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This Is P.K. Subban

from ESPN,

P.K. Subban is going to be himself, on and off the ice. Period. Now he just doesn't have to defend himself for being a distraction or, even worse, a loser, because his Nashville Predators are in the Stanley Cup finals.

"There's over 700 players in the National Hockey League, and if all of them sound the same, to me that's boring," Subban said in an interview for ESPN's E:60, which will air on Sunday.

"I'm young, so I still want to be cool. I still want to have a certain style. I want to be distinct. I'm not afraid to be different from everyone else. That's me."

That hasn't always worked for everyone. As far back as Mites, Subban was unusual because of his talent, his exuberance and the color of his skin. There weren't a lot of black faces in the pictures of the teams he was on in Canada over the years. Subban's relentless competitiveness and frequent celebrations rubbed some people the wrong way.

"I don't think a lot of people had a lot of good things to say about myself or my family and that's a shame because I don't really know what we did wrong," Subban said.

continued

Subban will be featured on E:60 Sunday morning, more below...

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  Tags: p.k.+subban

Penguins One Win Away From Another Appearance In The Stanley Cup Final

from Craig Custance of ESPN,

Those who have experienced it say it goes in phases. After you win a Stanley Cup, it's a summer of celebration. Then comes a regular season in which an inevitable rough patch emerges when exhaustion kicks in.

"You crash sometime in November, December or January," said former Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, who led the Penguins to a Stanley Cup in 2009. "You don't have any energy. You're walking zombies."

But the best champs persevere and then the playoffs arrive -- another phase and a new life.

"I remember thinking that no team is going to be able to beat us," said forward Dan Cleary, part of the most recent team to advance to consecutive Stanley Cup finals when the Detroit Red Wings did it in 2008 and 2009. "I wasn't so much worried about rest or fatigue or energy. Your tank fills up immediately."

The long playoff run has a way of being unforgiving about draining that tank. Since Cleary's Red Wings fell short of winning the 2009 Stanley Cup, no reigning champion has made it back to the finals.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

NHL Short Notes

PENGUINS, SENATORS BATTLE FOR BERTH IN STANLEY CUP FINAL
A spot in the Stanley Cup Final is on the line when the Penguins and Senators face off in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final at PPG Paints Arena:
 
* The Penguins, who defeated the Capitals in Game 7 of the Second Round (2-0 W at WSH), will be playing their 17th all-time Game 7 (9-7), fifth in NHL history behind the Bruins (25), Red Wings (25), Canadiens (23) and Maple Leafs (22). Pittsburgh is 3-7 in Game 7s on home ice, including a 2-1 victory in the 2016 Eastern Conference Final vs. TBL.
 
* The Senators will be seeking their first all-time Game 7 win (0-5). Four of Ottawa’s five Game 7 losses have come on the road, including a 2-1 defeat in their most recent such contest in the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at NYR.
 
* The Penguins will be skating in their third Game 7 in the Conference Finals. In addition to 2016 vs. TBL, they faced the Panthers in 1996 (3-1 L).
 
* The Senators will be contesting their second Game 7 in the Conference Finals. They lost to the Devils, the eventual Stanley Cup champions, in 2003 (3-2 L).
 
* Pittsburgh’s lineup has a combined 80 Game 7 appearances, including 58 wins. Thirteen of those are from Carl Hagelin (7-1) and Matt Cullen (6-0).
 
* Ottawa’s lineup has a combined 34 Game 7 appearances, including 14 victories. Eight of those are from Derick Brassard (4-1) and Chris Kelly (4-1).
 
* Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan is 2-1 in three all-time Game 7s, including a 2-0 record with Pittsburgh. Senators head coach Guy Boucher is 1-1 in two all-time Game 7s (both w/ TBL), including a 1-0 victory at Pittsburgh in the 2011 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
 
* REMINDER: The Stanley Cup Final will begin Monday, May 29. Either Pittsburgh or Ottawa will host Games 1 and 2 (as well as Games 5 and 7, if necessary). Nashville will host Games 3 and 4 (as well as Game 6, if necessary). Click here for the complete schedule

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Evening Line- Roy MacGregor

Now I am ready for the puck to drop.

If hockey has a moment that defines, it is fast approaching.

By the end of the third round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the game is profoundly different, as are the players – at least those still standing.

Thursday night at PPG Paints Arena, it will be decided which of the Pittsburgh Penguins or Ottawa Senators will move on to meet the Nashville Predators in the Stanley Cup final.

