Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Speed Helps NHL Comeback

from the Globe and Mail,

The common thread linking the remaining Stanley Cup playoff teams, other than they all missed the last postseason, in 2004, is the pace at which they play. The four teams perform at seemingly breakneck speed, much of it because the new National Hockey League allows such movement after the long overdue crackdown on interference and related obstructions fouls. ...With the third round of the playoffs beginning tonight, the focus on the speed element of the game will be magnified even greater. Game officials have been mostly consistent in the postseason, and it's hoped they will continue their vigilance, because the NHL game has made a remarkable comeback as an entertainment package.
read on

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Report- Kings Set To Hire Crawford

from the LA Times,

Former Vancouver Canucks head coach Marc Crawford is expected to be hired as the Kings' coach, two league sources said, with the deal anticipated to be in place by Monday. The hiring would be the first major move by Dean Lombardi since he became the Kings' general manager in April. In Crawford, Lombardi is going after a no-nonsense coach with a successful resume, both seemingly essential for a team of veterans and youngsters that unraveled this season.
more (reg. req.)

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The Unofficial Officials Grades

Hockey Refs has been tracking every NHL ref and linseman appearance in the playoffs. You can come to your own conclusions on how they are grading out

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Sens Wish List

from the Ottawa Citizen,

It's easy to dream big. Before leaving for another summer of discontent, Ottawa Senators coach Bryan Murray provided fans with his wish list for the team: two gritty forwards, a skilled defenceman who can excel in the new NHL and a No. 1 goaltender. Is that all?
continued

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Way Up There

from the Edmonton Journal,

It's a good night to be a seal in Nunavut -- and especially near Grise Fiord, Canada's northernmost community, where Inuit like Amon Akeeagok are hanging up their rifles and crowding in front of TVs to watch the Oilers play. And they're cheering with all the noise you'd expect from the hockey-mad. "You can go as far as Anaheim if you want and you'll probably hear me," said Akeeagok, who wears his Oilers love on his house, 2,800 kilometres north of Edmonton. "I got my Oiler street sign on my doorway so everybody who's coming in can't miss it," he said. "We're loyal hockey fans up here."
continued for more on Nunavut....

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Grass Roots Marketing

from the Tonawanda News,

Pardon the chip on my shoulder, but I’m sick of catering. To NBC. To OLN. To FLA. Need a reason to get excited about the Eastern Conference finals, set to kick off on national television in the middle of what’s supposed to be a sunny Saturday afternoon? Then you don’t live in Western New York. Bless the national networks who keep prodding and pushing, trying to force hockey into the American mainstream. Although NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman swears he’s not worried about OLN’s dreadful ratings, stories keep circulating that bad numbers mean bad news for the league. Nothing could be further from the truth.
read on

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We Need Controversy

from the Chicago Tribune,

I've been spending a lot of time lately watching TV—mainly the NHL and NBA playoffs—and I have questions. Where is the NHL version of Charles Barkley? Or Stephen A. Smith? Where is the fun and irreverence in hockey telecasts that I see when I watch an NBA game on TNT? Why has hockey not embraced the hip-hop and pop culture of this country the way the other four major sports have? Why does hockey take itself so seriously? These may seem like idle questions but they really explain, in part, why hockey lags behind the other sport in interest in this country.
continued

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Watch Out For Soccer

from Reuters,

Soccer's rising popularity is ice hockey's biggest threat in the increasingly competitive North American sports market, says Rene Fasel, the head of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). "We have to be aware, soccer in North America is getting bigger and bigger and bigger," the Swiss told Reuters in an interview on Thursday during the world championships. "I don't think the NFL will lose people, NBA will not lose fans, but the market will be even more difficult for hockey.
continued

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Hope For Cole

via the CP,

Injured winger Erik Cole skated on his own on Thursday, raising hopes that he might be able to rejoin the Carolina Hurricanes at some point in the NHL playoffs. He said he would skate two more days on his own to see if the injury has healed enough to practise with the team. He will decide after that if he can play ''Today, everything was fine,'' he said.

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Niedermayer & Selanne

Scott and Teemu were available today via conference call: Q. Scott, when you look at the hand you have been dealt, does it stand to reason maybe in the beginning they have a little edge because maybe because of the rest you've had? SCOTT NIEDERMAYER: It's a possibility. You know, we're going to find out. We want to be ready to go. That's got to be our focus right now. We can't really think that way. We have to think that, you know, we're going to be able to get that intensity going, keep it simple, in the start of the game, first period, keep making simple plays, put the puck in and just go to work. If we can do that, we can start building on that right away and get going, that's what we're going to try to do. Q.Teemu, from your perspective, do you feel the same way about the week off? TEEMU SELANNE: I think the week was good for us. There's a lot of guys, they had chance to look after injuries, that kind of stuff. Like Scott said, we have to be ready right in the bat (sic). I think everybody's excited to get back to the action, too. I think one week is long time. We know that this is another opportunity for us. We going to be ready. Read the rest in the comment section of this post...

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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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