Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Canes Fans Don’t Deserve This

from the Buffalo News,

In order to appreciate the true value of a professional sports title, you should endure a certain amount of pain and keep coming back. Yeah, the Hurricanes lost in the 2002 Stanley Cup finals. It might actually mean something if half the fans in Raleigh remembered who won the Cup that year. Let me put it this way: Does the name Steve Yzerman ring a bell? OK, how about Scotty Bowman? In Buffalo, yes. In Carolina, uh, no. Good luck finding one Carolina fan who can recall a single moment from a Hurricanes' game when they played in Greensboro, other than the mascot nearly suffocating in the zamboni. The franchise might have appreciated the return of Ron Francis, but how many fans truly understood how much "Franchise" meant in Hartford? And that's the problem with these other cities.
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Motivating Factors

from the NY Times,

On one side is the coach of the United States hockey team, which won only one game at the Turin Olympics. On the other is the goalie who was not allowed to contribute. At different times, for different reasons, the flame consumed them both. The Olympics reminded Peter Laviolette what it felt like to lose in front of the world. They reminded Ryan Miller what it felt like to be excluded from a dream club. And now that the stakes are similar in the Stanley Cup playoffs — with the hockey world watching and the field narrowing— neither wants to duplicate his Olympic experience.
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Melynk’s Message To Sens Fans

from the Ottawa Senators,

I have to admit that a lot of my thinking has changed in the last week. In business, I take a very clinical approach to decisions. But this last week has been clouded with raw emotion over our devastating early loss in the playoffs.... We need to stop fearing the playoffs. We need to stop thinking that history is against us. We need to re-energize this team and ignite the spark that's going to keep our edge in close third periods and win those overtime games. We need to make some changes, but remind ourselves that at one point, we were THE elite team this season. We need to think how we are going to win and win right through to the end.
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Everyone Blocks Shots

from the Buffalo News,

"All season long," Sabres defenseman Henrik Tallinder said, "we've been chirping on guys, "Hey, we have to block shots.' " The message is everywhere. The Sabres have used 21 skaters during the playoffs, and while some blocks may have been accidental, all 21 have blocked at least one shot. "I think it's more contagious when one person blocks a shot," Sabres forward Derek Roy said. "It pretty much forces everybody else to block a shot instead of pulling up or doing the flamingo or whatever. It seems like everybody wants to win on this team, and blocking shots is a huge part of that."
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Engblom Going To OLN Full Time

from the Columbus Dispatch,

Analyst Brian Engblom will leave the Blue Jackets’ television booth to take a job with the Outdoor Life Network, the rights holder for NHL telecasts in the United States. "I haven’t signed on the dotted line yet, but (OLN) has given me an offer so good, I really can’t refuse," Engblom said yesterday.
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Thank You Revenue Sharing

from the Tennessean,

The good news for Predators fans is that despite the higher payroll, the team is still likely to receive millions of dollars worth of revenue-sharing money from the league this summer. The team won't have an exact figure until later in the offseason, but it's expected to be in the millions. In fact, the anticipation of the revenue-sharing money has already made an impact on the team's finances. "Our payroll increased by a little over $5 million from 2003-04 to this year, but ultimately — when all is said and done — we'll lose less money this year than we did in 03-04," Lang said. "So we're going in the right direction. Revenue sharing has certainly put us in a much stronger position."
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The Look Alike

from the News & Observer,

The aggressive, attacking style of play. The contender built on a small-market budget. The team no one picked to make the playoffs. The rookie goalie. The coach-of-the-year finalist behind the bench. Right down to the red, white and black uniforms, it's hard to tell the two Eastern Conference finalists apart without a program or an electron microscope. "We got to wear shorts to the rink the last two months?" Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Aaron Ward mused, searching desperately for differences.
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Ducks Quiet

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

There was no real feeling that the outcome was in doubt. The scoreboard said it wasn’t secure until Todd Harvey scored into the empty net to win 3-1. But the feel was different. That was part of it. The other part were all those empty seats and lack of atmosphere. For the longest time, it looked and felt like a regular-season game here last night, not a Game 1. Nobody booed O Canada. Nobody said peep. It was so quiet you could hear a puck drop. One fan yelled out ‘Let’s Go Oilers.’ Nobody sang the U.S. anthem. “It’s not Edmonton,’’ seconded Ethan Moreau. “When it comes to loud, San Jose was a close second. We felt it, too. It’s not like home.’’ “We just seemed to be a half a step off or away from finishing on some chances tonight,’’ said Scott Niedermayer. “They played well. Obviously we’ll have to be better if we want to win the next game. I thought our first period was the best and then we sort of stopped skating.’’
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Decisions Ahead For Ottawa

from the Ottawa Citizen,

Thanks to a core of maturing, increasingly expensive talent, a collective bargaining agreement that inconveniently limits what a team can spend on salaries, and a owner who is said to be barely breaking even here, Muckler will be squirming with a hockey bag full of personnel decisions this summer. None will be bigger than the one involving two of the NHL's better, and most coveted, defencemen: Wade Redden and Zdeno Chara. Will the Senators be able to sign both of them? One of them? Neither of them? For Ottawa fans, the answers to these questions could represent a turning point for the organization.
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Goalie Options For Next Year

from Kevin Allen of USA Today,

Based on what has happened in the NHL playoffs thus far, the hot goaltending trend next season might be simply to have options. None of the four starting goalies left in the postseason — Buffalo's Ryan Miller, Carolina's Cam Ward, Edmonton's Dwayne Roloson and Anaheim's Ilya Bryzgalov — were clear-cut No. 1 goalies at the start of the 2005-06 NHL season. The point is that teams in general, and NHL coaches specifically, seem more comfortable with the idea that using two goalies in the playoffs isn't sinful, and maybe even desirable. This is the new NHL with a greater emphasis on offensive creativity. That doesn't make goaltenders less important. It makes them more important. In the clutch-and-grab era, goalies had to make only a handful of big saves every game, and now they face a dozen or more good chances every game.
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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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