Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Positive Attitude

from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,

"Yeah, I think the big thing is you don't want to get too anxious and lose that focus," Smyth said. "But right from the get-go I know (coach Craig MacTavish) has said 'Let's keep positive, whatever happens' and obviously our back's against the wall and we were up against the wall in San Jose and we pulled through. "I believe a positive attitude goes a long way," Smyth said. "I think this sort of atmosphere that we have gotten going right now, the positiveness, the relaxation, I guess, we want to rest up and get ready because we know it's going to be an exciting ride."
more...Also, NHL.com has been doing a great job of keeping hockey fans up-to-date with everything going on during the SCF. Remember, they just report, no "what ifs" or questioning ref calls so don't expect that, but do expect solid reporting and information we cannot get anywhere else.

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MacTavish Feeling More Comfortable Today

Sunday press conference recap with Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish.

Q. What is going through your mind when you see or you hear all the Hurricanes last night reacting the way they did to the officiating, feeling they got robbed last night in the game, how do you think that will carry into Game 4? COACH CRAIG MACTAVISH: I don't know. It's normally a squeaky wheel gets the grease league at times. We're certainly hopeful that that's not going to be the case. Were they okay with the quick whistle on Ethan's disallowed goal? Were they okay with that one? I don't know. I am not going to get into it too much.
continued in the comment section...

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Not The “Sharpest” Drew

When Lyle Richardson read the recent column Drew Sharp wrote, in which Mr. Sharp stated, "the league should steer him(Luongo) to Detroit, Lyle commented- "It’s late Friday night and perhaps it’s the beer talking, but this is without a doubt the dumbest article on the state of the NHL that I have ever read. I’ll reply more on this on my Soapbox on Sunday. Well, Spector has responded in a big way!!!

How does Sharp know Luongo wants out of Florida? Has he spoken directly to him or his agent? Have they gone on the record claiming that to be their intent? Much has been made of late of the news that Luongo's agent is seeking a one-year contract, rather than a long-term deal, but that's based on the fact that the CBA prohibits players in their final season before their eligibility for UFA status to sign deals with "no-trade" clauses. That clause is something Luongo wants because he doesn't want to risk signing a long-term deal, only to have the Panthers deal him next season to a franchise he doesn't want to play for. The key point here is Luongo's agent claims his client still wants to remain with the Panthers and that he'll continue to negotiate a long-term contract for the goalie.
more A2Y chimes in too,
Perusing Spector’s this morning, I came across this commentary regarding Drew Sharp’s latest literary example that Detroit sports writers are a collective group of dumbasses.
Many out-of-towners may not know this, but Drew appears on a regular basis with Art Regner and Doug Karsch on WXYT radio in Detroit. Put the three of them together in a room to talk Wings is a mistake waiting to happen.

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Just What We Needed

from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,

Captain Rod Brind'Amour -- a top candidate for the Conn Smythe Trophy -- didn't distinguish himself in the agony of defeat. As untold media members waited patiently for a few words from the team captain, Carolina manager of media relations Kyle Hanlin told the hoard that Brind'Amour wouldn't be coming out. Huh? This isn't game No. 7 of the regular season. This is the Stanley Cup finals. The event is covered by hundreds of media throughout North America and around the world. Eventually, after much prompting, Brind'Amour stopped on his way to the shower to address the handful of media members who had later deadlines and could wait it out. When he did speak, he wasn't ready to throw any bouquets at the Oilers. "No, I don't think so," Brind'Amour said, when asked if he felt the Oilers had played better in Game 3 than they played in the first two games.
more...come on, some one make a "guarnSheed"...

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Erik Johnson Relaxed

from the Gazette,

In The Broadmoor Hotel West lobby, Erik Johnson has found peace, for two days at least. He is 18, a few weeks removed from high school graduation. He’s also the projected No. 1 pick in the NHL draft June 24 in Vancouver, British Columbia. At 6-foot-4, 222 pounds, Johnson is a rarity — a defenseman adept at multitasking, playing well at both ends of the ice. “He’s one of the best prospects we’ve had in a long time,” said Jim Johannson, USA Hockey senior director, hockey operations.

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Something Was Missing Early

from the blog of Ron Francis,

For whatever reason, they didn't seem to be skating like they can and although the ice wasn't totally tilted in one direction, the Oilers could have been up by a larger # at the end of the 2nd if not for the play of Cam Ward. ...On Mon., I would expect to see more of the way the Canes played the last 25 minutes of this game and less of how they played in the first 35. If that is the case, we will all be anticipating a visit from Stanley to Raleigh next week.
read on

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Goalie Movement

In the 2nd intermission on CBC last night, Eric Duhatschek, Pierre LeBrun and Kelly Hrudey discussed the goalie situation in the NHL. Hrudey felt Carolina should hold on the Martin Gerber, pointing to the fact Cam Ward is still young and it is still too early to tell what kind of career he will have. He also pointed out if Ward went down with an injury, Gerber would provide the Hurricanes with some stability in net. Duhatschek mentioned there are about a 1/2 dozen teams who need goaltending and feels Gerber or JSG will be headed to Detroit, because both goalies have played for Babcock. He feels the goalie movement depends on what Carolina does with Gerber. Pierre feels Keenan must decide what to do with Luongo. His value will never be higher than it is now, so Florida must decide what to do with him in the very near future.

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Decisions Ahead For Buffalo

from the Buffalo News,

The Sabres almost certainly won't be a major player when the market on free agents opens July 1. With only three NHL players under contract, they'll have too many of their own to re-sign. Many of those players had career seasons and will command substantial salary hikes. Any outside moves the club makes this summer likely will involve cost-cutting trades of players such as backup goalie Martin Biron ($2.128 million) or expensive fourth-line winger Taylor Pyatt ($989,720). They have too many forwards and not enough space to accommodate any emerging players from Rochester. Then there will be critical choices to render on their unrestricted free agents, especially defenseman Jay McKee.

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A Frenzy

from Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com,

For two days, the Edmonton-based media built up the Rexall Place crowd into an almost supernatural force leading into Saturday night's highly anticipated Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. Virtually every interview during the past 48 hours referenced the intimidating power of Oiler faithful. Would Edmonton draw the necessary sustenance from its rabid seventh man, using the boost of adrenaline from the vocal fans to finally play a complete game? Could the Carolina Hurricanes, especially with young goalie Cam Ward in net, survive the shock to the system that the Edmonton fans were sure to deliver?

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Loud & Proud

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun via the Ottawa Sun,

The Edmonton fans, who had already outdone themselves in creating a loud, proud environment during the three previous rounds, once again took over the singing of O Canada from Paul Lorieau at an unprecedented volume. But what blew everybody away this night was the great gusto the Canadian fans had in singing the U.S. national anthem. Has The Star Spangled Banner ever been sung that loud anywhere outside the U.S.? American writers were suggesting it was certainly the loudest their anthem had been sung on either side of the border this Stanley Cup season. Colour commentator Harry Neale said it had to set some sort of record. "I've never heard so many bad singers. And a lot of people didn't know all the words to The Star Spangled Banner,'' he noted. "But that was something.''
read on...While watching on NBC, the sound cut out during the U.S.A National Anthem for me...

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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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