Kukla's Korner

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Thinking Next Year

from Gary Thorne of USA TODAY,

For the next three months, we will hear from and about the teams that made it to the playoffs in the race for the Stanley Cup. But before they fade completely off the charts and out of the papers, let's take a look at the teams whose seasons are over and will watch the 2½-month playoff extravaganza. In the West, St. Louis has its new owner and now they will have to begin the rebuilding process. They are a bad team. The time of recovery will depend on how much money there is to invest in players and the immediate structuring of a solid front office. Chicago has no ownership problems with Bill Wirtz still there. Sorry, Blackhawk fans.

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Welcome HF Boards Readers

I see you have been directed to Kukla's Korner. You were pointed to the front page of Kukla's Korner. If you want only hockey information, then click on the hockey section in the left sidebar. If you decide to stay on the home page, then you will get a lot of hockey and a little bit of other sections.

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No Walkover

from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,

The buzz throughout the Western Conference was that the team that was able to secure fifth place in the standings was suddenly golden in that they would meet the Nashville Predators minus No.1 goalie (and potential Vezina Trophy winner and NHL All-Star) Tomas Vokoun. It was viewed as the hockey equivalent of a walkover. Not to rain on anyone's post-Easter parade, but for the record, Predators backup Chris Mason is 11-5 this season and has been steady in every appearance. More importantly to the Predators, Mason is unbeaten since word came out that Vokoun would not be available to the team because of blood clots in his lower abdomen.

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Dear Gary

from WXYZ TV in Detroit,

Mr. Bettman- My name is Tom Leyden. I worked at the NHL from 1998-2000 as the manager of sales and marketing for NHL.com and since have moved into the television media. I'm a sports reporter for WXYZ-TV in Detroit, a city where hockey has certainly thrived this season. At a time when Motown should be celebrating the Red Wings fantastic regular season, the theme of hockey conversations (when we're not discussing if Manny Legace can carry the Wings through the playoffs) has been an overwhelming disdain for the new regular season schedule. As a media member and hockey fan, the schedule truly upset me this year. Playing eight games against each divisional opponent is ill- advised, even if the league is committed to "developing new rivalries."

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The First Year Of The New NHL

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

At the beginning of the season, ESPN.com outlined the top stories and issues that were expected to dominate the NHL's first season back from the lockout that wiped out the 2004-05 season. How did it all come to pass? Let's take a look ... The fans Hey, they did remember. In spite of dire predictions to the contrary, fans appeared not to be all that angry the game disappeared for a year. In fact, fans returned in record numbers to NHL arenas.
continued...very good read...

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Pass & Score

A quick recap of the Joe Thornton teleconference that took place this afternoon. Joe was asked about the chemistry between him and Cheechoo. Joe said he likes to pass and Johnathan likes to score. Commends Cheechoo for working on his game every day and Joe said he loves playing with a guy like that. Thornton assumes he will see a lot of Brendan Witt in the upcoming series and expects a fast skating series. His line is used to playing against the checking line and the best defensive pairing so seeing it during the playoffs will not be new to him. Joe personally feels the Sharks are very aggressive, play an up-tempo game and are very fast. Doesn't think the Eastern teams play as fast but the players in the East are bigger and in the end, hockey is hockey. Thornton says he watches games every night, and expects the penalty calls will be the same as they are now. Thinks the game is awesome right now, not that it was before, but the game is even better now with the new rules in place. Joe mentioned any team in the playoffs has a good shot at winning the cup. Said he expects a few first round upsets and thinks a surprise team from out west might win the Cup. He mentioned his dad and Phil Esposito tell him everyday that he needs to shoot more, and he realizes that. He said as he gets older he probably will.

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Hasek Not Ready

from TSN,

The Ottawa Senators do not expect to have Dominik Hasek in net when the playoffs get under way this weekend. During practice on Monday, Hasek was unable to perform all the movements necessary to play Tuesday in the Senators' regular season finale against the New York Rangers. "I have a pretty good idea he's not going to play," said Senators' head coach Bryan Murray when asked about getting Hasek some action before the playoffs. "I'm disappointed. We were obviously hoping he would get a game in and be ready for the playoffs."

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Datsyuk Hopes To Be Ready

from the AP via Ft. Wayne.com.,

Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk hopes to be on the ice when the playoffs start this weekend, the Russian star said Monday after skating for the first time since injuring his left thigh two weeks ago. "With fingers, I hope," Datsyuk said, crossing his right index and middle fingers as he spoke to reporters following a morning skate before the Red Wings' scheduled night game against Dallas. Datsyuk was hurt April 3 during a shootout win at Calgary, but didn't realize he was injured when Andrew Ference checked him. "It was not a big hit," Datsyuk said. "I felt it on the plane. It was swollen."
read on

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We Have A Tie For POW

via the NHL,

San Jose center Joe Thornton (one goal, 11 assists) and right wing Jonathan Cheechoo (seven goals, four assists), who figured in 16 of 19 Sharks goals in four victories, have been named co-winners of the NHL's Offensive Player of the Week award for the period ending Sunday, April 16. Calgary Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, who posted a 2-0-1 record, a 0.32 goals-against average, .988 save percentage and two shutouts, is the League's Defensive Player of the Week.

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Playoff Plans

This story is specifically about the Sabres TV plans for the playoffs, but insert your team in the picture, especially when it comes to OLN and NBC. What I stated on KK a few weeks ago, seems to hold true about the 2nd round. from Business First of Buffalo,

As the Buffalo Sabres begin their first playoff run in five years, fans have been wondering what games will be on TV and what network will carry them. The short answer is all the games will be on TV, but exactly what network remains a case of alphabet soup and probably won't be determined until late Tuesday night, after all the National Hockey League's regular season games are completed.
continued Note to first time Kukla's Korner visitors, use the search feature on the left sidebar if you are looking for TV coverage during the playoffs (or for any topic you are interested in). I have received over 30 emails today regarding this topic, but if you type keywords like OLN or NBC, you may find the answers to your questions.

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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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