Kukla's Korner

Worse Than Iverson

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Martin Frank at Delaware Online,

Talk about selfish: Forsberg refused to take part in a shootout earlier this season to decide a game against the Rangers for some unexplained reason. Nice example for a so-called captain to set.
Talk about hurting coaches: When Ken Hitchcock was fired after the Flyers got off to a 1-6-1 start this season, Forsberg’s response: “I don’t think Hitch is a bad coach, but sometimes when a team is not performing as it should, it’s good to get a change.”...
Talk about not setting the right example: Forsberg essentially held the Flyers hostage for weeks, hiding behind a foot injury and refusing to commit to the team for the long term, though it begged him to stay.
But Forsberg didn’t want to stay. He waived his no-trade clause. Why couldn’t he have said that three weeks ago when it obviously was his intention?

more

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“Masking” Roy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Montreal Gazette,

If frustrated Canadiens fans are searching for a sign that salvation is at hand, they might not have to look much further than the right side of Jaroslav Halak’s goalie mask.
There, in living colour, is a picture of Halak’s boyhood idol, Patrick Roy, in a Canadiens uniform and hoisting the Stanley Cup.
The symbolism isn’t lost on longtime fans, who recall Roy led the Canadiens to a Stanley Cup in 1986, when he was a 20-year-old rookie.

continued

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The Value Of Salo

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Sun,

How much is Sami Salo worth?
Agent Bill Zito is waiting to find out what the Vancouver Canuck defenceman is worth to general manager Dave Nonis, who is waiting to find out what the potential free agent is worth to the rest of the National Hockey League.
Nonis confirmed Friday that he is receiving plenty of calls about Salo but restated his position that he wants to strengthen the Canucks by adding players, not weaken the team, ahead of the Feb. 27 trade deadline.

continued

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They’re Blowing It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Calgary Sun,

More alarming, though, is how the Flames are snatching defeat from the jaws of victory now on a regular basis.
Losers of five of their last six outings (1-3-2), the Flames are facing a grim prospect of having blown leads in four of those defeats.
In three of those losses, they were leading in the third period.
If it happens once or twice, it’s easy to shrug off. Four times in a 10-day spell is a trend.

read on

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Tough Call For Canes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News & Observer,

While Erik Cole may play tonight at the Montreal Canadiens, Cory Stillman, Justin Williams and Bret Hedican are all out as the Canes cling to the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
“Do we make a move quickly to take care of our injured players or do we stay the course and try to win some games with the lineup we have and try to make a bigger deal that makes more sense not just now but for our future?” Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said Friday. “It’s a very tough call.”

more

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End The Visor Debate

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,

...Why would he place himself in a position of being only one shot away from losing an eye?
If players can’t think for themselves, it’s up to the NHL and the NHLPA to force them to wear a visor.

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Big Team & Small Results

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

According to numbers provided by the NHL, Washington’s players average 6-foot-2 1/2, and 212 pounds. This flies in the face of the image of the “new-NHL” which is assumed to once again be a haven for the undersized player.
All that beef does not have the Capitals trundling up the standings. They sit in 14th spot in the Eastern Conference, with the lowest ratio of points to cost of pre-game meals.

more numbers…

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The Last Of The Great Underdogs

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail:

They have made movies of the life of Rocket Richard and of the 1972 Summit Series, but there may be no richer material for a hockey drama than what took place in Toronto and Montreal that improbable spring of 40 years ago.
It was Centennial Year, and the Maple Leafs and the Canadiens — the sole Canadian franchises in the National Hockey League — were playing the national game for the most revered Canadian trophy, the Stanley Cup.
The powerful Canadiens — two-time defending champions, the bleu, blanc et rouge of Jean Béliveau, Henri Richard, Yvan Cournoyer — were hoping to display the prized Cup at Expo 67, which had opened only five days earlier in Montreal.
The ‘67 Leafs — now all in their 60s, 70s and 80s — somehow denied Montreal that glory and, Saturday, will themselves be honoured at the Air Canada Centre as the ‘07 Leafs take on the Edmonton Oilers.

continued

 

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Gretzky Off The Stage

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Wayne Gretzky is one weary hockey saviour.
He sits quietly in the corner of Big City Bagels and Deli, partially hidden behind a large yellow garbage container, enjoying the bracing effects of a large cardboard cup of coffee less than 12 hours after he and his Phoenix Coyotes have absorbed another loss, their 33rd in 58 games.
Tough sledding, this is.
For the first time since the brief period between his retirement as a player and his re-emergence as a powerful figure in Canadian Olympic circles, Gretzky seems slightly off-stage this season, less associated with hockey glory.

read on

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Crackdown On Physicality

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Sun,

Goalies are tired of being treated like tackling dummies and D-men are tired of being handcuffed by nancy boy rules that won’t let them do anything about it.
“Guys are a lot braver now when it comes to standing in front of the net,” said Vancouver’s Rory Fitzpatrick.
“Before, you could get four good crosschecks in before the referee even gave you a warning. Now, with the new rules ...”
You can barely touch a guy. Some referees have taken the crackdown on obstruction to mean a crackdown on physicality, turning what used to be the toughest real estate in the rink into a picnic ground.

much more NHL stuff….

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