Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Does Home Ice Matter

from NHL.com,

Having the home-ice edge is an advantage in the first two rounds of the playoffs but not so in the conference finals. In the 11 playoff seasons since the NHL shifted to the current playoff format, higher-seeded teams (based on regular-season record) have only managed to split 22 series. That's a big contrast from the 35-13 mark (.729 winning percentage) they've put up in the conference semifinals and the 62-34 (.646) they've posted in first-round series.
continued

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Good News For Columbus

via the Columbus Blue Jackets,

The Columbus Blue Jackets announced on Friday that the hockey club has surpassed a 90 percent rate of season ticket renewals for the 2006-07 National Hockey League season. In addition, the team has collected deposits for nearly 150 new season ticket accounts. "We are very pleased and appreciative of the tremendous enthusiasm and support shown by our season ticket holders towards the Blue Jackets," said David Paitson, Columbus Blue Jackets Vice President of Ticketing. "It is also rewarding to see that our fan base continues to grow as evidence by the number of new season ticket deposits we've collected so far this spring."

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Good Luck

from the CP via Slam,

A northern Alberta Cree leader is offering an unusual form of help for the Edmonton Oilers on their quest to capture the Stanley Cup. Bill Sewepagaham, First Nations co-ordinator for the Peace River School Division, is donating a necklace made out of lacquered deer and moose droppings, which he says will bring good luck to whoever wears it. According to ancient Cree legend, hunters who had a rough day capturing food would smear their weapons in animal droppings and their fortunes would change.
continued...and yes, those are real moose and deer droppings... image

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Why Not Hockeytown

I pointed to a story a few days ago that the USA Hockey Hall of Fame was in a bit of trouble. Bill at A2Y located a story mentioning Detroit deserves the Hall. Why not?

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The Memorial Cup

from the Guelph Tribune,

At the start of this season, 30 teams had dreams of sipping from the Stanley Cup. At the start of this season, 57 teams had hopes of creating lifelong memories by carrying the the Memorial Cup. It was May 17, 1986, when the Guelph Platers did just that. "I'll tell ya one thing. That trophy is one son of a gun to win. It was like everything just fell into place," said Joe Holody, owner of the championship team, this week. An expansion franchise just four years earlier, the Platers went rags to riches and won the prestigious Cup 20 years ago this past Wednesday.
more...great read... image

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Coaching Breakdown

Scott Burnside breaks down the Final Four coaches. We all know coaching moves are under the microscope the farther the teams move into the playoffs. Who has the edge? image image image image

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Bring It On

from Terry Frei of ESPN,

Bring it on. Don't apologize for it. Revel in it. Salute the four survivors. The absolute unpredictability of the playoffs and the fluctuating field of conference finalists, phenomena that were around before the salary cap made them even more likely, are among the NHL's strengths. In contrast, when there are "major upsets" in the NBA's postseason, it's enough of a shock that we probably should be listening for stray referees' whistles coming from the grassy knoll. Maybe more than ever, there no longer are such things as "upsets" in the NHL playoffs.
more

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Brent Sutter Says No To Canucks

from the National Post (paid reg. req.),

Brent Sutter has rejected overtures from the Vancouver Canucks to be considered for the team's head coaching position, leaving Alain Vigneault as the clear front-runner. Sutter said he was contacted recently by Canuck assistant general manager Steve Tambellini in a fact-finding mission. The fact was: Sutter said no. "At this point, it's not something I'd be interested in because I'm happy doing what I'm doing," Sutter said from Red Deer, where he is owner, GM and head coach of the major junior Rebels. "I was never interviewed. It was just a casual conversation with Tamby, about 10 minutes ... I am not out looking for a job. I have my team, I have my ranch and it's the best of both worlds."

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Ducks Fans Not Happy

from the LA Times,

The Mighty Ducks take on the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference finals beginning tonight, but some local Ducks fans won't be watching it on television. They can't — unless they get OLN. The cable network, whose contract with the NHL gives it exclusive broadcasting rights throughout this best-of-seven series, reaches only 49% of the cable TV households in the greater Los Angeles market, which includes Orange County. Bill Padian of Torrance is among the disgruntled fans. "You believe this is a way to market a product that is already the most ignored sport in the U.S.?" he said in an e-mail that he also sent to the Ducks. "If this was the Lakers, Laker fans would go berserk and the team and the league would both be in court facing an injunction."
continued (reg. req.)

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Breaking Down Oilers & Ducks

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

In the ongoing debate over rust versus rest in this series, Carlyle suggested that "rusty" wasn't a word in their vocabulary … unless they were talking about Ruslan Salei - nicknamed Rusty). The Ducks saw first-hand what a lengthy layoff can do to a team when they crushed the Avalanche 5-0 in the first game of their series, after going seven against Calgary. It can be a double-edged sword, helpful for down the road, but something of a disadvantage in the first half of the first game. "We have no control over the scenario that's been created," said Carlyle. "We have to be on top of our game when the puck drops." ...Two of the Oilers' greatest strengths — excellence in the face-off circle and the willingness to block shots — can be attributed mostly to MacTavish's influence. He did both effectively throughout his playing career. "Small things will determine who wins the Cup this year," predicted MacTavish, "because to me, there's not much to differentiate the four teams that are still in it."
more Also, in the comments section, read the teleconference interview with Pronger, Smyth, Roloson, Smith & Moreau.

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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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