Kukla's Korner

Why To Hate San Jose

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Journal,

Do you know the way to hate San Jose? Not yet? Even after losing Game 1? Well, as a public service, here are 28 reasons to mock or condemn the city of San Jose and its hockey team. Clip and save for this round of playoffs. -Sharks fans like to photoshop pictures of Chris Pronger and post them on the team's website. One such photo makes it appear as if Pronger wears panties. Another puts the rugged Oiler defenceman in a pink leotard and blond wig. This is outrageous. This is hockey blasphemy. -Those same fans think their beloved Jonathan Cheechoo is American, from Alaska. Nope. He's all Canadian, from the backwoods of Moose Factory, Ontario.
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Ducks Want To Be Better

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the LA Daily News,

It's not quite accurate to say Scott Niedermayer scowled after his Mighty Ducks demolished the Colorado Avalanche in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals on Sunday. It seemed more like a grimace, or maybe just a simple frown. Niedermayer struck the look of a captain whose team had just fallen behind 2-0 in a playoff series, and not the other way around. "We didn't really do much," Niedermayer said. "We're going to have to be much better."
continued

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Rookie On A Roll

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the OC Register,

When someone facetiously asked him the last time he had three shutouts in a row, Bryzgalov rubbed his chin, as if in deep thought, and said matter-of-factly that he once had four shutouts in a row playing in a tournament for a Russian junior team in his native country. Been there, done that, apparently. "I don't think he even realizes (what he's doing), so don't tell him," Teemu Selanne, the Ducks' leading scorer, said after Sunday's game, laughing. ...When you're hot, you're hot. Ask Ilya "The Wall" Bryzgalov. Next time I see him, I'm going to ask him if he knows who Wally Pipp was.
read on

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Potential Buyer For Pens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

A Toronto commercial real estate magnate who once tried to bring an NBA team to the city has surfaced as a potential bidder for the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins, and plans to move the franchise to Kansas City if an agreement for a new hockey rink in Pittsburgh isn't completed. "What we would get with the Penguins would be an affordable franchise and a portable one," Sam Fingold said in an interview. "We think this could be a great investment."
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Do Snider & Clarke Talk To Each Other

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Clarke gambled that even though the NHL was moving toward speed, the officials gradually would ease off on obstruction in the defensive zone and allow players such as Derian Hatcher, more so than Mike Rathje, to clutch and grab for a brief instant or, at the very least, get in the way of puck pursuers. He was wrong. And Snider was on the competition committee that changed the NHL in a dramatic way. Why didn't Snider impress upon his GM that the officials weren't going to back off? Or did Clarke believe that because the NHL always said one thing and did another as the season progressed, the league and the Flyers chairman were just crying wolf? Clarke said he did not receive the league memo on rules interpretations until training camp - after he had signed Hatcher and Rathje. Yet an outline of the new rules, as approved by Snider and his committee, was released July 22 - long before Hatcher and Rathje were signed.
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Coaches Don’t Know What To Expect

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the San Francisco Chronicle,

"This really feels fresh," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said Saturday. "We've never been involved in a playoff series with San Jose, so it's a fresh series, and you really need that second series to confirm where you are." And then there's San Jose's Ron Wilson, who isn't as moved by concepts like freshness. "You don't know what to expect coming out," he said. "You've seen what teams with long layoffs have done in these playoffs, and plus we have three games in four days. I think (tonight's game) could be really sloppy." Hmmm. Fresh, and sloppy? Sounds kicky.
read on

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Emery Needs Help

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Sun,

"I haven't seen Dom on the ice," said Murray. "I think he works out real well, I think he's getting real strong. But I haven't seen him on the ice, so I assume that Ray will be our guy. That's our plan, and we're very happy with that. "We really bottomed out, in helping Ray get the game going (Friday). I mean, 35 seconds in, to give up the goal that we gave up ... it's pretty difficult for a goaltender, whether he's young or old, to say he's going to have a fantastic game from that point on. "We've done the analyzing of what happened, and what has to happen going forward. Now, starting (today) we've got a new page to worry about. It's playoff hockey and we think we're going to win every game, every night. I think somebody said we have a chance to win (the series) in seven. Well, we have to win a few, but you have to lose a couple for that to happen."
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If You Are Still Interested

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Herald Today,

That's right, we skipped past the highlights to get right to what bugs us (the list is long): • The "sexy" teams - the Red Wings, New York Rangers and, for Tampa Bay area fans, the Lightning - were eliminated in the first round, leaving many with no rooting interest the rest of the way. Who are we going to get behind, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks? Maybe if Emilio Estevez was the coach and Goldberg was in net. • Every time I turn on a playoff game, OLN is showing "Bonus Coverage." It's only bonus coverage if you're showing us another game. Tapping in to the Canadian broadcast of the same game does . . . not . . . count. Speaking of which, OLN does not switch games, even if they are showing a blowout and another game is in OT.

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Game 2 Is Key

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the OC Register via the Mercury News,

For whatever reason, teams winning Game 2 in best-of-7 NHL playoffs have gone on to capture their series on 353 of 494 occasions, a nearly overwhelming 71.5 percent success rate. Six of eight first-round series this season held true to the pattern. Teams winning Game 1 have emerged victorious less often, 337 times out of 494, or 68.2 percent of the time. Four Game 1 winners in the first round this season wound up losing their respective series.
read on

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Thornton Unstoppable

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via Yahoo,

Stopping NHL scoring leader Joe Thornton is mission impossible, says San Jose Sharks coach Ron Wilson. "How do you stop a guy who has control of the puck? How do you take the puck from him legally, how do you pin him to the boards? The answer is you can't. You take penalties. You have to grab him, hook him or trip him." Wilson also sent a message to the referees to keep an eye on Edmonton winger Ryan Smyth. "A lot of times he hides behind the net or is sneaking in behind the goalie," said Wilson. "Probably more than any player in our league he interferes with goaltenders.
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