Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Do I Have To Make A Prediction

Many of you know I attempt to stay away from predictions posts. We all have our own opinions and after reading every prediction article and story, well, we could get very bored quickly. However, I have been asked by a few media outlets and bloggers, to make a prediction for the SCF. As noted yesterday in the JABS blog, I mentioned the Wings and Devils will face-off this year. Unlike the 1995 finals, the Wings will come out on top. With no Stevens hit on Kozlov remotely possible this year, the team that controls the puck the most will come out on top. Not a homer pick, but something just tells me Zetterberg and Datsyuk shine in the post-season this year and Yzerman goes out with his arms held high!

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The Suite Life

from North Jersey,

By mid-May, Devils Chairman Jeffrey Vanderbeek -- a former Lehman Brothers investment banker -- will add "tour guide" to his resume as he tries to sell the suites to potential corporate clients. "Many people that we'll talk to literally have no idea what they are missing," Vanderbeek said. The Devils nevertheless face a daunting challenge. The franchise is trying to find buyers for all 72 of the 12-seat and 18-seat suites, which are expected to cost $225,000 to $275,000. After all, the Devils' Continental Arena home has only 29 suites -- seating 14 or 20 -- that go for a mere $165,000 to $230,000.
more

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We Start Tonight

We have waited two years for NHL playoff hockey. All the first round games look very competitive with upsets possible in every series. As hockey fans, we look forward to the next two months. Even the fans of teams that did not make the playoffs should have an interest in the games, how will it be called, will the OT games be much shorter because of the possibility of more penalties. Will the stars shine or will some unkown take center stage. Sure, the TV access in the U.S. is not what we hoped it to be, but right now it is all we have and things appear to be improving. Time to sit back and focus on the games and enjoy the game of hockey. image OLN games are subject to change and local blackout restrictions Tampa Bay/Ottawa & San Jose/Nashville are also on CI

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Possible Tops & Flops

from the National Post,

Thus we present the the Third Annual Post Playoff Poll, a completely unscientific -- but nonetheless extremely interesting -- survey of what hockey's pundits think will happen between now and June 19. WHO WOULD BE THE FIRST PICK IN YOUR PLAYOFF POOL? Joe Thornton, San Jose 4 Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit 4 Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa 3 Martin Brodeur, New Jersey 2 Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit 2 Eric Staal, Carolina 2 Peter Forsberg, Philadelphia 1 Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit 1 Jaromir Jagr, New York 1
much more of these type of questions...

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It’s In The Numbers

from Mike Toth of Sportsnet,

39 x 0 = The Ottawa Senators playoff chances without a healthy Dominik Hasek. 2 + 1 = Three's a crowd, as in the infamous triangle power-play featuring Pavel Bure, Sergei Fedorov and Anna Kournikova. 9 + 4 + 99 = The holy hockey trinity of Howe, Orr and Gretzky.
more

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Now Is The Time For Ottawa

from the National Post,

Good teams get a certain window in which to succeed. Ask Markus Naslund, Todd Bertuzzi and the Vancouver Canucks. You can't mess around for long before that window slams shut. Ottawa has been a good team for a long time, yet have only reached the third round of the playoffs once. Jacques Martin was already sacrificed as the coach, and now contracts are coming up. There's a salary cap in place, and if this edition doesn't accomplish something, the inevitable talk about bad chemistry will arise. "We planned our team around acquiring young guys in their early 20s and hanging on to them until they were in their early 30s," Senators COO Cyril Leeder told the Ottawa Citizen earlier this season. "Now suddenly we have a big problem in that guys like [Zdeno] Chara and [Wade] Redden are both unrestricted free agents this year. How are we going to keep all these guys? "We're always going to have a good team, we hope. But it's hard to see how we'll have a better team in two, three or four years. Our time has to be now."
more

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Possible Candidates For Pens GM

from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Candidates for the job could include four assistant general managers -- Peter Chiarelli (Ottawa), Jim Nill (Detroit), Steve Tambellini (Vancouver) and Ray Shero (Nashville) -- scouts Dean Lombardi (Philadelphia) and John Weisbrod (Dallas) and former NHL player Brent Sutter, coach and general manager of the Red Deer Rebels in the Western Hockey League. Dave Taylor and Pat Quinn, who have experience as NHL general managers but became unemployed this week, could turn up in the mix, too. "You could be an assistant GM, a former GM, you could be an agent, you could be none of the above," Mr. Sawyer said.
more

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Yzerman Ready For One Last Run

from Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press,

"I was talking to Steve Duchesne," Yzerman says. "He won the Stanley Cup in 2002 and that was the last game he ever played. ... He has nothing but great memories of his career -- just on the basis of how it ended. He's a happy man. He left the game a happy man." He leans back. "I would love to retire that way." The cake is made. And where else but hockey can a captain go for icing?
read on

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We See Holes In His (Brodeur) Game

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

...the perception was created that Martin Brodeur had trouble moving laterally to play pucks at his feet. Tom Renney said yesterday he did not necessarily believe that perception to be reality, but the Rangers' head coach did say, "We see holes in his game in other places." Though Renney - surprise, surprise - did not elaborate, he did say, "You have to make Marty think about more than the puck; it's about how you attack [the Devils].
more (reg.req.)

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Blues Will Keep Tkachuk

via the AP,

The NHL-worst St. Louis Blues decided to keep left wing Keith Tkachuk, exercising a $3.8 million option for next season.

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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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