Kukla's Korner

We Start Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

We have waited two years for NHL playoff hockey. All the first round games look very competitive with upsets possible in every series. As hockey fans, we look forward to the next two months. Even the fans of teams that did not make the playoffs should have an interest in the games, how will it be called, will the OT games be much shorter because of the possibility of more penalties. Will the stars shine or will some unkown take center stage. Sure, the TV access in the U.S. is not what we hoped it to be, but right now it is all we have and things appear to be improving. Time to sit back and focus on the games and enjoy the game of hockey. image OLN games are subject to change and local blackout restrictions Tampa Bay/Ottawa & San Jose/Nashville are also on CI

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Possible Tops & Flops

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the National Post,

Thus we present the the Third Annual Post Playoff Poll, a completely unscientific -- but nonetheless extremely interesting -- survey of what hockey's pundits think will happen between now and June 19. WHO WOULD BE THE FIRST PICK IN YOUR PLAYOFF POOL? Joe Thornton, San Jose 4 Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit 4 Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa 3 Martin Brodeur, New Jersey 2 Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit 2 Eric Staal, Carolina 2 Peter Forsberg, Philadelphia 1 Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit 1 Jaromir Jagr, New York 1
much more of these type of questions...

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It’s In The Numbers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Toth of Sportsnet,

39 x 0 = The Ottawa Senators playoff chances without a healthy Dominik Hasek. 2 + 1 = Three's a crowd, as in the infamous triangle power-play featuring Pavel Bure, Sergei Fedorov and Anna Kournikova. 9 + 4 + 99 = The holy hockey trinity of Howe, Orr and Gretzky.
more

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Now Is The Time For Ottawa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the National Post,

Good teams get a certain window in which to succeed. Ask Markus Naslund, Todd Bertuzzi and the Vancouver Canucks. You can't mess around for long before that window slams shut. Ottawa has been a good team for a long time, yet have only reached the third round of the playoffs once. Jacques Martin was already sacrificed as the coach, and now contracts are coming up. There's a salary cap in place, and if this edition doesn't accomplish something, the inevitable talk about bad chemistry will arise. "We planned our team around acquiring young guys in their early 20s and hanging on to them until they were in their early 30s," Senators COO Cyril Leeder told the Ottawa Citizen earlier this season. "Now suddenly we have a big problem in that guys like [Zdeno] Chara and [Wade] Redden are both unrestricted free agents this year. How are we going to keep all these guys? "We're always going to have a good team, we hope. But it's hard to see how we'll have a better team in two, three or four years. Our time has to be now."
more

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Possible Candidates For Pens GM

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Candidates for the job could include four assistant general managers -- Peter Chiarelli (Ottawa), Jim Nill (Detroit), Steve Tambellini (Vancouver) and Ray Shero (Nashville) -- scouts Dean Lombardi (Philadelphia) and John Weisbrod (Dallas) and former NHL player Brent Sutter, coach and general manager of the Red Deer Rebels in the Western Hockey League. Dave Taylor and Pat Quinn, who have experience as NHL general managers but became unemployed this week, could turn up in the mix, too. "You could be an assistant GM, a former GM, you could be an agent, you could be none of the above," Mr. Sawyer said.
more

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Yzerman Ready For One Last Run

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press,

"I was talking to Steve Duchesne," Yzerman says. "He won the Stanley Cup in 2002 and that was the last game he ever played. ... He has nothing but great memories of his career -- just on the basis of how it ended. He's a happy man. He left the game a happy man." He leans back. "I would love to retire that way." The cake is made. And where else but hockey can a captain go for icing?
read on

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We See Holes In His (Brodeur) Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

...the perception was created that Martin Brodeur had trouble moving laterally to play pucks at his feet. Tom Renney said yesterday he did not necessarily believe that perception to be reality, but the Rangers' head coach did say, "We see holes in his game in other places." Though Renney - surprise, surprise - did not elaborate, he did say, "You have to make Marty think about more than the puck; it's about how you attack [the Devils].
more (reg.req.)

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Blues Will Keep Tkachuk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the AP,

The NHL-worst St. Louis Blues decided to keep left wing Keith Tkachuk, exercising a $3.8 million option for next season.

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Brodeur Says NHL Wants Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NY Daily News,

The Devils have three Cups, home ice and an 11-game winning streak. Listen to them talk about the Rangers, though, and you wonder whether they have something else: an inferiority complex. The Devils never have beaten the Rangers in the playoffs, and it shows. Martin Brodeur went so far as to suggest yesterday that the league is rooting for the Blueshirts. "We know that the league probably wants them to be there," the goalie said. "You know, the best player (Jaromir Jagr) is there; it's the biggest city."
continued

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Bowman Makes His Picks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Scotty Bowman & the CP via Slam,

I've always thought that during the first round of the NHL playoffs form didn't matter. Lower-seeded teams come in with a lot of momentum because they've battled to get in. The first round is always a difficult round for a team that's had a good regular season. Usually you get a little stronger as the playoffs go along but you need to try and get by that first round because everybody starts with an awful lot of energy. Scotty's picks:
continued

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