Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Desperate Sens

from the Buffalo News,

Shortly after checking into their downtown hotel on Tuesday afternoon, captain Daniel Alfredsson was asked what the Senators look like when they play with desperation. "We'll find out," Alfredsson said with a vacant look in his eyes. "You can't compare regular season to playoffs. It's totally different. So, no, we haven't [had to play desperate] this year." "They came into our rink and won two. There's no reason we can't come in here and win two," Senators center Jason Spezza said. "They got a good hockey club, and they're playing real well right now. But we can still win these games. "We feel like our backs are against the wall and that's going to bring the best out in us."
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Not A Pretty Picture

from Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel,

Believe me, I understand you don't want to read about hockey because neither do I. Which is why I'm writing this column -- as a public service to the zillions of non-hockey fans out there who want to know this: Why are there still hockey stories in my newspaper when 99.999 percent of readers couldn't tell you a hat trick from a hat rack.... The NHL playoff ratings are an embarrassment. The New Jersey-Carolina game on NBC Saturday drew a 1.1 rating, less than the 1.2 number drawn by taped coverage of the NCAA women's gymnastics championships.
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Teemu Watches History

from the OC Register,

Teemu Selanne watched Joffrey Lupul drive a basket of pucks into the Colorado net here Tuesday night. He knew he was sitting on the perch of history. He said Lupul showed "that hungriness you need." It got his own appetite going, too. "All I needed was a couple of hot dogs and some beers," Selanne said. "I had a front-row seat out there, the best seat in the house. It was a pretty high-priced seat, and it was unbelievable to watch."
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Goodbye Glory Years

from the Denver Post,

The banners of the golden age of hockey in Colorado now gather dust in the arena. It's all over for the Avalanche except the wistful tears of nostalgia. Look toward the ceiling of the Pepsi Center and wonder where the good times went. Patrick Roy and Ray Bourque are fond memories. Peter Forsberg has left the building. And that's the problem, isn't it? If you want to see great Avalanche players, you might as well look for the retired numbers in the rafters as on the ice, where the defeats mount. Four years have passed since Colorado last survived two rounds of the playoffs. After a 4-3 overtime loss to Anaheim on a sad Tuesday night, defenseman Rob Blake slumped on a bench in front of his locker.
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Does The NHL Care About Their Fans

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman shut down his sport for a year, he has told us so many times, for the fans. It was for them that he took their game away from them, and it was their continued support that encouraged him. His league, he has repeatedly assured us, reveres its fans. For much of the year, the message was on all the ice surfaces. "Thank you fans." Here's how some franchises have shown their gratitude. - In Ottawa, management booked a children's show that evicted the Senators from the Scotiabank Place last weekend.
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Ratings Disaster Ahead

from the Globe and Mail,

It takes some doing, but the Stanley Cup playoffs are shaping up to be a bust for networks on both sides of the border. The potential absence of Canadian teams from the National Hockey League conference finals certainly wasn't what the CBC had in mind. And matchups involving the Carolina Hurricanes, Buffalo Sabres, San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Mighty Ducks were hardly on the wish list of NBC and OLN.
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Staal Happy In Carolina

from the NY Times,

When it comes to the N.H.L., Tobacco Road is pretty far removed from Madison Avenue. And that suits Carolina Hurricanes forward Eric Staal just fine, at least for now. "If he was playing in New York right now, he'd be a superstar already," said Rod Brind'Amour, Carolina's captain. "There's no question. He's one of the best players in the league. And the things he's done in the playoffs right now, if it was happening in a Ranger uniform, I'm sure he'd be all over the place."
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Oiler Fans In Nebraska

from the CP via the Chronicle Herald,

Two of the Edmonton Oilers’ biggest fans don’t even live in Edmonton. Ron and Barbara Erickson, a Nebraska couple in their 50s, estimate they spend about $30,000 U.S. a year travelling to NHL cities, taking in mostly Oilers home and road games. So how did an American couple with no ties to Canada wind up rooting for the NHL’s northernmost team? It all happened seven years ago, when the Ericksons went to all 28 NHL arenas at the time and evaluated each city.
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Oilers Familar With The Sharks Game

from Terry Hones of the Edmonton Sun,

The San Jose Sharks are playing the game that has always been identified as the game Edmonton gave the NHL. The pressure forechecking has been keeping the Oilers bottled up in their own end with defencemen's faces plastered up against the glass and the Sharks making it a long 180 feet to the other end of the ice for Edmonton. On the rare occasion the Oilers get there, deep into Shark territory, they don't stay there long. Sound familiar? "They've been able to beat us at our own game,'' said Ethan Moreau.
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Talking Rookies In Latvia

from Reuters,

Even in the ancient cobblestone streets and squares of Latvia's capital, Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin cannot escape being compared and discussed. What happens here at the ice hockey world championships over the next two weeks will carry no weight in deciding whether Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins wizard playmaker, or Ovechkin, the Washington Capitals fiery goal scorer, will be crowned National Hockey League (NHL) rookie of the year. Nonetheless, everyone has an opinion in this tiny, hockey-mad Baltic republic.
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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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