Kukla's Korner

More Goals For Markus

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ed Willis of the Vancover Province,

Markus Naslund is trying his damnedest to conform to Alain Vigneault's system but we'd trade the reliable, defensively-responsible Naslund in a heartbeat for the guy who used to score 40. There are a couple of problems, of course. Vigneault's emphasis on percentage hockey doesn't play to Naslund's strengths. Naslund misses Todd Bertuzzi's ability to play the give-and-go game and create space in the offensive zone. He hasn't found any chemistry with the 98 linemates he's had this season.
read on

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Keep An Eye On The Caps

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside at ESPN,

But the Capitals are climbing the ladder as a team in a way that few others are. While the lockout was debilitating for some franchises and confusing for others, the Capitals took advantage to build from within, which is just as well given that owner Ted Leonsis isn't about to spend much money after the Jaromir Jagr fiasco. Hanlon points to center Brian Sutherby, who has played with a significant portion of the team at a number of different levels in the past four or five years. "Brian Sutherby has been pretty much the captain of a group of younger players. They've established that, and it's a really neat relationship. These guys have been together in their summer camps and they've just been so close and so tight," Hanlon said.
more

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Define The Shootout Rules

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

But now that shootouts are established and clearly here to stay, the expected response is evolving. Coaches and players are pushing the rules to the limit. Last week, the Minnesota Wild's Pierre-Marc Bouchard beat the Chicago Blackhawks in a shootout with a goal that probably should have been disallowed. He roared in on Nik Khabibulin, did a 180-degree turn at the edge of the crease then backhanded the puck into the net. First of all, he interfered with Khabibulin, who had no chance to react with Bouchard leaning on him.
read on

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Alfredsson At 70%

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Sun,

"It's not bad, I can skate at 70% without a problem," he said afterward. "I haven't tried starts or stops or sprinting or anything, but it's just nice to be out there." Alfredsson could only say "I hope so" when asked if he would be able to play on the current Senators' road trip, which has four stops and ends Saturday in Buffalo. "There's a possibility he could play by the end of the week," said coach Bryan Murray, who points at Alfredsson's ability to bounce back from a rib injury after just four games last season as an example of the Swede's toughness. "It's day-to-day, and it'll be his call."
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Hockey Sense

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the San Francisco Chronicle,

In the span of his first eight NHL games, Joe Pavelski has scored in his debut, put together a three-game goal-scoring streak and scored a game-winner in the final six seconds of regulation to give the Sharks a rare win in Detroit. He also has picked up the nickname "Little Joe", which might be his proudest achievement to date. Anytime a 22-year-old rookie can get linked to Joe Thornton that fast is impressive indeed. This Little Joe didn't come straight off the Ponderosa, but you can't blame the Sharks if they think they've struck a bonanza. "He's just a hockey player," general manager Doug Wilson said. "He can play anywhere, he can play with anybody. Hockey sense not only allows you to step in, but it allows you to play."
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A Fond Memory To Start Your Week

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Awww, now this was a fun read. Gather the kids round the Commodore 64, throw on some Christmas music before school, sit back and enjoy this little nugget.

“Going in to the series, I don’t think we would have said, ‘Oh, absolutely, we can pull off an upset.’ We had so much respect for Detroit.”
An Edmonton player from last year, recalling the days prior to the Punch In The Face? Nope.

Continue Reading »

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Monday With Your Deep Diggers

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Dan Cleary is thecond on the team with ten goalth, but may be middle of the pack in termth of tooth-count. George Thipple/Detroit Free Preth

"I'm having a hard time speaking," said Cleary, whose two front teeth were knocked out in a game recently. He hasn't gone to the dentist yet, and he's having trouble with words that contain the letter S. After netting a goal and an assist to extend his current point streak to five games in Saturday's 5-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, Cleary joked that he wasn't in a hurry to set up a dental appointment. "I might keep 'em out now," Cleary said.

Continue Reading »

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Bondra A Blackhawk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Chicago Blackhawks,

General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the Blackhawks have signed forward Peter Bondra. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. “He’s a proven goal scorer,” said General Manager Dale Tallon. “He’s a tremendously fit athlete who will add more speed and skill to our lineup. He will help our power play and his experience will greatly help our younger players.”
continued

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Would Hockey Work In KC?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Kanas City Star,

Sure, the KC hockey team would be popular the first few years simply because of the novelty. But for hockey to have success long-term, many Kansas Citians would have to embrace what is, to them, a foreign culture. But to Brian Dostal, 28, that culture might already exist in Kansas City. “I don’t think Kansas City is an NBA town,” Dostal says. “Hockey is more blue-collar. I see basketball as prima donna, for the East and West coasts. “You watch a Lakers game, and you see Jack Nicholson. Who do we have? I can’t see Kobe Bryant out on the town here. But I could be sitting right here at Willie’s, and a third-line defenseman could walk in, and you wouldn’t even know it.”
more

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Deal Or No Deal? Pavel’s Costly Mistake

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Bruce Garrioch talks at length this morning about Pavel Datsyuk's strategic error in not signing for big bucks when he had the chance.

While indications are the Wings offered him a deal that would have paid him more than $5 million a season to make him a centrepiece of the organization, Datsyuk thumbed his nose at it. The word is Datsyuk is seeking between $6 million and $7 million a year on a new contract, so Holland decided to call off any further talks until after the season.
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