Kukla's Korner

A New Era Is Approaching

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

A new era appears to be dawning in the NHL, one that will be dominated by teams that can defend vigorously but not exclusively, and can skate and hit and add a dash of creativity. The Ducks are at the forefront of that pack, perhaps soon to be joined by the San Jose Sharks, who lead the other Western Conference semifinal, 2-1, over the Edmonton Oilers.... It would be a mistake to doubt that the Ducks will be capable of meeting whatever challenge awaits them. "Any time you win two rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs you should be proud of yourself," O'Donnell said. "It wasn't by magic or pulling strings. "And the thing is, we feel like we still have some real good hockey left in us."
more (reg. req.)

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Which Team Is Less Fatigued

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the San Francisco Chronicle,

Thursday was a mandatory skate for everyone who did not dress for Game 3, and a mandatory day off for those who did on the San Jose side. The Sharks, led by defenseman Scott Hannan's 44:30 of ice time, had three forwards and four other defenseman fall between 30 and 38 minutes of ice time. In contrast, Edmonton had three defensemen log at least 40 minutes (Chris Pronger, 46:54; Jaroslav Spacek, 46:30 and Staios, 40:00) and seven forwards and one other defenseman collect 31-to-37 minutes. "When you throw in six periods, and it's really four games in four nights in terms of energy, and factor in the playoff intensity, speed and the collisions that have been going on, it's almost like playing five games in four nights," Wilson said. "Fatigue does become a factor."
more

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Talking Canadian TV

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Sun,

"Being the CBC, we like to see Canadian teams in there," said Joel Darling, Hockey Night in Canada's executive producer. "We hope to still see that." A little more hope arrived last night -- perhaps surprising to some. The Ottawa Senators staved off a shocking sweep with a gritty 2-1 win in Buffalo. Even better, the Sens gave Darling and Co. a bonus gift: A Saturday night game, which the CBC didn't get last weekend. But all isn't well just yet. Hockey Night -- and TSN, for that matter -- could still wind up staring at this combination in the Stanley Cup semi-finals: Buffalo, Carolina, San Jose and Anaheim. That sound you'll hear, should it come to pass, will be that of televisions clicking off from coast to coast.
more

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Lessons Learned

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Journal,

Moreau was the youngster in an old Chicago room in 1996, where the tone and example was set by warhorses like Chris Chelios and Brent Sutter. He was still just 24 when he arrived in Edmonton in 1999 to learn from Kelly Buchberger and Doug Weight through a series of frustrating playoff runs. The teachers, students, cities and dressing rooms change, but the lessons are the same. You learn how much you have in you and where to get more. You learn that team leaders will sacrifice most body parts to win a battle for a loose puck, or a period or a playoff game. Slowly the lessons sink in and make you better. "Thank God I was smart enough to absorb it," said Moreau. "When somebody asks me about the way I play, I say I've taken pieces from all those guys. I have a bit of all of them in my game. That's what you do. You're given a skill set and a mentality and then you take things from other people."
read on

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Alfredsson Chips In

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Citizen,

The captain refused to go down with a sinking ship. Daniel Alfredsson, facing intense heat at home for his inability to score in the playoffs, still can't bury the puck. What he did do last night was all sorts of little things -- taking hits to make plays, delivering hits to free the puck and feeding the puck to Wade Redden for the game-winning goal.
continued

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All Carter

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from ESPN,

Q: When it comes to hockey hair, we've seen the mullets, Mohawks, and everything in between. How did you get your unique dreadlock look? Answer from Anson Carter: When I was in Boston, Joe Thornton and Jason Allison bet me $1,000 that I wouldn't grow an afro. They didn't think I would do it because I always shaved my head bald in honor of Michael Jordan. So I did it. In fact, those guys still haven't paid me [laughs].
continued image

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Report- Paul Maurice Will Coach Leafs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

The worst kept secret in the National Hockey League – that Paul Maurice is destined to be the next coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs – will become a reality as early as today, according to sources. The announcement is expected possibly today or Monday because Ferguson will be busy in New York early next week, attending the arbitration hearing regarding Owen Nolan.
read on Our friend Loose Change of the Hockey News reports:
So far they have interviewed Paul Maurice, Jerry the Janitor, one of those chicks from The View and the ghost of Toe Blake. GM John Ferguson wants to make absolutely certain he’s found the right man (or spirit) for the job.
update 9:00am, via TSN,
The Toronto Maple Leafs have scheduled an 11 a.m. ET news conference to introduce Paul Maurice as their next head coach.

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Stick Shaping

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NY Times,

Today, every N.H.L. arena could pass for a workshop. Two hours before game time, stations are set up outside each locker room with all the necessary equipment β€” hacksaws, blowtorches, heat guns, belt sanders. As players shape their sticks, shortening shafts and curving blades, it is a wonder they do not injure themselves. Wood chips fly. Paint fumes fill the air. Everyone gets fired up. Even though most modern sticks are made of graphite instead of wood, and manufacturers design the sticks to players' specifications, no one seems willing to put away the sandpaper and the glue. The ritual stick work is as therapeutic as a pregame massage, as predictable as the morning skate. Even a millionaire athlete apparently needs to get his hands dirty in manual labor.
more

Continue Reading »

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Avs Miss Foppa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Denver Post,

The hockey season officially ended for the Avalanche at 10:34 p.m. Thursday, with a 4-1 loss to Anaheim. But it was all over for your local NHL heroes long ago. Circle Aug. 3, 2005, on the calendar in black. That was the day the Avalanche died. That was the night Colorado said bye-bye to superstar Peter Forsberg. But know what was far worse? That was also the night Colorado signed center Pierre Turgeon and defenseman Patrice Brisebois, two regrettable moves by general manager Pierre Lacroix that mocked the Avs as they were swept from the playoffs by Anaheim. The Avs we knew and loved are gone.
continued

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No Buzz

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Cox News Service via the Hamilton Spectator,

While hockey fans have been celebrating the return of the Stanley Cup playoffs in the new-and-improved NHL, something has been undeniably missing. The buzz. Sports-talk radio ignores the games almost completely. Television saves the highlights for the last few minutes of hour-long shows. And TV ratings, always poor for hockey, are even worse than usual. "It's very frustrating," ESPN hockey analyst Barry Melrose said yesterday. "The product is so good; we've got so much going for us. There should be such a buzz, with the overtime games we've been having, the great hits, the tremendous goals. That's the depressing part."
continued

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