Kukla's Korner

Yashin Out With Knee Sprain

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

vai TSN,

New York Islanders captain and leading scorer Alexei Yashin will be out of the lineup for 2-4 weeks with a sprained knee, the team reported today. Yashin was injured in the third period of the Islanders' 4-1 win over Washington on Saturday night. "It's a big loss, no doubt, especially with Yash playing so well, but every team has to deal with injuries," said Islanders head coach Ted Nolan. "It's up to everyone else to step up their games and take advantage of the opportunities they're provided."

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Franzen Out With MCL

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

The latest rounds of tests on Johan Franzen's left knee have revealed damage that will keep him out indefinitely, according to Helene St. James' blog.

"They didn't do another MRI; I guess they had someone different look at it, and there was a little bit of fluid," coach Mike Babcock said Monday after the morning skate. "I guess what that tells you is that there might be a one-plus or a two-minus MCL sprain. That means he's not playing and not available for a while. I don't see him for the weekend for sure."
Babcock said Franzen is showing no ill effects of the concussion. Anyone have any objections to Helene St. James fleeting up to Deep Digger captain? Her blog is updated more consistently. Her writing is generally better. Khan(!) may be getting a little too comfortable in his captaincy. It's a tough decision. I'm struggling with it.

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Theodore To Rely On Instincts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Denver Post,

Goaltending has always been partly about physics and geometry. Much of it has to do with cutting down angles and size-distance ratios. A goalie who comes out of his net closer and squares up to the shooter, for example, reduces the amount of net the shooter can see. Jose Theodore knows all that. But it was his and Avalanche goalie coach Jeff Hackett's recent opinion that Theodore was devoting too much time to the mechanical aspects and not enough to the baser, more instinctual elements.
continued

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Yawney Fired

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

The Chicago Blackhawks have fired head coach Trent Yawney. Blackhawks general manager Dale Tallon has announced that Blackhawks legend Denis Savard will replace Yawney behind the bench. Savard had been an assistant with the Blackhawks since retiring from the NHL following the 1996-1997 season.
via the Chicago Blackhawks,
The bottom line is wins and losses and we needed to win more," said general manager Dale Tallon. "We've had some injuries, but in spite of that we're a better team than our record shows." Tallon wants his club to play a more up-tempo style and believes Savard can move the Blackhawks in a new direction. Savard, a Hall of Fame player who has been a Blackhawk assistant since 1997, is excited about the opportunity despite the unfortunate circumstances. "I've always wanted to be a head coach," Savard said. "The circumstances are not the greatest because when you take over for somebody mid-season it means things did not go as well as we all expected. "We're not happy over the last few years as far as our win-loss record is concerned," Savard added. "The players have to share that responsbibility. But we're looking to move forward and go in a new direction.

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Edmonton Prepares To Greet Pronger

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Journal,

Insecurity, immaturity and foolishness. That's what will drive some fans to ride Chris Pronger relentlessly at Tuesday evening's game between the Anaheim Ducks and the Edmonton Oilers. Rexall Place will fill with the sound and fury of booing, every time Pronger touches the ice. Will it throw him off his game? Unlikely. Instead, it will reveal more about the fan than the player. It will reveal how some sports fans lose themselves in the fantasy of home team and "our" players.
continued

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The “New” Blue Jackets

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Columbus Dispatch,

As far as Blue Jackets generalship goes, it might be the best three days since Gettysburg. The Jackets are suddenly a different team. They have the puck, they’re poised, they’re attacking and they’re not panicked. They’re suddenly using their size to grind down teams. What has Hitchcock done? "He explained our roles individually and as a group," center Sergei Fedorov said. "(Saturday night), everyone really understood what we were trying to do as a group. The group speed is better. We played patient hockey. It’s only one game, and we will see where it goes from here, but it’s a good start."
more

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Life After Europe

Blog: KK Hockey By IwoCPO

Via the Toronto Sun and Slam!,

After three seasons in Switzerland (Jamie) Heward is in his second year on the Washington Capitals' blue line. "Years ago it was different," Heward said. "Guys would pretty much go over to never come back and now it has changed. It's not necessarily a death sentence (for a career back home) like it used to be." Heward is a part of a small trend of players who went to play in Europe and returned to the NHL, whether it was native Europeans or others.
Continue reading

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Souray Enjoying His Rebound Year

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Montreal Gazette via Canada.com,

Through 22 games, Souray has nine goals and nine assists, an output that has him on an unscientific pace for 33 goals, 18 better than his career high, and 67 points, his best by 28. Now, he seldom breaks a stick, ripping pucks at 100-plus mph past or through goaltenders, comfortable at last with the fifth stick model he's used since the start of last season. And he's enjoying regular visits from his 3-year-old daughter, Valentina, something he craves. All of this as Souray skates toward unrestricted free agency at the end of the season, which will either lock him up in Montreal with a healthy increase in his current $2.432-million (U.S.) salary, or send him to a pot of gold elsewhere.
read on

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Shanny Gets The Lemon Face Treatment

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Someone asked Shanahan whether he had received an explanation after the final non-call helped Chris Drury get the winner on a deflection. Shanahan, who left the ice screaming at Leggo, chose his words purposefully. "The guys tonight were a little bit above giving explanations," said No. 14. "Instead, they made a face like they ate a lemon and [gave] a wave of the hand. "The league has done so much the last few years to eliminate the old mentality of [referees] not talking to players and waving players away. It's kind of disappointing that with the improvement in communication under [director of officiating] Stephen Walkom, that I didn't feel that way tonight."
more

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Game Day Preview: Stars at Wings

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

There was a time, many years ago, when my sarcasm was split evenly between two teams: the 'dique and Dallas. All my snide remarks of today, pointing out the hygienic, dietary and genealogical challenges of Bubba's fan base? The fine folk in Dallas used to be the recipients. Well, the Stars moved on to the Pacific division and we haven't seen them in posteason play since a little kid named Osgood shut them out in Game 6 of the WCF in '98. Don't get me wrong. I still dislike Dallas, but it's just not the same.

Continue Reading »

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