Kukla's Korner

Foppa Fine

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Reading Eagle, T

he orange-clad crowd of 20,092 roared Friday night whenever Peter Forsberg touched the puck, expecting something magical to happen. Forsberg looked like David Copperfield two nights earlier, scoring two goals without shooting the puck on the net in Philadelphia's 4-2 win over Buffalo. “I know people (in Philadelphia) haven't been around him because he played in the West (with Colorado) so much,” Hitchcock said. “You're looking at him as a special player. Having coached against him for so many years, the way he's playing right now is the way he plays every game in the playoffs. It's not surprising.”
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Ouragans De La Caroline Have Momentum

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News & Observer,

When Montreal Canadiens coach Bob Gainey meets with the media, at least half the questions and answers are in French, leaving the English-only speakers to wonder what they're missing. But after the Canadiens dropped their second straight home playoff game to the surging Carolina Hurricanes on Friday, two French words the coach used were clear even to those who don't speak the language -- "tempo" and "momentum."... Gainey said it gets tougher on players like Alex Kovalev as teams get to know each other. "All the good players, the impact players are going to get special attention in a playoff series," said Gainey, a former Hall of Fame forward for the Canadiens. " ... And it's going to intensify and become more focused ... as teams start to understand the tendencies and habits."
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Avs Will Not Collapse

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,

The Avs still are in solid shape in the series after their 4-1 loss to the Stars in Game 3 on Friday night. They will not collapse. They are not the 1975 Penguins or the 1942 Red Wings waiting to happen. Those are the only NHL teams to lose a series after taking a 3-0 lead, and the Avalanche will not join them on that page of the annals of NHL postseason embarrassment. Unless, that is, the Avalanche's collective psyche took a slap shot to the face Friday night that still stings through Sunday's Game 5 at Dallas and beyond. Fact is, Game 4 was more about the Stars finally playing up to their capability than it was an Avalanche flameout.
read on

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3 Is The Number For Today’s Games

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Both Ottawa and New Jersey have 3 wins and need one more to move on to the 2nd round. The other two series are now a best of 3, since those series are tied at 2-2. No OLN-HD game today, the NBC high definition game is Rangers/Devils. Center Ice will show the NBC game(s) if it is not on your NBC station. image

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Oilers Should Focus On The Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Enough talking Edmonton, just play the game. You have a very competitive team, but enough complaining. Let your actions on the ice speak for you, too much belly-aching is not good for you or for the game. from the Edmonton Oilers,

If certain calls went the Oilers' way, they might be looking at an enviable 3-1 series lead but the fact of the matter is, they did not win Game 4 and now it's time for Game 5.
OK, we get your point, you feel you were screwed by the refs. Not the first team to feel this way, adjust to the rules. Are you playing the same game as you did during the regular season? I'd say no, so get back to what you did. from the Edmonton Journal,
Kevin Lowe's plea for sportsmanship sounded sincere, but this is playoff time and his Oilers lost the last penalty-filled game. So sprinkle a grain of salt on the meat of his argument, which advocates an end to the on-ice embellishment of infractions, a.k.a. diving, that he contends has denigrated this series with Detroit. "I'm not saying we're innocent on the diving part," he began, "but Detroit has a lot of guys who are good at it. It goes hand-in-hand with experience, and I'm speaking from experience. We don't want this to become (a case) of whoever has the most clever diving (wins). "Let's get rid of it right now. Both sides make a truce and just play the game honestly. We're not soccer," said Lowe, who has in fact sounded this alarm before. "This has crept into the game and it's something the league has to address next year. This is about the integrity of the game."
A truce? It is hockey Mr. Lowe, and if you think the Wings are diving, let the refs make the calls. Funny how this comes out after a loss! Maybe the Oilers should read this- "We've got to make sure we keep out sticks down and not give the referees a chance to call a penalty," said Fernando Pisani. Smart man, now enough talking, just play the game.

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Edmonton Fans Are Better Than This

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Journal,

As the fans exhort their team -- a truly contending club for the first time in years -- to dial their game up a notch and take out the powerful Detroit Red Wings, it's time for some members of the public to tone down their alcohol intake, coarseness, their swearing and, in some cases, their attempts to win what appears to be a public gross-out contest. ...The most visible evidence was a placard that one fan carried, its message an offensive, sexually crude take-off on Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock's surname. It was bad enough that arena staff did not confiscate the sign when the fan entered the building, although such a screening process is admittedly imperfect. Worse, the placard was displayed on the large scoreboard video screen.
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Bolts Still Have Pride

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

"What do you say when you're down 3-1 in a series?" Burke, who will start Game 5 tonight at Scotiabank Place, asked yesterday. "I'm not going to sit here and say we've got 'em where we want 'em. "I would really be lying to you if I said that. But, to win a seven-game series, you have to win four games and until you lose that fourth game, then you've still got a chance. "All I can say is there's a lot of pride in this dressing room. If we can get it to 3-2, then we're going home with a chance to tie it up. That's what we have to look at right now."
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Talking Ozolinsh & Lundqvist

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Look, it's difficult to imagine Tom Renney going with Ozolinsh this afternoon given the booing to which he was subjected every time he touched the puck Wednesday. But that doesn't mean the acquisition of Ozolinsh represents a line of demarcation for his team, even if that's the popular theory. Even more critically than that, Henrik Lundqvist's hip flexor would not have become the issue it did had the goaltender reported it to promptly to the medical staff. Two days ago, Lundqvist admitted he'd felt some discomfort in the area before playing the March 30 game in Ottawa to complete a back-to-back he opened the previous night on the Island. He said the discomfort increased during that game in Ottawa. Yet, even with four days until the next game, Lundqvist did not inform anyone of the problem. Indeed, even after the team had a couple of days off, the goaltender practiced the following two days. It was only after the second practice that he informed the medical staff, and Renney, of the injury that had grown worse over time.
more (reg. req.)

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Samsonov Due

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Journal,

The Oilers consider Detroit hostile territory, but it's home for Sergei Samsonov, who adopted this city 10 years ago after leaving Russia to play pro in North America as a nervous 17-year-old. Samsonov hopes to make it an unhappy homecoming today as far as Detroit is concerned, igniting some offensive fireworks to offset the reawakening of his Russian counterpart, Pavel Datsyuk, with the Wings. He's certainly due.
continued

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A Partnership With The Habs Fans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

When George Gillett recalls the moment more than five years ago that he was told the Montreal Canadiens were his, he begins to cry.... But the real difference, Gillett understands, between this and his other business endeavours is not written in red and black, but in red, white and blue. "I think it would be very presumptuous of us to think of ourselves as owners," he said. "I think we are trustees. We hold this franchise in trust for the fans. . . . This is a very unusual community. I think that as long as they sense that we are their partner as opposed to the owner, I think we'll be fine. The day we try to assert to anybody that we own this franchise is the day that we've misread this community."
read on

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