Kukla's Korner

Banging The Big Red Drum

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

By George Malik: The Red Wings have made some great strides over the past month. The broadcast that Fox 2 produced earlier this month was tremendous. It broke away from the stale recycled clips from Red Wings Weekly that the FSD production crew sees fit to use over and over again for a month as pre-game, intermission, and post-game content. Instead, we were treated to at least one player interview per period, multiple post-game interviews, multiple interviews with the coaching staff, and a fascinating game-long feature on the insides of the Red Wings locker room, something that we in Detroit have (for better or worse) never seen before The broadcast teemed with an enthusiasm that's lacking from the FSD broadcasts, and gave us a sense that, at least when the game's on Fox 2, we'll get some locally-produced must-see Red Wings television. While the Wings mentioned it offhandedly during a road game, the arena is finally getting rid of the 3x3 blocks of big screen TVs from 1989, and it's replacing them with LED displays. That's a substantial investment in making the in-game experience better, which is encouraging. It's not charging less than $15 for parking (that's a real deal-breaker), but it's a good start back on the right track. The Wings also made Henrik Zetterberg available for an autograph signing at Hockeytown Authentics this past Monday that simply required the donation of a working smoke detector with batteries for low-income families in Detroit. In years past, they'd simply mention that it was smoke detector time, and that the player involved had signed a jersey and a puck which two of the however many people who donated at the rink could win in a raffle--which they did this year as well--and left it at that. Progress is progress, especially when it's for a good cause.

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A New Era In Pittsburgh

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Shawna Richer of the Globe and Mail,

Much has changed since last year. Not only do the Penguins have two of the best young players in the game, they added quality role players in forwards Dominic Moore and Jarkko Ruutu and defenceman Mark Eaton (out several months with a broken wrist). Marc-André Fleury is the No. 1 goaltender and has a fearlessness he sometimes lacked last season. "We've got a confident mentality now," Crosby said. "We know we can win those close games that maybe we wouldn't have last year. Last year is forgotten." They have a new owner — billionaire Jim Balsillie, the co-chief executive officer of Research In Motion. Dana Heinze, the new equipment manager, lured from the Lightning, remodelled the dumpy, outdated dressing rooms. Lemieux's No. 66 banner hangs from the ceiling of Mellon Arena. A new era has arrived.
more

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Russian Rookie Rips Sens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,

Alexei Kaigorodov might have shied away from the heavy hitting (okay, any hitting) on the ice here, but the former Senators forward threw some pretty good punches in the newspaper once he was back home. His targets: Senators GM John Muckler and coach Bryan Murray. Kaigorodov, who arrived in camp touted as the Senators' potential second-line centre, said he was "deceived" by Muckler and had "no communication" with the coaching staff.
continued

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It Won’t Happen Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Thrashers general manager Don Waddell was assured by league officials that the violation of league rules on Saturday regarding the use of video replay will not happen again. In the first period of Saturday's 3-1 loss to the Canadiens, video goal judge David Taveroff could not get the attention of on-ice referees to inform them that he wanted to review whether a save Thrashers goalie Johan Hedberg made on Sergei Samsonov's shot was actually a goal. Because of a mechanical failure from Taveroff's booth to the ice-level officials, a faceoff and eight seconds of play occurred before the timekeeper blew the siren to get the referees' attention. The play was subsequently reviewed.
continued

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Holiday Travel

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Updates will be sparse today as the IwoCPO family leaves the Midsouth, trekking steadily toward the badlands of Oklahoma. I'm not sure if Oklahoma is technically the "badlands." I just happen to enjoy the term "badlands." So, off we go and leave you to fend for yourselves. You may do so by using the various hockey and Wing-specific references I've been kind enough to provide for you on the port side of this page.

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Game Day Preview: Canucks at Wings

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

You can't blame Canuck fans if they're still smarting from last week's loss. Six million dollar baby Bobby let in a softy to the Mule and that was all she wrote. Tonite Vancouver, bubbly from a two-game winning streak against the Central JV squads, tries to gain a measure of revenge. We, the impartial scribes here at A2Y, suggest caution though. If you are a Canuck fan, heady with the success of your recent victories against Chicago and Columbus errrr, St. Louis (thanks Andrew), you may want to reminisce for a moment, and recall previous episodes of overconfidence and their unfortunate consequences.

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Protecting The Jewels

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

I guess when you're the Holland/Babcock brain trust and you sign a quirky 41-year old groin injury waiting to happen, you do so with the expectation that the coming season could very well turn into something of a three-ring circus. You anticipate seven months of shielding your eyes every time he goes post-to-post, and hope for approximately two months, 9 days of reaping the rewards of your brilliant foresight. But when the backup you signed to back-up the last psycho goalie you eventually, and thankfully, let walk gets hurt and can't back-up the current brittle goalie...well, it's time to get creative. And creativity this week means that when Hasek gets a rest, he rests on the bench instead of in the press box. And creativity means that if Joey MacDonald lets in 6 goals in 6 minutes Friday against the Blues (I know, I know...bear with me), the backup signed to bring the Cup back up to Detroit won't be budging.

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Not Suitable For All Viewers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I am watching the Flames/Oilers game tonight on CI, and this comes up during the first intermission (the hosts are talking about the Staios signing today). Notice the print!!! image

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Good News For Ortmeyer

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

vai the New York Rangers,

Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that right wing Jed Ortmeyer has been cleared to start non-contact practice. Extensive medical testing has shown that Ortmeyer has fully recovered from a pulmonary embolism that was diagnosed on August 13, 2006.

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Arnott Out Up To Six Weeks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Nashville Predators,

The Predators announced Tuesday that center Jason Arnott is expected to miss three to six weeks as the result of arthroscopic knee surgery he is scheduled to undergo on Wednesday, Nov. 22. Arnott, who is currently fourth on the team in scoring with 16 points (7g-9a), left Monday night's game in Columbus early in the second period of play with a leg injury. He did not return. Arnott flew to Nashville for an evaluation of his right knee Tuesday, at which point it was determined that surgery would be required. In other injury news, winger Josef Vasicek, who also left Monday night's game early, has returned to Nashville with back spasms. Forward Alexander Radulov was recalled from Nashville's development affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals, on Tuesday. To make room on the roster, defenseman Mikko Lehtonen has been placed on injured reserve. Lehtonen was diagnosed with a concussion as the result of a hit to the head by Pascal Dupuis in the Thursday, Nov. 16 game against Minnesota.

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