Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Buffalo Business First,
Just two days before the Buffalo Sabres are to start play in the third round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the possibility exists that many TV viewers the local market will be shut out of some games. The National Hockey League released its television schedule for the conference finals late Wednesday night. The first game of the Buffalo-Carolina Hurricanes Eastern Conference final will be broadcast on NBC at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 20. All other games in the best-of-7 series are to be carried on OLN, the NHL's cable TV partner in the U.S. OLN, or Outdoor Life Network, however, is carried on Adelphia Communications Corp.'s digital tier, which costs subscribers more per month than basic or expanded basic cable service, and is not nearly as popular. The exact number of subscribers receiving OLN in the Buffalo area is not known.continued update 4:02pm,
After a morning of negotiations, Adelphia said Thursday the remaining games in the series will be carried on channel 71, which is part of the company's "classic" package. That same package is available to all subscribers who receive MSG Network, the Sabres' main cable outlet. Terms of the agreement with OLN were not disclosed. "We know how important the Sabres are to the community so it was absolutely essential to be able to provide our customers the opportunity to watch all the games," said Tom Haywood, vice president of operations for Adelphia. "We also did not want to leave to chance the fact that CBC could change its schedule at any time so we decided to air all of the games on Channel 71 regardless of their schedule."
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Somewhere between the crowning of the last Stanley Cup champion and today, the NHL was turned upside down. That the next NHL champion will come from a Final Four consisting of the Edmonton Oilers, Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres is, in itself, evidence of the massive change that has affected the 89-year-old hockey institution that is the NHL. Two years ago, at the conclusion of the last NHL regular season that preceded the historic lockout, none of those four clubs were even part of the post-season.read on
from the Toronto Sun,
Now what for Eric Lindros? Another team, another town, another gamble, another partial season? For a million a year, somebody might be interested. The question at this stage of his life: Is he? Last season Lindros played for the smallest paycheck of a professional career that has earned him almost $48 million US. To sign to play another season, here, somewhere, anywhere, he will have to play for less than he has ever been paid before. In the next week or so, he'll find out more about his wrist. The Leafs will find out more. A determination will have to be made. He was The Next One and the hype wasn't hype. All of it was earned early on. Lindros never scored 50 goals in an NHL season, but he scored at a 50-goal pace in each of his first five years in Philadelphia. If only he could have played 82 game seasons. If only.more
from the San Francisco Chronicle,
The NHL scoring champ with 125 points during the regular season, Joe Thornton, had two goals and nine points in 11 playoff games. The goal-scoring champ with 56 during the regular season, Jonathan Cheechoo, had four, two in each series, during the postseason. Fingers will be pointed, but not by coach Ron Wilson. "If the series was going to come down to, if the only guy who can set up people is Joe and the only person who can score goals is Cheech, we're going to be in trouble," Wilson said.continued
from the Toronto Sun,
And who can't feel good about the underdog Edmonton Oilers, who eliminated San Jose last night to move into the Final Four with their 2-0 victory in Game 6 of the Western Conference semi-final. So why, oh why, does the whole spectacle seem as flat as yesterday's draft beer to an outsider? The answer is simple. A lot has changed, and most of it for the better, in the new NHL but you can't change human nature. Nothing can overcome the lack of a local rooting interest. The television ratings might lie a little bit but, generally, they tell an honest picture. And that picture is that not many people are watching, outside the towns where hope still lives. Right now, hope lives only in one town in Canada: Edmonton. At times like these, the only thing you can do is play the patriot card. I know it's tough to do when half the players in the league are countrymen but only a few of them play for a Canadian-based team. And the only Canadian team in sight is the Oilers.more
