Kukla's Korner

Rebuilding? No Thanks

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Want to know the part that frustrates them all the most? The Wings have done this without having to sacrifice a single thing.  It's killing GMs, coaches and, oh especially, fans from every other city and every other team.  23 is a nice number, but blink an eye and it's going to be 30.

Chicago, St. Louis, Denver...all the teams we point to as having built through the draft? They paid their dues. Severely. The Wings paid in the 80's, but then the dividends started paying off in '91.  And they haven't stopped.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Red Wings prospect Mitch Callahan skating with the Grand Rapids Griffins again(!)

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I kind of stuffed this into the Wings-Bruins wrap-up, but this deserves a post of its own: Red Wings prospect Mitch Callahan has resumed practicing some two-and-change weeks after suffering a gruesome injury and having surgery to repair a broken jaw, but Callahan was back at practice with the Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday, and he spoke to WZZM 13 about his status (be warned: the gruesome "selfie" is shown twice):

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Kypreos: NHL will fine Milan Lucic for his spear on Red Wings’ Danny DeKeyser, but won’t suspend him

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated with some...odd...commentary from Lucic at 1:18 PM: Per Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos:

The Boston Globe's Amalie Benjamin described the jab as follows...

There was an ugly moment for the Bruins at the end of the second period. It appeared that Milan Lucic speared Danny DeKeyser from behind. Lucic was not available postgame

Again, @myregularface posted a .gif of the spear (please note: posting the image does not equal endorsement thereof, so please stop harassing her on Twitter, Steph's good people), and it's worth noting (as pointed out last night) that TSN's Bob McKenzie may feel that "You Can't Do That," but he did note that there's no precedent for policing such incidents--especially where Lucic is concerned--this year:

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

It Is About Race

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,

As the Winnipeg Jets’ season wound down, a controversy involving one of their players flared up. Interim coach Paul Maurice made star winger Evander Kane a healthy scratch for a game in Toronto – and just like that, harsh words were hauled out to criticize the 22-year-old: he had an attitude; he was arrogant; he wasn’t a good fit with the Jets; he needed to be traded post-haste. If it sounded familiar, that’s because it was. Ever since the franchise relocated to Manitoba from Atlanta, Kane has been a target for critics.

Some of that, he’s earned. When he posed during the 2012-13 lockout in front of the lights of Las Vegas pretending a giant stack of money was his cell phone, fans and media rightfully ripped him for not understanding how it would be perceived.

But put aside the specifics of that situation for a second and answer these questions: Were you ever 21? Did you ever make a mistake at that age? Do you think that, if you were making millions of dollars and existed in a massive public fishbowl at that age, you might make the odd error in judgment?

The answer should be “yes.” That’s why there’s something about the relentless negativity surrounding Kane that doesn’t sit right. I’m not pointing to anyone specific when I say this, but I have to say it: some of the criticism hurled at Kane – as well as teammate Dustin Byfuglien and Canadiens star P.K. Subban – is about his race more than his character. It’s what Kane referred to last year when he told THN’s Ken Campbell “a good portion” of the criticism is racially motivated.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dustin+byfuglien, evander+kane, p.k.+subban

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Pavel Datsyuk scored the lone goal with 3:01 remaining in regulation and Jimmy Howard (25 saves) recorded his third career playoff shutout to lift the Red Wings to a 1-0 series lead over the Bruins.

* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Datsyuk’s goal was the latest ever (in regulation) by a Red Wings player to snap a scoreless tie in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It also was the latest such goal in any postseason game since June 1, 2011, when Raffi Torres scored at 19:41 of the third period to power the Canucks to a 1-0 victory over the Bruins in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

* Datsyuk posted his sixth career game-winning goal in the playoffs and first since April 27, 2010, in Game 7 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals (vs. PHX). He now has 37-67—104 in 141 career postseason games, eighth among active players and tied for sixth in Red Wings history (with Alex Delvecchio: 35-69—104).

* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Howard became the second goaltender in Red Wings history (in the expansion era) to record a shutout in the team’s first game of a playoff year. The other: Chris Osgood (19 saves) on April 13, 2000, in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals (vs. LA).

* The Red Wings improved to 4-1-0 in five meetings with the Bruins this season (regular season and playoffs). The Canadiens (3-1-0) are the only other team to defeat the Bruins more than twice in 2013-14.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Here We Go Again: NHL Playoff Emotions Getting The Best Of Us

Blog: KK Hockey By Monica McAlister

Spring is a wonderful time of renewal. The snow melts away (and with record breaking snowfall locally it is much welcomed) the green growth and flowers appear. By green growth of course the playoff rookies that are making a difference and the annual showing of Marc-André Fleury giving Pittsburgh Penguin fans elevated blood pressure. 

