Kukla's Korner

The Nashville Predators Will Play Another Day

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Climer of The Tennessean,

The Nashville Predators arrived at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday night with one objective:

Avoid being on the wrong end of a congratulatory handshake.

Mission accomplished.

With a 5-2 victory in Game 5, the Predators survived to play another day. In the process, they postponed the traditional handshake that comes with the conclusion of each of the 15 best-of-seven series that comprise the Stanley Cup playoffs.

It's still an uphill climb for the Preds, who trail Chicago 3-2 entering Game 6 on Saturday at United Center.

Even so, this clearly is a team that is not going quietly. And after the events of the third period Thursday night, something tells me the Blackhawks are feeling pressure to close out the series at home Saturday. They don't want to come back to Bridgestone Arena for a decisive Game 7.

continued

Below, Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times with "Everybody Else Wants To Be The Blackhawks"...

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

The Vancouver Canuck Survive To Play Another Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

Maybe Corsi can win you a game, eventually, if you dominate the possession stats the way the Sedins have over the Flames’ top line for five games.

“I hope so,” Daniel said. “In a long series, if you can make them tired, it’s going to pay off. All you can do is create chances, and sooner or later they’re going to start to go in. That’s the way we look at it, and tonight it paid off.”

We’ve reached that point now, folks. It’s a long series, guaranteed for six games, with a genuine possibility of seven.

Calgary is quicker and heavier up front, and their game plan of pounding, pounding, pounding on the Canucks defencemen is surely paying off. Alex Edler is not the Canucks' best defenceman, which is a battle won for the Flames. He, Luca Sbisa and Kevin Bieksa have been turning pucks over in the face of the Michael Ferland-led Calgary forecheck with growing regularity.

Vancouver’s plan is more IKEA. Possess, possess, possess. Recalling that the Flames have succeeded all season in the face of the Corsi numbers, we are left to ask: Was Game 5 a product of erosion? Did four games of pretty good possession for Vancouver produce a Game 5 that they truly dominated?

Or, was that a one-off by a desperate team on the brink of elimination? Will Calgary’s way beat the Canucks way when we get back to Calgary for a Saturday night Game 6?

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The New York Islanders Now Need A Home Win

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Herrmann of Newsday,

Now the Islanders are in a uniquely desperate situation, or desperately unique. Not only are they playing for the survival of their season, they have one game to keep Nassau Coliseum alive.

They have one last chance to give themselves more chances, one opportunity to avoid having the lights turned out forever on hockey in the only home they have ever known. If they want to seize on omens, they can look at the fact that they haven't been good at closing things out or shutting them down this postseason.

If they had been better at those skills, they would not find themselves down three games to two against the Capitals, heading into a possible elimination for themselves and their building Saturday. Looking back on it, they put themselves in this position well before the 5-1 loss in Game 5 Thursday night. They were up by two goals twice in Game 2 and let that slip away. They were up two games to one and couldn't build on it. They even jumped ahead 1-0 Thursday night.

continued

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

Wings Fail To Finish

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press,

They were six minutes from a stranglehold grip and then, like one of those movies where the hero gets distracted by someone screaming, the Red Wings loosened their hold just for a moment.

And got sucker punched.

Shish. Boom. Bang. A goal on a great individual effort. A goal on great team passing. A goal in overtime to pull down the curtain.

And a tie series.

"Never a doubt, was there?" joked Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper.

Not funny, pal.

Fortunes change. The Wings, still rubbing their eyes after this 3-2 overtime stunner, are heading to Tampa Bay minus home-ice advantage, minus the health of a key player and minus the confidence they would have had in this first-round playoff series if they had been able to finish what they started — or somehow hid the puck for the final six minutes, once the hugely valuable Luke Glendening left the ice with a hand injury.

Instead, it's a best-of-three now against a team that, as Cooper put it, "grew a couple of inches."

continued

Below, watch both coaches post-game...

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Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Videos- Recap Of The NHL Playoff Games From Last Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Here is Sportsnet's nightly recap...

 

 

Below, the NHL's version of the recap...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Saturday’s Game 5 of the Wings-Bolts series will begin at 6 PM EDT

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Thanks to the Nashville Predators' win on Thursday, the fifth game of the Detroit Red Wings-Tampa Bay Lightning series will start at 6 PM EDT on Saturday, April 25th, and the game will air on Fox Sports Detroit and Fox Sports Florida.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

It Appears Doug Wilson Will Return As GM In San Jose

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Pollak of the Mercury News,

The Sharks' failure to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2003 will not result in top management turnover.

Owner Hasso Plattner sent a 513-word message to season-ticket holders Thursday that said both general manager Doug Wilson and chief operating officer John Tortora "did a good job" last year and offered no hint of potential changes at the top of the organization.

Recognizing fan disappointment in not making the playoffs, Plattner at the same time reaffirmed his commitment to Wilson's rebuild.

"We had hoped we could do both, stay competitive and rebuild at the same time," Plattner wrote. "It was close, but other teams in our conference were better, at least throughout the whole season, and deservedly finished ahead of us."

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: doug+wilson

Peter Chiarelli About To Be Hired In Edmonton

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Elliotte Friedman tweets,

Hearing the same thing as @JasonGregor -- that EDM will have a media conference tomorrow to announce the hiring of Peter Chiarelli.

Not sure of structure of the new front office, but it is believed Chiarelli will be President of Hockey Operations (or something like that).

via Bob McKenzie tweets,

Peter Chiarelli has been in EDM meeting with Bob Nicholson for past two days. EDM won't confirm, not yet anyway, news conference for Fri...

...but all signs point to him taking over all hockey operations for the Oilers. If Chiarelli was to take job there, he wanted full autonomy.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: peter+chiarelli

Quick take, Red Wings vs. Lightning, Game 4: Now it’s up for grabs

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

This game was about control. Detroit could either take full control of the series by opening up a 3-1 series lead, or Tampa Bay could wrest control back from Detroit, tying the series at 2 going into a set of 2 of 3 games in Tampa Bay.

Tampa wrested control from the Red Wings thanks to a staggering set of game-tying goals in 77 seconds and an OT marker, yielding a 3-2 win and a series tie that stunned the Wings, stunned their fans, and may have cost the Wings Luke Glendening in the process of a stupid, stupid, stupid scrum that predictably played into the visitors' hands.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Nice goal, Bishop

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

I am writing a recap of the Wings-Lightning game presently, but I believe this goal deserves its own post (nice one, Ben Bishop):

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

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