Kukla's Korner

The Best NHL Defenseman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,

The Toronto Maple Leafs like to portray themselves as an organization rich in tradition and excellence, but the fact is they have never had a Norris Trophy winner in their history. That may change this year because Tomas Kaberle is, at this moment, the best defenseman in the NHL. Not only does he lead all NHL defensemen in goals with seven and points with 17, he’s playing 28 minutes a game and excelling in all situations, including defensively (where he’s a plus-4).
continued

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Going For 10 In A Row

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Detroit Free Press,

"We say we're a puck-possession team, but we've changed that quite a bit over the past year and a half," defenseman Chris Chelios said. "We play a system where the forwards really have to come back hard. It makes it tough for them to create offense on the rush. We get a lot of help on defense from the forwards and I'm sure it's tough -- our transition game isn't what it was last year." It has all been part of a plan to become a tougher opponent, to become a team that grinds out victories night after night, the sort of team that looks inward and grows strong.
read on...and make sure to check out A2Y for more Wings coverage, he is just around the korner now...

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Dominating Dman In Finland

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

A quick hockey quiz: Who is the pre-eminent defenceman in Finnish elite league hockey? "He never loses a battle in the corner. He never gives a bad pass. He wins all the one-on-ones. He's more physical than everyone else," says respected Finnish hockey reporter Vesa Rantanen. "The most dominant defenceman in the league," continues Rantanen, who has a theory on why the most reviled Leaf defender in the post-Larry Murphy era has blossomed into a star.
more...most hockey fans should know who the player is...

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Do Something About The Head Hits

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John MacKinnon of the Edmonton Journal,

The GMs took in a video, perused a series of 15 'legal' hits under NHL rules, some of which also caused injury, like Raffi Torres's wallop of San Jose's Milan Michalek during the playoffs last spring. The GMs came away unified in their belief that the tough, open-ice hit is too important to their sport to tamper with. And the concussions? Well, the GMs aren't cold, heartless people. They don't dismiss the plight of Michalek, who missed several games of the Edmonton-San Jose series, or Detroit's Justin Williams, who was flattened by Torres last week and carried off the ice on a stretcher, as mere collateral damage. Like anyone, the GMs are concerned about serious injury. But fearful of removing perceived physical toughness from their sport, it's possible they are unable or unwilling to examine the issue in a nuanced fashion. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly voiced the league's concern during a TV show this week, in which he suggested that if the NHL were to overreact in trying to eliminate the knee-on-knee and the head hit, it would leave only the belly button as a safe spot to legally hit an opponent.
more

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Thursday AM Odds and Ends

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

I think I'm the only North American citizen over the age of 9 who doesn't own an iPod, or MP3 player or whatever current technology tells us we should listen to rather than our spouses, parents, teachers, etc. The reason I bring that up is because I like to jog, and when I jog the last song I heard is going through my head. Well, the last song I heard before I ran last night was being piped over the high-tech sound system at the Navy Exchange. It was "Love Machine". I don't know who recorded it, what year it came out, or much else. I just know "Love Machine" has to be the title because nothing else possibly could. It's disco, and it's horrific. And I couldn't get it out of my head as I ran and ran and ran. It was kind of a rhythm, a six step lyrical nightmare. Every stride was a different word of the only lyric that song seems to have "Oh-baby-I'm-a-love-machine", over and over. It was very possibly one of the three worst episodes of my life. And on that note, I guess there's a little Wing news to discuss.

Continue Reading »

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Cheechoo Suffers “Low” Injury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the AP,

Cheechoo was helped off the ice after Avalanche defenceman Karlis Skrastins fell on top of him in the goal crease late in the frame. The star forward didn't return, and Sharks coach Ron Wilson wouldn't say how long Cheechoo might be out of action. Wilson said the Moose Factory, Ont., native would be evaluated when the team returned home. San Jose's next game is Saturday against Philadelphia in the "Shark Tank." When asked where Cheechoo was hurt, Wilson said, "Low." How low? "Real low," he responded.
It appears to be either his ankle or leg, I will update when information is available.

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Playing Like A #1 Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Calgary Sun,

Left-winger Alex Tanguay, centre Daymond Langkow and right-winger Iginla formed the game's most dominant trio from start to finish and could manage to stick together for a while -- something that hasn't happened often for any Flames combo this season. "The line has potential to do a lot of good things," said Langkow yesterday. "We were skating well and getting open for each other. Both Iggy and Tangs made some great passes. "I just want to continue to play that way." Iginla has had a spectacular start on a personal level and Langkow is on pace to match his numbers from a year ago.
read on

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Linseman Pare Enjoying The Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Windsor Star via Canada.com,

Not many people can say they entered the NHL with Wayne Gretzky in 1979 and managed to outlast the Great One on the ice. However, with 28 NHL seasons on his resume, veteran linesman Mark Pare could make such a boast if he wasn't so modest.... "We're (officials) like the fans, we enjoy watching the game a lot more now too," Pare said. "It's a much more exciting game." He says the modern game has made his job easier. "You can see the players don't get as frustrated in the games," Pare said. "When there was all that hooking and holding, players would react and slug each other. Now, they can actually play the game the way it was meant to be played. "With less frustration, there aren't as many scuffles. Breaking those up are a big part of a linesmen's job and we're all happy not to have to do that as much."
more

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TSN Scores First NHL In-Game Interview

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from William Houston of the Globe and Mail:

TSN is laying claim to a hockey broadcasting first, after colour commentator Pierre McGuire conducted an interview Wednesday night with a player on the ice during a stoppage in play. In the first period of the Ottawa Senators-Buffalo Sabres game, McGuire interviewed Mike Fisher, who was standing at the boards, after the telecast returned from a commercial timeout. According to TSN, this was the first time a National Hockey League player was interviewed during the heat of battle. Fisher was standing on the ice during the interview. There have been occasions on U.S. channels when a player has been interviewed while sitting on the bench.
continued

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Irony Of The Forbesian Kind

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

How's this for synchronicity? Three bloggers, one take on the ramifications of the Forbes report...

Continue Reading »

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