Kukla's Korner

AO Predicts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Ovechkin tries his hand at first round predictions. Thanks to James Mirtle for the pointer, again... Note to Doomy, make sure to read what Alex has to say about the Wings.

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Miller Ready For Flyers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Buffalo News,

Buffalo is young and inexperienced, much like its 25-year-old rookie goalie, but the Sabres are bold enough to believe they can go deep into the playoffs. The opening series against Philadelphia is an opportunity for them to legitimize themselves as Stanley Cup contenders, for Miller to prove himself as a big-time goaltender. This experience will only make him better, but let's not minimize Miller's maiden voyage into the NHL playoffs. The postseason is about winning. His performance in the first round will largely determine where this team is headed.
more

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Edmonton Ontarioians Invade The Joe

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Chronicle Herald,

Chris and Bill Gioskos are cheering on cousin Steve Staios and the Edmonton Oilers against the Detroit Red Wings. Staios, from Hamilton, is one of eight Oilers regulars from Ontario. No other NHL playoff entry has as many. Parents, siblings, relatives and friends from all over the province have converged on the Motor City to support their favourite team. Chris Gioskos twice won the Grey Cup as an offensive lineman with the Toronto Argonauts. "Now it’s my turn to bring a championship to the family," says Staios.
continued

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Jagr Knows “Shadowing”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Asbury Park Press,

Devils general manager/head coach Lou Lamoriello would not say for certain whether he will use Pandolfo to shadow Rangers superstar Jaromir Jagr. Even if he doesn't, Pandolfo will be hitting the ice almost every time he spots Jagr hopping the boards, hoping to hold New York's Hart Trophy candidate off the scoreboard. "When he gets the puck on his stick," Pandolfo said, "it's not easy to get it off him." Jagr had a good chuckle over the way Pandolfo has shadowed him in New Jersey's past three meetings with the Rangers. "It's like when yourwife is chasing you every day, everywhere you go and you want to have freedom," Jagr said.
more

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Renney Deserves Credit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Times Union,

According to Darius Kasparaitis, New York Rangers coach Tom Renney hasn't made many mistakes this season, but he did make one. "He's been consistent all year," Kasparaitis said. "Besides wearing a bad jacket one game, I think he's been good." Renney has changed the look, created a new culture, and put his fingerprints all over the team's shocking success -- and let's not get lost here, this year is an absolute rip-roaring success even if the Rangers are swept from the playoffs.
more

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Hurricanes Bonded

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Charlotte Observer,

The NHL has returned in full Hurricane force. For a hint as to why, you had to have been in a leafy park in the Raleigh suburb of Cary last summer. It was there the Carolina Hurricanes did some preseason team-building, corporate America's way of bringing employees together in an informal setting to help increase efficiency and productivity. Yes, even pro athletes go through it. "We were up in trees, up in canopies, doing stuff," said Hurricanes defenseman Aaron Ward, laughing. "I had a fear of heights before, but I don't think I do now."
continued

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Is It Income

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Calgary Flames announced a few days ago they are opening up a bar, entertainment center in Calgary. Ron MacLean had Brian Burke on between the 2nd and 3rd period of the Ducks/Flames game last night and asked Burke if the income from this venture would be considered hockey income. Burke said he did not know and suggested the same question could be asked regarding the Red Wings, referring to the Hockeytown Cafe in Detroit.

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Which Philly Team Shows Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Philadelphia Inquirer, They are the yin and they are the yang. They possess both the known and the unknown. They excite and disappoint, usually within minutes of each other. They dominate play one night, then appear uninterested the next. They are Ken Hitchcock's Flyers, a team careening into the playoffs after a mystifying 5-5 stretch run. No one can explain why the Flyers went from an aggressive Stanley Cup favorite to a passive team that struggled to find energy in games before starting to resemble itself again. "I can definitely understand people's frustration," Mike Knuble said. "I know exactly why fans are not ready to get on the bandwagon. "In the room, we think we are capable of doing extremely well. Whether that's four rounds, we don't know..." more

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Swiss Mix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

When you look at the most important individual matchups in a National Hockey League playoff series, you don’t expect the common thread to be Switzerland. But when the Carolina Hurricanes kick off their playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens tonight, they’ll have Switzerland’s Martin Gerber in net. Canadian fans remember him as the guy who stopped 49 shots (well, 48 actually, but the video officials gave him one) in Switzerland’s 2-0 defeat of Canada in the recent Olympics. Down at the other end, in the Montreal goal, will be Cristobal Huet, a native of France but twice named goaltender of the year in the Swiss League. Should Huet run into difficulties, he’ll be replaced by David Aebischer, the first Swiss goalie to crack the NHL and a good friend of Gerber.
read on

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The Same Flames

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the National Post,

The first thing you need to know about the Calgary Flames is their take on the new NHL: They never got the memo. There, steeled by Darryl Sutter's traditional view of how the game of hockey ought to be played, Calgary will win between 70% and 90% of the puck battles on a good night. Because that's another rule Calgary has its own take on: You don't win battles, you don't play here. Behind it all, for those rare times the opponent wins the puck, then manoeuvres it through the best defensive blue-line corps in the National Hockey League, stands Turku Broda himself -- possibly the best goaltender in the world today. "He's as good as I've ever played with, and I've played with some good ones," observed Flames winger Darren McCarty, "He's like Dom, but he's so much more in control. He's agile like that, but Dom has to make the rodeo save where Kipper doesn't. He's just there."
more

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