Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

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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Held Hostage

via WRAL,

A limited number of tickets are still available for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, according to the Carolina Hurricanes. To get them, however, fans must pay a deposit on season tickets for next season -- $250 for upper level or $500 for lower level..

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More Than The Money

from the Vancouver Province,

"This validates us as a franchise in the NHL again," Lowe said in a private moment on Saturday, shortly before the Oilers took another step toward their impossible dream. "It wasn't the hardcore [Oilers] fans but I think the casual fans and sponsors thought the Oilers can never win. "What's important is what's happening within our own market. The fans were still supporting the team but I think that without this kind of run, we'd have trouble holding their attention. There's a lot made about the revenue but it's the consumer confidence and the reinvestment in the branding that's important to us."

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Wings Future Goalie?

The Detroit Red Wings scouting staff has been known to dig deep to find NHL caliber players. Have they found their #1 goaltender? image

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If Yzerman Retires, Blame Ilitch & Holland

Bill at A2Y feels fingers will point in the direction of Ilitch and Holland if Stevie hangs em up. Bill, you better be careful, the Wings may cut off your access to the lockerroom after statements like that!

Steve Yzerman knew he was healthy enough to keep playing the night he stormed down that tunnel, away from that frigging Hell that the Rexall rink had become. He also knew that this iteration of Wings wasn’t worth another year of his life. Steve Yzerman will come back if he feels the team is going to dynamically change. If Yzerman retires, blame Holland and Ilitch for not doing enough to improve this team.

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Odds Favor Canes

from the blog of Ron Francis,

However, last time I checked, the Oilers didn't win the Cup tonight. They still have to win 1 more game, and that game is Monday night, in Raleigh. The Canes worked hard all season just in case a series came down to a game seven, that they would be able to have that game 7 in Raleigh. On Monday, they will get the opportunity to win a agme 7 at home for the Stanley Cup.
read on

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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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