Kukla's Korner

Kovalev Injury Is Real

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Montreal Gazette,

“People start talking about maybe I’m faking the injury. But it just ended up being right at the time I got benched,” Kovalev said yesterday, during a Canadiens charity event to benefit the Club des Petits Dejeuners du Quebec. “And all of a sudden I’m not playing the next game. It’s not that. I figured I’m not helping the team much with the injury I have, and it’s better to let somebody else healthy play for me.
“In my mind, I know what’s wrong with me. I have to worry about my own health and not worry about what other people say.”

read on

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Addressing Head Hunting

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Canada.com,

Primeau has said he thinks the NHL should address the concussion issue more aggressively. Just so. Starting with a continuum of penalties ranging from a minor to a misconduct or match penalty or, where warranted, suspensions for head hits.
Listen, when you play a violent game like hockey, head trauma is a risk. But the question for general managers and governors is: are they managing that risk intelligently, given the toll concussions take on their prized assets - their players? Is there a way to minimize dangerous head hits without neutering the game?

more

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Blogging Hockey At NBC

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Along with his weekly column at NBC Sports, Eric McErlain has started a hockey blog too.
Nice to see the network set up a blog about the sport they cover. 
Versus, what are you waiting for?

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Forsberg Leaves The Door Open

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post,

“If they want me back, I’m going to hear from them and I would consider it,” Forsberg said at a hastily called press conference during the second intermission of the Flyers’ 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday night at the Wachovia Center.
“I liked it here. I had two of the best teammates I could ask for in Simon Gagne and Mike Knuble. I think we fit each other perfectly and it’s really sad to leave them. If I was to look for a line in the future, I would love to play with them again.”
The Flyers did everything they could to get their 33-year-old captain to re-sign for three or four years. Teammates pleaded with him, as did Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren, team president Peter Luukko and team chairman Ed Snider.

read on

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AO Slumping

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Capitals Insider,

Alex Ovechkin is officially in a slump. The score sheets say so. My eyeballs say so, too….
At this point, Ovechkin is going to need a few multiple goal games to match the 52 he scored as a rookie. Because he’s fallen four off last year’s pace.

more... Both Sid and AO slumping, NBC showcases them this Sunday, somebody needs to break out soon…

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Add More Speed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,

Regier’s escape from this little jam is ignoring Buffalo’s biggest weakness and embracing its greatest strength. The Sabres can be an intimidating, suffocating force when three lines are flying. Throw out four sets of burners when Afinogenov and Tim Connolly come back, and opponents will be begging for the door.
That’s what Regier needs to remember in the days ahead while straying from conventional thinking. The best way to overcome their weakness at this point isn’t by adding more aggressive forwards but adding even more speed, putting the pedal to the metal and wearing down opponents that way.

more

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Take A Break

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Journal,

It’s a 24/7 job being an Oilers fan. Any fool can see that, and I passed that ineptitude test long ago.
But, with the Oilers away for a fortnight that will either be a marathon of hope or a journey of despair, what’s needed, it seems to me, is respite. Could be for a day, a night, a week, might be as brief as skipping a period of the out-of-town broadcast to walk the dog, for the true believers among you.
But it’s important. For the love of Gretzky, look away, take a backward step, take a breath, get some perspective.
Begin living today the experience of daily life without the Oilers this spring. It will be better that way. Wean yourself off the hockey fix, if you can.

read on

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A Good Chance Bertuzzi Stays With Florida

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Palm Beach Post,

Todd Bertuzzi appears to no longer be a candidate for a trade. The latest setback in his rehab from back surgery means Bertuzzi will play at most three games before the deadline, and unless he scores hat tricks in all three, nobody is going to offer more than a conditional draft pick. That’s not enough.
By holding onto Bertuzzi for the rest of the season, Martin gets exclusive negotiating rights with him until July’1. And again, unless he excels beyond expectations in the 20 or so games he plays, it’s hard to imagine any team looking to offer Bertuzzi more than one year at, say, $3 million to $4 million plus incentives. He loves the weather and relative anonymity of South Florida; there’s a good chance he’ll be back.

more Panther player talk…

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600 For Joe

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Denver Post,

Sakic became the 17th NHL player to reach 600 goals with his five-point performance, leading the Avs to a victory in which they overcame 2-0 and 4-2 deficits. His empty-net goal with 9.9 seconds remaining put the game away and his name higher in the record books.
“An empty-netter isn’t the prettiest one to get (600), but it still feels pretty good,” Sakic said. “What it all means, I don’t know, we’ll figure that out some day. But it was just nice to have that put the game away. We needed to win here and we did.”

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Rental Rates Go Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

“I talked to (Flyers GM Paul) Holmgren (Wednesday) night,” said Ducks GM Brian Burke before the game. “We were in there right to the end. We could have Forsberg on the ice right now, but there were certain things I wouldn’t do.”
Burke is now expected to immediately turn his attention to St. Louis and forward Keith Tkachuk, who can play either centre or wing and, like Doan before he signed and Forsberg, is headed for unrestricted free agency this summer.
“But you can’t change your price tag just because another team made a deal,” said Burke, “and the price of rental players is going up.”

more

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