Kukla's Korner

Predicition Time

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Buccigross of ESPN,

Before the season's start, I wrote in this cyberish space that Penguins rookie Sidney Crosby would finish his rookie campaign with 38 goals, 63 assists and 101 points. His final numbers: 39-63-102. There was so much mystery and uncertainty with this "new" NHL, but projecting what great things this dedicated and gifted athlete would accomplish was not difficult after watching him play three preseason shifts. Everything else was truly up for grabs. So, with the NHL's second season beginning this week, it is time for another round of predictions as a way to look back and look ahead. Here's a look at the first round and at my NHL awards winners.
more

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Report- Lombardi To LA Kings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet,

Amid a flurry of speculation, it's believed Dean Lombardi is back among the NHL's most powerful. Sources tell Sportsnet Lombardi will be named both President & General Manager of the Los Angeles Kings. To encourage Lombardi's release from his arrangement with the Philadelphia Flyers, the Kings have agreed to give up a draft pick (second round) as compensation.

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Why No Avery

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

In cased you missed it, Sean Avery was supposed to be on Sportsnet reporting on the playoffs...now the rest. from the CP via the Globe and Mail,

The NHL has no issues with Sean Avery, despite the fact that one of its top broadcasting officials contacted Rogers Sportsnet about using the controversial Los Angeles King forward on its playoff panel. Sportsnet subsequently opted not to use Avery. John Shannon, the NHL's senior vice-president of broadcasting, told the Toronto Star he had spoken to Sportsnet officials about using Avery. "We talked about what we thought was going to make good television," Shannon told the Star. "In my opinion, their panel was better without Sean Avery.
read on

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Make The Call

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

Commissioner Gary Bettman says officials who don't call penalties as warranted during the NHL playoffs will soon find themselves watching the post-season from the sidelines. That message has been made clear to Colin Campbell, senior executive vice-president of hockey operations, and Stephen Walkom, director of officiating, he said on a conference call Wednesday. "My instructions to Colie and to Stephen are if an official puts his whistle away, they should put the official away for the rest of the playoffs," Bettman said.
read on added 7:10pm, You can listen to the Bettman press conference via NHL.com (will open wmp audio).

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Esche Named Starter

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via the Ledger,

The Philadelphia Flyers need Robert Esche to block shots better than he predicts. Less than a month ago, Esche said rookie Antero Niittymaki would be the Flyers' starting goaltender in the playoffs. On Wednesday, coach Ken Hitchcock gave the job to Esche. Considering Esche played seven of the last nine regular-season games, the decision was no surprise.
continued

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The Roundtable

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Toronto Star's Chris Young asked a few hockey bloggers to participate in the NHL playoff roundtable at his jabs blog. You will get a different view from many of the bloggers and is well worth your time to visit. I felt honored to participate and join Eric McErlain, James Mirtle, Chris McMurtry and Tom Benjamin and will keep you posted when part 2 is posted. image

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Wings Updated TV Schedule

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Friday night's game at Joe Louis Arena will be telecast on WJBK-TV Fox2 and as noted earlier, Sunday's game will be on NBC. Game 5, if needed, also will be on NBC. Games 3, 4, 6 and 7 will be on the FSN-Detroit. added 2:13pm, Holland was just on Detroit radio and said NBC had a lot of say regarding the starting day for the Wings/Oilers schedule. Holland said if they would have started the series on Saturday, they would have had to play back-to-back in Edmnonton and he was dead-set against that.

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CBC Breakdown

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

For the Canadien readers of KK, plus those lucky enough in the States to get CBC. A complete breakdown of coverage for the 1st round.

They're back! For the first time since the conclusion of the 2003/04 Stanley Cup Final, CBC'S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA drops the puck on NHL post-season action on Friday, April 21 at 7 p.m. ET. From the opening face-off through to the crowning of the 2006 Stanley Cup champion, CBC'S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA continues a beloved, 54-year-long tradition of bringing Canadians unparalleled coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and exclusive Canadian coverage of the Stanley Cup Finals.
read on added 11:36am, TSN 1st round schedule...

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Enough Of This

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Sun,

Ratings for games of the new and improved NHL on NBC are down a whopping 21% from ABC's numbers two years ago. The problem isn't the game. The problem is the way they're marketing it. Canadians will watch anything that involves a puck, while our American tele-tubby cousins love reality shows. They don't know from clutch and grab unless its happening behind the bedroom door in Trading Spouses. Mention excessive stickwork and they think Bill Clinton. If the NHL is to break into the U.S. television market it needs to rebrand itself: 1) Rename playoffs Survivor: Ice Mountain.
more

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His Time Of Year

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Martin Brodeur, special to the Edmonton Sun,

Since I joined the NHL, I've made it to the playoffs every season except one. For me, it's the best time of the year. Spring has arrived, and we all feel rejuvenated simply at the idea of launching into a series of games that could lead us all the way to a Stanley Cup - if the pieces fall in the right places for the team. I must say that playing hockey is highly enjoyable these days. Although the pressure lessened a bit since we ensured our spot in the final eight, we really wanted to win our remaining regular games.
continued

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