Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Sens Finally Respect Sabres

from the Ottawa Citizen,

Ottawa Senators coach Bryan Murray is hoping his team has finally come to respect the Buffalo Sabres as a worthy opponent. He doesn't believe they did when the series began. ...The Senators seemed to think they could win simply because they were the Senators, the highest-scoring team in the NHL this year and presumptive Stanley Cup favourites. Finally, the shock of seeing themselves fall behind 3-0 under a wave of 2-on-1 breaks shook their sense of superiority.
read on

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Lacroix Steps Down As GM

via TSN,

Pierre Lacroix has stepped down as general manager of the Colorado Avalanche, citing personal and family reasons. A replacement general manager will be named at a later date and Lacroix will remain with the Avalanche as team president.
added 5:52pm, via CBS4Denver,
In a post-season press conference, Lacroix announced that he would no longer remain the general manager of the Avs, but would stay on as team president. Lacroix said it was a mutual decision he made with team owner Stan Kroenke before the NHL lock out took place. Lacroix will have a huge role in picking his successor.
added 5:54pm, link to TSN story now available...

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The Throw-In = 27+ Minutes Per Game

from CBS Sportsline,

A six-year professional in his first NHL season, Beauchemin was languishing in Columbus where he saw limited ice time if he dressed at all. Everything changed when the Ducks sent one-time superstar Sergei Fedorov and his cumbersome $6 million contract to the Blue Jackets for journeyman forward Tyler Wright and the young defenseman with a big, booming slap shot. At the time, Beauchemin was considered a throw-in to a swap that seemed to be a transparent salary dump. Instead, he has become the prize player of the entire deal. "I couldn't ask for anything better than what has happened this year," Beauchemin said. "It's been amazing for me."
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Finns Beat USA At WC

from the IIHF,

Backed by the superb goaltending of Antero Niittymaki and the near-perfect play of his teammates in front of him, Finland worked its way to an impressive 4-0 win over USA in Group E action tonight.
added 4:58pm, In other WC news, via Hockey Refs,
Additional protection and security measures won’t be implemented for World Championship game officials, the IIHF said. Security is a major issue in Riga following the Canada-Latvia game Thursday when large numbers of fans turned hooligans over the performance of American referee Rick Looker.

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The NCAA & Canada Too

from the Indy Star,

After licensing a new football bowl game in Toronto last month, the NCAA will study the possibility of allowing schools from outside the United States to become members. Canada's University of British Columbia and St. Clair College have expressed interest in joining the association. The NCAA's highest policy-making group, the executive committee, asked for recommendations on the issue to be delivered in October. St. Clair College, of Windsor, Ontario, has 5,500 students and competes in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association. It is looking to NCAA Division III in hopes of finding a league for its men's ice hockey team after the OCAA dropped the sport. "College and university athletics in Canada is much different than in the U.S.," St. Clair athletic coordinator Jay Shewfelt said. "It's a much lower priority in terms of government funding and institutional funding."
more

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It Is Going To Get Nasty

from George Johnson, special to ESPN,

Just when you're ready to call it a series, suddenly we have an honest-to-goodness battle on our hands. Sharks coach Ron Wilson is complaining that Oilers netminder Dwayne Roloson's melodramatics are influencing the referees. His counterpart, Craig MacTavish, thought big Georges Laraque's major boarding penalty came more out of reputation than delivery. The bile is beginning to build. ...Wilson thinks the canonization of Smyth might be overstating the matter a tad. "Look, I have a lot of respect for Ryan Smyth, but I don't know of one player in this league who wouldn't have come back after getting cut. What about Jonathan Cheechoo, getting his head rammed into the glass" -- by 250-pound Laraque -- "being hurt and dazed and still playing the rest of a three-overtime game? We had three guys, Cheech, Joe Thornton and Scotty Hannan, lose teeth in one game!
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A New Era Is Approaching

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

A new era appears to be dawning in the NHL, one that will be dominated by teams that can defend vigorously but not exclusively, and can skate and hit and add a dash of creativity. The Ducks are at the forefront of that pack, perhaps soon to be joined by the San Jose Sharks, who lead the other Western Conference semifinal, 2-1, over the Edmonton Oilers.... It would be a mistake to doubt that the Ducks will be capable of meeting whatever challenge awaits them. "Any time you win two rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs you should be proud of yourself," O'Donnell said. "It wasn't by magic or pulling strings. "And the thing is, we feel like we still have some real good hockey left in us."
more (reg. req.)

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Which Team Is Less Fatigued

from the San Francisco Chronicle,

Thursday was a mandatory skate for everyone who did not dress for Game 3, and a mandatory day off for those who did on the San Jose side. The Sharks, led by defenseman Scott Hannan's 44:30 of ice time, had three forwards and four other defenseman fall between 30 and 38 minutes of ice time. In contrast, Edmonton had three defensemen log at least 40 minutes (Chris Pronger, 46:54; Jaroslav Spacek, 46:30 and Staios, 40:00) and seven forwards and one other defenseman collect 31-to-37 minutes. "When you throw in six periods, and it's really four games in four nights in terms of energy, and factor in the playoff intensity, speed and the collisions that have been going on, it's almost like playing five games in four nights," Wilson said. "Fatigue does become a factor."
more

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Talking Canadian TV

from the Ottawa Sun,

"Being the CBC, we like to see Canadian teams in there," said Joel Darling, Hockey Night in Canada's executive producer. "We hope to still see that." A little more hope arrived last night -- perhaps surprising to some. The Ottawa Senators staved off a shocking sweep with a gritty 2-1 win in Buffalo. Even better, the Sens gave Darling and Co. a bonus gift: A Saturday night game, which the CBC didn't get last weekend. But all isn't well just yet. Hockey Night -- and TSN, for that matter -- could still wind up staring at this combination in the Stanley Cup semi-finals: Buffalo, Carolina, San Jose and Anaheim. That sound you'll hear, should it come to pass, will be that of televisions clicking off from coast to coast.
more

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Lessons Learned

from the Edmonton Journal,

Moreau was the youngster in an old Chicago room in 1996, where the tone and example was set by warhorses like Chris Chelios and Brent Sutter. He was still just 24 when he arrived in Edmonton in 1999 to learn from Kelly Buchberger and Doug Weight through a series of frustrating playoff runs. The teachers, students, cities and dressing rooms change, but the lessons are the same. You learn how much you have in you and where to get more. You learn that team leaders will sacrifice most body parts to win a battle for a loose puck, or a period or a playoff game. Slowly the lessons sink in and make you better. "Thank God I was smart enough to absorb it," said Moreau. "When somebody asks me about the way I play, I say I've taken pieces from all those guys. I have a bit of all of them in my game. That's what you do. You're given a skill set and a mentality and then you take things from other people."
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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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