Kukla's Korner

They Know How To Win

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Shannon of Sportsnet,

There’s a simple reason why another Penguins vs. Red Wings final wouldn’t surprise me.

It’s Saturday afternoon and I’m watching two games at once: Nashville at Detroit and Atlanta at Pittsburgh.

Both the Penguins and Wings score late in the third period to force overtime, gaining points. Then it occurred to me that’s what championship teams do, they find ways to win. Oh sure, they have great players, but I think it has more to do with their innate ability to play under pressure, and actually work harder than the opposition.

I was reminded of the stories told by the Edmonton Oilers after losing to the Islanders in 1983.

After losing in Game 4 on Long Island, the Oilers players walked by the Islanders locker room expecting to hear champagne bottles popping and laughter. Instead, they heard very little, except tape being removed and players quietly congratulating each other.

Peeking inside, they saw wounded warriors, bandages and braces strewing all over the room, and the scars of battle all over the players’ bodies. Winning had come with a price, and the Islanders were prepared to pay that price.

continued with more hockey topics…

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

Babcock Talks Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Detroit Red Wings Coach Mike Babcock took part in a media conference call today,

Q. Obviously now moving on to your next season, was there a transition for you moving from the international stage at the Olympics back to the regular season grind of the NHL and trying to get into a playoff spot?

        COACH BABCOCK: None. No. I mean, we played the next night in Colorado. We needed the win. We talked about it. We found a way to win. We’ve been real fortunate in the fact that we were able to get on a great run.

        I really thought probably after the Olympic break that if we could ? we’d be playing Chicago on Sunday for hopes of getting in the playoffs. So our run’s been fantastic. It’s great to be in.

        Now we can make prudent decisions with our players. If guys needed to be ? need to take a day off because they’ve got a pull or their shoulder’s bad, we can give them that. We couldn’t over this stretch. We just had to find a way to get points.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+babcock

Holmstrom will Never Have A Chance To Win An Award Except This One

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Tomas Holmstrom was delighted, and somewhat touched, to learn Tuesday that he is the Detroit Red Wings’ nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,’’ Holmstrom said. “I never heard about the award.’‘

It’s given to the player who best demonstrates sportsmanship, perseverance and dedication to hockey. He was selected by the Detroit chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

“Oh, I’m honored,’’ Holmstrom said.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+holmstrom

What’s The Problem With Langenbrunner?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

With a little more than a week to go before the playoffs open, the Devils appear to have an unhappy captain.

Something clearly is bothering Jamie Langenbrunner, but he won’t say what it is.

Langenbrunner, who will be back in the lineup tonight in Atlanta after resting Saturday night in Carolina, would not speak to the media for the second day in a row.

“I have no comment,” he said after today’s morning skate when approached by the beat writers that cover the Devils.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jamie+langenbrunner

Chara Will Play With Broken Nose

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brendan Hall of Bruins Blog at the Boston Globe,

Bruins head coach Claude Julien confirmed that Zdeno Chara suffered a broken nose in last night’s 3-2 overtime loss at Washington, but should not be out of the lineup for Thursday’s home game against Buffalo.

Chara was not in the building for this afternoon’s brief optional practice at Ristuccia Arena.

“He’s getting it fixed, but it should be no issue, though,” Julien said.

Chara injured his nose in the second period last night, when Alexander Semin clipped the 6-foot-9 defenseman and captain with his stick, drawing blood. Chara returned to the bench later in the period. There was no penalty given to Semin.

continue for more on the Bruins…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: zdeno+chara

Thrashers GM Could See Kovalchuk Signing With Devils

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

Atlanta Thrashers general manager Don Waddell wasn’t able to re-sign Ilya Kovalchuk, so he traded him to the Devils on Feb. 4.

He doesn’t see a reason why Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello won’t be able to re-sign him, though.

“There is no reason why (not),” Waddell said this morning. “New Jersey is a good franchise. They’re very professionally run. Lou does a tremendous job and they have chance to win every year. So, I don’t see why it couldn’t happen.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

Washington & Pittsburgh Meet Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

The regular-season finale for the NHL’s best rivalry takes place tonight in what is hopefully just the appetizer and not the dessert this season.

Please, please, give us more of this when it really counts. In the meantime, we’ll settle for the fourth and final regular-season meeting between NHL-leading Washington and reigning Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh.

“The Washington games always seem to bring out the best in both teams,” Penguins GM Ray Shero told ESPN.com on Monday evening. “There’s a lot more intensity, emotion and urgency in everyone’s game. You have to be real good against a team like Washington just to have a chance to win.”

The Penguins, despite solid efforts in their past two encounters against the Caps, are looking to break that ugly goose egg in the win column against their rivals.


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

Getting Ready For The Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

If you are a regular follower of KK, you know these names, but if you are not, you may want to check out my NHL.com blog today where I point out some of the MSM to follow during the playoffs.

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Thoughts From Friedman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

• Are all of these goaltending struggles happening because they are not allowed to dress like the Michelin Man anymore?

• You have to give Sabres owner Tom Golisano credit. After butchering negotiations with Daniel Briere and Chris Drury, he’s locked up Ryan Miller, Derek Roy and Jason Pominville. Golisano has learned sports requires some different principles than the business world.

• Been very surprised at some of the venom directed at the Avalanche for their late-season falter. Obviously, they’d like to make the playoffs, but some perspective is in order. They’ve overachieved beyond belief.

more plus Elliotte says Winnipeg is plan C for the NHL…

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Goodbye To Fours On-Ice Officials

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

TORONTO (April 6, 2010) – Four men in black, and white will officiate their final NHL regular-season games in April. Veteran referees Kerry Fraser and Dan Marouelli and linesmen Mark Paré and Lyle Seitz will retire from active duty after the conclusion of the 2009-10 season, the National Hockey League announced today.

“We thank Kerry, Dan, Mark and Lyle for their many years of professionalism and dedication,” said Terry Gregson, NHL Senior Vice President and Director of Officiating. “We wish them all the best in their future endeavors and honor the contributions each made to our League”.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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