Kukla's Korner

The Face Of The NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lynn Zinser of the New York Times,

Crosby’s life is full of photo shoots and commercials, slipping through back entrances to avoid crowds, and more news conferences than most political candidates. He has endorsement deals with Reebok and Gatorade, although he is used far more heavily in advertisements in his native Canada.

“We’ve seen television ratings increase in games he has been in, increased attendance where he plays,” said Brian Jennings, who is the league’s executive vice president for licensing and marketing. “He’s a powerful force.”

But the question is whether the N.H.L.’s promotion of Crosby is enough, whether one player in a medium-size market can lift the league.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sidney+crosby

Leafs Skating Instructor Experiences The Deep South

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Joe O’Conner of the National Post,

Some things you get over. You move on, and life goes on, and the what-ifs just seem to melt away with the years. Graeme Townshend wishes he had scored 500 goals and played 15 seasons in the National Hockey League, instead of three goals and 45 NHL games….

Lake Charles is in Louisiana, in the Deep South—the Old South—where a Confederate flag is still often viewed as a symbol of states’ rights and better days….

Townshend did not know this when he moved his family into the house on Comanche Street in the town of Sulphur, a suburb of Lake Charles, in the summer of 1997. He only knew Sulphur was where “the best schools were,” and he wanted the best for Seth. He had no idea he would be the only black man in the neighbourhood. And over the next two years the Townshends would learn an indelible lesson about race relations in the Deep South—the Old South—where simple, plain-as-day facts, such as the colour of a man’s skin, mean everything.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: graeme+townshend

Weber A Defensive Force

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jessica Bliss of the Tennessean,

Facing high expectations again this season, (Shea) Weber has rocketed out of the gate with three goals and five assists in Nashville’s first seven games, tying J.P. Dumont for the team lead in points and ranking second among all NHL defensemen in scoring.

The performance has inspired teammate Jason Arnott to slap an all-star label on the 23-year-old Canadian, and experts around the league see the same potential. Although Weber may not rank with elite defensemen such as Nicklas Lidstrom, he doesn’t appear too far from it.

“I don’t think there’s anyone in hockey that doubts his potential anymore,” said Mike Brophy, hockey analyst for Rogers Sportsnet. “He is a force. He has arrived as a bona-fide top-end defenseman.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: shea+weber

All About Goaltending In Buffalo

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,

Goaltending was the Sabres’ vital component this year. Miller was a one-man workhorse last season and wore down after Ruff lost faith in Jocelyn Thibault. But the stellar starts by the new combination have Buffalo enjoying a 6-0-1 record.

“We’ve got two great goaltenders, and they’re both great guys, and they get along great. What more could you ask for?” Ruff said. “It’s healthy competition.”

The netminders are feeding off each other. Lalime sees Miller make 25 saves and follows with 35. Miller has little choice but to respond with a pair of 30-save performances.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Game Has Never Been Faster

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,

The NHL game is full of it. Speed. Pace. Up tempo. Quickness. It doesn’t matter which buzz words a coach chooses to apply when preaching from the pulpit these days, hockey at the highest level has never been played with more swiftness.

“The game is a million times faster,” Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock said. “The players are bigger, faster and in better condition. The shifts are shorter. There is no obstruction, there is no clutching or grabbing. The players are skating all the time.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Boyle Returns To Tampa, Wants To “Stick It To ‘Em”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,

(Dan) Boyle said “it’s only natural” to want to play well against a former team. “I’m like anybody else.” He was more direct with San Jose’s Mercury News.

“I’m not going to sit here and lie and say that it doesn’t mean anything,” he told the paper. “As a player, as a competitive person, you want to stick it to ‘em. I want to win, and I want to win bad. I want to go out there and have a good game and win decisively.”...

“It’ll be exciting to see him,” Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier said. “He’s a great player, one of the best in the league. We’ll have to try to contain him because we know he’ll come hard.”

But Boyle, who had an assist Friday for five points in his past three games, insisted he is not coming to Tampa to even a score. “I know it’s cliche, but it’s about us playing a hockey game. It’s more about that than me versus the owners.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+boyle

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I think if things continue to go like they’re going, we have to start changing some people around.  I don’t mean coaches; I mean other people. Changing the coach sends the wrong message. I believe we’re a good team. I believe that we lost three and (tied) three is a little misleading…I think we’re better than that.”

-Flyers GM Paul Holmgren.  More on the Flyers at Broad Street Bull.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+holmgren

How Manny Got Hurt

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

I was going to ask (the arena worker) to move (the carpet), but he had his foot there, so I figured he was trying to secure it,” Legace said. “He’s yelling at us, ‘Careful, the carpet ... Careful, the carpet.’

“I’m like I can’t jump over it. It’s too far and my little legs won’t jump that far. I just figured he’s holding it and the other end is usually secure, so I’m just worried about it sliding (one) way. As soon as I went down, he lifted his foot off the carpet ... I knew I was coming down and I just couldn’t catch myself.

“It’s not that serious ... we’ll just see what happens tomorrow.”

more on the Blues loss to the Kings last night and watch a video of Manny hitting the red carpet below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: manny+legace

Friday Night Injury Report

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner suffered an undisclosed injury and the Flyers defeated the Devils 5-3 tonight at Prudential Center.

Langenbrunner headed to the Devils’ locker room with the trainer after taking a hard hit from Flyers defenseman Luca Sbisa along the right wing boards in the Philadelphia zone 7:55 into the second period. It appeared Langenbrunner had a left leg injury, but it was difficult to tell.

more on the game…

via Steve Zipay of Blue Notes,

With 11:38 left in the second period, Rangers coach Tom Renney was clipped on the left side of the head by Rostislav Klesla’s stick during a scrum at the bench.

He went down to the floor, an official said between the second and third period, may have lost consciousness, was assisted off the ice and was being X-rayed. Assistants Mike Pelino and Perry Pearn took over. Renney did not return before the end of the period.

A Rangers spokesman said during the intermission that Renney “was OK. He was hit on the top of the head.”

added 10:11pm, from Norm Sanders of the New-Democrat,

St. Louis Blues goaltender Manny Legace suffered what the team called a lower-body injury Friday and did not return for the second period against the Los Angeles Kings.

Legace may have been injured when he slipped on a piece of carpeting coming out for pregame warmups. The carpet was on the ice for a pregame ceremony involving Republic vice-presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin.

a little more...

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jamie+langenbrunner, manny+legace, tom+renney

The Changing Media Landscape of Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Craig Custance at the Sporting News,

[Hockey blogging is] becoming a big business, and Kevin Allen, the president of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association, only sees the influence growing.

“We’re kind of the Johnny-come-lately of the blogging world,” said Allen, the national hockey writer for USA Today. “For a decade now, in the entertainment world, bloggers have been very powerful in terms of the impact they can have on movies. We now see politicians hand-delivering scoops to bloggers who blog from their pajamas in their house—giving them information mainstream media can’t get. If it’s happening in entertainment and in politics, I don’t know why any of us would have thought it wouldn’t enter our world too.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hockey+blogging, media

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