Kukla's Korner

Sens Losing Without Chara

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

How much has the loss of giant defenceman Zdeno Chara hurt the Senators? Canadiens blueliners Sheldon Souray and Craig Rivet told Montreal reporters that Chara’s departure to the Bruins as an unrestricted free agent last summer has been devastating. Souray and Rivet said people need look no further than Chara to figure out why the club has made a plunge. “I never expected to see the Ottawa Senators so far down in the standings,” Souray said following a practice yesterday in Thornhill. “I knew that losing a guy like Chara was big, but I never thought it would hit them that hard ... No offence to Tom Preissing, but those skates were big to fill.”
read on

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Decision Day For Kasparaitis

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Darius Kasparaitis, whose conditioning assignment to Hartford expires today per the CBA, must either be recalled to the Rangers or placed on waivers. If the Blueshirts reinstate the 34-year-old veteran - whose swift descent from very valuable player to spare part has been mysterious, to say the least - it will be to give him a fair shot at reclaiming the job he lost during training camp. It's difficult to imagine the Rangers will recall Kasparaitis in order to have him sit and chew up chunks of cap space.
continued

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Just Get This Day Over Quickly

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Oh, you're feeling conflicted today. You're torn between being a Wing fan and a hockey fan. For me, it harkens back memories of last spring after The Punch In The Face when Grampa Pinhead used to pose that question to me, to all of us. Gramps, as you may recall, was referring to whether or not the hockey loyalists among us would continue to watch the playoffs after another first-round heartbreak. But, you're suffering similar inner turmoil today. Do you celebrate Patrick Roy's career and acknowledge his rightful entrance in the hockey's Hall of Fame?

Continue Reading »

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Williams Skates; Kronwall Sits

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

We'll get to Jason Williams' status in a minute. Niklas Kronwall, as you may recall, didn't play a 3rd period-shift Friday against Bubba. Apparently, a wonky groin tabled him as a precaution. Well, it may be a bit more serious than we originally thought. Because, depending on who you read, he's out for Tuesday's game against Vancouver. Khan(!)/MLive Weblog

Also, defenseman Niklas Kronwall's groin injury is a little more serious than originally thought. He won't play Tuesday against the Canucks.
Danny Knobler/ MLive
Babcock said he would wait until today's practice in Vancouver to assess Kronwall's status for Tuesday night.
Joanne Gerstner/Detroit News
Niklas Kronwall (strained groin) did not practice Sunday. Babcock said he would be re-evaluated during today's practice in Vancouver to see if he was ready to play Tuesday against the Canucks.
Erin Chan/Detroit Free Press
Because for the first time in 20 years, WrestleMania is coming back to metro Detroit. Tickets officially go on sale Saturday.

Continue Reading »

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Two Guys Walk Into A Bar…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Chen's Hockey Blog,

So, if they league ran the Sidney Crosby commercial every week during an NFL game, don't you think the name Sidney Crosby would become just a little bit more familiar to non-hockey fans? And a lot of the somewhat-knowledgeable sports fans would probably recognize the name from his mentions in SI and ESPN Magazine, thus putting face to name. You're getting an audience of millions of people who've shown they are dedicated to watching sports, so why the hell don't you throw your biggest, most marketable name in front of them every freakin' week?
make sure to check out the story line Mike has written (you'll understand the headline) for his proposed NHL commercial...

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Joe Makes Toast

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the San Jose Sharks,

Sharks forward Joe Thornton added to his acting resume in Los Angeles after the Sharks practice as he will become the latest feature player in the National Hockey League's advertising campaign. Thornton’s participation follows spots that aired earlier in the season, starring Jonathan Cheechoo, Philadelphia’s Peter Forsberg, Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Dallas’ Marty Turco. This series of ads focuses on the fact that NHL players are just like every other normal person. The Hart Trophy winner’s spot shows Thornton caught in a frustrating attempt to make his morning breakfast. However, the only thing he accomplishes is to completely mangle his toast.
more on the Sharks, including Nabokov is feeling better and practiced with the team today...

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Remembering The Backhand

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the St. Petersburg Times,

“If you have a good backhand, you are dangerous from both sides,’’ said Keon, who played for Toronto from 1960-75. “You don’t always have to work to get the puck on your forehand, and you can catch the goalie by surprise.’’ That is because the shot can be gotten off quickly, and its speed rarely correlates with the follow-through of the stick. “It’s almost like facing an off-speed pitch,’’ Lightning goaltender Marc Denis said. “It’s like a catcher trying to catch a curveball or a batter trying to adjust to a changeup.’’ The NHL still has some great backhanders such as Lecavalier, Nashville’s Paul Kariya and Vancouver’s Brendan Morrison. And Esposito said mask or no mask, “Any goalie will tell you they hate backhands because they really don’t know where the hell the puck is going.’’
more

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NHL Players on the Bubble

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

By Debbie Elicksen over at NBCSports.com,

Being on the bubble isn't about the table-top boards being fought over in half of hockey fans' basements. It's not the Missouri 2007 national bubble hockey championships being hosted by the St. Louis Blues. Life on the bubble is the stark reality for about 80 percent of NHL players. It means you can be sent up or down to and from the minors at any given moment, no questions asked. You may not even know why. You make a mistake on the ice, you think, is this going to be my last shift in the game? On the team?
Continued. (Plus a rookie initiation story involving Eric Lindros, Fred Brathwaite, and running naked through an Oshawa shopping mall. Ahh... the good old days before the concussions.)

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Fan Post Of The Day: Babcock Deserves Credit

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

image If the months following the Wing ouster at the hands of Edmonton was The Summer of Ken, then it's only fair that a similar microscope hover over the performance of Mike Babcock. By most accounts, he has the team he wants. And, this team is playing the style that suits him. The next 6 months will show whether this grit and hustle we've seen the last two weeks is a brief trend or a makeover that will translate into playoff success. But for now...credit is due. Our Fan Post of the Day comes from the Detroit News message board and belongs to CBlackburn from Grosse Pointe.

Continue Reading »

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Disability Doesn’t Stop Teen Goalie

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from WCCO,

Most opponents never know that her right lower arm and hand never developed during childhood. Yet, on average, only one shot on goal gets past her every game." I don't even notice, I just don't I am just used to it," she said. Despite all of her obvious talent, none of this would have been possible without a specially designed goalie glove with a built in prostheses -- probably the only one of its kind in the world.
more... with video... image

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