Kukla's Korner

Self Interview

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Christy at Behind the Jersey interviews someone close to her heart.

Q. – What first attracted you to the sport of hockey? At first, it was probably wanting to spend time with my Dad and he always followed the team especially come playoff time. I enjoyed the action of the game and you can't beat the fighting. Especially when the blood is spilling at a Wings vs. Avs game. My first years as a fan were spent in the height of the rivalry - I don't know hockey without it.
read on

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Conn Smythe Worthy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Buccigross of ESPN,

The NHL is the only major sport that gets it right. The Conn Smythe Trophy is awarded to the MVP of the entire playoffs, not just the final series. To give an MVP award solely based on one game or one series seems short-sighted and silly. o, be thankful the NHL gets it right and rewards two months' worth of excellence, not a week's worth. The Stanley Cup is the ultimate reward, but the Conn Smythe is validation of showing up in the most important games. A cool looking trophy that says, "I was the best in the games that mattered the most." Here are the players who still have a shot to have that trophy.
read on

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What’s In A Name

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News & Observer,

Traditional monikers are mired in the modern-day culture war -- Redskins, Braves, Indians, Seminoles. Other labels make little geographical, cultural or biological sense -- Lakers for arid Los Angeles, Jazz in a city surrounded by Mormons, Panthers in a Southern state not particularly noted for such elusive predators. Caniacs don't have to swallow such indignities. The tag for the object of their maniacal devotion -- Hurricanes -- sounds right and feels right for a franchise known for heart-stopping, force-of-nature comebacks.
more

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Adored In Edmonton

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the OC Register via the Santa Barbara News-Press,

Last Tuesday evening, a fellow took a WestJet flight from Montreal to Edmonton. It's an airline with a TV at each seat. The flight coincided with Game 3 of the Oilers-Mighty Ducks series. The plane was full. The fellow looked around, walked up and down. Every screen but one was showing the hockey. The only one that didn't showed ''American Idol.'' Yeah, there are days when you do feel like you're in the wrong country. This series featured teams from neighboring nations, but faraway hockey planets. Orange County, or least a 17,174 person chunk of it, got excited about the Western finals on game nights. Edmonton counted the seconds until faceoff every day. The noise in Edmonton was overwhelming and was produced mostly by human beings. The noise in Anaheim was intermittent and was prompted largely by a scoreboard.
continued

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SCF Start Date

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Toronto Star,

Nothing has been officially announced, but the television networks have been told that the Stanley Cup final will begin one week from today in either Carolina or Buffalo. Despite the fact that the Western Conference final is over and the Eastern final may end as early as tomorrow, it's believed that the NHL is pandering to the wishes of NBC, who don't pick up the final until Game 3.Under the format, it's believed the final will open with Games 1 and 2 next Monday and Wednesday in either Carolina or Buffalo. The series then shifts to Edmonton for Games 3 and 4, June 10 and 12.
FYI, CBC mentioned either Saturday or Monday as the start date for the Finals.

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They Still Won

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the blog of Ron Francis,

Well, if I'm going to be totally honest with you I must say that tonights game was not at all what I expected. I really thought that after the last game the Canes were ready to make a big statement tonight at the RBC in front of the home fans. I thought they would come out flying and most likely have the game and series in control by the end of the first period. So much for my thoughts. I didn't think the Canes played as well as they are capable of. They seemed to not be skating as well as usual. I'm not sure if that had to do with understanding the importance of winning this game, or having the same thoughts I was having about Buffalo really being in a tough position with 3 top defenseman out as well as a top forward, and having to come to Raleigh for game 5.
continued

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Will JSG Move

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector at Fox Sports,

Despite the club's surprising success, Burke will undoubtedly spend the summer looking for ways to improve his roster. One determining factor in how much change comes to the Ducks depends on how much ownership is willing to spend. The team began the season nudging the $39 million cap ceiling, but the savvy Burke managed to pare that down to just over $34 million by the end of the season.... One way Burke could free up payroll space could be trading veteran goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who has one season remaining on his contract at $3.9 million. Bryzgalov's strong play during the season and in the playoffs made "Giggy" the subject of trade rumors for months, which aren't likely to die down in the off-season. Several teams, including the Tampa Bay Lightning, Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks and St. Louis Blues, are believed to be in the market for a quality starting goalie and may have interest in Giguere.
more

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Edmonton Fans Welcome Oilers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

Hundreds of Edmonton Oilers fans jammed the road leading to an airport terminal Sunday afternoon to catch a glimpse of their returning NHL hockey heroes. Welcome to Edmonton - the city that used to be happy to just be in the playoffs but now will settle for nothing less than a sixth Stanley Cup. Mounties worked to keep fans away from the Shell Aerocentre, where the Oilers charter plane arrived. Outside the terminal, hundreds of cars were parked higgledy-piggledy, on grass stretches and along ditches while the throng of 300 fans stretched out over a kilometre.
continued

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Oilers Finally Back In Finals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

I don't think you can realize the magnitude, the importance of this, us going to the Stanley Cup finals in Edmonton," said Ethan Moreau, an Oiler since late in the 1998-99 season. "That's life there. It's been a long time. I think they're going to appreciate it, they're going to enjoy it more this time around because back in the day it was almost expected," added Moreau, who scored his first goal of the playoffs early in the second period Saturday to tie the game at 1. "This is huge. It's huge for the guys in the room. It's huge for the city, unbelievable for the organization. It is hard to put into words what this means to our team."
more

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Keep Believing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

I'm happiest to see it in their faces,'' said coach Craig MacTavish of the first eighth-seed team ever to make it to the Stanley Cup final, the longest longshot of them all. "A lot of times you want something so badly that it's almost anti-climatic when you get it. But this wasn't one of those instances,'' added the coach of the team which now has a chance to become the first team since four rounds of best-of-seven series were introduced to open every series on the road and win the Cup. "I'm really happy for the core guys on the team, the guys who have been through a lot here, never cheated the fans and never cheated their teammates.''
read on KK Affiliate Reebok Edmonton Oilers 2006 Western Conference Champions Locker Room Hat

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