Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Edmonton Or Bust

It has been a week or so since we last visited Losse Change at the Hockey News. Today LC is all Oilers.

I might as well cut right to the chase. Like it or not, we are about to see another championship banner unfurled fairly soon at Rexall Reach Centre or North Boogie Wonderland Place. Let’s just say Edmonton. Can you feel it building? Since giving the Wings their recall notice, the Oilers have been living off a steady diet of West Coast seafood and cartoon poultry
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Free Agent Primer

from Chuck Gormley of NHL.com,

While the Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes battle it out in the Eastern Conference Finals this week -- anyone who picked these two teams to be playing in mid-May back in September should be granted an interview as the Islanders' next general manager -- 13 other conference teams are examining their rosters for 2006-07. This week, we'll take a quick peek where they stand with their free agents:
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Edmonton Has Two Issues

from the Globe and Mail,

Heading into tonight's Game 3 of the Western Conference final, the Oilers are once again battling a nasty 'flu bug that is proving a lot more difficult to shake than the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. At today's morning skate, several Oilers were absent or told not to practice. Edmonton head coach Craig MacTavish wouldn't do an exact body count for the media and instead tried to put a positive spin on the situation.... As for beer crisis, bar owners on Whyte Ave., the city's party strip, are saying they're running dangerously low. Oiler fans have consumed so much alcohol that the bar owners have sent out emergency keg requests.
more

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Pronger Leading Oilers

from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Around the NHL, it's hard to think of Chris Pronger as anything other than an Edmonton Oiler. That wasn't the case in early April, when a struggling Edmonton team left Savvis Center with a 2-1 loss to the Blues and with its playoff aspirations in limbo. But after backing into the postseason, the Oilers have become a strong contender for their sixth Stanley Cup and first since 1990.
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Be Back Soon

I have a meeting with the KK site designer and should be back about 12:30pm or so. Updates will continue at that time.

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NHL On iTunes

Starting sometime today, the 20-minutes enhanced highlights from all the conference finals games will be available for downloading on iTunes. If you are interested, KK has an affiliation with iTunes. Click the link to go to their site. I am not sure when the NHL direct link will be available, but as soon as I am notified, I will post it. If by chance, you find it first, please leave a comment. Dwnld_iTunes_bdg_H_blk201x31.gif update 9:30am, The official announcement of this relationship will be announced sometime today. Again, when I get the official word, more information will be posted.

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Finding The Right Mix

from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,

The L.A. Kings have hired a credible GM and coach, but will they give those men the right tools to work with? On the surface, it seems like a win-win situation. Lombardi is a well-respected hockey man who generated a name for himself with some solid work in building the San Jose Sharks into a credible National Hockey League franchise. He followed that up by then picking up some new and different kinds of experience by spending time in the inner circle of the Philadelphia Flyers. Crawford comes with a Stanley Cup on his resume, a respected tenure in two NHL cities (Denver and Vancouver), one of only two head coaches for Team Canada in the Olympics since that venue went pro and a long and mostly successful resume as a career coach. So they should win right?
read on

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Who Is Tom Benjamin

Christy at Behind The Jersey tries to find out what Tom Benjamin is all about...

What first attracted you to the sport of hockey? Again we can blame my Dad. Every Saturday night, it was Hockey Night in Canada. In those days, the game was picked up in progress about halfway through the first period. Dad watched Bugs Bunny with me until HNIC picked up the game and then I watched hockey with him. It was the only night of the week we got to eat in front of the TV. Mom always served burgers. It was great.
read on

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Game 3 Will Be Huge

from the Blog of Ron Francis,

The Canes for most of the first 2 games were the better team, but the series is tied with the next 2 games in Buffalo. The Canes obviously need to win at least 1 of the next 2 games but the pressure would be greater on them to win game 4 if they were down 2-1 after game three, and conversely, the pressure would be greater on Buffalo if they were down 2-1 with game five looming in Raleigh.
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Daunting Task For Ducks

from the Edmonton Sun,

That, folks, is a tough team to beat, and when you factor in the bedlam that will be a jam-packed and jumping Rexall Place tonight, the Mighty Ducks face a daunting task. "When the momentum within a game swings in your favour, the crowd gets behind you and it may affect a decision they (opponents) make," former Oiler Todd Marchant said. "You rush a pass or make a mistake. "It comes down to being focused and being composed. I, generally, like playing in the opposing building. You want to go into an opposing building and take away a win."
more...How bad is it for the Ducks, Roloson has more points than any Duck player in the series... added 8:13am, from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Never before has Roloson been regarded as one of the league's better goalies with the stick and there's a reason for that. He isn't. It's almost as if along with the glorious puck-stopping abilities he's shown over the past few weeks, he's been so inspired to be valued as a No.1 man that he's started to get creative with his stickhandling as well.
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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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