Kukla's Korner

Young Goalies In The East

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Muir of ESPN,

The hurdle the top teams in the East face is getting past the fact that the only way to win long term is to gain the experience that comes with losing. Outside of Martin Brodeur, whose Devils will be lucky to win one round, and Dominik Hasek, whose health makes him about as dependable to the Senators as Beetle Bailey, no team has crucial experience to count on.
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Forget The Stanley Cup- Watch The Survivor Cup

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Reality TV Magazine,

This April, as fans across the country prepare for one of the most intense rivalries in sports with the onset of the NHL playoffs, OLN will show its support to the players journeying on the quest for the Stanley Cup, holding a special 9-hour “Survivor Cup” marathon of episodes that represent the best Face-Offs, biggest Power Plays and Greatest Saves throughout the series’ history, in the castaways’ pursuit of the title of Sole Survivor.
read on image

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Underdogs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Hockey News via ESPN,

If the New Jersey Devils secure a playoff berth, beating them in the postseason will be no easy feat. That's the verdict of NHL players who collectively tabbed the Devils as the underdog team that has the best chance in the playoffs. In a poll of 30 players, one from each team, eight (27 percent) named New Jersey as the NHL's top underdog of the playoffs.
read on

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Here Comes “My Stanley”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

April 5, 2006--New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, Nashville Predators forward Paul Kariya and Tampa Bay Lightning forward Martin St. Louis are among the National Hockey League players who will be featured in a new marketing advertising campaign that will celebrate the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Players from each of the 16 playoff-bound teams will appear in the "My Stanley Cup" ads, which will debut during the April 8 NHL on NBC broadcast and will be shown throughout the United States and Canada, including primetime programming on NBC and cable networks. "The NHL has always done a great job in depicting the excitement of our game," said St. Louis, who played a key role in the Lightning's 2004 Stanley Cup Championship. "Having NHL players in these promos will give fans insight into what it really means to compete for the Cup." Written and produced by NHL Productions under the direction of Ken Rosen, Executive Producer, the broadcast promos include both NHL game action and dramatic player shots set to heart-pounding music, all designed to convey the emotions that NHL players and fans experience in the quest for the most revered trophy in all of sports. The emotions build with each successive Stanley Cup playoff series. "We wanted the campaign to match the quality and drama of the `My NHL' regular-season campaign, while featuring the skills and personality of the players," said Ed Horne, President, NHL Enterprises. "The 'My Stanley Cup' campaign conveys the dedication, intensity and sacrifice the players and fans share to claim Lord Stanley's Cup." With voiceover narration from actor Kiefer Sutherland of the television series "24," the first ad features Kariya, Lundqvist, Simon Gagne of the Philadelphia Flyers and Mike Grier of the Buffalo Sabres. The second spot, voiced by actor and comedian Denis Leary of "Rescue Me," features St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards of the Lightning; Rod Brind'Amour of the Carolina Hurricanes; Ed Jovanovski of the Vancouver Canucks; Brendan Shanahan, Kris Draper and Henrik Zetterberg of the Detroit Red Wings; and Robert Esche of the Flyers. Howie Mandel, the host of NBC's "Deal or No Deal," also will lend his voice to the campaign. Other NHL stars featured in the campaign include Rangers forward Jaromir Jagr, Flyers forward Peter Forsberg, Canucks forward Anson Carter and Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, among others. "As a player, you take your game to another level when you're in the playoffs," said Carter. "As much fun as I had shooting the spots, it was important for me to show that intensity." The spots will air in the upcoming weeks on NBC, OLN, CBC, TSN and local affiliates. The TV ad also will be available for viewing on NHL.com. Print and on-line ads, featuring stills from the TV promos and the new "My Stanley Cup" artwork, will run in USA Today and other national sports publications. image image

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Theodore Getting Close

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Longmont Daily Times,

Theodore has been out since fracturing his right heel outside his Montreal home during the Olympic break Feb. 16. Despite the injury, the Avs had no qualms about trading for the former Hart Trophy and Vezina Trophy winner last month, and they’re looking forward to having him in net. “He does a little bit better and a little bit more each day,” Avs coach Joel Quenneville said. “He’s going to progress to where he’s comfortable in the net. We still have to work our way through this, so to say exactly when is a tough one, but the fact that he’s out there practicing is a good sign.”
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Sharing The Spotlight In SoCal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the OCRegister,

In truth, Burke wasn't complaining about local media coverage or about Mighty Ducks fan support. "In this market, as the team gets better, you'll get more coverage," he said. "You aren't given anything; you earn it. ... And I also think our fans are responding. "In Southern California, the fans don't believe in promise; they believe in results."... Even so, Burke cautions, it's still "way too early brag" about records. "We have to make the playoffs," he said. "The season won't be a success to me unless we do."
read on

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Kovy Fined

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

The National Hockey League has fined Atlanta forward Ilya Kovalchuk $2,500 for his slash on Ottawa's Chris Neil. Kovalchuk and Neil were lining up for a faceoff midway through the second period when the Thrashers forward slashed him in the wrist, sending the Ottawa forward crumpling to the ice.
update 2:24pm, Add Exelby to another player short $2500. via TSN,
Meanwhile, the league also conducted a disciplinary hearing with Exelby, who cross checked Ottawa's Tyler Arnason in the head during the same game, and opted for the fine instead of a suspension.

