Kukla's Korner

The Blue Jackets Have Filled The Gap

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Columbus Dispatch,

A tradition has been born, without the pretense of the "hockey town" moniker of Detroit or the national passion of Canada. We are what we are — a city in love with a college football team and still big enough to embrace the NHL. The Blue Jackets have finally made it. I’m not talking about the playoffs. I’m not that ignorant. And this isn’t a sports column, either. Fan that I am, I still can’t figure out when a player is off-side.
more

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Sharks Want The #5 Spot

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Mercury News,

Pardon the Sharks if they're contemplating how they can improve their playoff position without having clinched a spot yet. Winning five consecutive games has a way of boosting optimism. With four games left, the Sharks can punch their ticket to the postseason with a victory over Vancouver either tonight or Thursday. ``We're in pretty good shape,'' Coach Ron Wilson said. ``We want to finish as high as we can. Our goal is to run the table here. The hardest game is always the next one that you play. My job is to keep everybody focused and in the moment and not get too carried away with ourselves.''
continued

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My Head Is Spinning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Eric McErlain at Off Wing Opinion has experienced the same frustrations many of us have had in dealing with Center Ice, TiVo, DirecTV and Comcast. All of these companies need to start working in unison and as Eric states, the NHL should be asking some questions. On a sidenote to this, I am still hearing OLN and Dish are still trying to work out their differences in order to bring OLN back to Dish Network in time for the playoffs.

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Flyers Need Primeau

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Philadelphia Daily News,

More than conditioning or an ability to give and take hits, what stood out the other day when Keith Primeau practiced with the Flyers was his instant impact. He yapped. He chastised. He worked hard and made those around him work hard, too. "He is that type of guy," Mike Knuble observed afterward, "who puts guys on edge a bit. "Maybe that is something we need."
continued from Philly Burbs,
Keith Primeau took part in another practice at the Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J., on Tuesday morning and said some of his post-concussion symptoms still affect him when he does strenuous exercise. That's not exactly the kind of report that sparks encouragement with those closely following this experiment.
more

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Carolina Coach & Players Not Happy With Calls

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News & Observer,

Peter Laviolette stood alone on the bench, his eyes locked in on referees Dave Jackson and Marc Joanette as they went through the motions of a video review on the game-winning goal. There was little question that Brian Gionta's stick was below the crossbar when he deflected a Scott Gomez shot past Martin Gerber to give the New Jersey Devils a 4-3 win Tuesday. Both teams left the ice, the outcome decided. But the Carolina Hurricanes coach never moved. His anger was visible to all in the RBC Center after one of his team's most frustrating losses of the season, with two late penalties leading to two New Jersey goals.
continued

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McCarty Takes A Financial Hit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Detroit Free Press,

Darren McCarty, whose rugged play as a Red Wing, charitable fund-raising and heavy-metal musicianship made him one of the most popular professional athletes in recent Detroit history, has filed for bankruptcy. In documents submitted to U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Detroit, McCarty, 34, lists assets of $1.9 million and debts of $6.2 million -- including at least $185,000 to casinos in Detroit and Las Vegas... "He's not making the money he used to make," Fried said. He said McCarty made about $2.1 million per season in Detroit and now makes about $850,000. "I don't think he counted on being" released from the Wings last summer.
continued

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Emerging Stars In The Southeast

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Knight-Ridder Newspapers via the Mercury News,

It may sound strange, but some of the most exciting young players in the NHL reside in the Southeast Division. Florida has Olli Jokinen and Roberto Luongo; Washington has super-rookie Alexander Ovechkin; division leading Carolina trots out Eric Staal and Martin Gerber; Atlanta has Ilya Kovalchuk and Marian Hossa to name a few, and the defending champion Lightning bring Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards. Not too shabby. Years of poor play and good drafting have been the impetus for the improvement of play in the Southeast Division, yet a good number of the top players were brought south through trades and free agency.
read on...remember, this is what Ted Leonsis stated last week too...

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Roberts Wanted To Remain A Leaf

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

"I never thought I wouldn't stay a Maple Leaf," Roberts said yesterday before the 39-year-old forward hit the ice against the Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. "I believed up to the last minute that I would be, but unfortunately John never gave me the opportunity. "He played the `Gary'll-always-want-to-be-a-Maple-Leaf' card too long. "By the time he decided to change his mind Florida had already offered me a two-year deal, so it was too late."
read on

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Confidence In Mason

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Daily News Journal,

Now that Mason is starting every game, he has clicked into that evasive rhythm all goal tenders are trying to find. His past two starts saw him shut out the St. Louis Blues and slam the door on the Chicago Blackhawks in a 2-1 shootout win on Saturday night. Many Preds fans are already throwing in the towel, convinced that any chances for post season success went down with Vokoun. Even my usually knowledgeable WLAC co-host Brent Dougherty says one and done. Sorry naysayers, but if we see the confident Chris Mason we witnessed last Saturday night, there is no reason to think the Preds can't do well in the playoffs. He was that good.
more

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Circle June 24th For NHL Draft

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

The National Hockey League is moving its annual entry draft to prime time, hoping the appeal of two American stars will pull in a substantial U.S. television audience. Defenceman Erik Johnson of the U.S. national under-18 development team and U.S. forward Phil Kessel of the University of Minnesota are expected to be among the first five selections, with Johnson perhaps going first. The seven-round draft, which will be held Saturday, June 24, in Vancouver, will likely start at 7:30 p.m. EDT and wrap up at about midnight. In Canada, the telecast will be carried on TSN; in the United States, on OLN.
continued

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