Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Who Wins- Who Knows

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

This is all a lengthy preamble to the fact that in the new-look NHL, the science of picking a Stanley Cup winner is more convoluted than ever. Who do you like? The pre-season favorites: Ottawa, Philadelphia, Vancouver? The unexpectedly competitive: Carolina, Buffalo, the New York Rangers? The perennial winners: Detroit, Dallas, New Jersey? The 2004 finalists: Tampa and Calgary? Or do you put the names of all the contenders into a hat and pull out one name per conference? If so, then congratulations to the Buffalo Sabres and the Dallas Stars. It looks as if we're going to see a repeat of the 1999 Stanley Cup final. Maybe Brett Hull can keep his skate out of the crease this time.
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Breaking Down Canadien Goalies

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

In a way, it's a problem a coach likes to encounter. The Montreal Canadiens' Bob Gainey has two good goalies he can use in the playoffs -- and after a loss by the Atlanta Thrashers last night, the Canadiens will be in the post-season. But the matchups remain to be seen. It's not only a function of the Canadiens' game tonight against the New Jersey Devils, but also what the Ottawa Senators and Carolina Hurricanes do.
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The Bet Is Settled

Vancouver Canucks Op Ed pays up. Nothing else needs to be written except click on "Losing The Bet To Kukla's Korner". image

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A2Y Goes To The Source

For more than a decade Helene St. James has been covering the Red Wings for the Free Press. She’s seen and written about the Russian 5, Scotty Bowman, the end of a 42-year drought and the makings of a hockey dynasty. Today, the transcript of a recent interview she did with Abel to Yzerman. image

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One Long Road Trip

from the NY Times,

The past 15 years have been a peripatetic journey for Ozolinsh, with stops in Kansas City, Mo.; San Jose, Calif.; Colorado; North Carolina; Florida; Anaheim, Calif.; and New York. His puck-moving and point-collecting abilities have made him an All-Star seven times and carried him to the Stanley Cup finals. His drinking has dragged him to a place of last resort. But right now, Ozolinsh said, he is in a good place, though he cautioned: "It's still a short period of time. We'll see in the long run." ..."I just look at it like a long road trip right now," said Ozolinsh, who has a picture of his sons on his cellphone. He talks to them every day, and they send text messages back and forth. When he speaks about his family, he has pride in his voice and pain on his face. "I'm not made for the single life," Ozolinsh said with a doleful sigh.
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Sens Fans Told To Relax

from the Ottawa Sun,

The Senators’ marketing department wants fans to “Paint The Town Red” and wear the team’s favourite bloody colour at home games to show their support in the playoffs. These days, though, it’s more like Ottawa is on red alert as fear of another early exit from the post-season tournament looms large. Yesterday, captain Daniel Alfredsson was asked for a message to send back to the fans. He replied with one word. “Relax,” said Alfredsson.
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Overload

from Newsday,

John Davidson was on the phone from Detroit, still two games and two nights from the regular-season finish line, and even the seemingly tireless voice of hockey on American TV sounded, well, tired. Asked yesterday how old he is, the NBC/OLN/MSG analyst said: "Fifty-three. After this season, I'll be 64." Davidson has spent the past seven months like a failed dieter on a bonbon binge, going from the barren, lockout winter of 2004-05 to this: Counting the Olympics, about 125 games - "or maybe it's 130, I've lost count" - even before the playoffs begin this weekend. "It's gone from complete hibernation to the verge of being over the line," he said. "But I'm not going to complain. This is a much better scenario than last season."
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Remember This?

from the Star Phoenix,

Another National Hockey League season ends tonight, leaving behind a highlight roll of dubious achievers who brought attention to their respective teams with their actions on or off the ice. By no means is this supposed to be a complete list; it's just a collection of some of the most memorable deeds in 2005-06. Darcy Tucker obviously knows what a helmet is supposed to be used for when it isn't on the head of an opponent during a fight. You smash it over his head a couple of times as he did to New Jersey Devils winger Cam Janssen last December.
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Salei Adjusting

from the OC Register,

Ruslan Salei was 20 years old when he left Belarus. He wanted to make a hockey living in America. Instead, he landed in Las Vegas. "I thought that was what this whole country was all about," Salei said Monday morning. "I didn't know any better. It wasn't exactly Hockeytown. But when I came to Anaheim, it wasn't either." And when his ninth NHL season began, someone rearranged the furniture again. Salei was the typical heavy-handed, homebound defenseman. Now the new rules took his fingers and his stick away. His 114 minutes in penalties are a career high. "I know I couldn't have played under this system," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle, a 17-year defenseman in the league and four-time All-Star. "It's the same old thing. Grab, hold and hook. It's survival time out there, and it was tough for someone like Rusty to adjust."
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Just Think

from the Beaver County Times,

Think how many points Crosby may have scored on a team that wasn't tied for fewest points in the league. With Sergei Gonchar out of the lineup Monday, Crosby had the second-most career points than any of his teammates. Think how many points Crosby may have had had Lemieux not had a heart condition. Or how many points Crosby might have had if Ziggy Palffy had heart. What's been most impressive about Crosby's rookie season was that he did it on this dreadful team. Most people would have called it a good season had Crosby got 75 points. One-hundred on this team is nothing short of amazing. That's not to give high praise to the sorry '84-85 Penguins team that Lemieux carried.
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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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