Kukla's Korner

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Esche Goaltending A Positive

from the Philadelphia Inquirer,

The glass is still half-full. That is the trick of positive perspective the Flyers have to take from Saturday's elongated introduction to the NHL postseason - as if they have another choice. The glass is half-full, but the Cup... well, that's another story. Playoff hockey for the Flyers is now, as it has ever been, about the Cup. Other teams can take heart and solace from decent postseason results, letting the warmth of a round or two of success carry them into a long summer of hope for the future. ...The most important, most calming piece of information that any hockey team can ever receive was bestowed on the Flyers in the 3-2 loss. It is what will lead them through the thicket of tonight's rematch in Buffalo and light their way when the series shifts to the Wachovia Center on Wednesday. They have the hot goaltender.

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Paint On- Ready To Rock

from the Calgary Sun,

Boy, is my face red. Three shades of red. And yellow. And black. And white. Made over by the magnificent Melody Kiellek prior to last night's Flames game against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, my face became a nervous canvas for her sure-handed and skilful artistry. Ten grams of paint and a half-hour later, I have been transformed from Flames-supporting couch potato, into the ultimate Flames fan.

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Ranger Woes

via the NY Post (reg. req.),

The Rangers have little choice but to try to return Jaromir Jagr into action despite his left arm injury, probably a shoulder dislocation, suffered in Game 1. The twists and turns have all gone against the New Yorkers already. The Devils are operating on the assumption Jagr will shrug off his injury and suit up for the Blueshirts at the Meadowlands. The Rangers are already considering dumping folk hero Henrik Lundqvist in favor of 2002 Devils-killer Kevin Weekes in goal
via Larry Brooks of the NY Post (reg. req.),
Jason Ward, a PK specialist who left Saturday's game with what has been diagnosed as an isolated MCL sprain of the right knee will be unavailable for the remainder of the first round, if not longer. Rucinsky, meanwhile, is all but certain to not only miss tonight's match, but Wednesday's Game 3 at the Garden. It's possible he'd be able to return either next Saturday for Game 4 or next Sunday for a hypothetical Game 5. "I'm really limited; I can't really do much," said Rucinsky. "I'd hoped I could do more with a new splint on the finger, but it didn't work out. As anxious as I am to play, it makes no sense to go out there if I'm going to be useless and can't contribute."

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Can Carolina Change Their Game

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun, T

he Carolina Hurricanes thoroughly have enjoyed their season of fun and frolic. But the post-season puts a much greater priority on hard work than on fun, and tonight, the Hurricanes' intention is to make some serious adjustments, to get away from regular-season mode and shift into playoff mode. But can they do it?

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Will Canes Make Net Change

from the AP via the Toronto Star,

Martin Gerber remains confident in his abilities, and the rest of the players in the Carolina Hurricanes' locker room feel the same. His coach? Well, Peter Laviolette certainly has faith in his goaltender, even though he stopped short of committing to start Gerber in Game2 of the Eastern Conference series against Montreal. "I haven't addressed it, and I won't," Laviolette said yesterday, a day after the Canadiens beat Gerber and the Hurricanes 6-1 in the opener.
read on

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St. Louis Leads Bolts

from the Ottawa Sun,

He stood in the middle of the Tampa Bay Lightning dressing room after most of the other players and the media horde had left the room. Forward Martin St. Louis had a white towel hanging over his right shoulder and a drink in his hand, his wet undershirt clinging to his muscular frame. "What time does the bus leave?" he asked to no one in particular. "Whenever you get on it," said Lightning forward Tim Taylor.

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OLN Will Become Versus

via Multichannel News,

From Outdoor Life Network to OLN to … Versus. The new moniker -- to be introduced on-air to consumers at the end of the service’s coverage of the National Hockey League playoffs in early June -- is the culmination of a two-year evolution at the Comcast Corp.-owned channel, once known principally for hunting and fishing fare, then for Tour de France coverage and bull riding and, more recently, for NHL action.

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Buzz Building In San Jose

from the Mercury News,

Gabriel Silva wore his ``In Like Fin'' T-shirt and Sharks logo cap. A replica jersey hung on the back of his chair. But something was missing from his usual game-day look: teal hair. ``Well, it's 10 in the morning,'' the San Jose resident said. So maybe there was a little less hair-dyeing and face-painting than usual for Sunday morning's Sharks game. But the early wake-up call didn't stop Silva and other die-hard hockey fans from heading to sports bars around San Jose to cheer on their team against the Nashville Predators.

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Don’t Expect Too Much Offense

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The Ducks didn't get much going offensively – halfway through the game, they'd mustered only five shots on goal – but three in a row eluded Kiprusoff, and no one could remember when that had happened before, if ever. Against Calgary, a three-goal lead halfway through the match is usually enough to put away the lowest-scoring team in the NHL playoffs. Instead, Giguere gave up two quick ones – and suddenly, it was a game again. It was a sloppy game, a tentative game and a whistle-happy game, but it was a game again - and it wasn't decided until Sami Pahlsson rifled home a third-period insurance goal for the Ducks that stood up as the winner after Flames' rookie defenceman Dion Phaneuf scored for Calgary late on the power play. From there, the Ducks turned to their No. 1 defence pair of Scott Niedermayer and Francois Beauchemin to shut the door on Calgary. The two are as unlikely a pair as there is in today's NHL, coming as they do from opposite sides of the fence.

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The Official Tracker

Hockey Refs will be tracking the number of games the officlals have worked in the playoffs. This should give us an indication who is in and who is out as the playoffs progress.

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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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