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Brodeur Says NHL Wants Rangers

from the NY Daily News,

The Devils have three Cups, home ice and an 11-game winning streak. Listen to them talk about the Rangers, though, and you wonder whether they have something else: an inferiority complex. The Devils never have beaten the Rangers in the playoffs, and it shows. Martin Brodeur went so far as to suggest yesterday that the league is rooting for the Blueshirts. "We know that the league probably wants them to be there," the goalie said. "You know, the best player (Jaromir Jagr) is there; it's the biggest city."
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Bowman Makes His Picks

from the Scotty Bowman & the CP via Slam,

I've always thought that during the first round of the NHL playoffs form didn't matter. Lower-seeded teams come in with a lot of momentum because they've battled to get in. The first round is always a difficult round for a team that's had a good regular season. Usually you get a little stronger as the playoffs go along but you need to try and get by that first round because everybody starts with an awful lot of energy. Scotty's picks:
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Foppa Can Give And Take

from the Courier Post,

Teams have been trying to find a way to slow down Forsberg in the playoffs for years, and in the past most have settled on the same strategy Hitchcock employed six years ago -- they hit him in the head. Stories from those series quote Hitchcock calling it "a street fight." Asked for his recollections Thursday, Hitchcock called it "primitive." Still Forsberg endured and dominated. He gave back as good as he got.
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Networks Trying To Attract Viewers

from the NY Times,

It is a constant issue in hockey: Where are the viewers — and will there ever be more in the future? They haven't rushed to NBC or OLN, now in their first seasons of National Hockey League deals.... "People aren't in the habit of watching the N.H.L. on OLN," said Gavin Harvey, the president of OLN. "They're used to going to ESPN or to the regional sports networks." At the Fox Sports Net confederation of regional networks, hockey ratings for 19 teams have fallen by an average 10 percent. While Sidney Crosby's sensational rookie season fueled a near doubling of Pittsburgh Penguins ratings, the Detroit Red Wings' ratings tumbled by nearly 33 percent. Harvey is upbeat about the enhanced public profile that the N.H.L., a major sports league still in outpatient rehabilitation from the lockout, has added to its diet of hunting, fishing, cycling and bull riding. "It's a piece of the puzzle we lacked," he said during an interview Tuesday at the OLN studio in Stamford, Conn. "Everything changed with the N.H.L." He added: "We believe in hockey more now than ever. What we do is get fans fully immersed in their sport."
read on

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Playoff Captains Teleconference

The captains of all 16 NHL playoff teams did a teleconference yesterday. If you are interested, here they are. They are quite long but if you want to read about your team, go right ahead. All are via noticias.info in Spain. Modano & Sakic Briere, Drury & Hatcher Elias & Jagr Iginla & Niedermayer Brind'Amour & Koivu Alfredsson & Richards Johnson & Marleau Yzerman & Smith

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Huet To Start For Canadiens

from the CP via the Globe and Mail,

Canadiens head coach and GM Bob Gainey ended the intrigue Thursday by announcing that Cristobal Huet will be his starting goalie in Carolina on Saturday. Gainey created doubts as to who he would use in the playoffs by starting David Aebischer in four of Montreal's last six games, but he was clear Thursday that Montreal's playoff chances will rest with Huet. “I think both goalies have played good games for us down the stretch, but I feel that he's the guy who probably had the harder tests and maybe the best preparation to start Saturday,” Gainey said. “I think he's our playoff goalie.”
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Carolina May Turn Profit

via WRAL,

“We have a team that has a chance of going deep into the playoffs, and if we can go deep into the playoffs, for the first time since (Peter) Karmanos has owned the team, we can break even or turn a little profit,” said Hurricanes General Manager Jim Rutherford. Since coming to North Carolina in 1997, the Hurricanes have lost millions every year. The worst loss was a $20 million setback. Fans snapping up playoff tickets said they understand the value of profit and Hurricanes on the same line. “When they make a profit, I think that further justifies their decision to relocate to Raleigh and shows that this area can support a pro team,” said fan Mark Molinaro. Turning a profit also checks the talk of the Hurricanes blowing out of town. “The people that talked about us not staying here were misinformed,” said Rutherford. “Yyou always have those naysayers out there regardless of what you do or how well you're doing it, they're going to pick on certain things.”

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Lucky Sharks

from the Mercury News,

In 1998, the Sharks traded the second overall pick to the Predators for the third pick plus a second-rounder (29th overall). With the first-round pick, the Sharks got the player they had wanted all along - defenseman Brad Stuart. The second-rounder turned out to be Cheechoo. "If anyone at our table at that draft thought Cheech was going to be a 50-goal scorer, they're lying," said former Sharks general manager Dean Lombardi, who engineered the deal. "You've got to be good, but you've got to be lucky, too."
read on

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Nittymaki Reacts To Being On The Bench

from the Courier Post,

"I want to be in there, obviously," Niittymaki said, referring to Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals Saturday night in Buffalo. "I don't know if I should be disappointed. "I feel like I played well, but like Hitch said, there wasn't really a competition going on. So, I don't know if I should feel disappointed."
read on

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Iginla Ready

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

"This is what you play for," said Iginla, as the Flames prepared to meet the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in their first-round series. "Playing in the National Hockey League is fun and going through a whole year with your teammates. But it's always better when you're winning and the playoffs are a whole other level - and I still haven't got enough of those yet." For the first time in 11 seasons, the Flames go into the playoffs with the weight of a little extra expectation on their collective shoulders. In 2004, when they advanced to the Stanley Cup final, they were the ultimate Cinderella story.
more

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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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