Kukla's Korner

Versus

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Hockey News,

In honor of OLN planning to change its name to Versus, our focus is on the most passionate battles in NHL history. In no particular order: 3. Claude Lemieux Vs. Red Wings Nation. When Lemieux drilled Wings center Kris Draper headfirst into the boards in 1996, he earned the undying wrath of an entire state. To this day, mere mention of his name is considered a class-A felony throughout Michigan. 9. Playoff Beards Vs. Clean Shaves. Cleanliness might be next to godliness, but not Hockey Godliness. Which explains why NHL ad salesmen have such difficulty signing up razor companies as playoff sponsors.
read the other 8 battles...

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More Of The Same

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

More penalties, more power plays and more goals. The new NHL has given way to the new NHL playoffs. "I hope that the league is giving fans what they want," Stephen Walkom, the NHL's senior vice-president and director of officiating, said Thursday from Denver. "I was at a game last night, there was hitting, there was scoring - it was entertaining." The NHL promised its referees wouldn't back down from the crackdown on hooking and holding in the post-season and so far that's more than held true. Consider the numbers through the first 24 playoffs games:
continued

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Chemistry With Countrymen

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

It has been almost a decade since Scotty Bowman made hockey headlines when he sent his five Russians over the boards en route to the Detroit Red Wings' first Stanley Cup in 42 years. A gimmick? Maybe. A visionary move from one of the game's true visionaries? That, too. A trend? Well, nine springs later, three teams are in the Stanley Cup mix largely because of significant contributions from a large contingent of players from one European nation.
continued

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Michigan Hockey Fans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Wings fans in Michigan may have an interest in this. via the Grand Rapids Griffins,

Tonight’s Game 4 of the North Division Semifinals between the Grand Rapids Griffins and Toronto Marlies will be televised live on Comcast Local. Broadcast time is 7 p.m., with faceoff set for 7:30 p.m. The telecast will be available in 1.4 million homes in Comcast Local markets across lower Michigan that include nine of the state’s 10 largest cities, most notably Grand Rapids, Detroit, Lansing, Muskegon, Holland, Flint and Port Huron. The Griffins currently lead the best-of-seven series, two games to one.

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Playoff Blackout

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Tennessean,

Predators Vice President Steve Violetta said the team will exercise its right to black out Sunday's playoff game on local television in Nashville unless about 1,600 tickets are sold by tomorrow at 11 a.m. Violetta said the Predators still had about 2,600 tickets remaining to the game as of yesterday afternoon. He wants 1,600 sold by tomorrow at 11, when he has to notify OLN and the NHL of the team's decision. "I've talked to both OLN and the NHL and obviously they'd both prefer that we lift the blackout in Nashville because it would make the ratings better,'' Violetta said. "But they both support us, as much as it pains everyone.
more

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Koivu Out

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

Montreal Canadiens captain Saku Koivu is out indefinately and remains in hospital Thursday in stable condition after accidentally being struck near the left eye by the stick of Carolina Hurricanes forward Justin Williams. More tests will be done on Koivu's eye when the swelling goes down in the next two or three days.

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Blame Bettman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Georgia Straight,

When the final goal of these playoffs is scored, and the betting here is that it’ll be a power-play goal, it would be fitting if National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman strode to centre ice and handed half of the Stanley Cup to the winning captain. Chop it up, carve it up, slice the big silver thing right down the middle: that’s all the winning team deserves in this new era of the NHL. With all the power-play chances being doled out these days, teams are really only using half the ice, and, in the eyes of far too many, the entertainment value of the game has been cut in half as well. The Commish, who’s listed as day-to-day with the all-too-common “upper body” injury—from patting himself on the back during a conference call last week trumpeting the success of his league this year—has this misguided notion that added power-play opportunities bring with them a significant rise in the entertainment value of the product.
continued

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Hockey Slumped On OLN

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Media Life,

When OLN said it would rename itself Versus this week, it was only the latest sign of the Comcast-owned network's ambition to abandon its niche as an outdoor channel to become a major sports network akin to Disney’s ESPN. But it will take more than a name change. It's going to take far longer, and lots more investment to boot, judging by how its first season airing the National Hockey League is finishing out.... Rather than OLN rising up on the power of hockey, hockey slumped even more airing on OLN. Further, few hockey fans who tuned in to OLN for the games hung around to catch other shows.
read on

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Ducks Goalie Unknown

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Mighty Ducks' coach Randy Carlyle was not tipping his hand about his starting goalie for Thursday night's fourth game of the National Hockey League quarter-final series against the Calgary Flames. "Come to the warm-up and see who skates out first," Carlyle advised reporters. The issue of a possible goaltending switch came up only because J.S. Giguere, the Ducks' starter, has struggled in his two appearances in the series, posting a 4.09 goals-against average and a .837 save percentage. By contrast, his nominal back-up, Ilya Bryzgalov has a 1.71 GAA and a .933 save percentage in his only appearance in the series, in which Calgary holds a two-games-to-one lead.
continued

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Central Division Blues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

The Central Division blues may be coming home to roost for the Detroit Red Wings and the Nashville Predators. While nothing is over, both teams are struggling in their respective series against Edmonton and San Jose. Great regular season stats padded by playing the weaker sisters in the Central haven't helped put a playoff edge on either teams' play. There's still a long way to go, but those late season games against the division's weaker sisters haven't helped.
continued

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