Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Sporting News,
Good God. That was my first reaction after Wednesday's Game 7 of the Mighty Ducks-Flames series. Let's see a show of hands -- how many of you really believed ALL FOUR TOP SEEDS in the Western Conference would buy the farm in the first round? See? The only guy who did is cashing out at a Vegas sports book right now.continued
You can’t name just one comeback player of the year when it’s the entire league that has returned. But it’s probably safe to say the six men profiled in this week’s issue of The Hockey News had extra reason to celebrate the various successes of 2005-06. Some of them overcame medical maladies. Patrik Elias came back from potentially life-threatening illness. Rem Murray defied the odds to return after a debilitating nerve condition. Tim Connolly is a head-case no more. Others – Dany Heatley, Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne – fought to prove they still had passion in their gut and goals in their sticks.more
from the Hockey News,
Off-the-cuff reflections with a focus on the first playoff season of the 'new' NHL, where the only bummer going in is that Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, to say nothing of Rick Middleton and Gilbert Perreault, won’t be part of it. Everyone is saying the NHL’s new economic system makes it easier to raise a sunken ship overnight. Just clear up $20 million or more under the salary cap for maximum flexibility, sign a few choice free agents – younger and in their prime, thanks to the CBA – remake the dressing room and presto, out of the depths emerges a playoff contender. Buffalo, Carolina, and the Rangers are supposed to provide all the proof anybody needs. Except it’s hogwash.read on
Fans of the Devils and Hurricanes get an added bonus from OLN. Games 2, 3, 5, 6 & 7 will be carried in high definition. No other series is scheduled in HD by OLN and hopefully, INHD will post a schedule soon for these games. added 11:22am, David from the Ice Block has posted the official release from OLN concerning Round 2 games. Also, as discussed numerous times in the last few months, OLN will have an exclusive for the first two games they televise from any series. You regional or local carrier will be blacked out but will be able to show the games after the first two OLN has the exclusive for.
from the Buffalo News,
"If you look at it now," Ruff said, "we're definitely the underdog in this series." Then Ruff paused and looked into the audience, a sheepish look on his face, as if he didn't really believe what he was saying. Sure, Ottawa is the favorite. The Senators are the top seed in the East. They have superior talent. They won the season series from Buffalo and annihilated the Sabres on occasion in the regular season. Ruff wants the Senators to know they're favored, and he wants his players to remain wary and humble. After Tuesday night's clincher in Philadelphia, he told them to spend the morning celebrating and show up for practice at noon. No one complained. They showed up for work and started preparing for Ottawa.read on
from the Philadelphia Daily News,
The most important thing Ed Snider and Bob Clarke need to do for the Flyers in the coming days has nothing to do with retooling their defense or adding speed to their lineup. This is not about the old NHL or the new NHL or any of that. Instead, this is about a crossroads moment for their franchise - a point at which they have an opportunity to announce to everyone, to fans and players alike, that things really are different now. This is about extending the contract of coach Ken Hitchcock, before it is too late.continued
from the Ottawa Citizen,
Does the Ottawa Senators-Buffalo Sabres semifinal have the makings of a hostile rivalry? During the 2005-06 regular season, Ottawa won its eight-game series against Buffalo, 5-3. The Senators gave the Sabres three good drubbings, winning 5-0 on Oct. 8, 10-4 on Nov. 2 and 6-1 on Nov. 12. Two of the Senators' losses came in the last two games against Buffalo, one in overtime and the other in a shootout. The Senators earned 12 points to the Sabres' six. In need of more spice for this matchup? How about these two personalities: Dominik Hasek and John Muckler. Consider this twist: Hasek and Muckler were with the Sabres back then, and today they're working for Buffalo's next playoff enemy. Same positions, too. Muckler, general manager; Hasek, (ailing) goaltender.read on
from the Contra Costa Times,
What follows is subjective. Ask 10 people to name the best sporting experience in the Bay Area, and they will come up with 10 different but equally plausible lists. As of May 4, 2006, here is mine: 1. Nobody would've predicted this 10 years ago, or even five, but when it comes to excitement and electricity produced for one event, when it comes to passion and that feeling of community that creates a shared experience, nothing right now beats a playoff hockey game at the Shark Tank. Forget about the ratings. Television doesn't do hockey justice. It never has and it never will. Go to the arena. That's where magic is found. You think about places such as Boston, Detroit and Montreal when you think about the best home-ice advantage in the NHL, but San Jose is widely recognized as one of the most difficult places for a visiting team to play.
from Inside Bay Area,
Vesa Toskala, overnight sensation? That's a laughable notion both to the San Jose Sharks and to Toskala, considering that the relationship has lasted longer than many marriages. Sharks aficionados could tell you that their current No.1 goaltender has been in San Jose's system for a fair number of years. Fewer people may realize that the club has actually held Toskala's rights for 11 years, initially drafting him in the fourth round in 1995 as an 18-year-old prospect out of Tampere, Finland. Toskala is just two weeks shy of his 29th birthday, and only now is he living the dream he held as a teenager. He remained in Finland for five seasons of seasoning and then spent the next five apprenticing both in the minor leagues and with the Sharks, playing in just 40 NHL games prior to this year. Many days, he wondered if he'd ever get his big chance.continued
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.
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