In this spring of oddities, the eyebrows just keep bouncing. The Predators were the final NHL team, 16th out of 30, to qualify for the playoffs. The Ottawa Senators are 0-for-5 in playoff Game 7s, which should comfort the Penguins but for the fact that Pittsburgh has never won a Game 7 at home after dropping a Game 6, as it did 2-1 in Ottawa on Tuesday.

-Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail where you can read more on this topic.

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Ryan Johansen On His Injury

from Mike Battaglino of NHL.com,

Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen on Wednesday detailed the path from a hit during the Western Conference Final to emergency surgery on his left leg that will keep him out of the Stanley Cup Final.

"It was absolutely incredible how much this thing was swelling up," Johansen told TSN 1040/1410 Vancouver radio. "I couldn't even believe it looking at it."

Johansen was injured during the second period of Game 4 on May 18 when he was checked against the boards by Anaheim Ducks defenseman Josh Manson.

"It all started right there. That was the play," Johansen said. "He just kind of led with his knee a little bit, and I was trying to reverse hit him a bit just to create some separation and [he] just got me on the right spot I guess, and it just kept getting worse from there."

continued

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  Tags: ryan+johansen

Ready For Game 7

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

Guy Boucher remembers. “It still hurts, I’ll be honest with you,” he says 2,188 days after the fact. “That’s the non-excitement part of it.”

Game 7. Sixty minutes, and perhaps a few more, to decide who plays for the Stanley Cup.

There’s magic built into that equation because every single person with a stake in the outcome has literally spent time in a driveway or basement dreaming about a chance like this, and now it’s at hand. But … there is also a but.

“I look back, you know, it was the Boston Bruins back then,” said Boucher, the Ottawa Senators coach, of his previous dance across a tight-rope with no safety net. “It was a tough game. It was 0-0 with seven minutes left in the game. It was quite a game and a lot of pressure. What I remember most is the excitement of an opportunity that very few people get in their lives, and I’m part of that.

“I can’t be blessed more than that.”

That’s how the Senators felt coming into Pittsburgh for one last shot at the defending champs. Blessed. They have had a crazy season – one marked by personal torment and collective triumph – and it’s all on the line Thursday at PPG Paints Arena.

continued

added 9:22pm, from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Hits Of The Week

Sportsnet style, two minutes in length.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Craig Cunningham Now A Pro Scout For The Arizona Coyotes

GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- Arizona Coyotes General Manager John Chayka announced today that the Coyotes have signed Craig Cunningham to a two-year contract to serve as a pro scout. In addition to his scouting responsibilities, Cunningham will assist in player development with the Coyotes' prospects. As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

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Soon The Busy Off-Season Begins

from Rory Boylen of Sportsnet,

Although the on-ice season is nearing its close, the off-ice season will be as busy as ever. Here are some important dates and events ahead, and some related storylines to keep an eye on.

BUYOUT WINDOW: OPENS JUNE 15 OR 48 HOURS AFTER STANLEY CUP FINAL

Any general manager tied to a terrible contract they'd prefer to escape from has an option to rid himself of it, for a price.

From the time the window opens to when it closes on June 30, general managers can buy out a player. The cost of a buyout is paid out over twice the number of remaining years on the contract and the rate is one-third of the remaining salary for players younger than 26, and two-thirds for players 26 and older. Any player who is still recovering from a regular season injury, however, cannot be bought out, and players can only be bought out after clearing unconditional waivers.

After a player is bought out, they will still count toward the team's salary cap. CapFriendly.com explains how you calculate that cap hit and you can always use their buyout calculator to run a simulation of your own:

more

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Why The Empty Seats In Ottawa?

from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,

It must be Eugene Melnyk.

The only logical explanation for fans negatively stealing so much of the spotlight from the Senators unexpectedly wondrous ride through the playoffs has to be a growing, general contempt for the team’s owner, for one reason or another.

That must be the main reason why, in the hours leading up to Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final, there were still so many tickets available.

It was sad how the prospect of empty seats at Canadian Tire Centre on Tuesday night was a hot topic that overshadowed the fact the Senators were one of just three teams still with a shot at winning the Stanley Cup heading into Tuesday night.

Can you imagine? The Senators still in contention for the NHL’s most prestigious hardware on May 23? They didn’t even make the playoffs last season. Not many thought they would this spring, either. Especially when they lost their No. 1 goalie for long periods of time while he helped his wife fight cancer, not to forget a likeable leader to an 18-month battle with concussion problems.

continued

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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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