Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Ducks Quiet

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

There was no real feeling that the outcome was in doubt. The scoreboard said it wasn’t secure until Todd Harvey scored into the empty net to win 3-1. But the feel was different. That was part of it. The other part were all those empty seats and lack of atmosphere. For the longest time, it looked and felt like a regular-season game here last night, not a Game 1. Nobody booed O Canada. Nobody said peep. It was so quiet you could hear a puck drop. One fan yelled out ‘Let’s Go Oilers.’ Nobody sang the U.S. anthem. “It’s not Edmonton,’’ seconded Ethan Moreau. “When it comes to loud, San Jose was a close second. We felt it, too. It’s not like home.’’ “We just seemed to be a half a step off or away from finishing on some chances tonight,’’ said Scott Niedermayer. “They played well. Obviously we’ll have to be better if we want to win the next game. I thought our first period was the best and then we sort of stopped skating.’’
read on

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Decisions Ahead For Ottawa

from the Ottawa Citizen,

Thanks to a core of maturing, increasingly expensive talent, a collective bargaining agreement that inconveniently limits what a team can spend on salaries, and a owner who is said to be barely breaking even here, Muckler will be squirming with a hockey bag full of personnel decisions this summer. None will be bigger than the one involving two of the NHL's better, and most coveted, defencemen: Wade Redden and Zdeno Chara. Will the Senators be able to sign both of them? One of them? Neither of them? For Ottawa fans, the answers to these questions could represent a turning point for the organization.

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Goalie Options For Next Year

from Kevin Allen of USA Today,

Based on what has happened in the NHL playoffs thus far, the hot goaltending trend next season might be simply to have options. None of the four starting goalies left in the postseason — Buffalo's Ryan Miller, Carolina's Cam Ward, Edmonton's Dwayne Roloson and Anaheim's Ilya Bryzgalov — were clear-cut No. 1 goalies at the start of the 2005-06 NHL season. The point is that teams in general, and NHL coaches specifically, seem more comfortable with the idea that using two goalies in the playoffs isn't sinful, and maybe even desirable. This is the new NHL with a greater emphasis on offensive creativity. That doesn't make goaltenders less important. It makes them more important. In the clutch-and-grab era, goalies had to make only a handful of big saves every game, and now they face a dozen or more good chances every game.
read on

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DIRECTV, Inc., the digital TV leader in sports programming, will broadcast all NHL Stanley Cup Conference Final games in HD. The games, broadcast via OLN, will be available to all DIRECTV HD customers on DIRECTV viewer channel 95. One game will be broadcast on NBC in HD and will be available to DIRECTV HD customers in markets where DIRECTV offers the NBC HD feed. See press release for schedule...

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What About Yzerman

Bill at Abel to Yzerman has an interesting take on the future of the captain. If this turns out to be true, Bill has scooped the media outlets in Detroit, who have basically swept this story aside.

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Sabres Talk

Daniel Briere, Chris Drury and Ryan Miller took part in a conference call today. Q. How tough is it going up against a goaltender you are not familiar with, watch film? DANIEL BRIERE: I mean, with the technology nowadays, we can go back and watch any games we want against him, so I don't think it's -- I don't think it's an issue. Yeah, we haven't seen him, we haven't personally played against him, but we have seen a lot of games. I think most of the guys are watching what is going on around us in the playoffs, so we have seen them play. He's a good goalie. If he's good, I don't think the reason is because we haven't seen him, it is just because he's a good goalie. Q. Ryan, to that end, do you think it's an advantage going up against guys who haven't seen you before? RYAN MILLER: I guess I don't have that same advantage. read the rest in the comments section...

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The Numbers- Not Good

from the Globe and Mail,

For the second round, the CBC averaged 1.398 million, down 26 per cent from 2004, when three Canadian teams were involved, including Toronto, compared with two this year. At TSN, the audiences have been fairly good. The network is averaging 341,000 a game, up 10 per cent from 2004. NBC? Don't ask. OLN in the United States. Yikes. NBC has a postseason average rating of 1.1 (percentage of U.S. households watching the games), down 27 per cent from ABC's 2004 ratings. OLN's rating is 0.45, which converts to about 300,000 viewers a game, half of what ESPN used to pull in. Broadcasting sources believe NBC's audience problems are tied directly to the league's decision to replace ESPN as its cable rights holder.
read on

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Does Home Ice Matter

from NHL.com,

Having the home-ice edge is an advantage in the first two rounds of the playoffs but not so in the conference finals. In the 11 playoff seasons since the NHL shifted to the current playoff format, higher-seeded teams (based on regular-season record) have only managed to split 22 series. That's a big contrast from the 35-13 mark (.729 winning percentage) they've put up in the conference semifinals and the 62-34 (.646) they've posted in first-round series.

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Good News For Columbus

via the Columbus Blue Jackets,

The Columbus Blue Jackets announced on Friday that the hockey club has surpassed a 90 percent rate of season ticket renewals for the 2006-07 National Hockey League season. In addition, the team has collected deposits for nearly 150 new season ticket accounts. "We are very pleased and appreciative of the tremendous enthusiasm and support shown by our season ticket holders towards the Blue Jackets," said David Paitson, Columbus Blue Jackets Vice President of Ticketing. "It is also rewarding to see that our fan base continues to grow as evidence by the number of new season ticket deposits we've collected so far this spring."

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Good Luck

from the CP via Slam,

A northern Alberta Cree leader is offering an unusual form of help for the Edmonton Oilers on their quest to capture the Stanley Cup. Bill Sewepagaham, First Nations co-ordinator for the Peace River School Division, is donating a necklace made out of lacquered deer and moose droppings, which he says will bring good luck to whoever wears it. According to ancient Cree legend, hunters who had a rough day capturing food would smear their weapons in animal droppings and their fortunes would change.
continued...and yes, those are real moose and deer droppings... image

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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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