Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

NHL ON NBC- May 6th & May 7th

The New Jersey Devils, winners of three Stanley Cup Championships since 1995, face off against the Carolina Hurricanes, who eliminated the Devils en route to the 2002 Stanley Cup Final, Saturday on NBC at 2 p.m. ET, presented in high definition. The Devils enter this Eastern Conference Semifinal series having won 15 straight games (11 regular season, 4 postseason). On Sunday at 3 p.m. ET, the Colorado Avalanche will visit the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in Game 2 of their Western Conference Seminal matchup. Chris Cuthbert (play-by-play), Peter McNab (analyst) and Cammi Granato (inside-the-glass reporter) will call New Jersey at Carolina; Mike Emrick (play-by-play), John Davidson (analyst) and Pierre McGuire (inside-the-glass reporter) will call Colorado at Anaheim.

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Watching From The Road

People who are on the road through the playoffs have emailed me to ask if I knew of any way they could watch their team in the playoffs. My suggestion was always you have to find a sports bar with CI, OLN, etc. I have also suggested using a fairly new product called Slingbox. I have set up an affiliation with Best Buy for this product, so if you have an interest, take a look at it and see if it fits your needs. Sling Media The Slingbox SB100-100
Sling Media The Slingbox SB100-100

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Numbers Better In Playoffs

via Sports Business Daily (paid reg.),

OLN averaged a 0.3/ (212,000 HHs) cable Nielsen rating through the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, down from averages of 482,000 HHs on ESPN and 370,000 HHs on ESPN2 for the first round in ’03-04. OLN’s average of 289,669 viewers is up 78.6% from 162,163 for regular-season coverage, and is up 93.8% from its year-ago time-period average of 149,486.

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Good News For Koivu

from the CP via the Globe and Mail,

Montreal Canadiens captain Saku Koivu still doesn't know the full extent of an eye injury he suffered during the first round of the NHL playoffs but he says all signs point to him making a full recovery. "It looks like the vision will be back 100 per cent," Koivu said Friday. "But we have to wait until all the blood is gone before we know for sure."
more image photo via the AP

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Talking Offer Sheets

from the Hockey News,

The new NHL includes shootouts, but what about offer sheets? It’s a question agents and GMs are asking themselves heading into the first summer of free agency under the new collective bargaining agreement. And the likely answer is…not yet, if ever. With the salary cap projected at up to $46-million for 2006-07, there has been talk that high-profile restricted free agents such as Tampa center Brad Richards ($3.4 million this season) or Philadelphia’s Simon Gagne ($2 million) might attract offer-sheet interest.

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My How The Game Has Changed

from the Meridian Booster,

No one thought the officiating in the NHL would be figured out completely in one season, but they still have a ways to go. Buoyed by the declaration from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman that officials would be forced to call the game as they had in the regular season, the men in stripes have not only kept up that pace but may have actually increased the tightness of the calls. To the long-time NHL observer this flies in the face of everything that should be playoff hockey – a war decided by the players on the ice not the referee. For better or worse it is safe to say that brand of hockey is dead. It is quite ironic actually, that with the NHL’s advertising campaign building up the game as war on ice – pulling every cheesy Hollywood trick they can – they don’t want the game to be anything like that. It’s quite sad really.

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INHD is now listing two HD games. The May 8th & May 10th games between NJD & Carolina. The May 14, 16 & 18th games between these two teams are scheduled for HD too. INHD hasn't put these games on their schedule yet, or maybe they just won't show them.

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Fixing Calgary

from the Calgary Sun,

* Sutter must hand over the coaching reins and concentrate on his GM duties. * Find a team -- any team -- to take 14-goal man Tony Amonte and his grossly over-inflated $1.85 million salary. * Ditto slooooooow Chris Simon and his $1.216-million deal. He doesn't score and he's too slow to be a consistent physical presence. Nice hairdo, though. * Make sure fourth-liners remain on the fourth line. That means the Flames need three of them, not nine.

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Anyone Care

from the Tirdent Online, the independent student newspaper at Washington & Lee University,

The NHL is still suffering from the strike last year. They have done some very smart things in making the league much higher scoring. However, one major thing holding them back is that ¾ of the country does not play ice hockey. With the exception of the northeast and the great northwest there are almost zero youth hockey leagues. Average attendance for NHL teams that were not one of the original eight is below that of Major League Soccer. The point is, the NHL is great for those diehard hockey fans, and its great to see the highlights on Sportscenter. The problem is no one really cares about who wins or losses outside of the hockey fanatic population in NHL cities. I'd be willing to bet, more people in Raliegh, NC are concerned about UNC and NC St. making the college baseball world series than the Hurricanes winning the Stanley Cup.

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Building The Canadiens

from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,

As you know, only 10 players are under contract for next season - Saku Koivu, Alex Kovalev and Mathieu Dandenault for three more years, and Steve Begin, Radek Bonk, Andrei Markov, Tomas Plekanec, Craig Rivet, Sheldon Souray and Richard Zednik for one year. Who goes? Who stays? Koivu, Kovalev, Markov, Rivet, Begin, Plekanec and Dandenault are certain to remain. You can add Souray to the group, although there were nights when the new and speedier My NHL was something of a mystery to him.

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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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