Kukla's Korner

Everyone Blocks Shots

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Buffalo News,

"All season long," Sabres defenseman Henrik Tallinder said, "we've been chirping on guys, "Hey, we have to block shots.' " The message is everywhere. The Sabres have used 21 skaters during the playoffs, and while some blocks may have been accidental, all 21 have blocked at least one shot. "I think it's more contagious when one person blocks a shot," Sabres forward Derek Roy said. "It pretty much forces everybody else to block a shot instead of pulling up or doing the flamingo or whatever. It seems like everybody wants to win on this team, and blocking shots is a huge part of that."
read on

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Engblom Going To OLN Full Time

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Columbus Dispatch,

Analyst Brian Engblom will leave the Blue Jackets’ television booth to take a job with the Outdoor Life Network, the rights holder for NHL telecasts in the United States. "I haven’t signed on the dotted line yet, but (OLN) has given me an offer so good, I really can’t refuse," Engblom said yesterday.
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Thank You Revenue Sharing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Tennessean,

The good news for Predators fans is that despite the higher payroll, the team is still likely to receive millions of dollars worth of revenue-sharing money from the league this summer. The team won't have an exact figure until later in the offseason, but it's expected to be in the millions. In fact, the anticipation of the revenue-sharing money has already made an impact on the team's finances. "Our payroll increased by a little over $5 million from 2003-04 to this year, but ultimately — when all is said and done — we'll lose less money this year than we did in 03-04," Lang said. "So we're going in the right direction. Revenue sharing has certainly put us in a much stronger position."
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The Look Alike

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News & Observer,

The aggressive, attacking style of play. The contender built on a small-market budget. The team no one picked to make the playoffs. The rookie goalie. The coach-of-the-year finalist behind the bench. Right down to the red, white and black uniforms, it's hard to tell the two Eastern Conference finalists apart without a program or an electron microscope. "We got to wear shorts to the rink the last two months?" Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Aaron Ward mused, searching desperately for differences.
continued

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Ducks Quiet

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

There was no real feeling that the outcome was in doubt. The scoreboard said it wasn’t secure until Todd Harvey scored into the empty net to win 3-1. But the feel was different. That was part of it. The other part were all those empty seats and lack of atmosphere. For the longest time, it looked and felt like a regular-season game here last night, not a Game 1. Nobody booed O Canada. Nobody said peep. It was so quiet you could hear a puck drop. One fan yelled out ‘Let’s Go Oilers.’ Nobody sang the U.S. anthem. “It’s not Edmonton,’’ seconded Ethan Moreau. “When it comes to loud, San Jose was a close second. We felt it, too. It’s not like home.’’ “We just seemed to be a half a step off or away from finishing on some chances tonight,’’ said Scott Niedermayer. “They played well. Obviously we’ll have to be better if we want to win the next game. I thought our first period was the best and then we sort of stopped skating.’’
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Decisions Ahead For Ottawa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Citizen,

Thanks to a core of maturing, increasingly expensive talent, a collective bargaining agreement that inconveniently limits what a team can spend on salaries, and a owner who is said to be barely breaking even here, Muckler will be squirming with a hockey bag full of personnel decisions this summer. None will be bigger than the one involving two of the NHL's better, and most coveted, defencemen: Wade Redden and Zdeno Chara. Will the Senators be able to sign both of them? One of them? Neither of them? For Ottawa fans, the answers to these questions could represent a turning point for the organization.
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Goalie Options For Next Year

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Allen of USA Today,

Based on what has happened in the NHL playoffs thus far, the hot goaltending trend next season might be simply to have options. None of the four starting goalies left in the postseason — Buffalo's Ryan Miller, Carolina's Cam Ward, Edmonton's Dwayne Roloson and Anaheim's Ilya Bryzgalov — were clear-cut No. 1 goalies at the start of the 2005-06 NHL season. The point is that teams in general, and NHL coaches specifically, seem more comfortable with the idea that using two goalies in the playoffs isn't sinful, and maybe even desirable. This is the new NHL with a greater emphasis on offensive creativity. That doesn't make goaltenders less important. It makes them more important. In the clutch-and-grab era, goalies had to make only a handful of big saves every game, and now they face a dozen or more good chances every game.
read on

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HD Plans For DIRECTV

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

DIRECTV, Inc., the digital TV leader in sports programming, will broadcast all NHL Stanley Cup Conference Final games in HD. The games, broadcast via OLN, will be available to all DIRECTV HD customers on DIRECTV viewer channel 95. One game will be broadcast on NBC in HD and will be available to DIRECTV HD customers in markets where DIRECTV offers the NBC HD feed. See press release for schedule...

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What About Yzerman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Bill at Abel to Yzerman has an interesting take on the future of the captain. If this turns out to be true, Bill has scooped the media outlets in Detroit, who have basically swept this story aside.

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Sabres Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Daniel Briere, Chris Drury and Ryan Miller took part in a conference call today. Q. How tough is it going up against a goaltender you are not familiar with, watch film? DANIEL BRIERE: I mean, with the technology nowadays, we can go back and watch any games we want against him, so I don't think it's -- I don't think it's an issue. Yeah, we haven't seen him, we haven't personally played against him, but we have seen a lot of games. I think most of the guys are watching what is going on around us in the playoffs, so we have seen them play. He's a good goalie. If he's good, I don't think the reason is because we haven't seen him, it is just because he's a good goalie. Q. Ryan, to that end, do you think it's an advantage going up against guys who haven't seen you before? RYAN MILLER: I guess I don't have that same advantage. read the rest in the comments section...

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