Kukla's Korner

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

One thing I know for sure is the national and international hockey media surely will jump on this series and make it the premiere match-up of the first round. How could they not? After all, the Red Wings are the Yankees/Cowboys of the NHL and the Coyotes, despite being the higher seed in this series, are perceived as the NHL’s little engine that could in 2009-10.

-Dave Vest of PhoenixCoyotes.com.

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

A Good Chance The Cup Will Stay In the East

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,

The West is the best.

It took 95 points for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference to make the playoffs this season compared to just 88 in the East.

So why bother even allowing Eastern Conference teams to compete in this season’s NHL playoffs?

We’re kidding, of course.

I’ll tell you why: Because as good as the Western Conference has been this year, there is a very good chance the Stanley Cup champion will come from the East.

In addition to the fact the Washington Capitals won the President’s Trophy with 121 points, there’s also the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins to consider. Also, the Northeast Division champion Buffalo Sabres, with superstar goaltender Ryan Miller, might just have that lethal combination of good defence and depth on offence to go deep into the playoffs.

Then there’s the New Jersey Devils.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Another Shakeup In Tampa?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

It appears as though there is about to be a housecleaning in Tampa Bay.

XM NHL Home Ice is reporting that according to sources Lightning General Manager Brian Lawton and head coach Rick Tocchet will be relieved of their duties on Monday.

update 9:30am, via Bob McKenzie tweet,

Rick Tocchet fired, as per @DarrenDreger.

added 9:36am, Another McKenzie tweet,

Lawton’s firing now confirmed as well.

added 9:51am, via NHL.com,

“Now that the 2009-10 Tampa Bay Lightning season has concluded, we have decided to replace Brian and Rick,” said Vinik upon making the announcement. “Our hockey operations department needs a fresh start in order to help us fulfill our goal of being a world-class organization. I’d like to thank both Brian and Rick for their dedication and service to the Lightning.

“Our search for a Chief Executive Officer is well underway and we are in the process of interviewing candidates. After the new CEO is hired, he will hire our new General Manager in time to prepare for the draft and free agency periods.”

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

Niemi Ready As Can Be

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune,

Asked when he would be able to forget the disappointment of giving up a game-winner with home ice throughout the Western Conference playoffs on the line in order to focus on the Predators, Niemi didn’t blink.

“Today, tonight, before tomorrow,’’ Niemi said. “I am almost as ready as I can be.’‘

A hopeful hockey city can think optimistically along with Niemi, but truthfully nobody really knows for sure. Experience removes doubt and Niemi has none. His playoff start in Game 1 Friday will be his first.

To say Niemi is the biggest factor in how long the Blackhawks’ postseason lasts is like saying April showers are key to May flowers. Nothing has been more obvious about this 112-point season since coach Joel Quenneville installed Niemi as the goaltender March 28 after Cristobal Huet lost his confidence, then his job.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: antti+niemi

The Picks Have Started

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Phoenix (West #4) v. Detroit (West #5)

Phoenix wasn’t even supposed to have an NHL team this year, let alone an NHL playoff team, and now all that’s left for this overachieving band of hockey-playing vagabonds is to exorcise that 23-year span in which the franchise hasn’t won a playoff round (1987 vs. Calgary in Winnipeg days, in case you’re counting). It won’t be easy though - Detroit has lost only three times since the Olympic break and rookie Jimmy Howard is 15-0-2 in his last 17 decisions. Nothing about Phoenix’s personnel would suggest that they belong in the league’s elite, except their collective and overall persistence; and a keen understanding on how to play the game in all three zones. Except for Shane Doan, the Coyotes’ leading men were all unwanted elsewhere (Lee Stempniak, Matt Lombardi, Wojtek Wolski, Adrian Aucoin). That last laugh reverberating around Jobing.com Arena must surely be sweet.

Pick: Phoenix (in seven).

read on for Eric’s and David Shoalts picks for each first round series…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Lundqvist Deserved Better

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jay Greenberg of the NY Post,

For a team that had lost most of the races and one-on-one battles, that had been hanging onto a cliff by practically the last ounce of strength in Henrik Lundqvist’s grip, the Rangers yesterday still, at the end of 65 minutes, had the Flyers where they wanted them.

“[Coach] John [Tortorella] even said [before the overtime], ‘Don’t totally sit back, but don’t let it end here, because we have a big advantage in goal in the shootout,’ ” said Erik Christensen.

The Rangers, 7-1-1 just to get to one game for eighth place, had kept borrowing time, and Lundqvist was stealing them another two weeks. Apprehension filled the house down to the Flyers’ bench.

“It’s a little bit ironic, how this happens, Lundqvist being probably the best shootout goalie in the league, along with Ryan Miller,” Danny Briere would say later. “The Rangers have been pretty successful and the Flyers haven’t in shootouts.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

What To Do In Phoenix Before Your May 1st Tee Time

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

I have no idea why this stuff surprises me every year.  But it does.  The idiots run amok for a few days, their team gets their asses handed to them, and they disappear until two or three years later when Gary lets them make the playoffs again.  Ready?  I know that you are.

Five For Howling

...we have to deal with their annoying, know-it-all, douchebag fans thinking they can come into OUR HOUSE and thinking they can run things. To that end i’m asking for you to step it up for the playoffs and do the following things.

Of course, a list follows.  Because that’s what bloggers do this time of year when they’re not used to playoff hockey.  They make lists.  And what do their readers do?  This…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Doubting Us? Well, Stand By To STFU

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

So…there’s this.

San Diego Union Tribune

Just two days before the Detroit Red Wings begin their journey toward an inevitable, and remarkable, 12th Stanley Cup San Diego’s bayfront will get a large, gray, flat-topped addition starting Monday morning with the arrival of the Navy aircraft carrier Carl Vinson.

Ok. So I may have shifted a few words around.  I don’t know. 


Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

The 19th Annual A2Y Playoff Preview - Round 1 - Western Conference

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By VooX

Welcome to the Century Club, otherwise known as the Western Conference playoff standings.

I’m not a pharmacist and I’ve watched a fraction the hockey our friend HockeyTownTodd, aka Gramps and Eeyore, has watched this season.  Thankfully I do little fact-checking and care less about stats.  I am ideally qualified to render commentary on the playoff teams this season.

This is the only time I’m going to make this statement:  As a Wings fan I expect the Wings to win the Stanley Cup every season.  Even with this expectation, anything can and will happen during the playoffs.  I am stocking up now for the antacids I’ll need to go through another playoff series with the Wings.  While I am ever humble to what the playoff gods may bring, I choose to be loud and sarcastic.  That is my right as a fan of the Red Wings, the best sports organ-I-zation in the world.

It may get pretty real around here.  Fisticuffs are encouraged.  Just step outside the bar to do it.

After the jump the A2Y Western Conference round one preview, there is no whining or diving allowed.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

As I was leaving the game (Frozen Four), a begger in a wheelchair starting talking hockey smack to me (I was wearing my old Coyotes Roenick jersey that night).  He was telling me how he wanted the Wings to get the Yotes in the 1st round.  Only in the D would you get beggers talking hockey smack.

-CP2Devil of Japers’ Rink.  Read more about his trip to Hockeytown.

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

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