Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Yzerman Update

Yzerman was playing with torn rib muscles. He said he will announce his decision for the future either later this week or next week. added 12:20am, from Barry Melrose of ESPN,

The one sad note out of all of this is that it's likely the last time we'll see Stevie Y play. After what he went through this season, why does he need to come back? He's played so many seasons and he's accomplished everything a player can. There's nothing worse than seeing a player hang around too long, and I don't want to see Yzerman do that. Of course, he didn't want to go out this way, but he will go out as one of the best to ever play in the NHL.
added 7:51am, from the Edmonton Sun,
The warrior went out on his shield, the rest of them went out on their knees. "He worked his ass off,'' said teammate Chris Chelios, after a third-period collapse that ended their season and possibly his career. "He's done it his whole career. It's a shame we didn't follow his lead. Hopefully it's not the end for him, he's one of the best leaders I've ever played with.''

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This Is Not The Regular Season

from John Buccigross of ESPN,

Listen, our game needed a serious lube job. And by creating a new standard of enforcement on the puck carrier and his attacking linemates, the NHL lubricated the game. And I know attempting to regulate the behavior of 10 grown men skating around the ice at 20 miles an hour after downing six Red Bulls is a daunting task. But, too many times this postseason, players have been playing tentatively because of the nature of the penalties called. The statistics may only show a couple more penalties per game, but the aftermath of those penalties, at times, left the first round of the playoffs looking a lot like a regular-season game. And that's not good. The e-mails I have received and the players I have talked to share similar sentiments.

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NHL Had The Chance To Make The Right Call- Congrats To Edmonton

Obvious Edmonton high stick knocked down the puck near the Detroit goal. Ensuing scramble, Edmonton scores. Knocked down puck went directly to Samsonov and he scored on a goal that was also reviewed for a kicking motion. Now I know replay cannot overrule a high stick call, only if a high stick caused the goal. But something should have been done to eliminate that obvious high stick on the puck. NHL spent about five minutes reviewing the play and awarded a goal. Congrats to Edmonton for the victory, they were the better team and deserved to win. When it mattered most, they did what they needed to do to win. added 12:35am Tuesday, from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

Down 3-2 to Detroit with just four minutes left in the third period, Oilers forward Sergei Samsonov shot the puck towards the Red Wings net and the first question was whether centre Shawn Horcoff knocked it down with a high stick. It didn't matter because the referee wasn't even looking for that. What the officials were looking for was whether the puck was knocked into the net with a forward kicking motion. There was a distinct kicking motion, but the question mark around the tying goal was whether the puck came off the foot of Oilers forward Ales Hemsky. As a result, they had to go with referee Mick McGeough's call that it was, in fact, a goal.
added 11:49am Tuesday, Word is starting to come down the NHL alerted the refs there was a high stick, but there was nothing they could do to make the call because that situation isn't reviewable. That is why all of a sudden the officials came together and had a major conference in the officials' crease ... they were asking if anyone saw the high stick, and nobody could say either they did or they did with 100 percent accuracy so they went to the next step and reviewed the goal itself. more image

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Stars Have Issues

from the AP via Sports Illustrated,

"There are some things that are certainly puzzling," said Tippett, who has the best regular-season record among active coaches. "For whatever reason, we didn't raise our level above the regular season. ... "There are some issues. We'll look at everything from goaltending to how the team is coached. But that's what I love about this organization, the commitment to do whatever it takes to win." The organization did a great job of winning back fans who could've been disillusioned by the lockout. Yet while a reduction in ticket prices and other fan-friendly steps helped, a winning product is the best medicine.

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NBC Ratings For April 29th & 30th

via Sports Business Daily (paid registration),

NBC earned a combined 1.2/3 overnight Nielsen rating for regional coverage of Rangers-Devils Game Four and Oilers-Red Wings Game Five on Saturday, down 42.9% from a 2.1/5 for ABC’s comparable three-game regional coverage in ’04. NBC drew a 1.0/3 overnight for Rangers-Devils, and a 1.4/4 for Oilers-Red Wings. For Sunday’s coverage, NBC earned a 1.5/3 for Avalanche-Stars Game Five and Flyers-Sabres Game Five. Avalanche-Stars earned a 1.4/3 overnight, while Flyers-Sabres posted a 1.6/3. There are no applicable comparisons for Sunday’s coverage.

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The Greatest Homestretch

from Stan Fischler at the Hockey Journal,

Lou Lamoriello's stature as the ultimate hockey executive has climbed yet another notch; if such a feat is possible. In this first season without the Scotts – Stevens and Niedermayer – Lou has crafted one of the most remarkable team transformations of any sport. His gutsy, yet humble, move behind the bench resulted in THE greatest homestretch run in NHL annals. And this in a rebuilding year.
more of the Maven...interesting TV talk...

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Detroit Air Waves

The Red Wings have been part of the discussion today on sports-talk radio in Detroit. The Lions still have had the majority of air-time, but the Wings have been mentioned today. I think we as fans are better off not having Wings talk when statements like this are made: "Will the Wings put that kid Don MacLean in the lineup tonight?" Uh, that kid is 29 years old! How about this, "I told you we should have traded Datsyuk to Florida for Luongo at the trade deadline". Do you really think Florida would have made this trade, plus that move would have put the Wings over the cap! Another Wing expert, "We should sit Maltby and Draper". OK, and who would you like to replace them? Please, go back to Lions talk, it is much easier on us hockey fans!

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Why Is AO Smiling

Ovechkin conducted a recent interview for Swedish television (will open wmp video). AO looks happy, could it be the blonde with the perfect Swedish accent, who unfortunately we never get to see? Thanks to Off Wing Opinion for the pointer. image

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I Need Your Input

The first full season of hockey talk at Kukla's Korner is not yet about to end, but I am planning ahead and need your input. Many of you visit here on a daily basis and some of you numerous times per day. So it is important to me to receive what type of enhancements you would like to see at KK. This first year has been a learning process for me and to be honest with you, also quite successful. I am planning an expansion/makeover of KK and want your opinions. What would you like to see, what don't you like? Is the wide format ok with you, do you read the other sections of KK? Would you be interested in a hockey forum, how about other sports news? Think outside the box folks, I have a few ideas that won't be released at this time, but your input is very important to me. I make my living doing this and want to provide what you want to see and read. Please feel free to comment or send me an .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). This post may become a "sticky" from time to time during the next few weeks, I want to reach as many readers as possible and this post could buried in about a day or two. added 10:11pm, I want to make sure everyone is aware that this site will not go in a different direction, change its focus, etc. It will always be hockey first but I am just trying to get some input from you folks. Any enhancements, etc. Again, it will always be hockey so have no fear folks. note- this post was originally made on April 27th, but I want as many readers to respond, so back to the front page today.

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Is This It For Yzerman

from the Edmonton Journal,

Is this Steve Yzerman's last hurrah? Final fling in Edmonton? Last game in the NHL? Knowing Yzerman's pain threshold, he may drag his aching body onto the ice Monday night, if only to take some faceoffs or work the power play or as a rallying cry for the Red Wings, who are one loss from being the seventh No. 1 playoff seed to be bounced in Round 1 by a No. 8 since they instituted this playoff format in 1994. That apparent back injury he sustained early in overtime in Game 3 while jostling with Jarret Stoll may be more serious than people think, or else he wouldn't have missed the last two playoff games.

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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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