Kukla's Korner

Big Team & Small Results

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

According to numbers provided by the NHL, Washington’s players average 6-foot-2 1/2, and 212 pounds. This flies in the face of the image of the “new-NHL” which is assumed to once again be a haven for the undersized player.
All that beef does not have the Capitals trundling up the standings. They sit in 14th spot in the Eastern Conference, with the lowest ratio of points to cost of pre-game meals.

more numbers…

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The Last Of The Great Underdogs

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail:

They have made movies of the life of Rocket Richard and of the 1972 Summit Series, but there may be no richer material for a hockey drama than what took place in Toronto and Montreal that improbable spring of 40 years ago.
It was Centennial Year, and the Maple Leafs and the Canadiens — the sole Canadian franchises in the National Hockey League — were playing the national game for the most revered Canadian trophy, the Stanley Cup.
The powerful Canadiens — two-time defending champions, the bleu, blanc et rouge of Jean Béliveau, Henri Richard, Yvan Cournoyer — were hoping to display the prized Cup at Expo 67, which had opened only five days earlier in Montreal.
The ‘67 Leafs — now all in their 60s, 70s and 80s — somehow denied Montreal that glory and, Saturday, will themselves be honoured at the Air Canada Centre as the ‘07 Leafs take on the Edmonton Oilers.

continued

 

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Gretzky Off The Stage

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Wayne Gretzky is one weary hockey saviour.
He sits quietly in the corner of Big City Bagels and Deli, partially hidden behind a large yellow garbage container, enjoying the bracing effects of a large cardboard cup of coffee less than 12 hours after he and his Phoenix Coyotes have absorbed another loss, their 33rd in 58 games.
Tough sledding, this is.
For the first time since the brief period between his retirement as a player and his re-emergence as a powerful figure in Canadian Olympic circles, Gretzky seems slightly off-stage this season, less associated with hockey glory.

read on

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Crackdown On Physicality

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Sun,

Goalies are tired of being treated like tackling dummies and D-men are tired of being handcuffed by nancy boy rules that won’t let them do anything about it.
“Guys are a lot braver now when it comes to standing in front of the net,” said Vancouver’s Rory Fitzpatrick.
“Before, you could get four good crosschecks in before the referee even gave you a warning. Now, with the new rules ...”
You can barely touch a guy. Some referees have taken the crackdown on obstruction to mean a crackdown on physicality, turning what used to be the toughest real estate in the rink into a picnic ground.

much more NHL stuff….

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Jovo Done?

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from the Arizona Republic:

Coyotes General Manager Mike Barnett said Friday that the groin injury that is bothering defenseman Ed Jovanovski is similar to the abdominal muscle injury that center Patrick Fischer had surgically repaired on Wednesday.
Barnett said, however, the jury is still out on whether the team would shut down Jovanovski for the season.
“It’s going to require further discussion with our doctors and Ed himself, who has now brought his agent into the discussion,” Barnett said. “I can’t tell you we’ll have an answer immediately, but we should by the end of the weekend as to what action to take. . . . The goal isn’t for him to be ready for September. The goal is for him to be ready for July.”

continued

 

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What else can go wrong in Montreal?

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Robert Tychkowski via Winnipeg Sun,

5. Health Canada determines cigarettes, poutine and smoked meat sandwiches are bad for you.
4. Ken Dryden finds the other half of his number retirement speech.
3. Federal government quits sucking up.
2. They sign Sergei Samsonov to a two-year, $7 million deal. Oops, never mind.
1. Sean Avery learns French.

continued… plus a rant about the NHL’s Rent-a-Player system.

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The Future Of Nashville Is In Forsberg’s Hands

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,

In so many ways, the Nashville Predators represent how the National Hockey League, in its cash-grab expansion phase, got it dead wrong.
When peddling franchises was the league’s real core business, the ruling conceit — which, to be fair, predates the Gary Bettman era — was that you could sell the game anywhere, just so long as you had the right demographics, the right arena deal. The pre-existence of a hockey culture was beside the point.
Just find an owner ready to pay whatever price the market would bear, by whatever financial means necessary. Let him in turn find compliant local politicians with an empty arena desperate for a tenant.

continued

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Habs Feeling The Pressure

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via Yahoo,

Media pundits and talk show callers have been clamouring for general manager Bob Gainey to make a trade with the club in an 8-16-1 slide and a once-secure playoff spot clearly in jeopardy.
“Every year you go through this,” defenceman
Sheldon Souray said of the trade talk. “And playing in a city like Montreal, everyone has an opinion.”
“We’ve got one GM, not 300,000 of them. We worry about what we can control and we can’t control what goes on in the front office, There’s more speculation than usual. but that’s normal at this time, especially with us in the situation we’re in,”

read on

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KK- Friday Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I will be in and out most of the night, so let’s make this an open post.
Any news, feel free to post in the comments or KK members have the option to post in the KK Forums too.

I will be checking in and have remote capabilities, so I will update when possible.

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If Healthy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre Lebrun of the CP,

Yes the Detroit Red Wings, Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks remained solid Stanley Cup contenders. But the rival Nashville Predators may have put themselves one step ahead of that group with Thursday night’s acquisition of superstar centre Peter Forsberg.
“He’s a very good player. He’s one of the best,” Sharks GM Doug Wilson said Friday. “There’s a risk-reward involved with what you give up, and two, the health and productivity. The crystal ball will tell us.
“If he’s healthy and plays like he’s capable of, it’s a very good move for Nashville.”
“If he’s healthy, Nashville’s a better team,” said Ducks GM Brian Burke. “The issue with Peter Forsberg isn’t whether or not he’s a potent offensive weapon, he is. He’s a great player.”

more

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