Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Bad Ice In Calgary

from the Calgary Sun,

For many years, NHLers considered Calgary's rink to have among the best ice in the league. It was consistently good, not prone to chipping or as susceptible to ruts as nearly every other rink. Playing at the 'Dome was a respite from the slushy and substandard rinks around the NHL. That hasn't been the case this season. "It's not as good as it's been in the past," said Flames defenceman Robyn Regehr. "And it shouldn't be that way. It should be the best in the league."
more

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Don’t Forget

Hockey fans in the U.S. (Canada too) that have access to CBC, tonight at 8:00pm, The Canada Russia ‘72 series starts tonight. I am looking forward to watching and should bring back some wonderful memories. image

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Kings Falling Apart

from the Daily Breeze,

There were perhaps 9,000 (this is a liberal estimate) present at 18,118-seat Staples Center for the start of the Kings-Ducks non-rivalry game Saturday afternoon. This was an indication of the lack of urgency people with tickets felt about getting to the game, won, 4-2, by the playoff-bound Ducks. The lack of urgency mirrored the play of the Kings. And so it is that the Kings sink rapidly into the NHL sunset with a textbook demonstration on how a team can come apart at the seams.
read on

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Hitchcock Loves The Playoffs

from the Philly Burbs,

Even Scotty Bowman teams occasionally took an early powder. But Hitchcock has been consistent, guiding the Dallas Stars to the Cup finals twice (including a win in 1999), plus a conference finals appearance. He coached the Flyers to the conference finals in '04. In the past six postseasons, Hitchcock has coached an eye-popping 104 games and won 61 of them. Obviously, Hitchcock enjoys the challenge. But what makes him so successful? “I just love the playoffs; I love the strategy for a seven-game series,'' Hitchcock said. “I love the preparation, all the little things you do. I look forward to it.''
more

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Jagr Should Be Captain

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Now, as they seek to claim a division championship that would give them the home-ice advantage they seem to believe so important, they more often than not appear fatigued; good enough and resourceful enough to win games, but without the crispness, confidence or swagger with which they played preceding the Olympics. If the team received a jolt of incentive from the outside at the start of the regular season, now is the time for Tom Renney to provide a jolt from the inside - or it will when it's time to start the playoffs. When it's time to start the playoffs, it will be time for Renney to name Jaromir Jagr team captain, to give him the letter he has earned. If King Henrik is the face behind the mask, Jagr, who broke the Rangers record for goals in a season yesterday, is the face of the franchise. Giving Jagr the "C" now gives a voice to that face.
read on (reg. req.)

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Win It For The Captain

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

The Detroit Red Wings have one driving force as they gear up for the playoffs: Win one last Stanley Cup for Steve Yzerman. Every athlete wants to go out on top and that's what the Wings players want for their longtime captain. Nobody picked Detroit to win the Cup this year, but don't discount the role Yzerman factor is playing in Motown.
read on

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No Long Overtimes In Playoffs

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

With the playoffs around the corner, shootouts soon will be put on the shelf for a few months. But don't expect a bunch of overtime games stretching into the fifth and sixth periods, as has been the norm in recent seasons. The National Hockey League's on-ice officials have been given the message and they have embraced it. There will be no deterioration of the strict anti-restraint standards that were imposed during the regular season. As a result, once the playoffs start, you'll see the same type of officiating you've been seeing for six months. That means you'll see as many power plays in overtime as you see in regulation time. And when that happens, the goals will come.
read on...Al touches on many subjects and note to Al- some American cities still sing the national anthem in the traditional way...

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Mystery Injury For Crosby

from the Globe and Mail,

"I'm going to try and get through it and do whatever I need to do," he said. "I think it's pretty hard to say right now if it will affect anything [the rest of the season]. "It's the kind of thing that the doctors said will probably feel worse the next day." It's a strange one, because no one saw anything happen to him during the game. He appeared to be walking normally, said he wasn't in pain and was in good spirits, teasing us about how mysterious he had to be about the injury. Crosby said that the injury wasn't caused by another player and didn't involve a collision of any sort, but that he knew immediately when it happened it was serious.
more

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Gallant Will Be Back

from the Columbus Dispatch,

Blue Jackets president and general manager Doug MacLean has said that a new contract for coach Gerard Gallant is not an issue. MacLean has said such decisions are being saved for after the season. Yesterday, Mac-Lean put it differently. For the first time, MacLean stated with certitude that Gallant and the rest of the coaches will have their contracts extended. "He’s going to get a contract, and so are the rest of the coaches," Mac-Lean said before the Jackets’ 4-2 loss last night to the Red Wings in Nationwide Arena.
continued added 7:32am, from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Kings coach Andy Murray could land behind the Columbus Blue Jackets bench next season. Many are mystified GM Doug MacLean has been able to keep his job, but there's plenty of talk coach Gerard Gallant won't survive
more rumors from Bruce...

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Modano Made The Right Choice

from the NY Times (Sunday edition),

After the lockout that resulted in the cancellation of the 2004-5 season, Modano was refreshed — and an unrestricted free agent. He nearly left Dallas before re-signing with the Stars. "It was Chicago or Boston," Modano said of his choices. "And look at those two organizations now." The Blackhawks and the Bruins are not going to make the playoffs this season. In Modano's case, the best move was to stay put.
read on...plus a nice mention on the play of Huet...

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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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