Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Terry Jones at the Edmonton Sun,
Either 73-year-old John Muckler has gone senile or his mind has been messed by getting back to the Stanley Cup for the first time in 17 years.
Muckler compared the 2007 Ottawa Senators to the 1990 Edmonton Oilers here yesterday. And if that didn’t do it, he called Daniel Alfredsson the equal of Mark Messier as a leader.
The Oilers won their fifth Stanley Cup in 1990. Muckler was the head coach.
Now he’s GM of the Senators, a team that - at least for the next 10 days or so - has yet to win anything.
from the Vancouver Province,
You can go a mile in any direction of the Honda Center—the Ducks’ home rink—and you’re hard-pressed to find any evidence of the Stanley Cup final.
You can’t go five feet in Ottawa without being reminded the Senators are in that same final.
So it’s a different experience—as different as Queen Elizabeth and Queen Latifah—which might explain why Ducks GM Brian Burke was strangely subdued on Sunday. The table was set for an epic Burke rant and, under different circumstances, he would have obliged the assembled media by howling about the forces conspiring against his team and the lack of respect being shown the Ducks.
But this time, he didn’t have to because just about everyone in the hockey world is doing it for him.
“It’s a Canada-U.S. thing,” Burke said. “A lot of the Canadian media are going to pick the Canadian team. “That’s fine. We’re content to be the underdog in this.”
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
John Ziegler is 73 now, semi-retired in Stuart, Fla., and nearly 17 years removed from that December day in 1990 when it was his task, as president of the National Hockey League, to announce that expansion franchises had been awarded to Tampa Bay and Ottawa.
To many, the two were the shakiest of 30 cities that had expressed interest. To the NHL, however, they were the only two willing to put down the $50-million (U.S.) expansion fee without seeking special terms, no questions asked.
Nor, it turned out, did the NHL ask many questions.
from the New York Times,
He cares little that the earnest world of hockey has trouble looking past his various tattoos and colorful wardrobe, or the fact that he missed a flight to a playoff game after crashing his Hummer, or the fact that he drives a Hummer at all in this most Chevrolet of sports.
All of that has overshadowed the not-so-small detail that Emery, 24, has led the Ottawa Senators to the Stanley Cup finals in his first season as a full-time starter. The best-of-seven Cup series between Ottawa and the Ducks opens Monday in Anaheim, Calif.
“I really could care less what people say or think,” Emery said. “I like winning and I like playing the game. It’s exciting for me and the team and all my family and friends who are watching. That’s all I care about.”
from the CP via Yahoo,
The team is representing the nation’s capital in the Stanley Cup final, but there will be fans all across the country cheering against them during Monday night’s series opener.
Just ask Michael Fox, a self-described “big-time” Toronto Maple Leafs fan who said he’ll be rooting for the Ducks all the way.
“If it were the Leafs in the final, they’d be cheering against us right to the bitter end,” he said of Senators fans while lunching at Wayne Gretzky’s bar in Toronto. “They’d probably show up at the game and cheer against us just out of spite, so I have my reasons to cheer for the Ducks.”
Fox said he doesn’t buy into the notion of the Sens as “Canada’s team.”
from Marcia C. Smith of the OC Register,
Hockey – follow us closely – is generally played in the less tanned regions of the world where people drink Molson, hunt moose and survive inhumane sub-70-degree winters that make roads, sidewalks and the surfaces of frozen-over ponds dangerously slippery and cold.
Ottawa, the capital of Canada, has embraced hockey, along with Celine Dion worship, even though the Senators have been an NHL franchise since only 1992….
Since 1993, the Anaheim Ducks have forsaken the Southern California beach culture to convert Orange County into parka-wearing fans of this boxing-on-blades sport.
They play atop a 1¼-inch sheet of man-made ice cooled to 18 degrees, inside a giant marble and glass icebox formerly named The Pond.
Despite their webbed feet, the Ducks skate on blades of steel sharp enough to cut a ripe tomato. They wield long, slender sticks made of graphite and wood.
from Kevin Dupont at MSNBC,
Like I say, pretty country, full of nice folks, and there’s a lot to like about the Ottawa Senators, this year’s Canadian entry in the Stanley Cup finals.
I just happen to like the Ducks more — like 4 games to 2 more. That’s right, Ducks in six games, leaving the USA with a somewhat unholy trinity of Lightning, Hurricanes and Ducks as the NHL’s last three Cup champions.
You know, if the Panthers finish off with a grand slam in the spring of ‘08, it might be time to consider selling one of the six remaining Canadian franchises and shipping it south.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
If the Senators’ trio of Dany Heatley, Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza can continue to shred defences with the same efficiency as they have in the first three rounds of the playoffs, Ottawa will win.
If the Ducks’ defensive duo of Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer can find a way of shutting them down, Anaheim will win.
Fundamentally, it really can be as simple as that.
from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,
As sure as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, you’re going to hear a tale of woe about the 2007 Stanley Cup Final because “big market” teams aren’t competing.
Hockey fans will be watching and we’re going to see some of the NHL’s best players vying for the Cup. The excellence of competition goes well beyond the name of the city a team calls home. It’s too bad that elementary lesson is lost so quickly.
OTTAWA, May 25 /CNW Telbec/ - Clinical researchers at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute announced today a number of unique findings relevant to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The range and relevance of Heart Institute research is well known in Canada and abroad, but many will be surprised to learn of some of the startling, recent discoveries that have emerged as a result of focused studies by a number of the UOHI researchers.
“In a carefully considered survey of large numbers of our patients we observed quite specific evidence that supporters of the Ottawa Senators had greater cardiac capacity - ‘big hearts’ in lay terms - than did those who expressed a preference for other, lesser quality NHL teams,” noted Dr. W.E. “Will” Win. “This suggests that the endurance and tenacity of Senators fans are clearly unequalled among those with less discriminating hockey tastes.” Almost universally, Heart Institute research shows that Senators’ supporters reported lower levels of spectator anxiety, greater levels of confidence, and a more refined appreciation of skill-based hockey than those who indicated their support for ‘other’ unidentifiable teams.
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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.
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