Kukla's Korner

Refs Consider Mandatory Visors

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from the Toronto Sun:

Two National Hockey League referees have suffered serious facial injuries in the first month of play, firing up the same debate about mandatory visors as in the players' ranks. Don Koharski took a puck in the face in a game in Phoenix early last week and damaged his orbital bone, while Rob Martell has been sidelined since early in the schedule with a puck that struck just above the eye that still is causing him vision problems. There have been close calls elsewhere through the first 170 games. "We've had a few scares," NHL senior vice-president and director of officiating Stephen Walkom said yesterday. "Don was fortunate in that he required just seven to nine stitches. He's doing well and he has gone home to take it easy a few days. He should be good to go in games next week.
continued

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Koivu Motivated To Face Champs

Blog: KK Hockey By IwoCPO

Saku Koivu faces Carolina for the first time since an errant Justin Williams stick almost cost him his career last Spring. Via the Montreal Gazette.

Yesterday, Koivu said it's the chance to beat the club that ended the Canadiens 2005-06 season and went on to win the Stanley Cup, and nothing personal with Williams, that motivates him. "What happened, happened," he said. "It was an accident. He didn't have the intention of hurting me. To be honest, I hadn't thought about the Williams incident. It's not going to play a big role (tonight).
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Daly: Fans Like Sked As-Is

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from David Pollack of the Mercury News:

[Dave Nonis's] public outburst was nothing that league officials hadn't heard privately, according to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly. ``We're aware of his concerns,'' Daly said. ``I certainly understand them and appreciate them, but they don't represent the majority of the teams in the league.'' Still, he added, ``if there are ways to make the schedule better, we would pay attention and seek to make it better. It's just identifying those ways.''

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Mum’s Already The Word in Minnesota

Blog: KK Hockey By IwoCPO

Here's a complaint we don't usually hear until playoff time. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports this morning that the Wild are too tight-lipped when it comes to injury disclosure.

It's only November, but playoff lexicon is now in the daily vocabulary of injury disclosures by the Minnesota Wild. Diagnoses such as "lower-body soreness" typically are reserved for postseason injury reports. But the team said Wednesday it would start classifying injuries to its players in the vaguest terms while forbidding them from commenting about theirs or teammates' injuries the rest of the season.
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Calder Competition For Malkin

Blog: KK Hockey By IwoCPO

Via the Pittsburgh Post Gazette,

But just as Ovechkin had to hold off the Penguins' Sidney Crosby, Calgary defenseman Dion Phaneuf and New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to win the Calder last season, Malkin appears to have some strong competition in 2006-07. One push could come from teammate Jordan Staal, the 18-year-old who beat the odds to stick with the Penguins.
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Progress For Stillman

Blog: KK Hockey By IwoCPO

Via the Raleigh News and Observer,

As the Carolina Hurricanes' recovery continues from offseason shoulder surgery, he took a step forward that had nothing to do with his physical state and everything to do with his mental state, traveling with the team for Wednesday's game against the Atlanta Thrashers, his first road trip of the year. "It has been tough," Stillman said. "If you're only going to miss a game or two, it's OK. But for me to sit here and know that there are months and months of rehab to be done, watching games is very hard for me."
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Players Cautious to Avoid McCarty’s Plight

Blog: KK Hockey By IwoCPO

Via the Detroit Free Press,

Many Wings players said Wednesday that his situation shows the importance of knowing who is managing their money and what is being done with it at all times. "If you put yourself out there and put yourself in that situation, there's certainly people that are going to want to take your money," forward Kris Draper said.
Continued

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Malkin Scores

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the AP,

Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin became the first NHL player in 89 years to score goals in his first six games, beating Los Angeles goalie Dan Cloutier with a wrist shot 8:29 into the first period Wednesday night. The 20-year-old Russian matched the mark shared by Joe Malone, Newsy Lalonde and Cy Denneny, who each scored in their first six games during the NHL's inaugural season in 1917-18.

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Belfour: “No alcohol involved.”

Blog: KK Hockey By IwoCPO

The CP, citing a report in today's Palm Beach Post, is featuring a rebuttal from Eddie Belfour.

"I don't even know why we're talking about it," Belfour told the Post, adding "there was no alcohol involved whatsoever." But the night resulted in fellow Panthers goalie Alex Auld needing stitches. Belfour told the newspaper Auld was hurt later while they were "horsing around" in the hotel lobby. "They have the marble floors there, and they're slippery," Belfour said of the hotel lobby. "We were just horsing around with each other, I dropped my bottle of water and we all slipped. Alex hit his head when we fell down."
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Sabres Work As A Unit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Ryan Miller participated in an NHL tele-conference today...

Q. Hey Ryan, just wondering, with such an emphasis on offense in the league. So many teams are having trouble keeping it under 3, 3 1/2 goals against. What's been the key to your team's team defense, especially on a team that's known for such wide open play? RYAN MILLER: I think it's just, one, that we have I don't think we’re wide open it appears to be wide open, but we have a responsible man when we're forechecking to allow our defense to interact. We work as a unit. I think that that's the case for our team being wide open, but also responsive. Also in our own zone we do a good job of supporting each other in the shooting lanes. So I think Marty and I definitely benefit from a situation like that.

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