Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Joe Is Ordinary

from Sean McCormick at Sportsnet,

This is the playoffs. And Joe Thornton is not living up to his billing. Again. Don't get me wrong, I think he's an MVP. But MVPs rise to the occasion at playoff time. MVPs score even strength goals. MVPs make other players on the ice better. Joe Thornton has done none of the above to this point in the playoffs. He has one goal in seven games this playoff season, and it came on the powerplay. His Rocket Richard winning linemate hasn't scored in four games. And he is a team worst minus-2. How is it possible to be minus-2 when your team is 6-and-1 in the playoffs and still be touted as one of the best players on the ice? Apparently he's creating room for the second line.

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Connolly Out Tonight

via the CP,

Foward Tim Connolly won't be in the Buffalo Sabres' lineup for Game 3 of their second-round NHL playoff series against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night, head coach Lindy Ruff said following the morning skate. "He's day-to-day," said Ruff. Thomas Vanek is the most likely candidate to take Connolly's spot. Vanek was second on the team in goals scored during the regular season. The Austrian was a healthy scratch in the first two games of the series, both won by Buffalo, because Ruff opted to use Taylor Pyatt, who is more responsible defensively. Defenceman Dmitri Kalinin also was to be a lineup scratch Wednesday night, said Ruff. Kalinin has a damaged left knee and might not reappear for some time. "His condition is week-to-week," Ruff said during an optional session that saw one-half his players skate.

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3-0 Or 2-1

The future of the conference semi-finals can be decided tonight. Teams can either be facing a sweep or be down 2-1. It will play-out tonight. The Ottawa/Buffalo game is also on CI and Hurricanes/Devils can be viewed on INHD in glorious HD. image

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Gretzky Wants To Remain In Phoenix

from the Arizona Republic,

By week's end, Wayne Gretzky plans to make a counteroffer to Phoenix Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes to remain coach, Gretzky's attorney said. "It's a good offer and a starting point, and we will go from there," Ron Fujikawa, an attorney for Gretzky, said Tuesday. "We are optimistic we will get something done. Wayne is committed to the city and the team."

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Desperate Sens

from the Buffalo News,

Shortly after checking into their downtown hotel on Tuesday afternoon, captain Daniel Alfredsson was asked what the Senators look like when they play with desperation. "We'll find out," Alfredsson said with a vacant look in his eyes. "You can't compare regular season to playoffs. It's totally different. So, no, we haven't [had to play desperate] this year." "They came into our rink and won two. There's no reason we can't come in here and win two," Senators center Jason Spezza said. "They got a good hockey club, and they're playing real well right now. But we can still win these games. "We feel like our backs are against the wall and that's going to bring the best out in us."
more

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Not A Pretty Picture

from Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel,

Believe me, I understand you don't want to read about hockey because neither do I. Which is why I'm writing this column -- as a public service to the zillions of non-hockey fans out there who want to know this: Why are there still hockey stories in my newspaper when 99.999 percent of readers couldn't tell you a hat trick from a hat rack.... The NHL playoff ratings are an embarrassment. The New Jersey-Carolina game on NBC Saturday drew a 1.1 rating, less than the 1.2 number drawn by taped coverage of the NCAA women's gymnastics championships.
read on

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Teemu Watches History

from the OC Register,

Teemu Selanne watched Joffrey Lupul drive a basket of pucks into the Colorado net here Tuesday night. He knew he was sitting on the perch of history. He said Lupul showed "that hungriness you need." It got his own appetite going, too. "All I needed was a couple of hot dogs and some beers," Selanne said. "I had a front-row seat out there, the best seat in the house. It was a pretty high-priced seat, and it was unbelievable to watch."
continued

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Goodbye Glory Years

from the Denver Post,

The banners of the golden age of hockey in Colorado now gather dust in the arena. It's all over for the Avalanche except the wistful tears of nostalgia. Look toward the ceiling of the Pepsi Center and wonder where the good times went. Patrick Roy and Ray Bourque are fond memories. Peter Forsberg has left the building. And that's the problem, isn't it? If you want to see great Avalanche players, you might as well look for the retired numbers in the rafters as on the ice, where the defeats mount. Four years have passed since Colorado last survived two rounds of the playoffs. After a 4-3 overtime loss to Anaheim on a sad Tuesday night, defenseman Rob Blake slumped on a bench in front of his locker.
continued

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Does The NHL Care About Their Fans

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman shut down his sport for a year, he has told us so many times, for the fans. It was for them that he took their game away from them, and it was their continued support that encouraged him. His league, he has repeatedly assured us, reveres its fans. For much of the year, the message was on all the ice surfaces. "Thank you fans." Here's how some franchises have shown their gratitude. - In Ottawa, management booked a children's show that evicted the Senators from the Scotiabank Place last weekend.
continued

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Ratings Disaster Ahead

from the Globe and Mail,

It takes some doing, but the Stanley Cup playoffs are shaping up to be a bust for networks on both sides of the border. The potential absence of Canadian teams from the National Hockey League conference finals certainly wasn't what the CBC had in mind. And matchups involving the Carolina Hurricanes, Buffalo Sabres, San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Mighty Ducks were hardly on the wish list of NBC and OLN.
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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