Kukla's Korner

Carolina Vets Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Off-day talking from Wesley and Weight-

DOUG WEIGHT: I think we're in the fourth round of the toughest championship in the world to win. We know it's going to be the toughest game to win. I think we're all pretty well grounded. We know what we have it do. We know how we have to play. We know how they are going to come out. Obviously we're going to have to have the fans behind us, it's going to be a big game emotionally, and have to talk about some things to keep in check and keep discipline in check, but I think we know what we have to do. Q. Will this be a long 24 hours for you never having been this close before? GLEN WESLEY: I slept well the night before Game 4, so I don't see why it's going to change. Obviously we have got to focus and get our rest and prepare for Game 5 here, but the bottom line is you know, in preparing for Game 5 and you know, it's obviously difficult to think about, and the biggest thing you got to do is prepare ourselves and know what is going to be at stake and we know we have got to play our best game in the series.
more in the comments...

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What Are The Predators Worth

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from WSMV,

The Nashville Predators aren't happy at having their net worth questioned by an attorney hired by the local government, and now they're asking Nashville to pay up on bonuses owed to the company that runs their arena. The Predators had attorneys outline their demands in four letters delivered to Nashville attorneys Monday in response to arguments over the team's financial stability over the past year. They charge the contract has been breached and have given Metro Nashville government until July 10 to pay up or negotiate. That could open up a clause for the Predators to end their agreement, which might allow them to leave Nashville. "I don't think the Predators have any intention of doing that," team attorney Chris Whitson said.
continued

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Upcoming Draft

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Taking a tour around the hockey bloggers today, I see some of us received the same notification from NHL Draft Net. They are distinguishing themselves as a hockey blog intent on full coverage of the NHL Draft in Vancouver on June 24th. I will let Ted Leonsis give you a little background on the blog and my feelings are we do need something like this. I know when June 24th roles around, I hope to have a nice cocktail in my hand, lounging in the sun. It has been a long year and a half for me and burnout is right around the corner. image

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Rink Size Favors North Americans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via the Globe and Mail,

Playing the 2010 Winter Olympic hockey tournament on North American-sized ice makes sense, considering the contribution the NHL makes to the Games, says NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. "We think it will enhance the tournament and we're pleased," Bettman said in Edmonton while attending the NHL Stanley Cup final. "Considering we stop our season in the middle, and in Turin 160 of our players went, I think it is a sensible decision." Edmonton Oiler defenceman Chris Pronger, a three-time Olympian who won a gold medal at the 2002 Salt Lake Games, said playing on the smaller ice will give Canada and the U.S. an advantage. "It's going to play more into our hands, Canadian and Americans who have played on that ice surface for their whole lives," said Pronger. "It's a little more tailor-made for our skill sets and how we like to play."
more

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Michigan Connection

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Lage of the AP via Mlive,

The Carolina Hurricanes are a win away from hoisting the Stanley Cup and making Peter Karmanos Jr. the third Detroit-area owner in four NHL seasons to win a title. Karmanos is part of an exclusive club of Michigan businessmen who own professional sports teams in and out of the state. "There's only one (NHL) team in the Detroit area, and even if they were for sale I don't think the owner would sell them to me," Karmanos said. That jab was directed at his rival, Mike Ilitch, who led the Detroit Red Wings to their third title under his watch in 2002 — over Karmanos and the Hurricanes. Ilitch also owns the Detroit Tigers.
read on

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Changes Coming

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

If the Canes with the Cup, they just may have some influence around the NHL. According to Loose Change, some of the changes to look forward to:

-They’ll go back to the one Zamboni-system, which will be OK since the rink can be re-surfaced in 21 seconds with a six hundred horsepower python under the hood. -Teams will start travelling to road games in ten-year-old Winnebagos. -They’ll be duck hunting between periods.
more from LC...

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Dominant Canes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre McGuire of TSN,

The Oilers' road to the Stanley Cup Final has been out-working, out-hitting and out-saving their opponents game in and game out. In Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, it simply went the other way; they were out out-skilled, out-chanced and ultimately outscored on Monday night. The Oilers were dominated by the Carolina Hurricanes in the last 40 minutes of play. They elevated their skill level with nifty passing and good speed. It would have been a blow-out victory if it wasn't for Oilers netminder Jussi Markkanen.
continued...and credit to Pierre for his work "behind the glass" on NBC. I know some teams have adapted this type of placement of the third guy during their local broadcasts and the other teams who are not should be looking into it right now.

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Take Your Pick

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,

So here's the question: Which did you like better, the 5-4 opening game in the Stanley Cup Final or the 2-1 affairs we saw in Games 3 and 4? It's not just a throwaway question. The debate is on in the NHL about what if any rules will be changed by the competition committee this off-season. There's a school of thinkers that loved that 5-4 game. Sure it was a bit sloppy, but it featured a lot of skating, a lot of scoring and a lot of penalty minutes that led to a lot of power plays including a number of five-on-three situations. It wasn't overly physical but then it's hard to hit what you can't catch. There were goals aplenty and the action was fast and furious right down to the final seconds of play. Then there were Games 3 and 4 in which the refs let the physical side of the game shine. The scoring was down, but the hitting was ferocious and the tension regards which team would win (or even score the next goal) was very real. In many ways they were what the NHL playoff purists believe the game should be.
continued

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Fat Lady Is Dressed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Alan Adams of Fox Sports

, It's about to strike midnight for the Edmonton Oilers, the Cinderella team of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Oilers are all but toast. The players are all but filling out the reservation cards at the Season's End Motel and they could take possession of the rooms after the finals resume in Raleigh.... Game 4 was the biggest game in the series for the Oilers. They talked the talk but didn't walk the walk, and now will pay the price. Everyone likes a feel-good story and seeing the eighth seed in the Western Conference defy the odds and advance to the Stanley Cup Finals was heart-warming to say the least. The run is all but over. The fat lady is warming up.
more...I hope the Canes are not reading all of this. The Oilers have will not go down without a fight. A few bounces their way, who knows, game 6 is not that far away...

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Game 4 Rating

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NBC received a 2.5/4 rating/share. Thanks to a KK reader for passing this along, you can read more here...

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