Kukla's Korner

Spotting AO

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from D.C. Sports Bog,

So I'm sitting there, and I'm looking around, and I see a man in a bright pink t-shirt that says "Love Metal," which is pretty noteworthy in itself, and he's next to a woman with a very loud red and black outfit and very blond hair, and I'm like, ok, that's Alex Ovechkin, sitting 20 rows back in a corner section of a Wizards exhibition game, completely anonymous. He was eating Skittles. (The Wizards PR people later told me that they would have gotten him better seats, but he never asked.) There were multiple public displays of affection between AO and his GF. His dad was also there; when the "Bubble Vision" came on the jumbotron, in which fans' faces are distorted and everyone laughs, his dad stuck out his tongue and put his hands by his ears, apparently in an effort to make it onto the Bubble Vision. He didn't make it.
more

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The North American Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei at ESPN,

This can get tricky. In 30 years of covering the sport, off and on, I've sampled a lot of hockey experiences around North America. But not all of them. So this list of my Top Ten North American hockey experiences comes with disclaimers. - COLLEGE GAME AT GRAND FORKS, NORTH DAKOTA The University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux are the biggest athletic act in the state. They play their Western Collegiate Hockey Association home games in what might be not only the nicest arena in college hockey, but also in the sport -- the 11,406-seat Ralph Engelstad Arena.
much more

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On the Hockey Blogs

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Erin Nicks is a freelance hockey writer who also writes The Universal Cynic, a blog which sort of managed to call the Toronto Maple Leafs 'freaks' last week. (Well, that's the way I chose to read it, anyway... more fun that way. There's also something about that team getting fat on rich food as a bonus. Fun!) Or you can check out Off Wing Opinion where a reader provides a user guide for How to Heckle Cam Ward which might come in handy for fans across the league this season. From Detroit, there's Behind the Jersey and this week's feature where Christy interviews the founder and writer of Calgary Flames blog, Double D(ion). And head over to Hound Central 2.0 where you'll discover that the Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron is actually a very, very cool guy. Detroit might have nailed the Pens 2-0 a couple days ago, but the Sidney Crosby Show had bigger concerns that day -- Crosby's second year hockey card issue: "Yes, we have Sidney The Great doing his thing and then we get some Flyers fan dweeb talkin on the cell phone...probably ordering another pizza to stuff his face with." Check it out, hockey fans... that is some kinda hockey card. I'd like to give a general shout out to a couple other hockey blogs I might not have mentioned before. First there's Bolts Mag. Among his many talents, John is adept at repeatedly typing the name Afanasenkov and never making it look like Afiganasekovokoskiv. Along the same lines, there's also Sabre Rattling where Joe has mastered the art of spelling Afinogenov without turning it into Afg*&r#ag*&$off. For spelling alone, read their freakin' blogs. (And yeah, they're also pretty good hockey writers.) I'll finish this off with a segment from Army of the Ohio, because it's on a topic that every hockey fan -- particularly American fans -- can relate to. Michael is none too pleased with Ian O'Connor's story on FoxSports the other day. About that article, Michael writes:

"In his wonderful little editorial, we're welcome to the usual cruft of "No one in the United States cares about hockey", "This is why no one cares about hockey", "Hockey has horrible ratings", "Even [insert obscure sport/television programming] outrates hockey", and so on and so forth. In short? It is the exact same article we've all seen several dozen times to the tenth power." [...] So this is a message just for you, Ian O'Connor. I know you probably won't see it, and I really don't care. But I do this for my own self-satisfaction: NEWS FLASH: YOU HAVE BEATEN THE DEADEST OF THE DEAD HORSES IN ALL OF DEAD HORSES! CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR PROWESS AT BEATING HORSES SO DEAD THAT THEY MAKE THE CORPSE OF GENERAL ULYSSES S. GRANT LOOK FRESH! BE PROUD OF YOUR DEAD HORSE BEATING SKILLS!
Maybe it's time someone started an archive of stories like Ian O'Connor's -- hockey fans everywhere can then cross-check and compare, and at least make sure that the Dead Horse Beaters aren't reprinting the exact same article they wrote last year. Not that they would ever do such a thing, I'm sure...

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Naming Rights

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Your turn hockey fans. Feel free to leave your comments on "hockey lines". How creative can you get with naming your favorite line combination? Just enter your name and comments, all other fields are not mandatory. Fill in the captcha and post your comment. added 10:40am on 10/11/06, The guys of "Hockey This Morning" on XM station 204 gave their opinion (will open mp3 audio) of favorite line names this morning. Also, I wanted to thank everyone for their comments and hundreds of emails I received. I plan to ask for your view on different topics throughout the season.

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Valid Points - On Both Sides

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector at his Fox Sports blog,

Foxsports.com columnist Ian O’Connor’s recent article (“NHL Still Isn’t Must-See TV for Americans”) has sparked a bit of cyberspace outrage amongst some American-based NHL fans. Can’t say I blame them. American NHL fans are every bit as passionate and knowledgeable about the NHL product in particular and hockey in general as their Canadian and European cousins. They’re weary of having their sport mocked and dismissed by the American sports media, and are optimistic over the league’s chances to improve its popularity in the United States.
continued

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No Respect

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from George Johnson at ESPN.

"I'm a little surprised by the outside hockey world and where they have us projected," admitted left winger Ethan Moreau, resisting the urge to bug out his eyes, mop a sweaty brow, yank on an imaginary tie and do a Dangerfield. "I don't understand it. I realize the West is really good. Obviously, we lost [Chris Pronger] and he's the best defenseman in the world. "But with our system, guys are pretty disciplined and dedicated to playing a really aggressive style offensively, but we also take care of our own end. We block a lot of shots, we get in shooting lanes … we don't give up much."
read on

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Possible Knee Problem For Kubina

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Howard Berger reporting on the Fan590 that there is a concern Kubina suffered a ligament tear to his knee in last night's Leafs/Panthers game.

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The Family Room

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,

Every NHL building has a home for the players' wives, girlfriends and family. It's where the fraternity meets. Jessica Conroy, wife of Los Angeles Kings centre Craig Conroy, explains: "That's where you go at the first game to meet everyone and then get dragged around the building and shown everything so you don't get lost," she said. Being part of the fraternity has its benefits. Players' wives know what it's like to suddenly pick up and move around the continent. They understand the stresses and strains of having a husband in the NHL.
more

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Off Wing Opinion Goes To the Peacock

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Eric McErlain will be writing a blog-like column at the NHL secton of NBCSports.com beginning Monday. Best of luck to Eric and kudos to NBC for asking a hockey blogger to get involved with their new website.

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Playoffs Not Good Enough

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the LA Times,

Pronger, however, had a different take on the Blues' run of 25 consecutive playoff seasons that ended last year when they had the NHL's worst record. "I don't know if you want 25 in a row," said the Ducks' defenseman. "We didn't win anything. That's the thing. You want to win. You want to get to the end at some point. "Just to the get to the playoffs is something I don't think we're looking for here. We're looking to win championships."
read on (reg. req.)

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