Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Koivu Status Uncertain

from the Toronto Star,

If the Montreal Canadiens are going to regain control of their first-round playoff series tomorrow night, they'll likely have to do it without their undisputed leader. Nobody with the Canadiens was willing to speculate on how serious Saku Koivu's left eye injury was, but the fact that he was taken immediately to hospital during his team's 2-1 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 3 was an indication of how severe it was. Had it simply been a cut around his eye, Koivu undoubtedly would have been back in the game shortly after it happened, but instead he was rushed to a local hospital and was examined by Canadiens ophthalmologist, Dr. John Little.
continued What really bothered me was seeing Koivu squinting and reaching out to a ref to help guide him off the ice. I am hoping there is no eye damage. added 8:30am, via the Montreal Gazette,
The Canadiens would only say that Koivu suffered a "facial injury" and was taken to hospital for further examination, but an educated guess is that the injury is a serious one and Koivu will be on the sidelines for a while. The same should be true for Williams, who should be suspended once the National Hockey League head office folks go to the tape and see the flagrant infraction referees Dennis LaRue and Dan Marouelli missed the first time around.

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Hail Bettman

from the Leader-Post,

WARNING: The computer on which this column is so thoughtfully composed may reject the following sentence. Well done, Gary Bettman! (Sputter . . . gasp . . . cough . . . burp . . . gfrmq8bv5% hb7@zzzzzztttt!) It was touch and go for a few seconds, but the valued iBook G4 has survived a near-meltdown. The same can be said of the Bettman-run NHL, which is finally icing an entertaining product after somehow weathering the dead-puck era and a season-killing lockout.

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Almost Over

from the Star-Ledger,

Jaromir Jagr came walking down the long hallway to the ice. The cameras followed his every step, and the old building shook when he finally appeared. Could this passion inspire the players to turn around this series? Uh, no. As usual, this turned out to be a cosmically cruel joke on the most tortured fans in hockey. Jagr could not become Willis Reed. Henrik Lundqvist would not become Mike Richter. And those fans, the ones who drowned out the national anthem with their cheers, are still waiting after the 3-0 loss... After 3,259 days of waiting, they expected something special and ended up with a punch to their gut, as usual. At least Rangers fans can take solace in this: The longer the lag time between those magical Garden moments, the better the goose bumps will feel along their spines. If they live to see the next one, that is.

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Slow Down Montreal

from the Globe and Mail,

The Canadiens' destiny and their fans' birthright was to be forever among the hockey elite, and so the paying customers felt free to demand excellence and nothing less. Now, with diminished expectations, with the giddy anticipation of a first-round playoff win over the Carolina Hurricanes, with the horn honking and street parties, it seems less like the old days of Les Glorieux and a whole lot more like . . . Toronto. ...You take your joy where you find it. You take even qualified triumphs for what they are. You understand that it's okay to claim your own Stanley Cup in April, and then to dream on.
read on

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Ducks Need To Improve Play

from the OC Register,

The biggest concern for the Mighty Ducks heading into tonight's all-important playoff matchup against the Calgary Flames must be the dramatically different path each team has followed since the opening-round series began. While the Flames have improved their play through each of the first three games, most noticeably in Tuesday's 5-2 victory, the Ducks' overall team performance has gotten progressively worse.

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Classifying Injuries

from Damien Cox, special to ESPN,

When it comes to injuries, players don't reveal their wounds anymore because management has told them not to, not because they're worried about their health. After all, they're smart enough to know they're endangering their health every time they skate out onto the ice, and that when the playoffs roll around, basically everyone out there is injured to some degree. Perhaps we should all be thankful teams are at least willing to describe injuries as "upper-body" and "lower-body" problems, for it could get worse. In the future, they might devise a system under which a player could either be described as injured worse than Clint Malarchuk was when a skate sliced his throat open while he was playing goal, or not as badly. "Worse than a Malarchuk?" would be the question. "Naw, this is a sub-Malarchuk," would be the response.
read on...Damien is on a roll...

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Babcock- “We’re Going To Be More Than Fine”

from the Detroit Free Press via the Mercury News,

Babcock spoke at the team's hotel, where he and a handful of players gathered to talk to the media. "I know you don't like to hear it," he said, "but I think we're going to be more than fine." Babcock appeared in a fine mood, and none of the players present seemed concerned that the Wings were trailing in the series. Lidstrom echoed what other teammates said when he pointed out that, had the team only played from the start Tuesday the way they played from the third period on , this might be a different series.
read on

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It’s A Miracle

Jagr in the NYR lineup! But the Devils lead 2-0 early.

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Oilers Have The Best Player In The Series

from the Edmonton Oilers,

“It’s nice to have the best player in a series,” noted head coach Craig MacTavish. “It’s something that couldn’t be said about the Edmonton Oilers in the past few seasons.” The Red Wings will certainly come with their best game yet on Thursday as they try to avoid heading home with a two-game deficit but the Oilers will be prepared. “Their road record speaks for itself. The experience they have in the room, they can read the landscape and importance of getting the series back 2-2,” said MacTavish. “I don’t know that we played our best game last night but I think we’re going to have to be a little better than that. The expectation is we have improvement to make.”

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Foiled Again

from Fox Sports,

Last year's NHL lockout robbed me of number three on my list. If there's such a thing as a nuclear winter, last year's April-June made for a personal nuclear spring. Without Barry Melrose's analysis, Brian Engblom's mullet, and Bill Clement's wisdom — I was truly a lost man during those three months. Add on the lack of aluminum foil replica trophies, and it made for a forgettable time in my life. In place of those endless spring nights of magic on ice was emptiness. That's it. Just massive, unquestioned, foil-less, emptiness. Sure, I missed the hockey. More so, though, I missed the aluminum foil. But the aluminum foil replica Stanley Cup trophy is back in 2006. And it's back with a vengeance.
read on image

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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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