Kukla's Korner

Excitement Builds

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

Teams in the NHL playoffs have pulled out all the stops for raucous pre-game shows in their buildings. TV viewers see only brief segments, missing out for the most part on the most colourful promotional aspect of playoff hockey. In Montreal, the Canadiens beam a video onto the Bell Centre ice before games covering moments from their 24 Stanley cup victories and ending with images of the current players. The San Jose Sharks' pre-game has a dynamic build-up to the players' arrival onto the ice. It begins with the walk from the dressing room to classical music. There is lighting behind each player's head, casting huge silhouettes, and there is extra lighting during the playoffs to further highlight the massive shark's head through which the players reach the ice.
read on

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Why

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fox Sports,

The Red Wings are one loss away from taking an early exit from the NHL playoffs for a third straight time. Since winning the Stanley Cup in 2002, the Dead Things #&151; I mean Red Wings #&151; were eliminated within the first two rounds in 2003 and 2004 postseason tournaments. And if trouble comes in three, the Red Wings are up the creek without a paddle. Detroit is one loss away from another crash-and-burn postseason. The vital signs are not good if you are a fan of the Red Wings. Detroit may have outshot Edmonton and only lost by a goal in Game 5, but the 3-2 outcome flattered the Red Wings. The Oilers were the better team by a proverbial country mile.
more

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Panthers Plan Payroll Increase

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Sun-Sentinel,

After a season under the NHL's new economic system, Panthers owner Alan Cohen says he is confident the team will be able to sign goalie Roberto Luongo long-term and will raise payroll by as much as $10 million to keep the team together and add defensemen. "I would like Roberto to be our goalie till he retires," Cohen said. "Hopefully with a few Stanley Cups in hand and a load of banners in the rafters that he backstopped. Plus his jersey.
continued

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Important To Beat The Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Alan Hahn of Newsday,

Brodeur, who again lost to the Rangers in 1994 and '97, talked about it from the start of the series, how he wanted to go through them. He talked about it during the series, how despite their eight-year run of futility in the midst of the Devils' dynamic run of success (and two Stanley Cups since 2000), the Rangers were still the metropolitan area's trademark for hockey. "We live with Rangers fans," he said. "All my neighbors are Rangers fans, my kid's coach is a Rangers fan. Anyone who says it's not sweet shouldn't be in here." Yes, it means that much to him, even after all he has accomplished.
more

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Can’t Think Of A Story- Bash Detroit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeremy Loome of the Edmonton Sun,

This week, Networth explores that nasty strip of urban blight known as Detroit, home to the Soon-to-be-DeadThings. Y'know, we were just kidding around when we went Google-ing for reasons to dislike the Motor City as the Oilers joust with the Wings in the first round of the NHL playoffs. But it turns out there are so many reasons to think Detroit sucks, the average resident there would probably rather live .... well, anywhere else, really. And most of these come from Detroit web pages. So without further ado, let the bashing begin... If you're wondering how Detroit went from a bustling, gleaming metropolis of two million souls in the 1950s to the cruddy, decaying mess it is now, just consider the whole racism thing again.
read on

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Sabres Looking For A Turnaround

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Sun,

Pounding on the already wounded psyche of the Buffalo sporting community, the Flyers ran a replay of Scott Norwood's missed field goal in Super Bowl XXV that left the Bills on the short end of a 20-19 score to the New York Giants. At the end of the display, the word "CHOKERS" appeared on the video screen. Whether that was a direct inference to the Sabres' sudden struggles is not yet clear. This is a young, fast Buffalo team that has shown a lot of resiliency and never quits. At the same time, there were a number of disturbing tendencies in Philly that Ruff must get straightened out when his team steps on to the HSBC Arena ice this afternoon for Game 5.
read on from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
And what a big change for Peter Forsberg. In the first two games, he didn't play well at all but, back on home ice, he was absolutely dominant (back-to-back two-goal, one-assist performances), just like the Peter Forsberg of old who dominated the playoffs with the Colorado Avalanche. How are the Buffalo Sabres going to stop him?
more

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Wings Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Trevor Thompson of Fox Sportsnet Detroit,

I said the Wings would win this one in six. I was dead wrong. They're poised to lose it in that fashion instead. But the series is a best of seven games. All the team has to do is force a seventh. If they do, it's in their building and my predicition could wind up only being one game off. Sadly, not many think this is going to happen. What people are thinking is that they've seen this act before. They've seen this core group of Wings go to Los Angeles needing to win a game to stay a live in the first round... they've watched late-night as they team fought in Anaheim to avoid being swept in round one... and they hoped the team travelling to Calgary for game six would bring a game seven back with them in round two. Each time, when there was hope for one more home game, all hope ended on the road. After this game 5 the general sentiment in the bowels of JLA was that we are headed down that same road. We're in the midst of a flashback.
more

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Beat By A Better Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

“We lost as a team,” Tortorella said. “And we lost to a team that was simply better than we were.” Telling that kind of unvarnished truth got the coach into hot water earlier in the series, when he said publicly what was obvious to anyone who had been paying attention – that lousy goaltending from John Grahame was killing the Lightning, and sapping their morale. The most obvious change for the worse is that instead of Nikolai Khabibulin between the pipes, who left the team as a free agent, it was Grahame and the veteran Sean Burke. By singling Grahame out after the Lightning lost game four, Tortorella rankled some of the players, including the veteran Burke, who started tonight and played extremely well.
read on

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How Are You Holding Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Sun,

Now that we're deep into the first round of the playoffs, how are you holding up? Do your bar tabs read like a mortgage payment? Have you put grooves in your couch and at least two delivery places on the speed dial? How often are you imitating Bob Cole? (In my house, it's a daily occurrence). I'm completely absorbed in a desperate attempt to watch as much as I can. Recording games, watching and rewatching plays, catching highlights of other games online -- I'm surprised I haven't begun to twitch yet.
continued

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Your Sunday Viewing Pleasure

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NBC-HD game is Flyers vs. Sabres. The NBC game (click for coverage map) not available on your local NBC station will be shown on Center Ice. Also on CI is the Canadiens/Hurricanes. image

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