Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Why You Should Watch

Have your non-hockey fans read this. from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,

I have no idea who will win tonight's Game 7 showdown between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Edmonton Oilers for the Stanley Cup, but I do know one thing: this is why we watch. Think about it, is there a more compelling battle for a championship then what we've witnessed so far? I admit to a fairly large hockey bias, but I truly don't see this kind of intensity in the NBA Final, a series where the only compelling interest seems to be whether or not Mark Cuban, a brash owner from Dallas, or Shaquille O'Neal will win another title with a subplot regards whether or not O'Neal will make his free throws. Baseball, don't even go there. The Super Bowl? The ones I remember best where the handful of contests that weren't blowouts or repeats of an in-season meeting when the two teams played each other sometimes just weeks before the "big game". Hockey? OK, I'll concede that few people in the United States are watching, but you can't convince me that the NHL hasn't won over at least a few thousand new fans via the games the Edmonton Oilers and Carolina Hurricanes have played so far.

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MacTavish This Morning

Q. Did you see their skate at all? Doug Weight was on the ice. What did you think? And do you think he will play tonight? Is he a Larry Murphy decoy? COACH MacTAVISH: Tell me the Larry Murphy story. He might play too? (Laughter) I hope he does. He hasn't played in a couple of years. I have no idea. I think it would be tough. Whenever you see a guy in a sling, you know, 48 hours earlier, you would think it would be difficult. But you know, they saved the horse in that race, Barbaro, whenever he might run again, I don't know. Q. All those months just in the back, what can you say to a team at this point going into Game 7 that you haven't said already at some point? Anything more to be said? COACH MacTAVISH: I think it is just important to keep your routine the same, and we have been able to do that through these Playoffs. And today we have kept the routine the same. It is a little different because, you know, it's your last morning skates and last pre-game meeting, all that sorts of stuff. So just really keep the focus on what you have done well, what you need to prevent, what you need to accomplish in the game. Not get, you know, not try and take a scatter gun approach to the game where you try and talk about too many things. Focus in on three or four areas on both sides of the puck and try and accomplish those things. If you do that, you should be able to win the game. But just keep the routine the same.
more in comments...and anyone know the Larry Murphy story...

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Everyone Is Happy- Almost

from the CP via the Globe and Mail,

A new poll suggests Canadian hockey fans are overwhelmingly happy that the NHL is throwing the rulebook at its players. The survey by Decima Research, conducted June 15-18 in the heat of the Edmonton Oilers-Carolina Hurricanes Stanley Cup final, gave a Don Cherry-esque two thumbs up to the rule changes. By a margin of more than three to one, respondents said the changes made the game more appealing, compared to those who felt it detracted.

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Weight Skated This Morning

NHL Live reported Weight skated this morning. They had Olczyk on too, he said he would probably take the pre-game skate too but he doubts he would play, but you never know. Weight yesterday mentioned it felt like an 8 week injury... added 12:18pm,

Q. Noticing Dougie Weight took the skate this morning. Rule him in or out at this point? COACH LAVIOLETTE: We have got lineup decisions to make. Doug looked good out there this morning. I said he wasn't going to be in Game 6. Was asked about Game 7. We'll make those decisions when the game comes. But he looked good. Q. How has your team reacted emotionally to what is gone on the last couple of games to prepare for Game 7? COACH LAVIOLETTE: Well there hasn't been a lot of time. We flew all day yesterday and got them in here today and had some meetings. Our guys have responded well all year whenever we haven't played a very good game, so it's not about a regular season or a long playoff run. It is about one game and guys feel pretty confident. Q. Do you feel your roster is such -- and maybe this had a little bit to do with the mentality of Cole coming back -- but your roster is such in the way you use your forwards you can afford to have a guy in the lineup that if he can go for a few shifts okay, if not, that's okay too.
more from Laviolette in the comments...

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Deadspin- Strike The Strike

Deadsin has admitted they are not hockey fans. So they need to be informed, it wasn't a strike, it was a lockout!!! No more strikes, I don't want to see that word again! Coming from a huge union town, there is a difference.

