Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Do What You Do

from the News and Observer,

There is one game left. It's for everything. How do you play it? You play it as you would any game. Nothing extraordinary. No new wrinkles. Play your game. The laid-back Cam Ward should stay that way. Eric Staal shouldn't try to win it by himself. Erik Cole doesn't have to be the savior. In times of high pressure, do what you know, what you've practiced, what works.... Tonight, Carolina doesn't need to come out on fire and get into the physical game the Oilers want to play. The Canes need to come out in control of themselves and the puck. They need to get to the third period -- their period -- skating well, shooting often and ready to send Pisani, Chris Pronger and the troublesome Raffi Torres back to Edmonton with a story, but without the Cup.
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Dream Comes True Tonight

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

Remembered forever. Forgotten fast. There are two sides to the coin when you get to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final. It isn't upside, downside, heads you win, tails you lose. This is where the high doesn't get any higher and the low doesn't get any lower. The dream of every kid playing hockey on every street in every city in Canada comes true when you get to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final. Win and you get to live it forever. In real life, though, it will be one and done. A remarkable run will come undone for either the Edmonton Oilers or the Carolina Hurricanes. A team that got close will go down as another team that couldn't close. But in this case, will it be remembered forever and forgotten fast?
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Canes Down - Not Out

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

There is no doubt that the Edmonton Oilers have the Carolina Hurricanes on the ropes. It must be remembered, however, that there's a difference between on the ropes and on the canvas. Anyone expecting the Hurricanes to fold because they've lost the past two games and were totally out-classed on Saturday night doesn't understand the mentality of National Hockey League players. This is a rugged game and this is the best league in the world. You don't get to the seventh game of a Stanley Cup final without resolve, character, determination and all those other attributes that preclude any sort of rollover.
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Time For The Cup To Return To Canada

from the National Post,

'll take Canadian history for all the marbles, Ales. This time it's up to Edmonton and their dazzling young talent Ales Hemsky to bring the Stanley Cup home to Canada. Because at this time of year, when the blue Maple Leaf is in mothballs, it's all about the red one and a country that has long claimed ownership of the sport but hasn't had its mitts on hockey's grandest trophy for a long, long time. There is plenty on the Edmonton Oilers' plate tonight here in NASCAR country, where folks tailgate before the game and the smell of barbecue wafts through the air outside the RBC Center, a rink that ironically bears the name of a Canadian bank.
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Cup May Visit Kandahar

from CamWest News via the Vancouver Sun,

If the Stanley Cup is headed to Edmonton for a victory parade this week, could one of the storied trophy's next stops be 10,500 kilometres away in this baking dust bowl in the Afghan desert? The universal wish of the Edmonton-based Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry battle group is that their Oilers win Lord Stanley of Preston's silver chalice when they play Game 7 against the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh, N.C., tonight. If the Oilers are victorious, the troops are optimistic the team will add another chapter to the Cup's colourful 113-year history by bringing it - and a few of their favourite players - to their heavily defended base on the outskirts of Kandahar. "It would be huge to have the Cup here," said Sgt. Mark Pharoah, who normally works at the garrison in Edmonton. "It would be darn good for morale."
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Point Proven

from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,

They have a chance to bring the Stanley Cup back to Canada: the Oilers having become "Canada's Team" by default, even though, for the most part, Carolina is just as Canadian when considering everything from management to stars. The real significance, win or lose, is that the Oilers stand symbolic of two critical reasons why any of us should care. First is that the Edmonton Oilers prove that, thanks to the league's new economic model, small-market teams can not only survive, but thrive. Six years ago, it was said the federal government either stepped in with a bailout package or else it was only a matter of a few seasons before the number of NHL teams in Canada would fall to one, located somewhere in Southern Ontario. Today, the Oilers and Flames and Senators are not only considered safe, there are now dreams that have the NHL one day returning to Winnipeg. Second is that the Oilers, as well as the Hurricanes, prove that the rules crackdown works and must be kept. This series is as rough and tough as any recent playoffs -- but it is also watchable.
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60 Minutes

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Sixty minutes (or more, of course, pending overtime) to make enough plays collectively to earn a place in history. All of the hundreds of names inscribed on the side of the silver chalice are reminders for all time of players who did just that. There are hundreds of names not on the Cup that could not. Hundreds of players who were somehow paralyzed by the enormity of the moment and became part of the great unremembered. Monday night, the surging Edmonton Oilers and the reeling hometown Carolina Hurricanes will engage in one more battle of wills to determine on which side of that grand emotional ledger they will stand. "I hope all of our paralyzation is out of us after last night. We were pretty paralyzed," Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said.
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Off Day Interview With MacTavish

Q. Earlier in the series you equated your team's physical player ability to finish the check to body blows in a boxing match, and that late in the fight it wears down your opponent. Do you think that's happened at all? COACH MacTAVISH: Well, it's hard to determine. We're trying to inflict as much damage really as we can, and you know, it may be having an effect. It's got an effect on Doug Weight right now, his inability to play. That was a product of a good solid hit, so I mean, everybody makes their injuries, but most players, including ours, are all playing with bumps and bruises right now. But the physical element has always been an area of our game that we focus on, and we want everybody finishing checks, as I am sure they do. Raffi got out of the pen in Game 5 and he did some major damage. I mean, he's fast, he's explosive and strong on his skates, and when he hits you it hurts. So I think he's done some damage. See the comment section for more...

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Laviolette On Sunday

Q. History of Game 7s suggest a home team in the Final always wins like 11 and 2. All the games are usually very low scoring. Do you change anything as far as the strategy as a coach is concerned as opposed to early in the Playoffs, because they are all 2-1, 3-1 games Game 7s? COACH LAVIOLETTE: I think it's real important that we show up, play our game. We're not going to change anything. We tried to make a couple of tweaks we were doing for Game 6. I think regardless of what you try and do, if you are not skating and competing as well as the other team is you are going to find it difficult to be successful. And really those were two areas where we were lacking. We're back in our building where we have had a lot of success. Our fans will be here. There will be a lot of energy. Obviously, everybody knows what is at stake. Season is over tomorrow night. Our guys will be ready to have some fun. Q. In his return Erik Cole played decent number of minutes. What's your expectation as far as how much you will be able to lean on him in Game 7 for ice time? COACH LAVIOLETTE: I would expect that it's probably somewhere around the same. Hard to give exact numbers or minutes, but probably somewhere between 15, 20 minutes depending on the game, how he's playing, and how he's feeling. more in the comments...

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Lidstrom Will Stay With Detroit

from Ansar Kahn, Wings beat writer at Mlive,

It's surprising to see that Eric Duhatschek, on Hockey Night in Canada's Hot Stove, thinks the Red Wings will have difficulty re-signing Nicklas Lidstrom, that the club might not be able to afford him. There's a lot of uncertainty about what moves the Wings will make in the next few weeks, but there is one thing that you can absolutely, positively take to the bank: Lidstrom WILL re-sign with the Wings. Frankly, I don't understand why that would even be questioned.
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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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