Kukla's Korner

No Elite Goaltending Left In The 2009 Playoffs

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

One of the more surprising things in the playoffs so far is that goaltending has not been able to carry any team deep into the playoffs.  The remaining teams do not have elite goaltending.  If you made a list of the five best goaltenders in the game today, it would not include any of the remaining goalies in the playoffs.  The remaining goalies are mid-level goalies at best.  That is an alarming realization.  How can these be the best teams in the league when none have elite goaltending?

Cam Ward of the Carolina Hurricanes is probably the best goalie still in the playoffs.  He won the 2006 Conn Smythe Trophy, but it was a case of when in doubt give it to the goalie and not a case of him being deserving.  Since then Ward has been a solid goalie but he has never wound up in any series Vezina races.

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Lecavalier & Jack Johnson Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Dreger of TSN,

The conversations surrounding Tampa Bay Lightning forward Vincent Lecavalier are likely to heat up as we get closer to July 1, when the no-trade clause on his contract kicks in.

The two teams mentioned most when Lecavalier’s name comes up seem to be the Montreal Canadiens and Los Angeles Kings. With regards to the Kings, defenceman Jack Johnson is one of the players mentioned as possibly being involved in any deal with Tampa.

I had an interesting chat with Barry Smith, who is the head coach of SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL - and he said Johnson’s father, Jack Johnson Sr., contacted St. Petersburg prior to the World Hockey Championship to see if the team would have interest in signing his son to a one-year contract.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jack+johnson, vinny+lecavalier

Penguins Take Game 1 Of ECF

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Pittsburgh wins 3-2 in a game filled with numerous scoring chances.

It looks like this series could go deep.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Buble Not Happy With Canucks Coaching

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Yvonne Zacharias of the Vancouver Sun,

Crooner Michael Buble is in Los Angeles these days recording a new album set to be released Oct. 15.

But don’t think he hasn’t made time for hockey. The Vancouver native, who is a part owner of the Vancouver Giants, is a huge hockey fan. He watched the Vancouver Canucks in the playoffs, including their 7-5 loss to Chicago in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinal, at his home in the City of Angels.

Q: What did you think?

A: I was disgusted. I have to take you back to Game 4 with a period left where [Alain] Vigneault stopped sending in two guys and started playing the trap. All year, when everyone kept saying, “Fire the coach!”, I kept saying No, he is a good coach. But every time the Canucks were up by one, he started to employ the trap. We should have won this series. I think the Canucks should have gone home up 3-1 and that would have been that. Instead, I think [Vigneault] tried to play a chess match. I don’t think we were beat by a better team ... I think we were out-coached.

continued

A few months ago I was introduced to Michael’s music and was very impressed, glad to know he is a hockey fan too.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: michael+buble

Roy Claims No Offer Was Made

Blog: KK Hockey By IwoCPO

Oh the intrigue.  Patrick Roy is now saying nobody’s contacted him. He’s not commenting. Don’t ask him anything. 

“I talked to him this morning and he said all those reports are speculation, he never received a formal offer,” said Nicole Bouchard, director of media relations for the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Roy is also general manager of the Remparts.

Bouchard said Roy wasn’t available for interviews. Earlier, he told French-Language network Radio Canada: “I never received an offer ... but anyway, I’m not commenting.”

More from the Globe and Mail.

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Wings As A Stress-Buster

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,

Motown was a depressing place long before the auto industry began crumbling, and it’s only getting worse. Just the other day, General Motors announced it was chopping 1,100 dealerships across the United States. People who spent their lives making an honest, middle-class living are now struggling to put food on the table.

Virtually everyone in southeast Michigan has a neighbor, friend or relative who has lost their job or watched their homes sink into foreclosure. Steve Yzerman has a radio spot saying how proud he was to live here. It sounded as if the region needed a civic pep talk from one of its sports heroes just to make it through the day.

Fortunately, the hard-working people here can take comfort knowing Joe Louis Arena is just down the street from GM’s headquarters. The Red Wings provide an opportunity for people to escape from the stress that comes with the daily grind. Every few days, they can rally behind the best hockey team in the league.

read on

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

Coach Quenneville On An Off Day

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Q. Before we get to X’s and O’s on the series, your thoughts on Patrick Roy being offered the Colorado Avalanche job?

JOEL QUENNEVILLE:  I think it’s speculation.  I don’t really want to touch that story.  So we’ll see.  I don’t want to talk about innuendo and speculation.

Q. Do you think a lot of adjustments need to be made by your team in Game 2 or do what you do better?

JOEL QUENNEVILLE:  I think we got to do things better.  You know, some things we’ll look at to maybe tweak a little bit along the way.  But I still think we got to be—the pace of our game’s got to be consistent and stronger, and we got to be harder in the puck area.

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

Off Day Odds And Ends

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Reality check in Hockeytown.  If you think Andreas Lilja’s playing this round, it sounds like you should think again.

“It’s going in the right direction,” Lilja told me today. “I get a couple of hours without headaches and then it comes back and then in a couple of hours it goes away again. I’m just waiting for it to stop completely.”

Lilja began skating in practices after the Columbus series ended in late April (he’s not yet cleared for contact), so his conditioning has improved from spending a month doing nothing.

“It’s getting better, but I haven’t really started back-skating yet,” he said. “I hope I can still play – I have big faith in the guys they’re going to take us to the next round, and I just have to hope I’m healthy for that.”

Based on this, “Lilja told me”, you know who the reporter is

 

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Previewing Game 1 Of ECF- Pittsburgh/Carolina

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Related story from Scott Burnside of ESPN…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Guide to Playoff Prognostication: A Look at How the Experts Make Their Picks

Blog: KK Members Blog By Mandingo

The prognostication game is a very difficult business. There is a reason why it’s reserved only for the best and brightest of pundits—because it requires an almost preternatural ability to understand the game of hockey in a way most regular fans simply cannot. The casual fan may think he or she has what it takes but—make no mistake—their hockey acumen is no match for someone with a Communications degree and a close relative and/or fraternity brother in the business. 

Members of the mainstream North American hockey media spend countless hours watching games, considering strengths and weaknesses of respective teams, breaking down statistics…and then go on to pick the Rangers to win the Stanley Cup for no other reason than they’re from New York.

It’s this unbiased, diligent consideration of the facts that separates professionals from those who are simply fans. If Linda Cohn thinks the Rangers can beat everyone in the Eastern Conference (plus the Red Wings), rest assured it’s because of their stunning regular and post-season success over the past four years and not because the cover of her autobiography is a picture of her wearing a Mark Messier jersey. This willingness to think outside the box is what differentiates someone like her from an amateur who would take the easy route and make evidence-based predictions.

Her colleague, respected hockey journalist and fellow Communications scholar John Buccigross, is just as assiduous in his sizing up of the season to come. By rigorously uncovering clues and hidden symbols in various song lyrics from whatever adult-contemporary-posing-as-rock-bands happened to be shuffling through his iPod at the time, Bucci very astutely predicts Montreal as your 2008-2009 Stanley Cup champion. Based on sheer blood instinct—and the positive vibes of the Little River Band’s wimp-rock stylings—Bucci likes the Habs because, hey, it’s their 100th anniversary and they are “balanced, well-managed and have a positive energy.” 

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Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: media

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