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Put Some Sugar On It

Thanks to NHL DraftNet for the recent interview. It is my understanding more hockey bloggers will be featured, so stay tuned. added 12:23pm, Bill from A2Y also was featured. Check it out...

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Invite A Few Friends Over

I don't have to tell you what Game 7 of the SCF means. But, how about your neighbor or friend who doesn't know much about the game? Invite a few non-hockey fans over to watch the game tonight. Tell them to sit, watch, and hide the remote. Switch over to CBC if possible for Coaches Corner, explain to them what Don Cherry is all about! Tell them about Doc Emrick, Pierre McGuire and J.D. Get them involved. Spread the word!!! I have about 40 people heading to my house tonight. Molson XXX is chilled, the HDTV is warmed up and the phone will be off the hook!

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Enough Talk- Drop The Puck

from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,

There really isn't much left to talk about for the Carolina Hurricanes and Edmonton Oilers. So, who has the momentum? Home teams are 11-2 in Stanley Cup Final history. In all rounds, home teams are 74-44 in Game 7. Those numbers favor the Hurricanes, who will be greeted by the warm embrace of their loyal fans Monday night. The Oilers have their own brand of momentum brewing, trying to become the second team in Stanley Cup Final history to overcome a 3-1 deficit to win the Cup. The celebrated 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs are the only team to have made the ultimate comeback.
read on

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NHL, 2K & EA Announce Agreement

The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and the National Hockey League today announced that Electronic Arts (EA) and 2K Sports have agreed to non-exclusive, multi-year licensing extensions. EA and 2K Sports will continue to offer a full complement of NHL video games with rights for all current and next-generation consoles, including the PlayStation2 computer entertainment system, PlayStation3 (PS3) computer entertainment system, PSP (PlayStation Portable) system, Xbox 360 and Xbox video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft, PC, and Nintendo Wii.

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Blogger Access

from Sports Business Journal (paid sub.),

Ted Leonsis, owner of the Washington Capitals, discovered offwingopinion.com, a hockey Web log, while searching for information on his team last November. He was so impressed with the writer’s hockey knowledge that he invited him to a game two days later. NHL policy denies independent bloggers — people who write Web logs — media credentials providing access to the locker room, pressroom and other areas, but Leonsis’ invitation gave the offwingopinion.com writer access to the owner’s suite and the owner himself. In other words, more access than any other blogger leaguewide could hope for, and enough to turn the heads of some traditional media stalwarts. That visit became the subject of a Web log on offwingopinion.com, and it highlighted what Leonsis believes will be the next way for teams to use the ever-expanding world of new media. “Traditional media is being marginalized with shrinking circulation and tough ad-sales climates at the same time blogs are growing in importance and reach,” Leonsis said. “It makes good business sense to welcome in new media.” ...While not every team or league has been as progressive as Leonsis when it comes to acknowledging bloggers, organizations are increasingly recognizing their importance and drafting policies to address requests for press credentials from bloggers. ...To date, bloggers have not ambitiously pursued credentials. In the last five years, the NHL has received two annual credential requests from bloggers for the Stanley Cup Finals. ...Others see access as advantageous. Tyler Bleszinski, who runs athleticsnation.com, said the number of visitors to his site skyrocketed after he did a one-on-one interview with Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane. Today, Bleszinski gets close to 10,000 visitors a day, according to Alexa, which monitors Web traffic. “I thank my lucky stars that I follow a team as aggressive and intelligent and willing to think outside the box as they are,” said Bleszinski, who still doesn’t receive credentials for games based on the MLB policy. “I wouldn’t be in the position I am otherwise.” Bleszinski acknowledges the challenge of granting bloggers’ requests. “It’s a lot of work for PR people to go online and see which blogs are being fair and not just doing a rip job,” he said.
added 1:17pm, Eric at Off Wing Opinion has more on this...

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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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