Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Losing The U.S. Audience

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun via the Ottawa Sun,

The game is back and, thanks to new rules which Bettman finally allowed to be imposed after a decade of screaming from fans and media, is better than ever. But in the U.S., it's virtually dead. Thanks to Bettman's TV policy, hockey no longer can be considered one of the top four sports in the U.S. It may not be in the top dozen. And without the ESPN contract, the sport doesn't get exposure to youngsters who are forming their sports loyalties. They're busy watching poker, college basketball and extreme sports.
more...Al does seem a little wound-up the last few columns, I wonder what has set him off?...

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Give This Man A Cigar

from the Wisconsin State Journal,

The NBA is a night at the symphony. It is dancing girls, unceasing music, courtside celebrities and arguably the greatest athletes in the world. The NHL is a night at the rock concert. It is Zamboni drivers, a relentless pace, a savage atmosphere and arguably the toughest athletes in the world. Both leagues are in the process of paring their playoff fields from eight to four. How do they match up in terms of entertainment? Which road to the championship is more fun to walk? I have my thoughts. Rough stuff: In the NBA it's called "a flagrant foul." In the NHL it's called "incidental contact." Advantage: NHL.

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Are You Watching

Third OT about to start in Edmonton. Will it go to 4 OT? update 2:39am, OK, everyone to bed, Horcoff scores early in the 3rd OT. We have a series!!!

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They Play Like Us

from the NY Times,

"They're playing exactly the way we play," Brodeur, the Devils' goaltender, said Wednesday night after the Hurricanes earned their second consecutive 3-2 victory to seize a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series. "They're just the better team every night right now," Brodeur said. The Hurricanes have been the quicker, hungrier and harder-working team — the same qualities the Devils have always prided themselves on. "There's not a big secret to their game," Brodeur said. "They're just working really hard and their key players are making the plays. And Cam Ward, the first two games I don't think he was a big factor, but today he was a tremendous factor."

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Just Missed

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

With time winding down in regulation in Game 3 and the score tied at 2, Alfredsson found himself free to the left of Sabres netminder Ryan Miller. Alfredsson took a couple of strides, and from just outside the face-off dot, unleashed a withering shot. The shot beat Miller but glanced off the far post about three-quarters of the way up. There was one second left on the clock. "He was off his angle. I had a good shot there I guess. It seems that's the way it goes right now," Alfredsson said of his achingly close call. Only that's not just how it goes now, that's how it goes every year. As Maxwell Smart used to say, "Missed it by that much."
read on

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Forsberg Won’t Return Until 2007

A strange teleconference call with Forsberg today. It was in regards to his upcoming surgery and he was asked when will he be back. He said, "They haven't told you when I will be back?" and then he said January 2007. Listen to the conference here... added 7:11pm, More on the procedure and rehab from the AP...

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OLN & Yahoo Team Up

via Broadcasting & Cable,

OLN and Yahoo! have created an agreement to provide Yahoo! Sports with exclusive video of the network’s sports events. “Video content has become a core part of the online sports experience and we’re excited to add OLN programming to our growing sports presence on the Web,” said David Katz, Head of Sports and Entertainment for Yahoo!. Last week, Yahoo! Sports began streaming live video of NHL games which will continue through the tournament’s first two rounds. Exclusive access to daily reports and summary coverage from OILN talent during the Stanley Cup Playoffs will be available on Yahoo! Sports and OLNTV.com.
Yahoo will also stream live NHL games in '07 according to a few sources.

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Hasek Close

via the Globe and Mail,

The return of Dominik Hasek to the Ottawa Senators' goal is growing tantalizingly close, but it will not happen Wednesday night in Game 3 of their playoff series with the Buffalo Sabres.
So tell me, if Sens win tonight, do they play Hasek or will Dom be in goal only if they go down 0-3?

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Joe Is Ordinary

from Sean McCormick at Sportsnet,

This is the playoffs. And Joe Thornton is not living up to his billing. Again. Don't get me wrong, I think he's an MVP. But MVPs rise to the occasion at playoff time. MVPs score even strength goals. MVPs make other players on the ice better. Joe Thornton has done none of the above to this point in the playoffs. He has one goal in seven games this playoff season, and it came on the powerplay. His Rocket Richard winning linemate hasn't scored in four games. And he is a team worst minus-2. How is it possible to be minus-2 when your team is 6-and-1 in the playoffs and still be touted as one of the best players on the ice? Apparently he's creating room for the second line.

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Connolly Out Tonight

via the CP,

Foward Tim Connolly won't be in the Buffalo Sabres' lineup for Game 3 of their second-round NHL playoff series against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night, head coach Lindy Ruff said following the morning skate. "He's day-to-day," said Ruff. Thomas Vanek is the most likely candidate to take Connolly's spot. Vanek was second on the team in goals scored during the regular season. The Austrian was a healthy scratch in the first two games of the series, both won by Buffalo, because Ruff opted to use Taylor Pyatt, who is more responsible defensively. Defenceman Dmitri Kalinin also was to be a lineup scratch Wednesday night, said Ruff. Kalinin has a damaged left knee and might not reappear for some time. "His condition is week-to-week," Ruff said during an optional session that saw one-half his players skate.

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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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