Kukla's Korner

1st Round Attendance Record

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

With a sellout crowd of 19,289 expected at Pengrowth Saddledome tonight for Game 7 of the Calgary Flames-Anaheim Mighty Ducks series, the NHL will post record attendance for the opening round of the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs. A per-game average of 18,785 fans attended the 43 games in the Conference Quarterfinals through Tuesday, eclipsing the previous high of 18,770 set in 2004, and tonight's expected sellout will boost this year's opening-round figure.

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Sabres Fans Loving It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from WIVB,

Before worrying about Round 2, fans and even Sabres owner Tom Golisano, are relishing the sweet Round 1 victory. Golisano said, "The greatest satisfaction for me is the fact that all the sports writers, early in the year, picked us for 27, or 28, or 29, or even 30th. And to have us finish so high in the Eastern Conference, and then knock off the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round. We've gotta be very proud of 'em. We fooled 'em. We really fooled 'em all." The NHL hasn't officially released the exact schedule for the second round, but there's speculation that Game 1, which is in Ottawa, will be on Friday, and Game 2, also in Ottawa, will be on Monday.
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Yesterday Retirement Talk- Today Drunk Driving Charge

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Journal News,

New York Rangers defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh was arrested on a drunk driving charge in White Plains after police said his blood-alcohol level was found to be more than twice the legal limit when he was pulled over for speeding.
more

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Big Boost For Avs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via TSN,

Forward Steve Konowalchuk, sidelined since November because of a broken wrist, has been cleared to play for the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference semifinals. Konowalchuk, a 14-year veteran, was hurt Nov. 21 and missed the final 61 games of the regular season and Colorado's five-game upset of the Dallas Stars in the first round.

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Be Back Later

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I have a few appointments today and should return by 2:00pm today. I will update when I return.

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Sabres Too Fast- Flyers Too Slow

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector's blog at Fox Sports,

Last summer Clarke had gambled on veteran d-men Derian Hatcher and Mike Rathje to bolster his blueline corps but in the playoffs they struggled against the swift Sabres forwards. Clarke will now have to shop around this summer via trades or free agency to bring more speed to his Flyers if they’re to improve on this year’s disappointing season. That’s not going to be easy, considering how much money he’s already got tied up in some of those veterans. As for the Sabres, they’re for real, no question about it, and most likely there are more than a few general managers around the league watching them closely.
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Time For A New Era

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press,

Now, let's say what fans of losing teams rarely say: The other team played better. Edmonton outhustled the Wings, outskated them and out-goalied them. The Oilers deserved to win. And by doing what they did in that third period Monday night in Edmonton, they more than beat the Wings, they threw dirt on them. An era must be buried. Yzerman may be the gutsiest leader ever to pull on a Detroit uniform. But when he's nearly 41 and the team is waiting on him to inspire them, there's something wrong with the chemistry. And it needs to be changed.
read on

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Focus On The Big Picture

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the blog of Ron Francis,

Where do I start? Was it the best series the Canes could have played? Probably not, but they found a way to "Get R done", and that is really what the playoffs are all about. There will be times in a series when things go right, and there will times when they don't, hec, there will be times within a game when things will go from good to bad or vice-versa real fast. That is why it is important to remain focused on the big picture and not let yourself get caught in the moment.
read on...and one question for Ron. He uses the word y'all, has he developed a "southern" accent?

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Give Hitchcock Another Shot

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Ken Hitchcock looked stricken. Not angry. Not exhausted. Not embarrassed. Well, maybe a little embarrassed. Mostly, the Flyers coach looked stricken in the minutes after his team took a 7-1, season-ending thrashing last night at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres. The fire in his eyes was out, and it's no wonder why. These are the kinds of games that get coaches fired, especially when decisions are being made by the likes of Bob Clarke and Ed Snider. First-round elimination, losing the final two games by a total of 10-1, is considerably less than a Stanley Cup. It's pathetic. For a team with this much talent, it is unacceptable. Normally, that would be an indictment of the head coach. This time, it is not.
read on

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Canes Find Themselves

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News & Observer,

"This series was really good for us, in all honesty," Laviolette said. "It was exactly what we needed and maybe being down 2-0 was exactly what we needed. It had been a long time since we found ourselves in a game or with our back against the wall, with that competitiveness that you need to be successful during the regular season and then even raised a bit in the playoffs. "It was good for us to get into some overtime games. It was good for us to be down 0-2. It was good for us to have to come back again and win a game in the third period or overtime." The Hurricanes came to Montreal a week ago looking to save themselves. They found themselves instead.
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