Kukla's Korner

The New York Islanders Need To Find “Another Level” Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

Only eight teams have a shot at winning the 2016 Stanley Cup and the Islanders are one of them. The Blackhawks are out, so are the Kings and so are the Rangers, those three teams that combined to produce an aggregate 28 series victories the previous four springs.

But the Islanders are not only in Round 2, they’re tied 1-1 with the defending Eastern Conference champion Lightning entering Tuesday’s Game 3 in Brooklyn following an opening split in Tampa Bay. Win this series and the Islanders are Early Bird Special champs … but that’s not quite the title this group is seeking.

“We have to understand what’s at stake,” said Matt Martin. “We have to understand that with eight teams left, we have to find another level.”

The Islanders chased away the ghosts of ’93 after chasing the Panthers on the scoreboard for most of the six-game, first-round matchup. Indeed, the Islanders played with a lead for just 45:55 of the series’ 559:12.

But chasing the Florida seniors was less of a task than chasing Tampa Bay’s Triplets, who sliced and diced the Rangers in last year’s conference finals. The Islanders are going to need to throw a much better brand of hockey onto the ice at Barclays than they did over the first two games in order to win three more.


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

Down 0-2 The Nashville Predators Need A Win Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Rexrode of The Tennessean,

“We’ve got to get ourselves on the board,” Predators coach Peter Laviolette said after the long flight from San Jose, after the excruciating 3-2 loss in Sunday’s Game 2 that featured everything he wanted to see except for the finishing.

Game 1 was nearly a steal, a 1-0 lead entering the third period, but the legs looked understandably rubbery late and the rested, loaded Sharks overwhelmed. Game 2 was a steal, because Nashville was the better team for most of it.

There should be no scarcity of confidence that the Predators can play their game and challenge San Jose, a team that — like Anaheim a few weeks ago — is gaining buzz as a Cup contender. Nashville looks like one for stretches as well, especially when Rinne does some of the Gumby-like things he was doing Sunday, but 39 shots and one goal in the first 59 minutes and 56 seconds of a game won’t win in May.

“We got better and played more to our identity and what we expect from ourselves on the ice,” Laviolette said of Game 2, “and it just wasn’t meant to be. So we’re in a time of the year where wins matter. It’s not so much always about the process anymore. It’s just about getting the wins and putting them in the column.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Mike Sullivan On The Kris Letang Hit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet,

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan comments on the Kris Letang hit on Marcus Johansson in Game 3.

FYI- Barry Trotz basically said let the league handle it.



If you missed the Letang hit, watch it here.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kris+letang, mike+sullivan

The Pittsburgh/Washington Series Turning Nasty

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

The hits keep on coming in a series loaded with skill but dominating the headlines for the wrong reasons.

A game after Brooks Orpik leveled Olli Maatta with a high, late hit that garnered the Washington Capitals defenseman a three-game suspension, star blueliner Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins is now facing potential supplemental discipline for his high hit on Marcus Johansson in Game 3 on Monday night.

The series began with Tom Wilson's questionable leg-on-leg hit on Conor Sheary in Game 1, which netted him a fine.

There has been a constant undercurrent of hate between the two rivals. We all love tough, emotional, physical hockey -- as long as it doesn't cross the line.

This series needs to be reined in.

The question now is whether this series turns on Letang's hit or not. His absence would be a huge blow to a thin Penguins blue line.


Watch the highlights of the Pens 3-2 win over the Caps below...

Continue Reading »

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

NHL Short Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

With starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury dressed for the first time since March 31,Matt Murray made a career-high 47 saves – including 19 in the third period – to help the Penguins hold off the Capitals and take a 2-1 lead in their Second Round series.

* Via Elias, Murray became the second rookie goaltender from any team to make at least 47 saves in a playoff game since shots on goal were first recorded in 1967-68. The other: Chicago’s Scott Darling in Game 4 of the 2015 First Round vs. NSH (50 SV).
* Elias adds that Murray, who made at least 14 stops in all three periods, became the third Penguins goaltender to make 47 or more saves in a regulation game during the Stanley Cup Playoffs – and the first to do so in a winning effort.
* Murray moved to 5-1 with a 1.79 goals-against average and .944 save percentage and one shutout since taking over the Pittsburgh net in Game 3 of the First Round at NYR. He owns a 9-2-0 record in 13 career appearances during the regular-season (2.00 GAA, .930 SV%, 1 SO).
* Murray improved to 6-1-1 in eight career appearances at CONSOL Energy Center (regular season and playoffs), where the Penguins have won 19 of their past 24 contests dating to Jan. 17.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Early overnight report: On Nyquist the horse, the assistant coaching search and Lindsay in a parade

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Gustav Nyquist gave a Twitter shout-out to his namesake horse today...

And Fox Sports' Sam Gardiner spoke with "Nyquist's" owner, Paul Reddam, about his Red Wings fandom...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Video- Coach’s Corner Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet,

Ron & Don talk about Alex Ovechkin needing to pick up his game, Joe Thornton playing well for the Sharks and the Blues physical play.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Griffins post playoff primer ahead of second-round series vs. Lake Erie

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

The Grand Rapids Griffins are holding Watch Parties at Grand Rapids' Peppinos while the Griffins play iin Cleveland against the Lake Erie Monsters on Thursday and Saturday, respectively, and the Griffins posted a video previewing the Griffins-Monsters series as well:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink

Video- Kris Letang Hit On Marcus Johansson

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Two minutes for interference.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kris+letang, marcus+johansson

Your Calder Memorial Trophy Finalists

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (May 2, 2016) – Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere of the Philadelphia Flyers, forward Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers and forward Artemi Panarin of the Chicago Blackhawks are the three finalists for the 2015-16 Calder Memorial Trophy, which is awarded “to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition,” the National Hockey League announced today.

Members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted ballots for the Calder Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 22, during the 2016 NHL Awards – hosted by actor Will Arnett – at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Following are the finalists for the Calder Trophy, in alphabetical order:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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