Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Snider & Clarke Probably Have Had Enough

from the Philadelphia Flyers,

Flyers goaltender Antero Niittymaki suffered a left groin strain while playing for Team Finland at the World Championships in Latvia on Monday. Below is an update on his condition by Flyers Athletic Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Coach, Jim McCrossin on Tuesday morning. Q: How is Antero Niittymaki? McCrossin: “I spoke with Antero this morning. He had an MRI done on his left groin and we received the report from the Finnish physician. The report shows that Niitty has a four-centimeter tear of his abductor longus muscle, a left groin strain.

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Oilers Ready To Advance

from the Cp via Sportnet,

"The fourth win is always the hardest. We have to come prepared," said Oilers defenceman Chris Pronger. "They are going to bring their best game. They battled back hard. There's no quit in that team. We've got to make sure we're focused and prepared. It's going to be a battle in Game 6." ...Sharks defenceman Kyle McLaren said they need to get their mojo back. "For some reason, we can't build any momentum after we score a goal or make a penalty kill," he said. "We have to talk about what went wrong and what went right. We have to be confident, be ready to play, block the distractions." The Sharks are an anemic 2-for-27 with the man advantage. "They are pressuring us up the ice and we're coasting back for pucks," said Sharks coach Ron Wilson.

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Hasek Wants To Return

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Two days after the Senators were eliminated from the playoffs, Hasek actually stood before the media at Scotiabank Place and indicated he'd like to return to Ottawa next season. And, yes, he was serious. While Hasek said he would consult with his family and captain Daniel Alfredsson before making a decision on what he'll do next season, all the 41-year-old goalie really needs to do is talk to coach Bryan Murray, who will tell Hasek his time in Ottawa is up. "I don't know what was said (by Hasek) because I haven't heard it, but I think it's time to move on (from Hasek)," Murray said at his wrap-up news conference yesterday.
more...let the Dom returns to Detroit talk begin...

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Your Worst Nightmare

from the London Free Press,

Here's the scenario: It's overtime in the seventh game of the Stanley Cup final and the defensive faceoff man's hockey stick snaps. The attacking team gains possession of the puck, spots a scoring chance around the stickless opponent and scores to win it all. Not as the result of strategic brilliance. Not through exceptional individual effort. Mainly as the result of a broken stick.

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Local Ratings

Some local ratings for Sharks, Ducks and Avs. I found this today at Inside Bay Area...

Last week, Game 2 of the Sharks-Oilers could be seen only on OLN in the Bay Area on Monday, and it drew a 2.1 rating. On Wednesday, Game 3 (the triple-overtime game) was also an OLN exclusive, and the rating improved to 3.0. That's much better than in the Los Angeles market, where Game 3 of Anaheim Mighty Ducks' sweep over Colorado on OLN got a dismal 0.3 — compared to 5.7 in Denver and 0.9 in the Bay Area. As Larry Stewart wrote in the Los Angeles Times: "The NHL, still reeling from last season's lockout, should be concerned with exposure above all else. To award OLN so much exclusivity during the playoffs has proven to be a big mistake."

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Sabres Enjoying “Magic” Year

from Kevin Allen of USA Today,

Three years ago the Buffalo Sabres were bankrupt, operating on NHL handouts and awash in speculation about their demise.... Today the Sabres are headed for the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 1999, set to play Carolina in a best-of-seven series starting Saturday in Raleigh, N.C. ...With a $27 million payroll in a league with a $39 million salary cap, the Sabres are among the NHL's thriftiest clubs. Initially that didn't sit well with fans, who were disappointed at management's loss of free agent players and spare acquisitions. But attendance ended up more than 3,000 a game this season from 2003-04, and the season ticket base is up 2,000.
read on

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Pick A Winner

from the Ottawa Sun,

As a veteran player now, and a guy who has represented his country and his team with pride and success, Redden probably deserves to know what the Senators franchise is going to do to address the shortcomings that became evident in their loss to the Buffalo Sabres in five games. Redden certainly has some ideas of his own. "I want to be on a team that's going to win. You can't predict that, obviously," said Redden. "I haven't had a chance to talk with management and the coaches yet at the end of the year meeting, but I want to put my thoughts out there on what we need to do to be a better team. "Like I said, my time here has been great ... but if you come back next year, we've got to obviously be better and that's the focus."
more So Redden wants to be a on team that is going to win. If he was a UFA at the start of this season, would he have chosen Buffalo, Carolina, Anaheim or Edmonton?

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Who’s Good

from the Toronto Star,

But hockey has its problems. The NHL is cursed with a disturbing lack of continuity. The simplest question — "Who's good?" — is tough to answer. The once-venerable big-market teams have been vulnerable (witness the first-round flameouts of favoured Detroit and Dallas). Two out of three Hart Trophy nominees, New York Rangers' Jaromir Jagr and Calgary's Mikka Kiprusoff, went out in the first round while the third, San Jose's Joe Thornton, is a game away from being bounced by the Edmonton Oilers. There are no Stars, and no transcendent stars. The NBA has seen James emerge as the greatest athlete of his generation and Dwyane Wade produce majesty and Bryant and Nash lead amazing charges. The NHL has the usual goaltenders of the moment.

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A Great Fit In St. Louis

from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Blues fans are buzzing about the possibility that John Davidson will become the next president of the Blues. He fits so many criteria. He is a former Blues goaltender and he knows most of this franchise’s great alumni. As the sport’s top color analyst, he is a terrific spokesperson for the game. He would help rekindle St. Louis’ love affair with the sport.
continued image

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Conference Final Schedule

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL Date Time (ET) #2 Carolina vs. #4 Buffalo Saturday, May 20 2:00 p.m. Buffalo at Carolina Monday, May 22 7:30 p.m. Buffalo at Carolina Wednesday, May 24 7:30 p.m. Carolina at Buffalo Friday, May 26 7:30 p.m. Carolina at Buffalo Sunday, May 28 * 7:30 p.m. Buffalo at Carolina Tuesday, May 30 * 7:30 p.m. Carolina at Buffalo Thursday, June 1 * 7:30 p.m. Buffalo at Carolina WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL DATES (if Edmonton-San Jose Conference Semifinal is decided in six games) Friday, May 19; Sunday, May 21; Tuesday, May 23; Thursday, May 25; Saturday, May 27 *; Monday, May 29 *; Wednesday, May 31 * WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL DATES (if Edmonton-San Jose Conference Semifinal is decided in seven games) Sunday, May 21; Tuesday, May 23; Thursday, May 25; Saturday, May 27; Monday, May 29 *; Wednesday, May 31 *; Friday, June 2 * * if necessary

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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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