Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Talking 20 Teams

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

There is considerable sentiment at the NHL's board level that the playoffs should become a 20-team extravaganza. That's hardly a surprise. At the board level, there's always strong support for anything that shows a profit. ...But even though Bettman can influence a vote, he can't control it, and in this case, he is a bit biased. He strongly opposes seasons that drag on to late June and, as a result, strongly opposes the NHL's involvement in the Olympics. For the same reasons, he doesn't want to add a week to the season to accommodate a play-in round. The answer of course is to start the season a couple of weeks earlier. In Canada, the only place in North America where the NHL really matters anymore,

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SCF Notes

-Of the 27 clubs who have led 3-1 in the Stanley Cup Final since the best-of-seven format was introduced in 1939, 26 have won the Stanley Cup. The only club to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the Final was the 1942 Maple Leafs, defeating the Detroit Red Wings. The Maple Leafs had trailed 3-0 in the series. -The Hurricanes successfully killed all five Edmonton power plays in Game 4, improving their record in the 2006 Stanley Cup Final to 24 for 25 (96%). -Carolina won their sixth consecutive postseason game that followed a loss. Carolina has not lost consecutive games since Games 1 and 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal against Montreal.

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Sharks Lose $5 Million

via the Contra Costa Times,

The NHL expects its new economic system will stop the financial bleeding for most of the 30 teams this season, but the Sharks said Monday they will finish in the red once again. Sharks CEO Greg Jamison said the franchise probably will lose $5 million, citing the loss of sponsorships, a decline in ticket revenue and an increase in the cost of doing business. To help offset that, the team told season-ticket holders over the weekend that prices are going up. "When you look at it, the league did very well and rebounded very strongly post-lockout," said Jamison, who does not disclose specifics of the team's financial operations. "There are still some areas we have to deal with, but we're closing the gap."

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Keep On Working

Peter Laviolette talks after game 4-

Q. Usually five-on-three against is a pretty dicey situation. You have killed four of them. Have you ever seen a five-on-three that has been this good for you and also can you kind of give us a clue as to why they are so effective? COACH PETER LAVIOLETTE: I think power play -- I think power play when you have a power play meeting and we try to go by this, when you have a power play meeting I think it's good get the input from the players. You have some of the most creative, gifted players in the world in a meeting to talk about how to be creative, so it doesn't make sense to dominate a conversation. As far as the penalty kill goes, I think it is a lot more structure, I think that you have to have assignments, you have to have routes, you have to execute those routes. You have to be willing to pay a price by blocking a shot, head first if you had to. And I think the biggest thing is execution.
read more in the comments...

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Power Play Killed Em

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Leave it to Chris Pronger to get it right most of the time. Pronger, the Edmonton Oilers' 30-minute-per-night defenceman, was talking about his team's ongoing power-play troubles before Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final and put matters nicely into perspective. “You can look at it both ways,” said Pronger. “It's either going to bite us. Or it means we're due.” After Monday night's back-breaking 2-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, there is only one way to look at it anymore. It bit them alright - in a big, hurting way.
read on

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Post game interview with Craig MacTavish...

Q. This is about as long a dry spell for your power play as you have had this year, almost, I think you are 1 in 25 or 1 in 26. I mean, and I know I asked you about it last game, but have you got any thought on it as to -- COACH CRAIG MACTAVISH: Yeah, I've got lots of thoughts on it, but I mean we have got to get back to doing and executing at the same level and we have had trouble with the pressure from Game 1, and it's the reason why we are down 3-1 in the series. If we got a couple power play goals in the series, a couple more power play goals, we're at least tied, at least tied. We have been down this road before with our power play, where we start to get frustrated and then you lose your patience on the power play, you take your first opportunity, and when you are on top of your game on the power play, you don't take a mediocre opportunity when you are in your set-up. You have got the patience to explore a better quality chance. And now our first chance to shoot the puck, we shoot it whether there's shin pads there or not. So we have just -- I saw some better signs in the second period on the power play, we did some things better in the second period and didn't get a power play in the third, but it's the reason we're in the situation we're in right now being down 3-1.
more in the comments section of this post...

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All About Defense

from the blog of Ron Francis,

Defense! Defense! Defense! Much has been made of the Canes offense and for good reason, but the 3rd period was another great example of why defense wins championships. The Canes turned in a perfect 3rd period with the lead and honestly, I never felt the were in any trouble of losing their lead. Now the tough part. They say the 4th win is always the hardest.

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The Maven Speaks His Mind

from Stan Fischler of MSG Network,

-The betting here is that the Oilers will stick with free agent-to-be Dwayne Roloson -- and vice versa -- leaving Edmonton with the most overrated, over-priced NHL goalie. -Some industry experts believe that hockey TV ratings are misleading -- to the detriment of the NHL -- because of new technology and the new ways that games can be accessed. -Flyers Owner, Ed Snider, is changing his club’s philosophy. “We’re not going to go and trade picks anymore, or trade our kids ever again for veterans,” says The Boss. “We got carried away wanting to win Cups. And if it takes us longer and we can’t win the Cup, so be it.”
read on

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Offensively Challenged

Edmonton must figure out a way to get more shots on net. Five in the 3rd period when fighting for your life is the stat that stands out tonight. Let the cliches begin...Predicted quotes going into game 5... We have to play one shift at a time If we can steal one in Carolina, we're right back in it We have nothing to lose now The series is not over, the last time I looked you have to win 4 games We won't let up, we don't want to go back to Edmonton We have to take the crowd out of the game

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Luongo Wearing The Winged Wheel Is Fantasy

from Spector's blog at Fox Sports,

Luongo in a Red Wings uniform makes for great rumor fodder, and of course anything, no matter how remote, may be possible. Under today's cap system, however, the Wings acquiring Luongo appears to be the stuff of fantasy.
read on why Luongo in a Wings uniform is far-fetched...

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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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