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Koharski Talks Playoffs

from the Halifax Daily News,

Don Koharski is doing what he loves to do this time of year - refereeing in the National Hockey League playoffs. We spoke with Koharski last Thursday, and talked to him about his feat, the new officiating standards and their impact on the playoffs. DN: Are too many penalties being called in the playoffs? DK: It's being called the same way it was for 82 regular season games. It's probably the most consistent we've been as a group, and we're not there yet. We never will be, because it's the hardest thing to do, but with the new standard, it's the most consistent I think we've been. And everybody knows going in it's the same way it was in the regular season. We're not treating it any differently. We've been instructed to stay within the standards and those that are not within the standards, they won't be asked to do any more games. It's just the product has been so good and so positive in general, (the league) doesn't want to lose it and they're putting a lot of emphasis on our shoulders to continue to do the same standards.
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Russians Want Millions For Malkin

from Reuters,

"I've already made up my mind for next season -- I'll be leaving for the NHL. I'm 100 percent sure of that," Malkin, who has a contract with Metallurg through 2008, was quoted as saying by Sport-Express newspaper. His move across the Atlantic, however, could be delayed because Russia remains the only major hockey power not to sign a transfer agreement with the NHL. Under the agreement, approved by the International Ice Hockey Federation last year, Metallurg would have received $900,000 for Malkin. But Magnitogorsk general director Gennady Velichkin threatened to go to court if Pittsburgh do not buy out Malkin's contract. "We're not asking for ($900,000) compensation from Penguins. Such a sum is a handout and we're not interested in handouts," Velichkin told Russian media. "Put simply, they must buy his contract from us." Asked how much money Metallurg were looking to receive for Malkin, Velichkin said his transfer would be worth millions of dollars, similar to what soccer clubs pay for top players.

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Stay Out Of The Crease

from Martin Brodeur via the Calgary Sun,

Refereeing is better than ever before in the NHL but interference in the goalies' crease remains a problem. As soon as a goalie is successful, as is the case with Montreal Canadiens 'tender Cristobal Huet this season, the word goes out on the opposing teams to use every means to destroy his concentration. The best way to deal with it is to speak calmly with the officials. From the start of the game, I would tell them to watch a certain player because he will definitely invade the restricted zone. There are players who specialize in blocking the movements of an opposing goalie. They touch you, jostle you or knock you out of position.

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Who’s Edgy?

from Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press,

Edgy? Of course you're edgy. You're a hockey fan, you've waited two years for the playoffs to return, you were sure the Red Wings had the best team in the NHL -- the records said so -- yet tonight, you could be watching their last game of the season. Or not. Who isn't edgy? "Honey, haven't we been through this before?" your wife asks. "DON'T FREAK ME OUT!" you scream.
more from the Detroit News,
Goose Loonies is haunting the Wings again. Ironically, it is the model MacTavish is using in the Oilers' bid to upset the Red Wings. "The one thing I brought out of the last Detroit-Edmonton playoff series is the underdog never, ever knows how close they are," MacTavish said. "I thought Detroit was close to us back then, but they didn't believe it. If you don't believe, you never have the opportunity (for an upset)." The Oilers are one victory away from proving that they do believe and that they can win.
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Hasek Still Wants To Play

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun via the Toronto Sun,

The Dominator has not given up hope of making a return as the Ottawa Senators make a run for the Stanley Cup this spring. While Senators goaltender Dominik Hasek is aware he's facing long odds coming back from an adductor muscle injury, he's expecting a visit from a trusted personal trainer. Josef Bruk, a one-time Czech goalkeeper who works with Hasek in the summer, told Daily Sport newspaper in Prague last week he is hoping to travel to Ottawa later this week to try to help Hasek come back. Bruk, 71, who has been a well-respected goalie coach and trainer in the Czech Republic, said Hasek is facing an uphill battle in returning to the Senators. "But, we won't give it up," Bruk said in an interview Thursday.

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Alberta Battle Anticipated

from the Globe and Mail,

The idle wishing began days ago, when the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames each shared a 2-1 series lead that guaranteed little and promised everything. "Wouldn't it be great?" Oilers fans gushed. "Wouldn't it be something?" Flames fans concurred. ...They want to whoop it up on Whyte Avenue and party on the Red Mile. They want the other guys the way Flames coach Bob Johnson used to bring in practice goalies, dress them up in Oilers jerseys and tell his players, "Fire away." When informed of Johnson's tactic, Oilers bench boss Glen Sather sneered and dubbed it "hype." That it was, and could be again.

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Players Deal With Loss To Sharks

from the Daily News Journal,

"Everyone really doesn't know what to do or what to say," left wing Steve Sullivan, in his fourth NHL playoffs said. "It happens so fast. If you win the game you're on the plane (this) morning to San Jose. You lose, you hang you stuff up and don't wear it again for three or four months. It's very sudden, brutally sudden." "It's probably the worst feeling you have in the year," defenseman Mark Eaton, in the postseason for the third time, said. "You work so hard all year to get to the playoffs, and to have it end so abruptly ..."
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Good Show- Who’s Watching

from the Toronto Star,

Your heart would have to be pretty hard not to feel some sympathy for the guys at NBC. Here they are trying their best to sell hockey to Americans, putting on a pretty good show, spending some dollars, giving the NHL more air time than it has received in years and having little to show for it. In Mike Emrick and Chris Cuthbert, it has two of the best announcers in North America. John Davidson is in the upper echelon of analysts. The other guys aren't bad, though not in Davidson's class. NBC does a lot of games in high-definition and its game presentation is solid.

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Yzerman Status For Game 6

via the Detroit Free Press,

Asked if being an elimination game will factor into his decision to play, Yzerman said, “Oh, no question. No question. “It’s pretty simple, really, if I feel I can be an effective player, I’ll play and if I don’t, then I’m not going to play. If I’m ready to play then I will and if not, then I’ll have to step aside.” Donald MacLean, the Grand Rapids Griffins forward who scored 56 goals this season in the AHL, also joined the Wings on the ice. The Wings called him Saturday night, and he flew to Edmonton Sunday.

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Will The Fans Follow The Devils

from the NY Times,

While the words "If you build it, they will come" once inspired an Iowa corn farmer to create his own field of dreams, these — "If you build it, who will come?" — should have inspired Newark's mayor, Sharpe James, and Devils officials to toss their blueprints under the wheels of the first passing Zamboni. Despite winning 3 Stanley Cups in the last 11 seasons, the Devils have the misfortune of possessing one of the most disloyal fan bases in the history of sports. Are these same fair-weather Meadowlanders who regularly left thousands of seats empty during the best of Stanley Cup times now going to drive — at night — to a more-menacing area to storm the gates of their new palace? At the other end of the move, how many new fans will the Devils find in Newark, a predominantly black and Hispanic city that has no cultural or ethnic ties to a game in which just about everything is white except for the puck and a few puffy eyes? Neither Jeffrey Vanderbeek, the Devils' chairman, nor Mayor James responded to repeated calls to discuss these issues.

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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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