Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Hitchcock Loves The Playoffs

from the Philly Burbs,

Even Scotty Bowman teams occasionally took an early powder. But Hitchcock has been consistent, guiding the Dallas Stars to the Cup finals twice (including a win in 1999), plus a conference finals appearance. He coached the Flyers to the conference finals in '04. In the past six postseasons, Hitchcock has coached an eye-popping 104 games and won 61 of them. Obviously, Hitchcock enjoys the challenge. But what makes him so successful? “I just love the playoffs; I love the strategy for a seven-game series,'' Hitchcock said. “I love the preparation, all the little things you do. I look forward to it.''

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Jagr Should Be Captain

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Now, as they seek to claim a division championship that would give them the home-ice advantage they seem to believe so important, they more often than not appear fatigued; good enough and resourceful enough to win games, but without the crispness, confidence or swagger with which they played preceding the Olympics. If the team received a jolt of incentive from the outside at the start of the regular season, now is the time for Tom Renney to provide a jolt from the inside - or it will when it's time to start the playoffs. When it's time to start the playoffs, it will be time for Renney to name Jaromir Jagr team captain, to give him the letter he has earned. If King Henrik is the face behind the mask, Jagr, who broke the Rangers record for goals in a season yesterday, is the face of the franchise. Giving Jagr the "C" now gives a voice to that face.
read on (reg. req.)

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Win It For The Captain

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

The Detroit Red Wings have one driving force as they gear up for the playoffs: Win one last Stanley Cup for Steve Yzerman. Every athlete wants to go out on top and that's what the Wings players want for their longtime captain. Nobody picked Detroit to win the Cup this year, but don't discount the role Yzerman factor is playing in Motown.
read on

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No Long Overtimes In Playoffs

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

With the playoffs around the corner, shootouts soon will be put on the shelf for a few months. But don't expect a bunch of overtime games stretching into the fifth and sixth periods, as has been the norm in recent seasons. The National Hockey League's on-ice officials have been given the message and they have embraced it. There will be no deterioration of the strict anti-restraint standards that were imposed during the regular season. As a result, once the playoffs start, you'll see the same type of officiating you've been seeing for six months. That means you'll see as many power plays in overtime as you see in regulation time. And when that happens, the goals will come.
read on...Al touches on many subjects and note to Al- some American cities still sing the national anthem in the traditional way...

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Mystery Injury For Crosby

from the Globe and Mail,

"I'm going to try and get through it and do whatever I need to do," he said. "I think it's pretty hard to say right now if it will affect anything [the rest of the season]. "It's the kind of thing that the doctors said will probably feel worse the next day." It's a strange one, because no one saw anything happen to him during the game. He appeared to be walking normally, said he wasn't in pain and was in good spirits, teasing us about how mysterious he had to be about the injury. Crosby said that the injury wasn't caused by another player and didn't involve a collision of any sort, but that he knew immediately when it happened it was serious.

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Gallant Will Be Back

from the Columbus Dispatch,

Blue Jackets president and general manager Doug MacLean has said that a new contract for coach Gerard Gallant is not an issue. MacLean has said such decisions are being saved for after the season. Yesterday, Mac-Lean put it differently. For the first time, MacLean stated with certitude that Gallant and the rest of the coaches will have their contracts extended. "He’s going to get a contract, and so are the rest of the coaches," Mac-Lean said before the Jackets’ 4-2 loss last night to the Red Wings in Nationwide Arena.
continued added 7:32am, from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Kings coach Andy Murray could land behind the Columbus Blue Jackets bench next season. Many are mystified GM Doug MacLean has been able to keep his job, but there's plenty of talk coach Gerard Gallant won't survive
more rumors from Bruce...

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Modano Made The Right Choice

from the NY Times (Sunday edition),

After the lockout that resulted in the cancellation of the 2004-5 season, Modano was refreshed — and an unrestricted free agent. He nearly left Dallas before re-signing with the Stars. "It was Chicago or Boston," Modano said of his choices. "And look at those two organizations now." The Blackhawks and the Bruins are not going to make the playoffs this season. In Modano's case, the best move was to stay put.
read on...plus a nice mention on the play of Huet...

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Phaneuf Looks Up To Marchment

from CBS Sportsline,

But Phaneuf's greatest reward this season might not be the Calder consideration or the respect he has earned from people inside the game. It's corny, but his protégé/mentor relationship with Bryan Marchment is straight out of those MasterCard commercials: priceless. Marchment seems an unlikely candidate, but Phaneuf said Marchment was one of his favorite players growing up. Like Marchment, Phaneuf delivers bone-rattling hits. "He was a very feared guy when he was on the ice, and he still is," Phaneuf said. "He is a guy that when he's on the ice, there's a presence felt. The other team knows he's on there."
read on

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Crosby Youngest To Reach 90 Points

from the Pittsburgh Penguins,

Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins is the youngest player in National Hockey League history to score 90 points, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. By scoring four points at Florida Friday night, Crosby improved his season totals to 36 goals and 55 assists for 91 points. He reached the 90-point mark at the age of 18 years, 243 days. The previous standard was set by Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk, who scored his 90th point at the age of 18 years, 343 days.

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Travel With The Preds

Nashville fans win silent auction- they get to travel with the team. To wet your appetite...

...we have a great group of guys. some strange eggs, but a great group of guys ...take paul kariya for example. he doesn't like to walk. anywhere. he's probably the most superstitious guy on the team, when he rides to a game with his fiance, she has to ride in the seat behind him where he cann't see her. his sticks have to have thirteen turns of tape on them. the tape has to end exactly the same place on both the toe and heel.
read on

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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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