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Observations from the conference semifinals

Tuesday, 05.04.2010 / 10:25 AM / Columns

By Paul Kukla - NHL.com Correspondent

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Observations from the conference semifinals
Paul Kukla weighs in his observations from the best time of the year for hockey fans.
* Your team lost the last game, looked a little tired and could use a few days off, but you want the next game to be played right now. The same holds true for the winning team -- let's play again, right now -- we're on a roll.

* What's up with all of the too many men on the ice calls lately? The count now is somewhere in the mid-twenties for this playoff season. Are players too eager to get on the ice, or too tired to get off the ice? Is the arena so loud that communications between the player and coach cannot be heard?

* Can you name the two favorites for the Stanley Cup Final? Right now it looks like the Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks, but tomorrow is a different day.

 
* I've been hearing a lot of players say, "We have to keep our feet moving." No kidding; if you stood still, Game 1 of the conference semifinals would be in the 80th overtime.

* Can we please say goodbye to all the "time and space" we keep hearing from just about every hockey analyst? How about create some open ice?

* Montreal goaltender Jaroslav Halak is beginning to draw comparisons to great Habs goalies of the past. But what about Michael Cammalleri? Who is he being compared to?  I'd say Yvan Cournoyer.

* So a San Jose Sharks fan threw a dead shark on the ice recently. Now don't get any ideas, Boston fans. I can't imagine how you could smuggle in a bear, or even find one to throw on the ice.

* Teams down 0-2 -- which happen to be the Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers -- head home for two games. Will either team win both games at home to make it a series again?

* The Internet never sleeps. Some mainstream media sites are learning to keep their content fresh while others have yet to realize we are in 2010, not 2000. As fans, we want to read the latest going on with our team and want it available as quickly as possible.

* One place I'd like to be Tuesday night, but won't be, is the Bell Centre in Montreal. The crowd will be so pumped up, and I would like to experience that feeling at least once in my life.

* I am averaging about five hours a sleep per night since the playoffs have started. Every time I think I may be able to get to bed early, an exciting hockey game is on the TV. Even if I tried to go to bed, I would just lay there, thinking about the game, so I just watch it, no matter what teams are playing.

* Do you realize we are not even halfway through the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs? It's only going to get better, folks, and I can't wait for the next game.

* My second-favorite sport to watch is baseball, but right now I could not even tell you what six teams are leading their division. Is that a good or bad thing on my part?

* Monday, a woman shaved her head to win tickets to Game 3 of the Sharks-Wings on Tuesday. Crazy? Or a crazy fan?

* Anyone miss the shootout?

* Is there a more distinctive noise in sports than a puck hitting a goal post dead-on, and to add to that, the crowd noise that follows with oohs and ahhs?

* May the puck take the right bounce for your team, and remember -- the better team will win the series you are watching.

* Questions, comments or just need someone to talk to? E-mail me at pk@kuklaskorner.com or follow all the latest hockey news at Kukla's Korner.


Quote of the Day

It's time we got a break. People that have watched us, I'm sure they said, 'Finally, some things are going our way.' We'll take the breaks when they go our way.

— Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien after a 3-2 overtime win against the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday to snap a three-game losing streak
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