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Rink Size Favors North Americans

from the CP via the Globe and Mail,

Playing the 2010 Winter Olympic hockey tournament on North American-sized ice makes sense, considering the contribution the NHL makes to the Games, says NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. "We think it will enhance the tournament and we're pleased," Bettman said in Edmonton while attending the NHL Stanley Cup final. "Considering we stop our season in the middle, and in Turin 160 of our players went, I think it is a sensible decision." Edmonton Oiler defenceman Chris Pronger, a three-time Olympian who won a gold medal at the 2002 Salt Lake Games, said playing on the smaller ice will give Canada and the U.S. an advantage. "It's going to play more into our hands, Canadian and Americans who have played on that ice surface for their whole lives," said Pronger. "It's a little more tailor-made for our skill sets and how we like to play."
more

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Michigan Connection

from Larry Lage of the AP via Mlive,

The Carolina Hurricanes are a win away from hoisting the Stanley Cup and making Peter Karmanos Jr. the third Detroit-area owner in four NHL seasons to win a title. Karmanos is part of an exclusive club of Michigan businessmen who own professional sports teams in and out of the state. "There's only one (NHL) team in the Detroit area, and even if they were for sale I don't think the owner would sell them to me," Karmanos said. That jab was directed at his rival, Mike Ilitch, who led the Detroit Red Wings to their third title under his watch in 2002 — over Karmanos and the Hurricanes. Ilitch also owns the Detroit Tigers.
read on

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Changes Coming

If the Canes with the Cup, they just may have some influence around the NHL. According to Loose Change, some of the changes to look forward to:

-They’ll go back to the one Zamboni-system, which will be OK since the rink can be re-surfaced in 21 seconds with a six hundred horsepower python under the hood. -Teams will start travelling to road games in ten-year-old Winnebagos. -They’ll be duck hunting between periods.
more from LC...

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Dominant Canes

from Pierre McGuire of TSN,

The Oilers' road to the Stanley Cup Final has been out-working, out-hitting and out-saving their opponents game in and game out. In Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, it simply went the other way; they were out out-skilled, out-chanced and ultimately outscored on Monday night. The Oilers were dominated by the Carolina Hurricanes in the last 40 minutes of play. They elevated their skill level with nifty passing and good speed. It would have been a blow-out victory if it wasn't for Oilers netminder Jussi Markkanen.
continued...and credit to Pierre for his work "behind the glass" on NBC. I know some teams have adapted this type of placement of the third guy during their local broadcasts and the other teams who are not should be looking into it right now.

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Take Your Pick

from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,

So here's the question: Which did you like better, the 5-4 opening game in the Stanley Cup Final or the 2-1 affairs we saw in Games 3 and 4? It's not just a throwaway question. The debate is on in the NHL about what if any rules will be changed by the competition committee this off-season. There's a school of thinkers that loved that 5-4 game. Sure it was a bit sloppy, but it featured a lot of skating, a lot of scoring and a lot of penalty minutes that led to a lot of power plays including a number of five-on-three situations. It wasn't overly physical but then it's hard to hit what you can't catch. There were goals aplenty and the action was fast and furious right down to the final seconds of play. Then there were Games 3 and 4 in which the refs let the physical side of the game shine. The scoring was down, but the hitting was ferocious and the tension regards which team would win (or even score the next goal) was very real. In many ways they were what the NHL playoff purists believe the game should be.
continued

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Fat Lady Is Dressed

from Alan Adams of Fox Sports

, It's about to strike midnight for the Edmonton Oilers, the Cinderella team of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Oilers are all but toast. The players are all but filling out the reservation cards at the Season's End Motel and they could take possession of the rooms after the finals resume in Raleigh.... Game 4 was the biggest game in the series for the Oilers. They talked the talk but didn't walk the walk, and now will pay the price. Everyone likes a feel-good story and seeing the eighth seed in the Western Conference defy the odds and advance to the Stanley Cup Finals was heart-warming to say the least. The run is all but over. The fat lady is warming up.
more...I hope the Canes are not reading all of this. The Oilers have will not go down without a fight. A few bounces their way, who knows, game 6 is not that far away...

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Game 4 Rating

NBC received a 2.5/4 rating/share. Thanks to a KK reader for passing this along, you can read more here...

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Julien Will Coach Devils

via TSN,

The New Jersey Devils on Tuesday hired Claude Julien as their head coach. ''Claude Julien brings experience, knowledge, enthusiasm, and discipline that will complement the players here in the New Jersey Devils organization,'' said Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello.

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Jump At The Opportunity

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Masters of Zen hockey, unflappable, unshakable, the Carolina Hurricanes have withstood the best the frenetic Edmonton Oilers can dish out and stand on the verge of claiming their first Stanley Cup championship. Outhit by the Oilers, 32-19. Dominated in the faceoff circle, losing 39 of 56 draws. Still, the patient, skilled Hurricanes trotted out a well-worn playoff script: Don't sweat the small stuff, wait until your opponent flinches, then be just a little better.
more

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Prove It Pound Or Be Quiet

from the CBC,

Dick Pound, chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency, is sticking by his earlier statement that the NHL's drug testing is "seriously flawed," even though the league's testing garnered no positive tests. Pound told the Canadian Press Tuesday that these results were meaningless given all the flaws in the league's drug testing system. Pound said the NHL does not test for stimulants and other banned substances and does not test at times when players are likely to be caught, such as during off-season training. "All we can do is keep drawing the attention of the public to its shortcomings and make sure the public understands that it's being fooled by the NHL when it says it has a serious testing program," he said.
more

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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