Emotions are the backbone of the NHL for players, fans and in some cases the non cheering media. Be it the No Words commercial, or the videos of players throwing jerseys on the ice or crying when their team either does not make the post season or when they are eliminated from it.  There are huge highs and deep cutting lows on the roller coaster that is the hockey world.  Less than a week into the 2014 NHL Playoffs and that still has not changed. 

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Filed in: NHL Talk, Cheap Hits, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: monica+mcalister

The Bruins Struggled In Game One

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

The Bruins’ best players weren’t their best players. The first line combined for four shots on goal. No. 2 right wing Reilly Smith didn’t put a single puck on net. The third line, which had a favorable matchup against Detroit’s No. 3 pairing of Brian Lashoff and Jakub Kindl, didn’t become unglued until the third. It’s never a good sign when Thornton is one of the most dangerous offensive players. But that’s what happens when you’re chasing the game....

The Bruins were the better team when they ragged the puck below the dots in the offensive zone, in the corners, and along the walls. Their beef, smarts, and straight-line skating made them a handful. The Wings’ defensemen are smaller, mobile puck movers. They’re not big. They got in trouble when the Bruins chewed them up in the danger areas.

But the Bruins didn’t jam the puck into those areas enough. They made the game too easy for the Wings.

When the Bruins’ top two lines are rolling, they use the neutral zone as a launching pad. The forwards rev up their wheels and gain momentum as they enter the offensive zone.

If they carry the puck over the blue line, opponents can’t slow them down. If they chip the puck behind the defensemen and into the corners, they have enough speed to retrieve it and start their cycle.

But Detroit turned the neutral zone into quicksand.


Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Coaches Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

"I'm pretty confident in this group right now. Every time it looked like we were going on a slide, these guys found a way to rebound."

-Jon Cooper after the Tampa Bay Lightning went down 0-2 to the Montreal Canadiens.  More on the Lightning from Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times.

“We didn’t have the puck enough. When we had it, we’ve got to start putting pucks in the areas where we can get them back. We’ve got to get pucks in areas where once we get it, we can hang on to it. I thought we didn’t play with the puck as much as we normally do, but the one thing about our team tonight — I thought we got better and better as the periods went on.

‘The third period was obviously our best period, but we started playing more of our game in the third period than in the first two. We’ve got to kind of make those adjustments here, and hopefully have three periods more like the third period was, and capitalize on the chances that we had.”

-Claude Julien post-game after the Boston Bruins lost 1-0 to the Detroit Red Wings.  More from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.

At the end of the night, we handed them their opportunities and their goals. We skated well, the effort was great but we made a couple mistakes that cost us.

-Lindy Ruff, head coach of the Dallas Stars after their 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks.  More post-game quotes from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News.  The Stars are down 0-2 to the Ducks.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Dallas Stars, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Red Wings-Bruins Game 1 wrap-up and overnight report: Yippee ki-yay, Pavel Datsyuk!

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Detroit Red WIngs persevered despite some ugly moments and significant nerves to capture a clutch 1-0 win over the Boston Bruins, with Pavel Datsyuk's goal receiving far more rave reviews than the Lucic spear (or Zdeno Chara's boarding of Brendan Smith, though Tomas Jurco gave as good as Smith got) received finger-wagging, deserved or perhaps somewhat ficticiously.

As for the task I'm facing in trying to "wrap this up"...I would be up until the Wings practice at 12:30 PM today if I was to give the THIRTY-FOUR tabs I've got open their due attention. I really don't know how even the most dedicated Bruins fans follow their team, because it's a frickin' job.

You will not be surprised, however, to hear that Boston.com's Jeff Pini reported that the Bruins felt that the game was indeed "close"...

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

A…different…take on the Lucic-DeKeyser incident

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Despite my protestations to the contrary, I was pretty dang happy with the Red Wings' 1-0 win over the Boston Bruins on Friday, and I was also pretty dang happy with the fact that the Wings did not react to the Bruins' "truculence," including this gem from Milan Lucic:

As Mike Babcock told Fox Sports Detroit's Trevor Thompson when asked whether the play should be reviewed: "That's what the league does."

The rest of the league takes notice, however, and Boston.com's Bruins Blog's Jerard Fagerberg has become a figure of some reknown for suggesting that Lucic's play was simply part of "playoff hockey":

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

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