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
But the best story of the year is being written in Buffalo, which returned to the playoffs after a three-season absence. This is a team that was on the verge of extinction four years ago, when it was plunged into bankruptcy by the felonious fiscal malfeasance of the Rigas family. Thomas Golisano, who aspires to be the next governor of New York, rescued the franchise, but the real heros of this story are general manager Darcy Regier and head coach Lindy Ruff, who has championed the team concept and built a winner on a paltry budget of about $27 million. It should be noted that the Sabres' success isn't a case of a team getting hot in the playoffs. Buffalo finished the regular season tied with Ottawa and Carolina for the most victories with 52.read on
from the CP via the Globe and Mail,
Riot police moved in as crowds celebrating an Edmonton Oilers victory turned ugly late Wednesday night. Simon Ostler, a reporter with radio station CHED, said he witnessed several fights including one in which a man was so badly beaten 15 officers in riot gear had to clear a path so the man could be removed. “They have created a perimeter of sorts around where the person is lying on the ground,” said Mr. Ostler.continued
from the Edmonton Sun,
In a comeback from a 0-2 series deficit that was equal parts Dwayne Roloson, great penalty killing and opportunistic scoring, the Oilers reeled off four straight wins to get it done and earn themselves a ticket to the Arrowhead Pond for Game 1 Friday. They're having too much fun to be tired. "It feels good because we're getting a step closer," said Michael Peca, who scored what would stand as the winning goal behind Roloson's first career playoff shutout. "We gave ourselves the opportunity to take one more step toward our goal... once we figured out the type of series we needed to play to be successful, we really took over."more
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL Date Time (ET) #2 Carolina vs. #4 Buffalo Network TV Saturday, May 20 2:00 p.m. Buffalo at Carolina NBC, TSN, RDS Monday, May 22 7:30 p.m. Buffalo at Carolina OLN, TSN, RDS Wednesday, May 24 7:30 p.m. Carolina at Buffalo OLN, CBC, RDS Friday, May 26 7:30 p.m. Carolina at Buffalo OLN, CBC, RDS Sunday, May 28 * 7:30 p.m. Buffalo at Carolina OLN, CBC, RDS Tuesday, May 30 * 7:30 p.m. Carolina at Buffalo OLN, TSN, RDS Thursday, June 1 * 7:30 p.m. Buffalo at Carolina OLN, TSN, RDS WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL Date Time (ET) #6 Anaheim vs. #8 Edmonton Network TV Friday, May 19 9:00 p.m. Edmonton at Anaheim OLN, CBC, RDS Sunday, May 21 9:00 p.m. Edmonton at Anaheim OLN, CBC, RDS Tuesday, May 23 8:00 p.m. Anaheim at Edmonton OLN, CBC, RDS Thursday, May 25 8:00 p.m. Anaheim at Edmonton OLN, CBC, RDS Saturday, May 27 * 9:00 p.m. Edmonton at Anaheim OLN, CBC, RDS Monday, May 29 * 8:00 p.m. Anaheim at Edmonton OLN, CBC, RDS Wednesday, May 31 * 9:00 p.m. Edmonton at Anaheim OLN, CBC, RDS * if necessary
Congrats to the people who are still alive. Remember, the first criteria was pick the Stanley Cup Winner. Results after the Conference Semi-finals: Edmonton 18-12 Buffalo 16-12 Carolina 16-10 Anaheim 16-4 Edmonton: Ric S. 65-51, GR99 55-47, OilMan 49-41, Maurice 61-50, Jen B. 68-41, Carl T. 57-45, Timothy 64-50, Trent 49-40, Hank S. 64-52, CoffeyMan 64-48, RYS 47-40, Underdog 61-50, Dean 51-47, Joseph B. 65-47, Ritchie 60-50, ZooZoo 61-50, Peter G. 70-60, Vanity 65-55 Buffalo: PRS 54-39, Matt H. 83-75, Brenda 44-30, Yikes 55-47, FF 64-50, LBJ 54-50, Wendy 68-50, Cindi 44-41, HURT 55-34, Mic M. 45-44, Gerry K. 74-66, BFLA 66-55, Jason S. 55-47, Benny E. 64-50, ManOMan 55-47, CD 71-50, Lorri 44-38 Carolina: Ryan 67-52 CHAW 40-30, NJNO 64-40, Rob F. 55-44, Vic S. 66-57, Marty 55-49, Brandy 74-55, Mike S. 64-61, HF 49-40, LOAD 55-40, Pinky 49-39 Anaheim: Ken G. 55-44, Duckman 65-50, Tina F. 66-49, SofS 58-40, Jazzy 44-40, Petra 65-44, Charles A. 74-55, Mousey 39-33, Stephanie 69-59, Lon 49-48
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