Kukla's Korner

Improbable Oiler Run

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox, special to ESPN,

Oh yeah, we're all real hockey experts up here. People talk about Canadians and hockey the same way they do about the Swiss and chocolate and Russians and vodka. We're supposed to know good hockey from bad, supposed to understand the intricacies of our national game (lacrosse, if you must know, is officially the national sport, although Duke is forcing us to rethink this) in a way that eludes those who don't carry a Canadian passport.... Well, duh, how come nobody in the Great White North saw the Edmonton Oilers coming, then?... So, to offer up excuses on behalf of all Canadians, no, we didn't see the possibility of Oilers players using their foreheads to block shots, and no, we didn't foresee Roloson inspiring the troops like Churchill. This Oilers run is, at the very least, improbable.
read on

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Sabres Sell Out Quickly

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Buffalo Business First,

The Sabres said Wednesday the tickets made available to the general public for games 3, 4 and 6 were bought up in less than 20 minutes after going on sale at 9 a.m. The majority of tickets had already been purchased by season ticket holders, leaving just a few thousand for individual ticket purchasers.

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Sweden Beats USA

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the IIHF,

All Swedes can now join in a hearty chorus of "Den Glider In," their old World Championship pop anthem. Although it may be a little premature to belt out ABBA's "The Winner Takes It All," Tre Kronor's hopes of double IIHF gold in 2006 are alive. Mika Hannula's three goals lifted Sweden to a dominating 6-0 quarter-final win over the USA at Riga Arena Wednesday afternoon. The victory launches the Swedes into a May 20 semi-final meeting with the winner of Canada-Slovakia.
continued added 2:50pm, from the IIHF,
In a tense, tightly played quarter-final Wednesday night at Riga Arena, Canada defeated Slovakia 4-1. Patrice Bergeron scored the winner with 7:07 left, and Canada advances to the semi-finals versus Sweden on May 20. Mike Cammalleri, Sidney Crosby, and Jeff Carter also scored for Canada. Dusan Milo replied for Slovakia.

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The New Look Ducks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the OC Register,

The Mighty Ducks' confidence isn't the only thing that has been growing during their Stanley Cup playoff run. Following a longstanding NHL custom/superstition, many of the players are letting their beards grow. (OK, in some cases, whiskers and peach fuzz is a more accurate description.) It has become an unwritten rule to stop shaving during the NHL playoffs, a tradition that is believed to date to the New York Islanders' glory years in the early 1980s.
continued

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Any Oiler Want To Guarantee A Victory

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Canada.com,

Georges Laraque speaks his mind and, occasionally, speaks as if he has lost his mind. But not even Laraque would stand and deliver what this playoff series really needed Tuesday -- a Game 6 guarantee. He wanted no part of mimicking Joe Namath before Super Bowl III or Mark Messier on the eve of Game 6 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Final. He really didn't want to be Rasheed Wallace before the Pistons lost to the Cavaliers earlier this week. At this point, not even Rasheed Wallace wants to be Rasheed Wallace. "Even if I was drunk or my life depended on it, I would never make a prediction like that," laughed Laraque.
continued

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Willing To Help OLN

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Loose Change of the Hockey News offers some suggestions for OLN:

Drinking Games. College kids are the hardest to attract and the most desirable to advertisers. Want to increase your frat share? Try talking in their language. (Announcer): Remember everybody, you can only chug when your team goes offside. If you accidentally chug for the wrong team, you must do another shot and hold your breath until the next commercial. If the next commercial is a beer ad you must keep doing shots until your team goes offside again, in which case you will chug twice as a penalty. Speaking of penalties…You get the picture.
read on

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Eric Cole Not Sure About Return

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Cox News Service via the Daily Sentinel,

The neck brace that Cole was wearing just 10 days ago, when he appeared to large cheers on the RBC Center video screen during Game 1 of the New Jersey series, is for the most part gone. He still must wear it at night, when sleeping. Doctors took additional X-rays Monday and Cole expects the results of those today. From those, he'll sit down and talk with his doctors about where to go from here in the rehabilitation process. He hasn't laced up a pair of skates yet but has been working in the weight room and on exercise equipment. "I think we've done a good job of getting that base of conditioning," Cole said. As to whether he could return during the Stanley Cup finals, Cole isn't sure. "There's always hope," Cole said. "The chance to come back would be very exciting."
more

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Shero Could Be Bruins Next GM

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Boston Herald,

Ray Shero looks more and more like the Bruins’ choice to be their next general manager. The 43-year-old former Ottawa (six years) and Nashville (eight years) assistant GM seems to have emerged from a pack of legitimate contenders with the B’s expected to name their man within the next two weeks. “I keep hearing it’s Shero as the leading candidate,” said one reliable league source. “I think they want to go with the younger guy. It sounds as though (executive vice president) Charlie Jacobs is very active in this. I certainly doubt that he and (president) Harry (Sinden) are on the same page, but Harry is certainly involved.
continued

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Horcoff Produces

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the National Post,

With two teachers for parents, it was a given that Shawn was going to college, and he didn't just go to Michigan State to eat his lunch. He listened, and learned, and what the Edmonton Oilers got, when he finally turned pro two years after they drafted him 99th overall in 1998, was an adult, not a boy, well on his way to being a complete hockey player. As the Oilers' run through the 2006 Stanley Cup playoffs has progressed, the 27-year-old Horcoff -- a workout fanatic with a powerful build, quick feet and a fiendish work ethic -- has been one of the most productive players in their lineup.
read on

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The Ice Maker

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News & Observer,

"It gets boring sometimes," said RBC Center building superintendent Donnie MacMillan. "It's my choice, but it does get lonely, you know. How many episodes of 'Law & Order' can you watch?" But MacMillan, one of two men who drives the ice-resurfacing machine -- it's an Olympia, but everyone calls it a Zamboni -- at Hurricanes games, embraces the life because he's working the ice. It's what he has been doing at rinks in Connecticut and North Carolina for 24 years. He has been living in his motor home for nine years, since the NHL's Hartford Whalers moved, first to Greensboro and then to Raleigh. The camper was simply a convenience early on. Not wanting to give up his home in Connecticut during the team's move in 1997, MacMillan asked whether he could park his motor home near the Greensboro Coliseum. Dave Olsen, now the RBC Center general manager and MacMillan's boss with the Whalers and Hurricanes, said sure.
more

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