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Kukla's Korner Hockey

Amonte Starting Fresh

from the Calgary Sun,

It's a fresh sheet of ice. The playoffs are another chance for Tony Amonte to finally become a Stanley Cup champion. This year, they're also a shot at redemption. They're a chance to wipe away the most disappointing offensive season of his career. "Absolutely, I feel that way," the Calgary Flames forward said. "Everything that happened in the regular season is washed out when the playoff starts.
continued

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Everyone Is Writing Us Off

from the NY Times,

The Rangers finished the regular season with a team meeting Tuesday night and started postseason preparations with another meeting Wednesday. Playoff veterans took the floor and shared success stories with playoff rookies. The Rangers, who in one night fell from first to third place in the division, and from third to sixth place in the Eastern Conference, are trying to convince themselves that they fit best in this position. "We were underdogs from the beginning and we are again," forward Jed Ortmeyer said. "Everyone is writing us off already."
more added 8:56am, from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
An even bigger concern, however, is the shrinkage in penalty calls away from the puck the last couple of weeks. Hooking the puck-carrier remains forbidden, but interference, grabbing and the pounding of players without the puck has returned to the landscape. The Rangers were built for the new-age NHL and, as revealed in the latter stages of the season, need unobstructed lanes in which to weave magic in their puck-possession game. They are not a team that does well without the puck or battling for it. They are not a team that does well playing a traditional north-south, go-to-the-net game. Unfortunately for Broadway's team, teams that cannot emerge from the trenches tend to suffer painful (albeit quick) deaths in the tournament. It is too late for the Rangers to reinvent themselves. They must dance with who brought them.
more (reg. req.)

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Stanley Arrives In London

from the Globe and Mail,

The hefty cylinder of battle-worn silver, familiar to any Canadian old enough to wear a pair of skates, was hoisted atop a pillar across the Thames from Big Ben at one point yesterday, to give the guy carrying it a bit of a rest. "What in heavens is going on?" one older Englishman, visiting from the north for the day, asked as a number of TV cameras and a scrum of hangers-on formed to gaze at the bottom-heavy cup. "It's Antiques Road Show," his wife was quick to answer. "They do this sort of thing all the time."
continued

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Vyborny Agrees To Contract

from the Columbus Dispatch,

Vyborny, the team’s leading scorer this season and the first player in Blue Jackets history to register three consecutive 20-goal seasons, has agreed to terms on a new contract, he said last night. "I’m happy," Vyborny said. "It’s what I wanted — to stay here — and it’s good we finally got it done." Vyborny, 31, was a potential unrestricted free agent. Although terms were not disclosed, the contract is for two years and believed to be worth $2 million to $2.4 million per season. He made $1.14 million in 2005-06.
read on

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Witt Against Thornton Is Key

from the Daily News Journal,

It's no secret that Witt's primary role in Nashville's best-of-seven series with the San Jose Sharks will be to attempt to neutralize Sharks' center Joe Thornton, the NHL's leading scorer and the player considered by many to be the leading candidate to win this year's Hart Trophy, given to the league's most valuable player. Witt knows all about Thornton given the many times they faced one another with the original teams. That knowledge could make Nashville's acquisition of the rugged defenseman even more important than it has been thus far. "I think it was a good move from our part because (Witt has) played against Thornton, and he can handle (big forwards)," coach Barry Trotz said. "He's going to see some action against (Thornton). I think it's probably turned to be a real astute move."
more

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TSN Awards

TSN passes out their awards for the Calder, Hart, Adams and Norris, although at this time, the Norris section seems to be messed up just a little. added 11:10pm, TSN fixed the problem with the Norris section.

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Hockey Live

I have had a few emails asking if Comcast would continue streaming playoff games. It looks like they will, but no schedule as of today. You must be a Comcast high speed subscriber to get this service. If you wish to get it, you can do it right here...COMCAST - Get High Speed Cable Internet image

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OLN Schedule

OLN has added a schedule page, breaking down the games by date and series, but no mention of any HD broadcast. If anyone knows about plans for OLN and HD in the playoffs, please feel free to post in the comments. added 8:45pm, Just got the HD schedule for OLN-HD. Not sure yet if it will be on INHD or where, but I am sure information will be coming in soon. April 22 - Game 1 Sabres vs. Flyers, 7:00 PM April 24 - Game 2 Rangers vs. Devils, 7:00 PM April 26 - Game 3 Devils vs. Rangers, 7:00 PM April 28 - Game 4 Sabres vs. Flyers, 7:00 PM April 30 - Game 5 Rangers vs. Devils, 6:00 PM May 2 - Game 6 Devils vs. Rangers, 7:00 PM May 4 - Game 7 Rangers vs. Devils, 7:00 PM

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Official Release From NBC Regarding First Weekend Of NHL Playoffs

NBC Sports broadcast coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs begins this weekend with the New York Rangers facing off against their arch-rival the New Jersey Devils on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET live in high definition. Also on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET, the Colorado Avalanche travel to Dallas to play the Stars. On Sunday, the Detroit Red Wings, winner of the NHL's Presidents Trophy for most points, host the Edmonton Oilers at 1 p.m. ET live in high definition. In other regional action, the Nashville Predators host the San Jose Sharks, who feature Joe Thornton, the NHL's leading scorer. Mike Emrick (play-by-play), John Davidson (analyst) and Joe Micheletti (inside-the-glass reporter) will call New York at New Jersey; Dave Strader (play-by-play) Brian Hayward (analyst) Peter McNab (inside-the-glass reporter) call Colorado at Dallas; Mike Emrick (play-by-play), John Davidson (analyst) and Pierre McGuire (inside-the-glass reporter) will call Edmonton at Detroit; and Chris Cuthbert (play-by-play), Peter McNab (analyst) and Cammi Granato (inside-the-glass reporter) call San Jose at Nashville. Stanley Cup winners Bill Clement and Ed Olczyk, along with former NHL All-Star Ray Ferraro lead NBC's studio team. More in the comment section of this post.

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Predicition Time

from John Buccigross of ESPN,

Before the season's start, I wrote in this cyberish space that Penguins rookie Sidney Crosby would finish his rookie campaign with 38 goals, 63 assists and 101 points. His final numbers: 39-63-102. There was so much mystery and uncertainty with this "new" NHL, but projecting what great things this dedicated and gifted athlete would accomplish was not difficult after watching him play three preseason shifts. Everything else was truly up for grabs. So, with the NHL's second season beginning this week, it is time for another round of predictions as a way to look back and look ahead. Here's a look at the first round and at my NHL awards winners.
more

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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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