Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

The Greatest Hockey Team

from the Toronto Sun,

Uh oh! Get the crying towels out ... get the conspiracy theorists going ... get a new commission to investigate the state of affairs!!! Yes, Canada could become quite the country of confrontations as its hockey fans face the reality that we are no longer No. 1 in international hockey. You see, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) came to the conclusion that Sweden is the better men's hockey nation in its world rankings. I discovered it in the IIHF's newsletter Ice Times.

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Remembering His Grandfather

I was watching the Sens/Caps game last night and noticed Washington goaltender Brent Johnson's mask. On the back, he is honoring his grandfather, hall of famer Sid Abel. Nice touch Brent. Sid's #12 hangs from the Joe Louis rafters and he was the center of the famous "Production Line". After his playing career, Abel was the Wings GM/coach and finished up his hockey career in the radio booth. I ams sure Sid would have said something like this about his grandson's shutout performance last night, "Brent, he are a good player, Bruce." updated 3:55pm, Well, at least to me Sid looks like Jack Nicholson. A reader pointed the picture looked alot like Jack, and so it is (see comments for more details). image image added 11:09am, While on the topic of Sid, Abel to Yzerman found a nice piece about some of the Wild players paying tribute to Yzerman.

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What Was Esche Thinking

from the Philly Burbs,

The shock value of Robert Esche's week-old “writing on the wall'' comments has pretty much worn off, but the long-term effects could resonate around the Flyers for some time to come. Looking back on what amounted to a concession speech to rookie Antero Niittymaki, it's a bit perplexing that Esche would voice such an opinion when, at the time, there was still about a month to go in the season. Is Esche some sort of soothsayer, a prophet who's able to gaze into the future and predict that Niittymaki won't get hurt or suffer a downturn in his play?

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Controlled Chaos

from the Ottawa Citizen,

Boy, you can almost taste that beer that nobody brought, but these guys watching the game have had more important things to worry about for the last 2 1/2 hours or so. And now, with the referee calling the NHL video crew upstairs to review the goal, a new task is at hand. They want to find a replay from their video footage that will prove whether the puck went in or stayed out of the net -- hopefully before a verdict is rendered from the league's video-review judges. The heat is on and you are again witnessing for the upteenth time this night what they describe as the "controlled chaos" of a TV production crew covering a hockey game.
read on...long, but a great behind the scenes look of what goes into producing a hockey game...

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No Time To Panic

from the Ottawa Sun,

Fans have seen every facet of the team affected by these injury losses. From goaltending to grit, from scoring to defense -- it's a wonder no one has attempted to swaddle Daniel Alfredsson in bubble wrap on his off days. Forget that the Senators have had a franchise record 12 wins in March -- some message boards dedicated to the team are feverishly predicting an apocalypse. Too many integral cogs forced to the sidelines during such a crucial period. Meanwhile, the questions perpetually linger regarding their degrees of injury, and projected length of recovery. Keep in mind these are the same Senators that clinched a playoff spot last week, and continue to dominate the Eastern conference.
read on

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Canes Want The #1 Spot

from the Miami Herald,

Ottawa, Carolina and Detroit are all in the mix for the award, one that makes for a pretty banner to hang from the rafters but means little if that team doesn't add the Stanley Cup as well. ''We've been talking about this for two months,'' Carolina's Bret Hedican said. ``We're going for it. We want to win it. We have a main focus -- and that's winning the Cup -- but we can make a statement, too.'' But Hedican knows winning the trophy might just mean more in North Carolina. There are some who question why Raleigh has an NHL franchise, and Hedican knows having the league's top team hail from Tobacco Road will not sit well with many of the team's critics.
read on

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Wide Open East

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

All the playoff-bound clubs in the east have suffered through a recent dry spell. All must wonder today whether they have the stuff to go the distance. Other than the Devils, there isn't a team with a healthy, playoff-proven goalie in the post-season picture. Yet none — including the rattled Sabres — can be ruled out as the conference's possible representative in the Stanley Cup final come June. It's wide open. Eastern teams that miss this post-season prom entirely, you have to believe, will be kicking themselves all summer long.

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The Lowest Common Denominator

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Let's get right to it. Despite scheduled discussion about the issue at the post-season Board of Governors meeting, there's very little likelihood that the NHL will adopt a three-two-one-zero format for games next season - regulation wins worth three points, OT or shootout wins worth two, OT or shootout losses worth one, regulation losses worth zero - because such an approach will dramatically tilt the standings in favor of the league's most powerful teams, and if there's one overriding theme to which the NHL is committed, it's its commitment to the lowest common denominator.
read on (reg. req.)

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The NHL Law Firm

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

Want to buy a National Hockey League team? Want to investigate the activities of NHL players? Want to get some help for your labour negotiations? If you work on the 47th floor at 1251 Avenue of the Americas in New York, the advice is always the same. Just pick up the phone and call Proskauer Rose LLP. When you get right down to it, it is not Gary Bettman, the man with the nice big corner office on that 47th floor, who runs the NHL. It's the lawyers over at Proskauer Rose, an expensive (some would say obscenely expensive) legal firm near Times Square. Bettman and his staff can do the groundwork, but in any matter of consequence, Proskauer Rose gives the final go-ahead.

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Niedermayer Says Stats Point To Lidstrom For Norris

from the NY Times (Sunday edition),

Anaheim's Scott Niedermayer, the reigning Norris Trophy winner, was asked last week who should win this season's award as the league's most valuable defenseman. "You look at Lidstrom," Niedermayer said in a telephone interview, referring to Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom, a three-time Norris winner, who led all defensemen with 73 points and 59 assists entering Friday's games. "He's doing extremely well in the stat department. I suppose it would be him."
continued Note to Niedermayer and anyone else who thinks stats point to Lidstrom- It is not only the stats, it his play both offensively and defensively that makes him the favorite, although last night was not one of his better games.

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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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