Kukla's Korner

Lemaire Retires

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

Devils coach Jacques Lemaire announced his retirement this morning.

added 12:31pm, This was added to the same blog post from Tom,

Lemaire tried to tell the team during a meeting this morning at Prudential Cennter, but was too emotional to get the words out, so team president and general manager Lou Lamoriello did it for him..

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jacques+lemaire

Vanek Will Play Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via John Vogl of Sabres Edge,

Thomas Vanek will be in the lineup for the Buffalo Sabres tonight.

“All indications point to him playing,” coach Lindy Ruff said before the Sabres took the ice for the 11:30 morning skate.

“The only decision I can make is whether I think his conditioning will be enough to get him through a game,” Ruff said. “I think it will be. He indicated yesterday that he felt he was ready to play.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: thomas+vanek

A Little Of This, A Little Of That

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Shannon of Sportsnet,

1. The Oilers’ house-cleaning will continue. Some key players will be moved, in hopes of acquiring another first-round choice.

2. Up to six teams throughout the US are struggling big time. The league has advanced some TV dollars and a percentage of revenue sharing that teams would normally get in September.

3. The Stars’ sale will occur this summer and one of the potential ownership groups is led by a former Star. No, it’s not Brett Hull, but rather Jim Lites, the teams’ former president and the man who helped grow hockey throughout the state of Texas. That would be great news for the team and league.

more hockey topics…

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

Numbers Say Buffalo Should Be Leading

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from CBC,

In every game of the series the Bruins have gone down by a goal within the first nine minutes of the game. The trend is actually getting worse for Boston, as Buffalo has been on the scoreboard within the first 2½ minutes of the last two games.

Boston has held a lead for just under 20 minutes total in the entire series, while Buffalo has played with a lead for a cumulative total that nearly the equals three entire games — 178 minutes.

The Bruins hold an incongruous advantage in the series because they prevailed in a double overtime thriller in Game 4, a contest in which they never led.

more on the Bruins/Sabres series…

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

Senators May Not Be Able To Sign Anton Volchenkov

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from James Gordon of the Ottawa Citizen,

General manager Bryan Murray didn’t sound very optimistic when asked Monday what the chances were of re-signing the shot-blocking wizard.

“I don’t know whether or not I’m going to be able to get him signed,” Murray told reporters while his players cleaned out their lockers for the summer. “Cap numbers…it’s going to be very difficult.

“We all have to work with budgets and numbers imposed by the league,” he continued. “We have three or four restricted free agents, young people, that even if we get them down to the numbers I’m hoping to get them done at — that’s usually not the case — that, budget-wise, we’ll be in a position where it’ll be difficult.”

read on for more on Ottawa…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anton+volchenkov

Season On The Line For The Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press,

The Wings are on the verge of proving that their regular-season record—often blamed on injuries—was more real than they admit.

“We ended up a five seed because that’s how we produced, how we played,” Zetterberg said. “If we would have been better, we would have been higher.”

They must be careful that that’s not their epitaph. There is no shame in taking lumps in any NHL playoff round. But great teams have to give more than they get.

more

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

Interest In The NHL Is Good

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Consoli of MEDIAWEEK,

Five years after a labor dispute put the kibosh on the 2004-05 National Hockey League season, the sport is enjoying a resurgence, as ratings and advertising revenue are showing signs of growth. The improvement couldn’t come at a better time for the league, which is expected to start negotiations on its new television rights contract later this year….

“There is a good, healthy buzz about the NHL,” said Christine Merrifield, senior vp and director of video investment at MediaVest. “From an advertiser perspective, it’s priced fairly. and being able to combine broadcast and cable buys is good.” Scale may be the only factor working against the NHL. “The one downside is that it doesn’t have a mass reach that the other major TV sports have,” she said.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

First Round Letters

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

With the best first round of the playoffs in years coming down to the short strokes, I thought I would take time to write some letters to people in the hockey world.

Dear Phoenix Coyotes and Detroit Red Wings:

I don’t know how this series will ultimately turn out, but thanks for everything. Yours has been by far the most compelling and entertaining series in the first round so far. And given the quality of hockey we’ve seen this April, that’s saying something.

The only downside is that one of you won’t be around for the second round and I worry how much the winner will have left after Game 7.

Dear NHL referees:

Hey guys. When a player, either a defenseman or a forward, is standing in the slot and he gets cross-checked in the back and falls face-first into the ice, isn’t that supposed to be a penalty?

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Luongo Could Be The Playoff Story

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Last week, I worried that there might be no Canadian teams left in the playoffs by the middle of this week (hyper-sensitive Canucks fans, of course, took that as a prediction they would lose even though I picked their team to win the series before it began. Sigh.). Well, the Canucks are certainly more than alive, and probably will be the favourite in the new round regardless of their opponent, and the Montreal Canadiens still have a shot, while down 3-2, against the Eastern Conference champion Washington Capitals.

They were that impressive in the final two games against the Kings, one a romp, one a tight contest in which they had to fight from behind and win by scoring late.

For a few years, the Luongo worship in Vancouver as been a bit silly, really, given his lack of production when it mattered. GM Mike Gillis’ decision to make him captain just added to the cult of personality.

But with all that behind him, and without having a particularly good season, wouldn’t it be a compelling story if this became the spring in which Luongo finally delivered on all that promise in the NHL post-season.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: roberto+luongo

Kings May Only Get Better

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

...The Canucks saluted the Kings too. “They’ve got a great team,” Henrik Sedin said. “If they can stay together, they’re going to be an unbelievable team for a lot of years.”

That prediction has a better chance of coming true if they get better goaltending, or at least the consistency Quick displayed before his late-season fade. Smyth made a point of consoling Quick after the game.

“I thought he had an excellent year. He’s the one reason we’re here in the playoffs. And I just wanted to tell him that and that he’s a big difference,” Smyth said.

His play is also one of the reasons they’re done, though depth up the middle and a lack of speed on defense were keys too.

Those thoughts are for General Manager Dean Lombardi to ponder in the coming months. On Sunday players couldn’t help but ponder what might have been.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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