Kukla's Korner

Edmonton Prepares To Greet Pronger

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Journal,

Insecurity, immaturity and foolishness. That's what will drive some fans to ride Chris Pronger relentlessly at Tuesday evening's game between the Anaheim Ducks and the Edmonton Oilers. Rexall Place will fill with the sound and fury of booing, every time Pronger touches the ice. Will it throw him off his game? Unlikely. Instead, it will reveal more about the fan than the player. It will reveal how some sports fans lose themselves in the fantasy of home team and "our" players.
continued

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The “New” Blue Jackets

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Columbus Dispatch,

As far as Blue Jackets generalship goes, it might be the best three days since Gettysburg. The Jackets are suddenly a different team. They have the puck, they’re poised, they’re attacking and they’re not panicked. They’re suddenly using their size to grind down teams. What has Hitchcock done? "He explained our roles individually and as a group," center Sergei Fedorov said. "(Saturday night), everyone really understood what we were trying to do as a group. The group speed is better. We played patient hockey. It’s only one game, and we will see where it goes from here, but it’s a good start."
more

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Life After Europe

Blog: KK Hockey By IwoCPO

Via the Toronto Sun and Slam!,

After three seasons in Switzerland (Jamie) Heward is in his second year on the Washington Capitals' blue line. "Years ago it was different," Heward said. "Guys would pretty much go over to never come back and now it has changed. It's not necessarily a death sentence (for a career back home) like it used to be." Heward is a part of a small trend of players who went to play in Europe and returned to the NHL, whether it was native Europeans or others.
Continue reading

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Souray Enjoying His Rebound Year

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Montreal Gazette via Canada.com,

Through 22 games, Souray has nine goals and nine assists, an output that has him on an unscientific pace for 33 goals, 18 better than his career high, and 67 points, his best by 28. Now, he seldom breaks a stick, ripping pucks at 100-plus mph past or through goaltenders, comfortable at last with the fifth stick model he's used since the start of last season. And he's enjoying regular visits from his 3-year-old daughter, Valentina, something he craves. All of this as Souray skates toward unrestricted free agency at the end of the season, which will either lock him up in Montreal with a healthy increase in his current $2.432-million (U.S.) salary, or send him to a pot of gold elsewhere.
read on

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Shanny Gets The Lemon Face Treatment

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Someone asked Shanahan whether he had received an explanation after the final non-call helped Chris Drury get the winner on a deflection. Shanahan, who left the ice screaming at Leggo, chose his words purposefully. "The guys tonight were a little bit above giving explanations," said No. 14. "Instead, they made a face like they ate a lemon and [gave] a wave of the hand. "The league has done so much the last few years to eliminate the old mentality of [referees] not talking to players and waving players away. It's kind of disappointing that with the improvement in communication under [director of officiating] Stephen Walkom, that I didn't feel that way tonight."
more

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Game Day Preview: Stars at Wings

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

There was a time, many years ago, when my sarcasm was split evenly between two teams: the 'dique and Dallas. All my snide remarks of today, pointing out the hygienic, dietary and genealogical challenges of Bubba's fan base? The fine folk in Dallas used to be the recipients. Well, the Stars moved on to the Pacific division and we haven't seen them in posteason play since a little kid named Osgood shut them out in Game 6 of the WCF in '98. Don't get me wrong. I still dislike Dallas, but it's just not the same.

Continue Reading »

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Kid Line Source Of Offense?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

The Macomb Daily Tribune's Bruce MacLeod thinks it's a possibility.

Filppula, 22, Tomas Kopecky, 24, and Jiri Hudler, 22, are young. Call them the Roaring Twenties line. "We're not worried about who's going to make a bad pass, a bad play because there's two other guys just flying around," said Hudler. "It's great to play with Kopie and Fil because all of us are rookies. We're skating."

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CBA Guarantees Game’s Financial Future

Blog: KK Hockey By IwoCPO

Via the Toronto Sun,

It’s about as dull and as dry as it gets, dead certain to make your eyelids heavy within seconds. There is, however, no denying that it is a finely-crafted document that should guarantee the game financial stability into the foreseeable future. Of course, it could never have been put into place without the acquiescence of the players association but, please, no crying on that one. The players are making out just fine, thank you. If revenues hit projections this year, they’ll average about $1.8 million US a man, not far off pre-lockout levels.
More

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Monday Deep Digging

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

24 hours after he told us dwelling on the loss to Bubba was a useless endeavor, Ted Kulfan has finally come around. He's now dwelling, like us, on the offense. DetNews/Ted Kulfan

Babcock has been patient, but the patience of Babcock and general manager Ken Holland might be wearing thin. "To win, your best players have to be your best players," Babcock said. "You have to find a way to make it go in for yourself. When you don't score sometimes you put more pressure on yourself. There's no sense doing that."
And, sometimes, when you don't score that pressure is shared by coach and player. Read the comment section here.

Continue Reading »

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Rules Hindering Competition

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Choosing his words carefully, Tortorella pointed out before yesterday's game against the Senators that he believes NHL officials need to take another look at the game and the way they're calling obstruction penalties. He's concerned with the quantity and quality of the fouls being called. "I'm not crazy about how the game is being played. Last year, everybody was pleased with what happened with our game because they were so glad we were back," said Tortorella.
more

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