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Paul Kukla

About Paul
Paul Kukla is the man behind the excellent Kukla's Korner blog site. The longtime NHL fan and devoted Red Wings' supporter is joining NHL.com as a regular contributor this season. His blogs are a must read for hockey fans.

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E-mail your comments at: pk@kuklaskorner.com

Recent Posts
What they really mean
Prepare yourself
Early April means one thing

World Wide Web of Hockey
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Season Archive
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

What they really mean

Reading between-the-lines this morning, I present the real meaning of the "pre- and post-game" quotes.

***

"We didn't give them much."

What the player or coach is really saying -- "We dominated them the whole game and they know it!"

***

"Our best players have to be our best players."

This is easy to decipher -- Everyone making over $3 million, please start earning your wages.

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"He's quietly been doing it all year for us."

The coach has been reading the papers and feels the player hasn't received enough ink.

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"We've been strong at home the whole season."

We are losing and need to win now!

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"He's carried the team before."

Time to jump on the back of the star player or depending on the situation, please step-up star player.

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"It’s nothing we haven’t dealt with before. We just need to stay disciplined."

If we don't stop taking stupid penalties, we will be playing golf very soon.

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"They dominated us."

We stunk.

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"We have to start shooting the puck!"

We need to score more!

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"Getting back to the basics, that's the key."

Our team play is going into the tank and we better find it soon.

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"We slugged our way through. It could have gone either way."

Your typical close checking playoff type game, either team could have won.

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"Everyone just settled down, and we got back to the game we wanted to play."

We won.

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"We know it's going to be a lot tougher than the first two games."

Home team won the first two games, hoping to take at least one on the road.

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"That's the way we have to keep it going because these guys are tough and playing us hard."

We continue to play this way, the series is over.

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"I'm sure if we did know we would fix it."

A sign trouble is ahead.

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"They must have been shooting at his head."

I think you are right!

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"I talked to the captain (Scott Niedermayer) today about what he thought the team would want for dessert and he said ice cream sundaes, a slice of chocolate cake or berries and cream."

Scott needs a sugar rush.

***

We received a huge number of submissions for the "Why Does Your Team Deserves The Cup" contest. We are still going over all of the submissions and the winner will be announced next week.

Posted by Paul @ 10:53 a.m.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Prepare yourself

Beginning Wednesday, your life changes for the next two months.

First things first, make sure your remote control devices for TV viewing have fresh batteries.

Next, get up right now and set your alarm clock for normal wake-up time. You may be too tired to do it when you flop into bed in a zombie-like manner after watching a triple overtime game.

Make some "advanced warning" phone calls. Tell family and friends you will not be available to talk during this (insert playoff schedule here) time period.

Students, get your homework done the minute you arrive home, you will not have time to do it after the game.

Pre-game meal needs to be light, but filling. You don't want to suffer the consequences of a food fest during the game. Just in case, have all of the stomach and heartburn medicine within reach, you just may need it if your team goes down 3-0 in the first period.

Explain to your significant other you live for these two months. Tell them you have to follow (as much as possible) the daily routine of the players. If an afternoon nap is in order, take it, if you need to be alone before the game, do so and if you twisted your ankle getting off the couch too fast, tough it out, you have a game to watch.

Surround yourself with everything "soft". Drink from plastic cups, you don't want to throw a can or bottle at the TV. Also, keep a pillow near (one that muffles loud screaming or crying), sleeping neighbors will appreciate that.

If your team goes up 2-0 in the series, don't assume the series is wrapped up. You know what happens when you assume!

After a game, take a quick outdoor walk. But make sure you carry some form of ID with you, just in case you stray too far and the local police happen to stop you (been there).

Don't go to the hockey forums or blogs on the web and use the word suck in any form when describing another team. When the real hockey fans see that word, they move on. You will end up chatting with someone who knows nothing about the game, but believes they know everything about the game. What you will end up with is a bunch of "suckers".

***

Do you have any playoff patterns or traditions? I would like to read them and I am sure hockey fans worldwide would enjoy that too.

Feel free to submit them here ... and thanks.

Posted by Paul @ 11:10 a.m.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Early April means one thing

Monday, I attended the first game of the Detroit Tigers' baseball season. Opening Day in Detroit is a huge event and with the success the team enjoyed last season, expectations are high.

But I am still a hockey fan. I thought it would be a slow news day in the hockey world and felt I could sneak off and enjoy a few hours of baseball under a bright sun, with the temperature hovering around 60 degrees.

Boy, was I wrong! The instant message alerts on my micro pc starting going off right before the first pitch -- "Julien fired, is Lou pulling a late April fools joke?" "Lou takes over Devils!"

Emails start pouring in ... Shocked! What happened? Has Lou lost it? This should be fun!

I look up at the Comerica Park scoreboard, Tigers losing 3-0 in the first inning.

I see some of the Wings players watching the game from a suite. Should I approach them and get their opinion? Nah, let them enjoy the game and besides what can they say except it's his team and Lamoriello knows what he is doing?

I get a call from a Canadian radio station, can I go on the air in five minutes? The background noise tells the producer I am in the midst of large crowd, I tell him I am at opening day, he asks, opening day of what?

I don't go on the air, but his question hits me ... why am I at a ball game? I am a hockey fan.

More instant messages are exchanged. I inform a few people I am on my way home ... the game is in the third inning.

Ah, 15 minutes later I am at ease, staring at my desktop. Start clicking away, one, two, three hockey related radio stations now streaming, four windows open to hockey websites and the speaker phone is in constant use.

More emails coming in, I can now respond with more than one or two word answers. I look up at the muted TV, Tigers have tied the score, 3-3.

Does hockey need me? Nope! Do I need hockey? Yep! I felt so out of touch at the ballgame, but once I returned to my friendly surroundings, all was good again.

Call me obsessed, call me nuts, but please do call me a hockey fan first and foremost! Will I ever outgrow this feeling? Never, it grows on me more and more every year. Sure I have my doubts at times, but the game itself always draws me back in. The circular black rubber and white ice will always be on my mind, wherever I am, whatever I am doing -- 24/7!

Just in case you are wondering, the Tigers lost 5-3 in 10 innings and the good thing about it, there are 161 games left. Count me in on attending a game again, in August, after all the UFA's are signed!

***

Why Does Your Team Deserve The Cup?

Tell me why in 250 words or less why your team should be holding the Stanley Cup above their heads! Entries will be judged by the KK Crew and the crack writers of NHL.com.

Oh yes, the winner receives a personalized, authentic NHL jersey. Entries accepted until April 10, 2007 at 10 p.m. EDT.

Posted by Paul @ 10:38 a.m.



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