Kukla's Korner

Canucks Looking For Offense

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Province,

Not only are the Canucks the league's lowest-scoring team with an average of just 2.11 goals per game, they've managed only five goals in their last six outings and have scored two or fewer goals in 14 of their last 16. "The way we've been playing for a while, we're probably pretty easy to defend," said Canucks captain Markus Naslund, who found himself on a new line at practice Tuesday with Brendan Morrison and Jan Bulis. "We're not generating much real quality offence and that has to come from wanting to make a difference."
more

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Take Away Points For The Landing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The talk this morning was the move by Pierre-Marc Bouchard during a shootout against Chicago last night.

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Goalie Issue In Toronto

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Let's face it. Raycroft was given the starter's job in the pre-season without actually earning it, and for 23 starts he has been allowed the opportunity to convince fans and his teammates he's worthy of the No. 1 role. But it just hasn't happened. It might still, but it hasn't happened yet. After defying the experts with their elevated play for six weeks, the Leafs have become extraordinarily collapsible, outscored 14-2 in the third periods of their last five games.
more

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Where’s Marian

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

There's major concern about Minny RW Marian Gaborik. As reported in the Sunday Sun, he may have suffered a setback with a groin injury that has already forced him to miss 19 games and wasn't on the ice with the club at practice Monday. "I was surprised he wasn't there and I don't know when he will be," said Wild coach Jacques Lemaire.
more on the NHL, including a bit on Yashin...

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What Will Lou Do- Part 2

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NY Post,

In less than 11/2 seasons, the Devils' salary cap victims already include Dan McGillis, Alex Mogilny, Grant Marshall and Jeff Friesen. There's liable to be at least another, soon. Defenseman Richard Matvichuk says he's almost ready to make his season debut from summertime disc surgery. But before he does, Lou Lamoriello will have to clear another $1.3 million in full-season salary to stay under the cap. Matvichuk won't be in the lineup when the Canadiens visit the Meadowlands tonight, still on Long-Term Injury status that allows Lamoriello to replace his salary on the roster, until he's ready to return. Matvichuk thinks he's ready now.
continued

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Creative Journalism 101: Chelios’ Age

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

I guess since every newspaper within 50 miles of an NHL city is doing a "Chelios is really frigging old" story, the Detroit News decided to jump on board. John Niyo/Detroit News

And in the Wings' last victory, a 2-1 nailbiter over the Dallas Stars a week ago, there was no hesitation from Babcock about which defensemen to put on the ice in the final minute of the game. Over the boards came Nick Lidstrom, the team captain, and Chelios. "The thing I know about Cheli is, when the game's on the line, he knows where to be, he knows what to do and he's gonna make the right decision 99 percent of the time," said Babcock, who is 15 months younger than Chelios.

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Chasing Manny

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Big night for Brett Hull, and perhaps the biggest night of the season for a player he mentored in Detroit: Pavel Datsyuk. Statistically? Mediocre by Datsyuk's regular season, career standards. But, placed back on a line with Hank Zetterberg and immediately rewarding Mike Babcock for the move? Oh, that's pretty big. Ted Kulfan/Detroit News

"The bottom line is, they're good players," said Babcock of Datsyuk and Zetterberg. "They were a good line for us (with Mikael Samuelsson), but we had four good lines tonight."

Continue Reading »

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The Mouth That Roared Joins NBC

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from William Houston of the Globe and Mail:

NBC will announce Wednesday that Brett Hull is joining its National Hockey League telecasts. Hull, one of the best (and most outspoken) Americans to play the game, will join Bill Clement and Ray Ferraro in the studio as an analyst. "I just think he's going to really stir it, and that's going to be fun," said Sam Flood, NBC's executive producer of hockey telecasts. "And we've got the outdoor set [the rink at Rockefeller Center in New York]. It will be fun putting this guy on the ice between periods." NBC pursued Hull early last season after he retired. He declined the job, but Flood got in touch with him during the summer.
continued added 9:28am, NBC Sports official release...

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Increase Ratings- Start Fighting

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Dupont at MSNBC,

Fact is, at least by my eye, the game is far too polite for Americans en masse to appreciate. All of 15-20 years ago, the NHL was afraid Americans would shun the game because of fighting. So, out went fighting, and the ratings ... and the ratings ... uh, and the ratings? Isn’t it time to give Americans what they want? Heck, look at what they do watch. High on the list is the whole reality-TV genre, and the more vulgar, the better. Lock someone in a glass box, and have snakes slither over their chest, and hairy spiders tap-dance across their forehead, and look out, the ratings rocket will launch.
more

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#16 Goes To The Rafters

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the St. Louis Blues,

During his heyday with the St. Louis Blues, Brett Hull was good for a goal a game along with maybe a gripe or two, his outspoken nature matching a knack for finding that perfect spot to unleash his slap shot. “He wasn't your prototypical hockey player in a sense that he was very colorful, he spoke his mind, he loved the game and he was very opinionated about it,” said close friend and former teammate Wayne Gretzky. “He was honest to a fault.”
continued image pic via Reuters

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