Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Questions For Flyers

from the AP via Comcast Sportsnet,

Flyers chairman Ed Snider understood exactly how angry and depressed the Flyers' faithful felt after an embarrassing, season-ending Game 6 loss to Buffalo. "The only difference between me and the fans is I couldn't leave early," Snider said Wednesday. Snider refused to blame injuries for the early exit. "I don't care how many injuries you have, you shouldn't get beat 7-1 in your own building in a critical game that could end your season," Snider said. "Whatever is in this locker room, my job is to get every ounce out of them," Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said. "When you don't, I need to know why and how come it didn't happen. That's what we've got going right now. We didn't get every ounce out of every player like we did the two previous campaigns and I want to know why."
read on

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Holland In Disbelief

from the AP via Mlive,

"I'm in disbelief because I expected us to contend for the Stanley Cup," Holland said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I knew the Oilers were good, but with the leads we had in Game 6, I thought we'd win and take care of things at home in Game 7." The Red Wings will have $25-20 million to spend, depending on what the cap is. Holland will have to spread it around creatively, because a lot of moves need to be made. "Our No. 1 priority this offseason is to re-sign Nick before July 1," Holland said.

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Loose Ducks

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

Staring directly into his questioner's eyes, Ilya Bryzgalov made it clear how he felt when told minutes before Game 6 he would start. "I'm not nervous," recalled the Mighty Ducks' Russian netminder, who stood tall in Anaheim's 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames to force tonight's Game 7. "It's hockey -- why am I supposed to be nervous? It's a game." They have nothing to lose. By management's admission, its young bunch is at least a full year ahead of schedule -- a team few figured could challenge for a playoff spot and even fewer believed could enter the post-season on a roll. In many ways, the Ducks have become the Flames of 2004.

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European Participation Drops

from Eurohockey,

After steady rise in recent years the number of European born players playing in the NHL has dropped this season. The number of European players in the National Hockey League during the 2005-2006 season has dropped to 261 (27.16%) from 300 (29.5) in 2003-2004. The annual IIHF survey included all players who had played at least one game during the NHL’s regular season.
read on for a breakdown by country...

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Changes In Tampa, But Not The Coach

from the CBC,

Changes are coming in Tampa Bay following the Lightning's first-round exit from the Stanley Cup playoffs, only not behind the bench. General manager Jay Feaster told CBC Sports Online that John Tortorella would be the team's coach to start the 2006-07 NHL season. "The only time you make a coaching change is when the coach has lost the team and that is clearly not the case in Tampa Bay," Feaster said.

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Who’s Bigger

from Sports Illustrated,

When Devils winger Brian Gionta, the shortest guy in the NHL, has to scrap against Senators defenseman Zdeno Chara, the tallest, he tries to be slippery. "You can't let him hold on," says Gionta, "or you're in trouble."
read on for the tale of the tape...

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1st Round Attendance Record

With a sellout crowd of 19,289 expected at Pengrowth Saddledome tonight for Game 7 of the Calgary Flames-Anaheim Mighty Ducks series, the NHL will post record attendance for the opening round of the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs. A per-game average of 18,785 fans attended the 43 games in the Conference Quarterfinals through Tuesday, eclipsing the previous high of 18,770 set in 2004, and tonight's expected sellout will boost this year's opening-round figure.

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Sabres Fans Loving It

from WIVB,

Before worrying about Round 2, fans and even Sabres owner Tom Golisano, are relishing the sweet Round 1 victory. Golisano said, "The greatest satisfaction for me is the fact that all the sports writers, early in the year, picked us for 27, or 28, or 29, or even 30th. And to have us finish so high in the Eastern Conference, and then knock off the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round. We've gotta be very proud of 'em. We fooled 'em. We really fooled 'em all." The NHL hasn't officially released the exact schedule for the second round, but there's speculation that Game 1, which is in Ottawa, will be on Friday, and Game 2, also in Ottawa, will be on Monday.

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Yesterday Retirement Talk- Today Drunk Driving Charge

from the Journal News,

New York Rangers defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh was arrested on a drunk driving charge in White Plains after police said his blood-alcohol level was found to be more than twice the legal limit when he was pulled over for speeding.

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Big Boost For Avs

from the AP via TSN,

Forward Steve Konowalchuk, sidelined since November because of a broken wrist, has been cleared to play for the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference semifinals. Konowalchuk, a 14-year veteran, was hurt Nov. 21 and missed the final 61 games of the regular season and Colorado's five-game upset of the Dallas Stars in the first round.

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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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