Kukla's Korner

Rafalski At The Top Of His Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Wayne Coffey of the NY Daily News,

He’s bald and small and the oldest player on his team. He has a crooked smile and the flamboyance of an accountant. Brian Rafalski doesn’t do much of anything to command attention, except trying to do whatever is required to win.

“Whatever they put me out there for that’s what I’ll play,” Rafalski said after practice Thursday….

“It took me 60 games to get four (goals) in the NHL. I don’t know what’s going on,” Rafalski said. His Red Wing teammate, Valteri Filppula, is a Finnish forward.

“He’s a really, really good player,” Filppula said. “Plays well and definitely he looks like a young guy out there.”


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+raflaski, team+usa

Semi-Final Numbers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lucas Aykroyd at IIHF.com,

Best goals-against average for a 2010 semi-final starting goalie: Ryan Miller (USA), 1.25

Best save percentage for a 2010 semi-final starting goalie: Miikka Kiprusoff (Finland), 94.6

Number of previous Olympic semi-final appearances for Slovakia: 0 (does not include 1992 appearance under flag of Czechoslovakia)

Most goals by one player in an Olympic semi-final: 5 Russia’s Pavel Bure vs. Finland, final score 7-4 Russia

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+oiympics

The Difference Is Night & Day

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

The Americans play at noon local time Friday, which will mark the fourth time they will play the lunchtime special at these Olympics.

Obviously, it requires that players prepare differently than for normal NHL games in the evening or even midafternoon tilts.

“You wake up, you eat breakfast and play. It doesn’t give you a lot of time to think about the game, which can be good. You don’t sit around all day. You just get up and play. I don’t mind it at all. I thought I wouldn’t like it at all, but I do,” American forward Zach Parise said.

One of the other differences has been dressing in rooms that have no clock ticking down to the start of the game. In NHL dressing rooms, there are clocks that allow players—especially those who hold to a firm pattern or ritual of pregame readiness—to know exactly how much time they have before having to take the ice.

Those clocks do not exist here, or at least the clocks in the room have been difficult to follow.

Chris Drury joked that there some players who follow the ritual so closely that he doesn’t think they could survive this tournament.

continue for Team USA and Canada notes…

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+canada, team+usa

Champagne On Ice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at CTVOlympics,

Hockey Canada apologized Thursday for an impromptu party the Olympic women’s hockey team threw for itself on the Canada Hockey Place ice after winning the gold medal.

Canadian players, still wearing their uniforms and with gold medals draped around their necks, celebrated their victory by drinking champagne and beer at centre ice following a 2-0 win over the United States.

The International Olympic Committee said it will investigate the celebration, which included drinking by one of Canada’s underage players.


added 8L17am, Empty Netters has some photos of the on-ice celebration.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+canada

The A2Y Baby Monologues: Bella Edition

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By VooX

I am proud to share with you some very special stories these next few days relating to some of the 19 that we all know and love.

The appearance of Jonny Ericsson on our roster last spring was hailed by Red Wings fans around the world as a momentous event.  The men recognized his potential as a franchise defenceman.  The women praised his handsome looks and swooned in a way not seen since Beatlemania.

What you may not know is Jonny Ericsson is not only a defenceman, he is also a fertility god.

I have indisputable evidence of Jonny’s ability to cause couples to conceive.  Exhibit A comes from our beloved Bella.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

KK- Taking Advantage Of A No Mens Hockey Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I have a copy of Woodstock, the 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition on blu-ray that I have been trying to watch for two months and tonight I plan to do it.

I am watching the Womens Gold Medal Game but after that, I plan to find a patch of mud, turn on a black light and enjoy the show.

Hockey tomorrow, prepare for gold medal game on Saturday, watch the gold medal game on Sunday, then it is 3 days and nights of hockey games and trades.

Wednesday night I can kick back a bit, but until then, it will be all hockey, except for tonight.

Peace & Love,


Filed in: KK Website Business, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Cherry Looking Forward To Canada/USA Final

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from William Houston of Truth & Rumours,

“I can hardly wait until we get at the U.S.,” he said in an interview. “I can hardly wait.”

  Cherry said U.S. players made a mistake when they slagged the Canadians after defeating them 5-3 last Sunday.

  Cherry, the Hockey Night In Canada commentator and radio show personality, appeared on the Jim Rome show this week during which U.S. commentators ragged him about Canada’s loss to the Americans.

  “They were giving it to us (Canadians) pretty good,” he said. It was, ‘This is your game. How goes it feel? And you’re going to lose again.’ They were kidding, but they weren’t kidding, if you know what I mean.”

  “I said we are going to win the gold. This was before the game against Russia. I said, we’re going to meet your guys in the final and we’re going to kick your ass.”

read on

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+cherry, team+canada, team+usa

The Socially Graceful Canadian

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Gopnik at the New Yorker,

As one who has lived among them for most of his life—even in New York, still connected by family and in-laws—I can assure you that Canadians are not nice. They are just socially graceful, which gives them the appearance of niceness while actually covering over considerable reserves of disgust and disapproval, particularly at those who lack the sensitivity Canadians possess by national training. The tone of the best Canadian literature is rather snappish and sardonic, even vinegary—think of Robertson Davies—and that is the tone Canadians assume again in private after you have left the party and they have seen you off warmly at the door. Inside that Canadian woman, smiling nicely as she fends off drunken confidences and heads off one more obvious American social faux pas at the pass, is the soul of a Canadian defenseman, imagining knocking you senseless in retaliation. (I once heard the great Alice Munro, being feted in New York, respond to a series of sincere but Americanly overdone complimentary toasts with a simple, deflating, body-crushing “Well…!” Chris Pronger couldn’t have hit harder.)

read on for a look at the Canada/Russia game and other purely Canadian notes…

thanks to a KK reader for the pointer

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+canada

Burke’s World

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,

There is nothing small in Brian Burke’s world. He does not use small words. He does not say the pressure on Team Canada at the Olympics is intense; he says it is “glacial, unremitting, unrelenting.” He does not say that he prefers his NHL teams—over the last 18 years he has been the G.M. in Hartford, Vancouver, Anaheim and now Toronto—to be tough or even robust; they must have the “proper levels of pugnacity, testosterone, truculence and belligerence.” In macho throwdowns, Burke’s thesaurus is bigger than your thesaurus.

He does not make small trades. While other G.M.‘s tinker, swapping second-round draft choices for third-line rent-a-centers, Burke swings deals that bring 24-year-old franchise defenseman Dion Phaneuf and $7 million goaltender Jean-Sébastien Giguère to the Maple Leafs.

Burke does not have spats. He has epic Shakespearean feuds. In 2007, when Edmonton G.M. Kevin Lowe extended an offer sheet to winger Dustin Penner, a restricted free agent on Burke’s Stanley Cup—champion team in Anaheim, Burke lambasted the move and said, “If I had run my team into the sewer like [Lowe did], I wouldn’t throw a grenade at the other 29 teams.”

And now Burke’s grief matches the enormity of everything else in his life. On snow-slicked U.S. Highway 35 in Indiana, his 21-year-old son, Brendan, student manager of the top-ranked Miami (Ohio) hockey team, died in a car accident on Friday, Feb. 5.

read on (recommended)...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke, team+usa

Janssen Suspended Five Games

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Tarik El-Bashir’s Twitter,

Cam Janssen has been suspended five games by the NHL for “a late hit to the head ...to an unsuspecting” Matt Bradley.

If you want to review the hit, you can watch it here.

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cam+janssen, matt+bradley

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