Kukla's Korner

Forsberg Knows He Is At The End Of His Career

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

“I always want to play better,” Forsberg said after Sweden’s white-knuckle 4-2 victory over Belarus yesterday. “I’m 36. I don’t think it’s going to get much better. To be honest, I’d rather be in my prime than like this.”

There was resignation in his voice as well as his piercing blue eyes. For the last couple years, since he withdrew from NHL competition because of a chronic foot problem, there are periodic reports that Forsberg might return. He is hockey’s Sasquatch, Loch Ness monster and D.B. Cooper all rolled into one.

“I would say [he’s been asked] at least 100 times,” Forsberg said, and that has to be a conservative estimate. “I tried to come back in Colorado, but I wasn’t playing at the level I want.”

Guess what? Forget it. Forsberg said he will finish the season with the Swedish League team he plays with, but that will likely be it for his stellar career.

Indeed, when he looks back with the benefit of hindsight, he can see that his efforts to play with the foot injury were futile.

read on

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: peter+forsberg, team+sweden

It’s A Worldwide Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times,

No one says that the N.H.L. is anything less than the world’s top league. But some of the best players so far at these Olympics do not make their living in it.

Some once were stars in North America: Jaromir Jagr of Avangard Omsk in the Russian K.H.L., Zigmund Palffy of HK 36 Skalica in the Slovakian Extraliga, Peter Forsberg of Modo Hockey Ornskoldsvik in the Swedish Elitserien and Sergei Fedorov of Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the K.H.L.

Others are players who established themselves as stars in their respective domestic leagues: Alexei Morozov of Ak Bars Kazan in the K.H.L., Roman Cervenka of Slavia Prague in the Czech Extraliga and Hnat Domenichelli of SC Bern in the Swiss N.L.A.

“We can skate — in Switzerland the games are so fast,” Domenichelli said after the Swiss team had rallied from two goals behind to extend Canada to overtime and then to a shootout.

Domenichelli was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, and played 267 N.H.L. games before heading to Switzerland in 2003. He is the N.L.A.’s No. 2 scorer.


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Well, to be honest, I see it as a good problem to have. He has made it difficult for us to consider a trade, because he has played so well. I’m glad he has, because he’s a competitor and he’s got a lot of pride. It’s terrific not only for him, but for us that he’s played this way. That makes the decision tough for us, but we’ll hopefully make the right one when it comes time.

-Dallas Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk on what to do with goaltender Marty Turco.  More from Joe by Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+nieuwendyk

The Rivalry Continues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

The U.S. won the World Cup of hockey in 1996, defeating Canada in the finals.

Canada won the gold medal in Salt Lake City in 2002, beating the Americans.

And so it has gone: The most recent example being a Canadian shootout win on New Year’s Eve, followed by the gold medal loss at the World Junior tournament in Saskatoon last month.

This isn’t 1980 anymore. This isn’t a pickup team of hungry American college kids taking on the world’s best. This is Patrick Kane and Erik Johnson, first picks in the NHL draft, and this is Bobby Ryan and Jack Johnson, second picks. This is more than half a team of first round picks — and most of the rest should have been first rounders.

“There’s a lot of talent in the U.S. right now” said Team Canada executive director Steve Yzerman. “This is a legitimate rivarly and they’re a legitimate rival.

“The game is growing in the States and we can bad mouth the NHL that we’re in all these bad markets, but what’s happened in those markets is you’re starting to see hockey players developed. You’re starting to see players from Calfornia and St. Louis and other places where there were no players before.”


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

One Game Can Make The Difference

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,

The one-game philosophy sure makes it interesting, even in 2010 where logic tells you Team Canada has more than enough goods to win this thing. Or the Russians, with their strong goaltending and potent offense.

But ...

“If you were to put us against Canada in 82 games, I don’t like our chances,” Sweden’s Daniel Alfredsson said. “But to play them one game, we definitely can beat them.”

