL), garnered a 2.8 national HH rating and averaged 3,448,431 viewers for its Game 4 telecast of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final on Thursday, June 4, when the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Detroit Red Wings at Mellon Arena to even the series 2-2.  The game, which peaked at a 3.4 HH rating between 10:15 and 10:30 p.m., was the highest-rated and most-watched Stanley Cup Final game on cable since 2002.  VERSUS, for the 8:00-10:45 p.m. time period, was the top-rated cable network in the country among all key male demos.

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Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, d, | Hockey News Wire | Permalink
 

Compuwars Is Sponsor For NHL Premiere Games

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Paul

NEW YORK—The National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association today announced that Compuware Corporation has signed a multi-year corporate marketing agreement to become “The Official Global Application Performance Partner of the NHL and NHLPA.” The corporate marketing partnership gives Compuware access to the NHL’s multi-platform, global marketing and branding solutions with which to reach buyers of Compuware’s leading business-to-business software applications and technical services.

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Filed in: NHL Talk, | Hockey News Wire | Permalink
  Tags: compuware

You Can’t Fake A Playoff Beard

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Andrew Potter at MACLEANS,

Not all beards are created equal. Players like Detroit’s Dan Cleary or Maxime Talbot from Pittsburgh seem more like dispossessed men on skates than professional athletes. Sidney Crosby still looks like a prepubescent with alopecia. But there’s a naturalness to facial hair, in all its forms, that speaks to the fundamental authenticity of the display.

From the peacock’s tail to the Porsche, masculine status display throughout the animal kingdom tends to be a bit of a bluff. But NHLers stand apart from showy birds, middle-aged men, and recession-era rappers, who have lately started substituting cubic zirconia for real diamonds in their increasingly ostentatious bling. There’s no faking the playoff beard. In an era where technology too often seems to have triumphed over athleticism, with the players’ unique physicality constrained by the smooth, hard contours of lycra stretched over armoured plastic, the NHL playoffs signal an atavistic return to the sport’s battle-torn origins, archetypal wild men fighting it out on a frozen wasteland….

All of which leaves regular guys in a particularly sad and lonely condition. It also might help explain why growing a beard is becoming increasingly popular for hockey fans once their team enters the playoffs: it allows them to participate in one of the last symbols of male solidarity.

Not every man can shoot, skate, or throw a bodycheck a tenth as well as the players on the ice, but the one thing they all have in common is that they are men. But where there’s solidarity there is competition, and some men may find a minor satisfaction in knowing that even if they can’t play like their heroes, for a few weeks every spring, they can look like them.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Real MVP

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jamie Fitzpatrick of Jamie’s Blog at About.com,

Pavel Datsyuk can’t win the Conn Smythe Trophy as Stanley Cup MVP. His foot injury cost him too many games, and he wasn’t scoring much before he got hurt.

But in his return on Saturday night, Detroit’s finest looked like the best player in the NHL, which he might be….

He also reminded us that MVPs dominate the game at both ends of the ice.

After watching Datsyuk and company neutralize the Penguins, how could anyone consider Malkin a Conn Smythe candidate?

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pavel+datsyuk

Thorne Still Loves Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Susan Slusser of the Fanhouse,

Gary Thorne’s resonant voice is synonymous with this time of year. He called a dozen Stanley Cup Finals for ESPN and ABC, a job he did with great passion and skill.

For the past four years, however, Thorne has been on the outside. While he broadcasts Baltimore Orioles games or does baseball work for ESPN, he’s got the Finals games on a TV at the back of the booth, but he’s no longer a hockey announcer, except for the Frozen Four.

Could that change? Thorne’s contract is up October 1. The last time he was available, Versus and NBC didn’t offer Thorne enough to jump over, but things can change quickly in TV land. Plus, the NHL’s contract with Versus is up after 2011 and an expected extension with NBC should be ending then, too.

There’s no doubt that Thorne’s heart remains with the NHL.

continued

Filed in: NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+thorne

Well, Well…Lookee Here

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

And just as I’m about to head to the airport…I see this.

Some tool at Puck Daddy who isn’t Wyshysnski

More of this drivel is available at Abel to Yzerman (“I’m sure there was discussion about the ‘tired’ remarks and the thoughts from esteemed writers like Helene Elliott, gushing and babbling happily about the ‘end of the Wing dynasty’”).

Please, everyone that isn’t a Detroit fan (i.e. tolerable people): Let us join together to issue a formal apology for ever having believed that anyone that is not the Red Wings would win this Stanley Cup, with a corollary that Chris Osgood(notes) is at least twice as good as Ken Dryden and Little Caesars has the best pizza on the planet.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Penguins Must Grow Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bill Simonson of the Grand Rapids Press at Mlive,

Watching Detroit crush the Penguins on Saturday night was as of fulfilling as anything I have ever witnessed in sports. Even better than when the Red Wings got Roy pulled in that epic Western Conference final Game 7….

The showboating and headhunting has no place in hockey. It’s obvious Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are the malcontents who run the show and when their game is on they dance and throw it in the face of their opponents. Did Stevie Yzerman or Wayne Gretzky ever show up other teams?

When the little baby Penguins are frustrated they can’t handle it and lose it on the ice for all to see. Great teams and great players win and lose with class like the Red Wings….

Lets be honest about Crosby. He’s got great talent with an immature side to him that probably will never see a Stanley Cup trophy parade as long as the Red Wings are in business. He knows this and it kills him so the little sniper and his Russian buddy Malkin bask in the glory of home ice but have curled in to the fetal position on the road in Detroit.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Tell Me How The Penguins Can Win Game 6

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

OK Pens fans and NHL fans, tell me what the Penguins can and will do to win game 6 tomorrow night.

If you are a Wings fan, I don’t want to hear how the Penguins will not win, but if you have an idea on how the Penguins may win, feel free to comment.

My thoughts, Fleury has to be great and secondary scoring is key for the Penguins to survive game 6 and force a game 7.

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

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