Kukla's Korner

Play The Matchups

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,

How could the Avalanche get back in the series against Anaheim? Take advantage of the last change at home and more often get the Joe Sakic-centered line away from the Ducks' top defensive line of Samuel Pahlsson, Jeff Friesen and Rob Niedermayer. Joel Quenneville doesn't overreact in manipulating matchups. That's wise most of the time. If a coach is too preoccupied with that, he can diminish his top line's effectiveness, rhythm and ice time. The old style "checking line" isn't as common, anyway, with coaches taking more care to send out their top defensive pairing - which in the Ducks' case, is Scott Niedermayer and Francois Beauchemin - against a top line.
continued

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2-0 Across The Board

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Hockey News,

The die-hards in Ottawa will no doubt once again be all over goalie Ray Emery after the Senators suffered a 2-1 defeat to the upstart Sabres. That’s because in Ottawa, there always has to be a scapegoat, and what easier target than the goalie?... Don Cherry correctly pointed out Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson’s apathetic play following the game last night. Never mind that Alfredsson has just one goal in six playoff games, the turnover in the neutral zone with time running out last night and Emery on the bench in favor of an extra attacker was unforgivable.
read on for bits on every game last night...

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The Maven Digs Deep

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stan Fischler of MSG Network,

Quick Quiz: Which very-average goalie has become an extraordinarily popular hockey-TV analyst? Answer: Glenn Healy. It was Healy who predicted that Pat Quinn would not survive the Leafs’ front office war. As Toronto Star columnist Chris Zelkovich notes, “What makes Healy such a treat to watch is that he has the two things most other analysts don’t: A willingness to say anything regardless of the consequences and a great sense of humor. The buzz among on-ice officials is that refs should not wear visors, on the grounds that shields could impair their vision.
more from the Maven...

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Shocking- Jeremy Jacobs Has ‘Love Child’

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via the Cape Cod Times,

''We have an opportunity in front of us,'' said Jacobs, the team's executive vice president, ''and we've got to work very hard to make sure that we do make the best of it. It is a critical time.'' His family has long fought the rap that it was just a bunch of carpetbaggers from Buffalo, more concerned with selling hot dogs for its concessions business than providing a championship contender for passionate fans. His father Jeremy was more interested in the bottom line, critics said. ''Whoever wrote that or writes that doesn't know him, never met him,'' Charlie Jacobs said. ''You spend 10 minutes with the man, you'll understand. He loves this game more than anything. It's funny. I'm the youngest of six children. My father really has seven children. The seventh one is the Boston Bruins. He loves it like a child.''
more

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The ‘Skinny’ On Miller

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Sun,

Endurox is the name on the big plastic jar and The Four-Eyed Lippy Little Shin Kicker's thinking scoop, scoop: NHL Goalie On Illegal Performance-Enhancing Drug. The NHL goalie being the superb Ryan Miller who's sitting after practice in a corner of a dressing room at Scotiabank Place, dipping a tablespoon into the big plastic jar and digging out white stuff that he dumps into a bottle of liquid, stirring it around and then drinking it. Naturally, the Shin Kicker doesn't want to spook Miller that he's onto him, so the Shin Kicker blissfully asks him the question: "Where's your home town?" "East Lansing. Michigan." "Anybody famous other than you ever come out of East Lansing?"
read on

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Who Can Yell Louder

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Journal,

Oilers fans like to pride themselves on being the noisiest in the National Hockey League. So do followers of the Sharks. Can you spell the makings of a r-i-v-a-l-r-y? "It's time to show who the loudest fans in the NHL are," a voice booms over the speakers before the start of Monday's game at the Shark Tank. More than 17,000 fans, waving white towels, get up out of their seats and roar -- egged on by team mascot Sharkie, jumping and waving at centre ice.
continued

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Oilers Deserve Better

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

Only seven teams ended up in eighth place and knocked off the first-place teams in Stanley Cup playoffs and none of them managed to get past the second round of the playoffs. So the Oilers weren't a real good bet in the beginning. After the San Jose Sharks won their sixth straight game of the post-season and 14th of their last 16 by the same 2-1 scores as the first, the Oilers head home for Game 3 knowing they'll have to win four of five to go to the final four. There's no suggestion here the Sharks weren't full value for both wins, the first more than the second, but still, both wins. Sensational action It's just that there have been some serious stretches of some sensational Stanley Cup playoff action. And it would be a shame to have this all over by the weekend.
more

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Rookies Fit Right In

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the OC Register,

Stanley Cup playoff lore is filled with stories of grizzled veterans fighting through age, pain and fatigue while leading their teams to springtime glory. A fresh-faced group of Mighty Ducks is writing a different kind of chapter. "I think the rest of the league focuses on our record since the Olympics," General Manager Brian Burke said Monday while watching the Ducks practice at Pepsi Center. We've played well since Dec. 1. Since that time, I've seen a steady evolution with the kids. Am I surprised? No. Am I proud of them? Yes." Do the young players have any comprehension of what they're doing? "I think so," Getzlaf said. "I mean - we're playing. We're playing in the playoffs. This is the time you need guys to step up. You can create a pretty good name for yourself as a young guy if you can perform in the playoffs."
read on

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Ottawa In Trouble

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

The Ottawa Senators are down 2-0 in their Eastern Conference Semifinal Series against the Buffalo Sabres after two games on home ice, and they got in that hole by continuing to make the same mistakes. Game 2 on Monday night was a bizarre contest in many ways. You knew the Senators were going to come out firing on all cylinders after losing Game 1, and they did. But they should have got a big lift from the devastating hit Peter Schaefer made on Tim Connolly, and instead, they started making mistakes.
continued from the Globe and Mail,
Now the Senators are in a dark place as far as this best-of-seven National Hockey League series is concerned, trailing 2-0 with the next two games in Buffalo tomorrow and Thursday. "The other night, I said we gave them a number of their goals," Senators head coach Bryan Murray said. "I don't know whether it was four or five or what it was, and the same thing tonight. We gave them their two goals."
more

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Looking For A Goalie

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector at Fox Sports,

A lack of depth in quality goaltenders in this summer's unrestricted free-agent market is generating rumors of teams seeking goaltending upgrades via trades rather than free agency. Here's a list of those who could be available this summer. Nikolai Khabibulin, Chicago Blackhawks: Rumors have flown for months that the Blackhawks would like to dump Khabibulin and the $20 million remaining on his contract, but that contract probably works against any plans by the team to move him.
read on for many more...

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