Kukla's Korner

Who Wants 88

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Sun,

Now what for Eric Lindros? Another team, another town, another gamble, another partial season? For a million a year, somebody might be interested. The question at this stage of his life: Is he? Last season Lindros played for the smallest paycheck of a professional career that has earned him almost $48 million US. To sign to play another season, here, somewhere, anywhere, he will have to play for less than he has ever been paid before. In the next week or so, he'll find out more about his wrist. The Leafs will find out more. A determination will have to be made. He was The Next One and the hype wasn't hype. All of it was earned early on. Lindros never scored 50 goals in an NHL season, but he scored at a 50-goal pace in each of his first five years in Philadelphia. If only he could have played 82 game seasons. If only.
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No Finger Pointing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the San Francisco Chronicle,

The NHL scoring champ with 125 points during the regular season, Joe Thornton, had two goals and nine points in 11 playoff games. The goal-scoring champ with 56 during the regular season, Jonathan Cheechoo, had four, two in each series, during the postseason. Fingers will be pointed, but not by coach Ron Wilson. "If the series was going to come down to, if the only guy who can set up people is Joe and the only person who can score goals is Cheech, we're going to be in trouble," Wilson said.
continued

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Play The Patriot Card

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Sun,

And who can't feel good about the underdog Edmonton Oilers, who eliminated San Jose last night to move into the Final Four with their 2-0 victory in Game 6 of the Western Conference semi-final. So why, oh why, does the whole spectacle seem as flat as yesterday's draft beer to an outsider? The answer is simple. A lot has changed, and most of it for the better, in the new NHL but you can't change human nature. Nothing can overcome the lack of a local rooting interest. The television ratings might lie a little bit but, generally, they tell an honest picture. And that picture is that not many people are watching, outside the towns where hope still lives. Right now, hope lives only in one town in Canada: Edmonton. At times like these, the only thing you can do is play the patriot card. I know it's tough to do when half the players in the league are countrymen but only a few of them play for a Canadian-based team. And the only Canadian team in sight is the Oilers.
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Sabres Rise From Bankruptcy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,

But the best story of the year is being written in Buffalo, which returned to the playoffs after a three-season absence. This is a team that was on the verge of extinction four years ago, when it was plunged into bankruptcy by the felonious fiscal malfeasance of the Rigas family. Thomas Golisano, who aspires to be the next governor of New York, rescued the franchise, but the real heros of this story are general manager Darcy Regier and head coach Lindy Ruff, who has championed the team concept and built a winner on a paltry budget of about $27 million. It should be noted that the Sabres' success isn't a case of a team getting hot in the playoffs. Buffalo finished the regular season tied with Ottawa and Carolina for the most victories with 52.
read on

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Edmonton- Please Stop This

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via the Globe and Mail,

Riot police moved in as crowds celebrating an Edmonton Oilers victory turned ugly late Wednesday night. Simon Ostler, a reporter with radio station CHED, said he witnessed several fights including one in which a man was so badly beaten 15 officers in riot gear had to clear a path so the man could be removed. “They have created a perimeter of sorts around where the person is lying on the ground,” said Mr. Ostler.
continued

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They Feel Good

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Sun,

In a comeback from a 0-2 series deficit that was equal parts Dwayne Roloson, great penalty killing and opportunistic scoring, the Oilers reeled off four straight wins to get it done and earn themselves a ticket to the Arrowhead Pond for Game 1 Friday. They're having too much fun to be tired. "It feels good because we're getting a step closer," said Michael Peca, who scored what would stand as the winning goal behind Roloson's first career playoff shutout. "We gave ourselves the opportunity to take one more step toward our goal... once we figured out the type of series we needed to play to be successful, we really took over."
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Conference Final Schedule