“I don’t think it’s a given that Canada’s going to win. Not at all,” American forward Ryan Malone told reporters. “I mean, I can understand why people here feel that way. There’s a lot of pride. Canadians learn to play hockey before they go to church. But I look around at the players I’ve seen here today, and I see not just two or three teams that can win this. I see a lot of them.”

“That’s the biggest thing of all,” Malone said. “It’s just one game. Anything can happen.”

read on

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

Team Canada A Work In Progress

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail at CTVOlympics,

Coach Babcock determined there was more value to granting a day of rest, than in rehashing what went wrong against the Swiss. Babcock figured there’ll be time enough to do that Saturday, a day before their highly anticipated showdown with arch-rivals, the United States, with first place in the Group A standings and an automatic berth into next week’s quarter-final round up for grabs.

Even with a regulation and shootout win to show for its first two games, Canada is a decided work in progress, which is almost always the case in these frantically paced tournaments. Above all, they have been guilty of over-passing the puck and deferring constantly to new line-mates. Babcock needs to instill in them that a healthy selfishness is OK once in awhile - and that when the opportunity for a shot is there, they should take it instead of dishing off.

“The gold medal game is not tomorrow night,” said Sidney Crosby, after scoring the shootout winner against the Swiss. “That’s the good news.”

read on

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

NBC Corrects Matt Lauer Mistake

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

Sorry, hockey fans. Matt Lauer, host of NBC’s “Today” show,  misspoke Friday morning when he said Sunday’s preliminary-round hockey showdown between the U.S. and Canada will be shown on NBC.

A spokesman for NBC Universal confirmed that the game will be aired on MSNBC, as planned, and that Lauer was mistaken in saying the game would be broadcast on NBC.

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nbc

Olympic Hockey Wake-Up Calls

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By VooX

Prior to the Olympics there was rampant predictions that the hockey tournament was going to be a battle between Canada and Russia.  If yesterday’s games did not halt such folly, then nothing will.

Starting with Canada’s game against the Swiss, hockey fans and analysts were treated to a game that proved nothing can be taken for granted.  And there were a few things I’ve noticed as trends so far.

First, the SJ Sharks line of Thornton - Heatley - Marleau are Team Canada’s best forward line.  They provided more energy and scoring opportunities than all the other forward lines combined.  Despite some wishing to credit the victory to Rosby, it is evident that the skill and chemistry of the Sharks’ line carried Team Canada through a (too) tight game.

Second, while I cannot dispute that Pronger should be on the squad despite my loathing of him in general, he should never have been given Associate Captain status.  His completely brainless


play (edit: I was mistaken about the penalty) led to the tying Swiss goal.  In typical Pronger fashion, the Neanderthal put his own vendetta ahead of the team’s best interests.  I hope that Hitchcock bitch-slapped him all night for being his typical brain-dead self.

Third, remember those “Rosby doesn’t stop” Gatorade commercials?  They should be changed to “Rosby doesn’t stop, except to backcheck”.  It would be much more accurate given the Golden Child’s aversion to any backchecking.  By my (unofficial) Rosby Backcheck Tracker, Thid the Kid only backchecked twice.  When he chose to backcheck, he broke up the opposing rush.  See how that works, Rosby?  It’s a team game bitch, start playing like it is.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Preliminary Round Schedule For Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Any upsets?


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

Oh Boy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the National Post via the Calgary Herald,

The Alberta government issued a release yesterday announcing that 2009 was the third year in a row for a record number of births in the province. Simple enough. But then it went on to list some of the names of those babies. They were ... eclectic. We’re being polite here.

Some favourites for boys’ names: Argyll, Bison, Boss, Chaos, Cherubim, Dice, Helix, Kal-El, Lightning, Morpheous, Mystery, Thunder and Whip

Boys were also named Costello, Ledger, Obama and Sutherland—and even Ericlindross, who presumably was named for the former NHL player of the same name, although his last name was spelled “Lindros.”

continue for the girl names and Hayleywickenheiser is not one of them…

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

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