Kukla's Korner

Pronger Not Worn Down- Credits The Rules

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

“It's actually the best I felt at this time of year at any point in my career,” said Pronger. How could that be? Pronger has had a longer year than most, what with the Olympics and all. “It's the rules,” he answered. “You guys think we're getting hit a lot. Apparently, you haven't noticed there's no hooking or holding or 250-pound guys draped on your back, lugging him around, battles in front of the net. That's what wears you out over the course of the game. It's not necessarily the skating and the hitting, you get hit, the guy's not allowed to pin you and stick you and do all the rest of the stuff that was allowed before. That's what takes a lot of energy.”
more

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Edmonton Fans Celebrate Half Way Home Victory

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via Yahoo,

Imagine what they'd do with a Stanley Cup. Thousands of Edmontonians took to the streets Friday night to celebrate the Edmonton Oilers' 6-3 trouncing of the San Jose Sharks in NHL playoff action. It wasn't even a benchmark win - the victory simply tied the series at two games apiece. But on a warm Friday night, it was all it took to send throngs of blue-clad fans and endless lines of honking cars down city streets.
continued added 5:59pm, from CTV,
The post-game stabbing of two men marred celebration of an Edmonton Oilers playoff victory. Both were stabbed around 11:30 p.m. MDT Friday at a Whyte Avenue bar.
more

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Elimination Saturday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Who would have predicted a Carolina/Buffalo Eastern Conference Finals? That scenario can become true tonight, but I have a feeling the Devils and Senators may pull off victories today. Make sure to catch the Devils/Hurricanes game on NBC-HD today if you have the chance. image

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Enough Losing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the National Post,

Here they chant "Let's Go Buff-A-Lo," varying between emphatic and confident, and desperate and pleading. It is the rallying cry of arguably the most faithful fans in professional sports. "They're second to none. These people ... all they look for is the excitement," says Rob Ray, the beloved former enforcer with the Buffalo Sabres, who still resides in the area. "They don't care if you win or lose as long as you're out there and you give an effort." "I want to be careful how I phrase this because I don't want it to come across like Buffalo people have embraced losing," says Jim Kelley, a radio and TV personality and former columnist with The Buffalo News. "But they have managed to pick the positives out of what has been a largely negative public and international perception -- and that is it's a city of losers."
read on

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Flyers Loss Doesn’t Look As Bad

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Delaware County Times,

There is a hockey club, an NHL club, and this is how it became a good one: Speed. The Ottawa Senators, all 113 points worth, were built to zoom. Their defensemen are fast, their forwards are fast..and they are down, 3-1, in a best-of-seven playoff series to the Buffalo Sabres. That also makes the Ottawa Senators this: Proof that the recent fraternity paddling of Bob Clarke was premature, easy and without all the since-gathered evidence that should set the Flyers’ G.M. free.
more

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The ‘Cost’ Of Winning

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News & Observer, T

hroughout the regular season, hockey fans at the RBC Center -- and those who watched the Canes' games on TV -- couldn't miss the Raleigh hospital's purple logo, one of four corporate symbols emblazoned below the icy playing surface. But since the playoffs began, Rex's logo has disappeared, replaced by Ford's. What's up? The price of advertising. The success of the Hurricanes, a team that pre-season prognosticators expected to be among the league's worst, has boosted demand for ad space at the RBC Center.
read on

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Sharks Remain Confident

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Journal,

"That's the new NHL. It's been like that all season ... You used to be able to clutch and grab and put teams in a sleeper hold but you can't do that anymore," said Wilson. "We'll lick our wounds, go back to the Tank where we're pretty unbeatable, get some home-cooking and get our crowd, that's louder than it is here, into it." "It's still the best two out of three and we have home-ice advantage," said Thornton.
more

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Sens Finally Respect Sabres

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Citizen,

Ottawa Senators coach Bryan Murray is hoping his team has finally come to respect the Buffalo Sabres as a worthy opponent. He doesn't believe they did when the series began. ...The Senators seemed to think they could win simply because they were the Senators, the highest-scoring team in the NHL this year and presumptive Stanley Cup favourites. Finally, the shock of seeing themselves fall behind 3-0 under a wave of 2-on-1 breaks shook their sense of superiority.
read on

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Lacroix Steps Down As GM

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

Pierre Lacroix has stepped down as general manager of the Colorado Avalanche, citing personal and family reasons. A replacement general manager will be named at a later date and Lacroix will remain with the Avalanche as team president.
added 5:52pm, via CBS4Denver,
In a post-season press conference, Lacroix announced that he would no longer remain the general manager of the Avs, but would stay on as team president. Lacroix said it was a mutual decision he made with team owner Stan Kroenke before the NHL lock out took place. Lacroix will have a huge role in picking his successor.
added 5:54pm, link to TSN story now available...

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The Throw-In = 27+ Minutes Per Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from CBS Sportsline,

A six-year professional in his first NHL season, Beauchemin was languishing in Columbus where he saw limited ice time if he dressed at all. Everything changed when the Ducks sent one-time superstar Sergei Fedorov and his cumbersome $6 million contract to the Blue Jackets for journeyman forward Tyler Wright and the young defenseman with a big, booming slap shot. At the time, Beauchemin was considered a throw-in to a swap that seemed to be a transparent salary dump. Instead, he has become the prize player of the entire deal. "I couldn't ask for anything better than what has happened this year," Beauchemin said. "It's been amazing for me."
read on

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