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL Date Time (ET) #2 Carolina vs. #4 Buffalo Network TV Saturday, May 20 2:00 p.m. Buffalo at Carolina NBC, TSN, RDS Monday, May 22 7:30 p.m. Buffalo at Carolina OLN, TSN, RDS Wednesday, May 24 7:30 p.m. Carolina at Buffalo OLN, CBC, RDS Friday, May 26 7:30 p.m. Carolina at Buffalo OLN, CBC, RDS Sunday, May 28 * 7:30 p.m. Buffalo at Carolina OLN, CBC, RDS Tuesday, May 30 * 7:30 p.m. Carolina at Buffalo OLN, TSN, RDS Thursday, June 1 * 7:30 p.m. Buffalo at Carolina OLN, TSN, RDS WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL Date Time (ET) #6 Anaheim vs. #8 Edmonton Network TV Friday, May 19 9:00 p.m. Edmonton at Anaheim OLN, CBC, RDS Sunday, May 21 9:00 p.m. Edmonton at Anaheim OLN, CBC, RDS Tuesday, May 23 8:00 p.m. Anaheim at Edmonton OLN, CBC, RDS Thursday, May 25 8:00 p.m. Anaheim at Edmonton OLN, CBC, RDS Saturday, May 27 * 9:00 p.m. Edmonton at Anaheim OLN, CBC, RDS Monday, May 29 * 8:00 p.m. Anaheim at Edmonton OLN, CBC, RDS Wednesday, May 31 * 9:00 p.m. Edmonton at Anaheim OLN, CBC, RDS * if necessary

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Playoff Challenge Update

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Congrats to the people who are still alive. Remember, the first criteria was pick the Stanley Cup Winner. Results after the Conference Semi-finals: Edmonton 18-12 Buffalo 16-12 Carolina 16-10 Anaheim 16-4 Edmonton: Ric S. 65-51, GR99 55-47, OilMan 49-41, Maurice 61-50, Jen B. 68-41, Carl T. 57-45, Timothy 64-50, Trent 49-40, Hank S. 64-52, CoffeyMan 64-48, RYS 47-40, Underdog 61-50, Dean 51-47, Joseph B. 65-47, Ritchie 60-50, ZooZoo 61-50, Peter G. 70-60, Vanity 65-55 Buffalo: PRS 54-39, Matt H. 83-75, Brenda 44-30, Yikes 55-47, FF 64-50, LBJ 54-50, Wendy 68-50, Cindi 44-41, HURT 55-34, Mic M. 45-44, Gerry K. 74-66, BFLA 66-55, Jason S. 55-47, Benny E. 64-50, ManOMan 55-47, CD 71-50, Lorri 44-38 Carolina: Ryan 67-52 CHAW 40-30, NJNO 64-40, Rob F. 55-44, Vic S. 66-57, Marty 55-49, Brandy 74-55, Mike S. 64-61, HF 49-40, LOAD 55-40, Pinky 49-39 Anaheim: Ken G. 55-44, Duckman 65-50, Tina F. 66-49, SofS 58-40, Jazzy 44-40, Petra 65-44, Charles A. 74-55, Mousey 39-33, Stephanie 69-59, Lon 49-48

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OLN Is OK, But…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,

I'll admit it. Sometimes, I just like to be contrary. But this isn't going to be one of those times. I come not to bury OLN and its hockey coverage, but to praise it. For the most part, anyway. I understand that's not a very popular position. The approval ratings of the NHL's much-maligned rookie broadcaster are about as high as President Bush's. I'd venture that a sizable majority of American hockey viewers wish they could return to the halcyon days of 2003-04 when ESPN brought the game into homes across the land. But after seeing the commitment demonstrated thus far by OLN, it seems to me that any thoughts of what might have been should be chalked up to good old days syndrome.
continued

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Improbable Oiler Run

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox, special to ESPN,

Oh yeah, we're all real hockey experts up here. People talk about Canadians and hockey the same way they do about the Swiss and chocolate and Russians and vodka. We're supposed to know good hockey from bad, supposed to understand the intricacies of our national game (lacrosse, if you must know, is officially the national sport, although Duke is forcing us to rethink this) in a way that eludes those who don't carry a Canadian passport.... Well, duh, how come nobody in the Great White North saw the Edmonton Oilers coming, then?... So, to offer up excuses on behalf of all Canadians, no, we didn't see the possibility of Oilers players using their foreheads to block shots, and no, we didn't foresee Roloson inspiring the troops like Churchill. This Oilers run is, at the very least, improbable.
read on

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