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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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San Jose Mayor Responds To Booing

from cbs5,

Mayor Gonzales Expresses Disappointment in Sharks Fans' Disrespect to Canada Anthem- One of the great benefits of sports is when a community comes together in a common purpose and cheers their team in a spirit of good sportsmanship. I'm delighted that the San José Sharks have given the people of our community another reason to cheer this year with a successful season and their pursuit of the Stanley Cup in the NHL playoffs. This is why I must express my deep disappointment in the actions of some fans at yesterday's game in San José between the Sharks and the Edmonton Oilers when they booed during the playing of Canada's National Anthem.
continued added 7:02pm, from the San Jose Sharks,
The San Jose Sharks organization does not condone the booing of any nation’s National Anthem under any circumstances. We were very surprised by the actions of a few fans prior to Game 5 on Sunday. Sharks fans have always been very respectful and there is no history of this type of behavior. A series of events unfolded during Game 4 in Edmonton that undoubtedly helped lead to the reaction in San Jose Sunday night. During the performance of The Star Spangled Banner prior to Game 4 in Edmonton (aired live and in its entirety by FSN Bay Area), the in-house video board showed a picture of San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton, to which some Edmonton fans began to boo.

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Status On Sabres Injuries

from the AP via the Globe and Mail,

Sabres centre Tim Connolly and defenceman Dmitri Kalinin could both miss the start of Buffalo's Eastern Conference finals series against Carolina because of injuries. Sabres coach Lindy Ruff on Monday ruled out any possibility of Kalinin playing when the best-of-seven series is expected to open at Carolina this weekend. Ruff said Kalinin is still listed week to week after reportedly breaking his ankle May 8 while blocking a shot in Game 2 of Buffalo's conference semifinal series against Ottawa. Connolly's status is uncertain after the play-making centre was also hurt in Game 2 after sustaining what is believed to be a concussion.

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Bad Ratings Ahead

from the Sports Network,

Now, don't get me wrong. The influx of fresh contenders is something that the league needs. It means there is a very good chance we will have a brand new Stanley Cup champion for the second straight season. No more dominance by Jersey, Detroit or Colorado. The people in Orange County or Raleigh deserve to celebrate just as much as the folks in Motown or Denver. That's my opinion, but I doubt I'm in the majority. Some hardcore hockey fans might agree, but it's the grand scope that concerns me here. The NHL came back from the lockout trying to push its way past the die-hards and reach those of the casual realm. A final four packed with teams that no one really cares about is a disaster in terms of achieving that goal. It's going to be hard for NBC and OLN to post any kind of respectable ratings without legitimate starpower.

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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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