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Not That Urgent

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I am surprised this little piece from the Wings/Flames recap was not discussed in some of the Wings forums. from Helens St. James of the Detroit Free Press (bottom of the story),

The Flames are an urgent bunch, trying hard to win their division, and that means taking risks. Late in the first period they pulled Miikka Kiprusoff to get the extra attacker, and it worked: Phaneuf beat Chris Osgood with a wrist shot.
It was a delayed penalty call against Detroit, that is why they pulled the goalie!!!

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All Lidstrom

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Wigge of NHL.com,

If you get the idea that Nicklas Lidstrom is a thinking-man's defenseman, a cerebral leader for the Red Wings, you are bang-on. He plays more minutes than any other player in the NHL and, at 35 (he'll be 36 on April 28), he hasn't shown an inkling of slowing down. I'll never forget the post-Cup tribute that coach Scotty Bowman paid to Lidstrom after the Red Wings beat the Carolina Hurricanes in a five-game Finals victory. "You look at what Nicklas Lidstrom did all the way through the playoffs and he was just about a perfect player," Bowman said
read on

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I Felt His Heartbeat

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

"When Alexander reached the podium, he stood beside me and I felt his heartbeat against my shoulder, it was pumping fast." What a way to describe your first meeting with your future. Let me explain, I had set up an interview with Washington Capitals Owner Ted Leonsis in Detroit for this Friday, but his schedule was quite full for his upcoming visit. Last night Mr. Leonsis was kind enough to call me and conduct a phone interview. We discussed the outlook for the Capitals and Ted mentioned he has learned a lot from the past. The Caps are stressing team orientated play and want to be known as a team hard to play against. Even though he hated losing players from the past like Lang and Bondra, current players like Chris Clarke, Brian Willsie and Matt Pettinger are filling in nicely. Mr. Leonsis is very happy with coach Glenn Hanlon, who has handled the team very well. He is stressing a team orientated game, is bringing the players around slowly and is a great teacher. Now on to Ovechkin; I asked Ted who he hopes Alex turns out to be like, maybe a Messier type and his response is Alex tells everyone "I am me". Speaking about AO, he says he is an athletically gifted athlete. Before he was drafted by the Caps, the Capitals Russian scout told him Alex has a fifth gear and as the game goes on, he goes into sixth gear and takes advantage of other players slowing down during the game. His production this year has proved that point and Ted also stressed Ovechkin is a team player, fits in well in the locker room and along with Kolzig, is a great player to look up to. Ted stated there is no "easy fix" to change the Capitals into a winning franchise. He realizes the Southeast division is getting stronger with players like Staal, Luongo, Jokinen, Lecavalier and Kovalchuk and must get his team stronger to compete with them. He has told fans and the press alike he is not afraid to spend money to win, but he will no longer try to "buy" a winning team. It all begins with team chemistry and the Caps are concentrating on getting team players that will fit into the system they are trying to create. I brought up the NHL on OLN and Ted replied since Comcast is behind OLN, he has faith in them. He believes Comcast is powerfull enough to do anything they set their mind to. He did mention ESPN did not want hockey and they were disrespectful to the NHL and the move to OLN was in the best interest of the league. The topic switched to new media and the NHL. Ted supplied some very informative information, over 185 million homes in North America are now wired into the web. He claims the NHL fan is the most web savvy, and it is up to the NHL to establish a footprint for all of the information the fans want. He feels newspapers are a dying breed, and bloggers and the web have become very important in getting the NHL news out to the public. Do a search on recent NHL news, and you will see bloggers and websites show up prominently and will continue to do so. He mentioned he reads the blogs on a regular basis, pointing out Off Wing Opinion and Jaspers' Rink as a two of his favorites. The recent Tony Kornheiser column was brought up and Ted mentioned he does that type of article on a yearly basis. He has no problem with what was said because Kornheiser is a columnist and has the right to express his views, but if it was from a writer, he would make sure to point out some of the facts to him. I thoroughly enjoyed my fifteen minutes with Mr. Leonsis and strongly encourage others associated with the NHL to open up to my fellow bloggers. We care about the game, promote it whenever possible and do this for the love of hockey. Our voices are heard and respected and Mr. Leonsis' lead should be followed. This post will remain sticky for the day. To read current updates, just scroll down the page. image

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