Kukla's Korner

‘Homer’ Gets Tossed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,

Goloborodko, a native of Russia, admits to throwing his third octopus in the past four seasons in Nationwide Arena on Tuesday during the closing minute of the Red Wings’ 4-1 win in Game 3 of a Stanley Cup playoff series.

He lobbed a 2 1/2 -pound octopus nicknamed “Homer” over the Plexiglas and onto the ice. Yes, Goloborodko names his octopuses for Red Wings players—the latest in honor of forward Tomas Holmstrom.

Goloborodko said he was detained by arena security, threatened by angry Jackets fans and enjoyed a chance encounter with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman before being escorted from the building.

“As I was being held downstairs, Gary Bettman and his security guys walked by,” Goloborodko said. “Like any good hockey fan, I recognized my commissioner and yelled out, ‘Hey, Commissioner.’

“I heard Bettman say, ‘I’m not happy about this one bit.’ I don’t know if he was responding to me or talking about something else.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Bruins Clear First Hurdle

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

In a corner of the dressing room, the towering Chara sat quietly and with little animation. He is finishing his third season as captain, and this is the first taste of real success he has experienced since coming aboard for a deal worth $37.5 million over five years.

If a team takes on the attitude of its captain, then it will be a sense of calm that follows the Bruins the rest of this spring.

“I don’t think we should be satisfied and happy,” said Big Z. “This is just the first step in that road. We realize it only gets tougher from here. The farther you go, the harder it gets.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

What Could Have Been

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times,

Blackhawks players filed into the locker room as Johnny Cash’s ‘‘Ring of Fire’’ blasted out of the stadium speakers and flames shot out of the scoreboard at the Saddledome.

The Hawks got burned, all right. Torched, in fact. They could have all but locked up their first-round playoff series by completing a remarkable rally in what became a 6-4 loss Wednesday to the Calgary Flames. Instead, the Hawks return home with the series very much in doubt.

This could have been the wooden stake through the Flames’ heart. Nobody comes back from this. No team could blow a three-goal lead and come back from a 3-1 series deficit. Game 5 on Saturday at the United Center would be nothing more than mopping up. But it didn’t work out that way.


added 8:09am, from Tim Sassone of Between The Lines,

It was a disappointing effort from most Hawks in Wednesday’s 6-4 loss, a game that was there for the taking.

Nikolai Khabibulin was fighting the puck all night and looked very ordinary. That’s two poor games in a row for him.

Martin Havlat was minus-4 and no factor at all. Where was the jump?

Duncan Keith was minus-3 and looked slow. Is he hurting?



Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Lundqvist Is The Difference

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Oh, you’ll hear all these critiques of the Caps again—too much perimeter play, not enough traffic in front of Lundqvist, blah, blah, blah. Stop it. Ovechkin was a monster Wednesday night, his highlight-reel goal in the third period the only dividend of what was another passionate performance. The guy had 11 shots on goal—that’s more than what the entire Rangers team mustered in the final 40 minutes, when it was outshot 30-10.

“When you outshoot a team 19-5 in a period in their own building and they come out of it with the one goal, you know the goalie at the other end is doing something right,” said Washington coach Bruce Boudreau.

Folks, don’t overanalyze this baby. The seventh-seeded Blueshirts are one victory away from upsetting the second-seeded Caps because of one man.

“Lundqvist did an unbelievable job,” an obviously frustrated Ovechkin told reporters.


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

The Talk Of Another Team In Toronto

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Shoalts of the Globe an Mail,

A group of business people wants to bring a second team to the Greater Toronto Area, and the National Hockey League took the group seriously enough to grant it an audience.

The unidentified group met with NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly in downtown Toronto last week, according to sources. The group proposes to build an arena at the intersection of Highways 427 and 7 in Vaughan, Ont., on land north of Pearson International Airport that’s owned by businessman Victor De Zen.

The meeting was scheduled to last one hour but stretched to approximately 21/2 hours. The unidentified group also discussed its proposal with Paul Kelly, the executive director of the NHL Players’ Association. Mr. Kelly and Mr. Daly declined to comment.


added 11:40am, via the National Post,

But in an e-mail to Canwest News Service on Thursday, Daly, while admitting the meeting took place, denied there are any serious talks in the works.

“No, the NHL is not giving any consideration to putting a second team in the Toronto area,” he said in the e-mail.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Cinderella Story

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

It is a popular story in sports when an improbable team makes a run and wins it all.  It is also a story that rarely ever happens.  This season the team that best fit the Cinderella role was the St Louis Blues.  At mid-season it looked like they were in the race for a lottery pick in the draft and they wound up finishing strong and placing sixth in the West Conference.  That got them a lot of believers including high profile bloggers such as Puck Daddy (Greg Wyshynski).  The St Louis playoff run ended the way a lot of Cinderella playoff runs end.  It ended in failure.  There is a reason why the team is so improbable to be such an underdog and those reasons almost always win out.  Cinderella is left in a field with a pumpkin and a few mice wondering what happened.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Ericsson Proves His Worth With Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock isn’t surprised by rookie Jonathan Ericsson’s effectiveness because he has been working as the defenseman’s chief lobbyist almost from the day he first saw him.

“I’ve seen him for three years and pushed to have him on the team for two years, but I didn’t have votes,” Babcock jokes.

Babcock simply couldn’t talk general manager Ken Holland into straying from the team’s philosophy of keeping prospects in the American Hockey League until they are ready to contribute significantly at the NHL level.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+ericsson

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

One could conjecture whether Tortorella has out-coached Bruce Boudreau and the only conclusion, based on the three-games-to-one Ranger advantage, that the answer is affirmative….

Is it to soon to celebrate? Of course. But, unless Backstrom, Kozlov, Semin, et. al. quickly stop auditioning for Rip Van Winkle, the horns can be taken out of storage.

-Stan Fischler of Game On.  More on the Rangers victory over the Capitals.

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

Can Capitals Beat Lundqvist?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ryan Dixon of The Hockey News,

You know what they’re saying in Washington. The Capitals were down 3-1 to Philadelphia last year before storming back to force a Game 7, which they ultimately lost in overtime.

Now, facing the same series deficit versus the New York Rangers, the Caps most natural rallying cry is, “We did it before, this time let’s finish the job.”

That notion would be more than hyperbole if they weren’t trying to score goals on Henrik Lundqvist, which is just about the toughest NHL assignment east of Vancouver.

The good news for Washington is Alex Ovechkin looks poised for another late-series surge similar to the one he had last year against Philly.

more and some Canadiens talk too…

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

Bruins Sweep Canadiens, Move On To Eastern Conference Semi-Finals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Kevin Mio of Habs Inside/Out writes,

What’s Next: A summer full of questions and searching for answers as to what went wrong during the centennial season. The Canadiens have a long list of unrestricted free agents and the 2009-10 edition of the team could look vastly different.

added 10:34pm, from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,

If the Canadiens were going to win this series, their hopes had to rest on goaltending but Carey Price never looked like the second coming of Patrick Roy or Ken Dryden.

Check that. Price did do a fair imitation of Roy when he stopped a shot by Mark Recchi from just across centre ice with a little more than four minutes remaining in the second period. The sellout crowd greeted the stop with an ovation that dripped with sarcasm and Price responded by throwing his arms in the air.

When coach Bob Gainey was asked why he didn’t use Jaroslav Halak, who was limited to 20 minutes of perfect relief work in Game 2, he suggested that it wouldn’t have been fair to the Slovak because he hadn’t started a game in 7-10 days and that it wouldn’t have been fair to Price, who had carried the load coming into the playoffs.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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