Kukla's Korner

Almost Over

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Star-Ledger,

Jaromir Jagr came walking down the long hallway to the ice. The cameras followed his every step, and the old building shook when he finally appeared. Could this passion inspire the players to turn around this series? Uh, no. As usual, this turned out to be a cosmically cruel joke on the most tortured fans in hockey. Jagr could not become Willis Reed. Henrik Lundqvist would not become Mike Richter. And those fans, the ones who drowned out the national anthem with their cheers, are still waiting after the 3-0 loss... After 3,259 days of waiting, they expected something special and ended up with a punch to their gut, as usual. At least Rangers fans can take solace in this: The longer the lag time between those magical Garden moments, the better the goose bumps will feel along their spines. If they live to see the next one, that is.
more

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Slow Down Montreal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

The Canadiens' destiny and their fans' birthright was to be forever among the hockey elite, and so the paying customers felt free to demand excellence and nothing less. Now, with diminished expectations, with the giddy anticipation of a first-round playoff win over the Carolina Hurricanes, with the horn honking and street parties, it seems less like the old days of Les Glorieux and a whole lot more like . . . Toronto. ...You take your joy where you find it. You take even qualified triumphs for what they are. You understand that it's okay to claim your own Stanley Cup in April, and then to dream on.
read on

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Ducks Need To Improve Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the OC Register,

The biggest concern for the Mighty Ducks heading into tonight's all-important playoff matchup against the Calgary Flames must be the dramatically different path each team has followed since the opening-round series began. While the Flames have improved their play through each of the first three games, most noticeably in Tuesday's 5-2 victory, the Ducks' overall team performance has gotten progressively worse.
continued

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Classifying Injuries

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox, special to ESPN,

When it comes to injuries, players don't reveal their wounds anymore because management has told them not to, not because they're worried about their health. After all, they're smart enough to know they're endangering their health every time they skate out onto the ice, and that when the playoffs roll around, basically everyone out there is injured to some degree. Perhaps we should all be thankful teams are at least willing to describe injuries as "upper-body" and "lower-body" problems, for it could get worse. In the future, they might devise a system under which a player could either be described as injured worse than Clint Malarchuk was when a skate sliced his throat open while he was playing goal, or not as badly. "Worse than a Malarchuk?" would be the question. "Naw, this is a sub-Malarchuk," would be the response.
read on...Damien is on a roll...

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Babcock- “We’re Going To Be More Than Fine”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Detroit Free Press via the Mercury News,

Babcock spoke at the team's hotel, where he and a handful of players gathered to talk to the media. "I know you don't like to hear it," he said, "but I think we're going to be more than fine." Babcock appeared in a fine mood, and none of the players present seemed concerned that the Wings were trailing in the series. Lidstrom echoed what other teammates said when he pointed out that, had the team only played from the start Tuesday the way they played from the third period on , this might be a different series.
read on

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It’s A Miracle

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Jagr in the NYR lineup! But the Devils lead 2-0 early.

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Oilers Have The Best Player In The Series

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Oilers,

“It’s nice to have the best player in a series,” noted head coach Craig MacTavish. “It’s something that couldn’t be said about the Edmonton Oilers in the past few seasons.” The Red Wings will certainly come with their best game yet on Thursday as they try to avoid heading home with a two-game deficit but the Oilers will be prepared. “Their road record speaks for itself. The experience they have in the room, they can read the landscape and importance of getting the series back 2-2,” said MacTavish. “I don’t know that we played our best game last night but I think we’re going to have to be a little better than that. The expectation is we have improvement to make.”
more

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Foiled Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fox Sports,

Last year's NHL lockout robbed me of number three on my list. If there's such a thing as a nuclear winter, last year's April-June made for a personal nuclear spring. Without Barry Melrose's analysis, Brian Engblom's mullet, and Bill Clement's wisdom — I was truly a lost man during those three months. Add on the lack of aluminum foil replica trophies, and it made for a forgettable time in my life. In place of those endless spring nights of magic on ice was emptiness. That's it. Just massive, unquestioned, foil-less, emptiness. Sure, I missed the hockey. More so, though, I missed the aluminum foil. But the aluminum foil replica Stanley Cup trophy is back in 2006. And it's back with a vengeance.
read on image

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Who Is Herb Carnegie

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Now that I have your attention, Herb Carnegie and Miss Universe Canada, Alice Panikian, had a little get together in late March. Why you ask, well to honor Mr. Carnegie, of course. More on Mr. Carnegie... image

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Shark Attack

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Mercury News via the Tennessean,

Sharks fans have been waiting a long time to issue playoff victory cheers. The building — where the Sharks' overall playoff record coming into the game was 19-21 — has long had a reputation as one of the loudest in the league. Once upon a time, it was just loud — indiscriminately loud. Now it's both loud and knowledgeable and you could sense that Sharks fans were determined to prove they were superior to the fans in Nashville, a city that seemed at risk of losing its hockey team if contraction had been part of the lockout disaster. "To see our fans come back the way they did," General Manager Doug Wilson said, before the series began, "... we've got to deliver for them."
more To watch the festiviities from the fans point of view, check out Sharkspage. The hand held video captures the spirit in the building.

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