Kukla's Korner

The Favorite- Ducks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the OC Register,

Buoyed by the addition of superstar defenseman Chris Pronger in a summer trade with Edmonton, the Ducks enter tonight's regular-season opener against the Kings at Honda Center as trendy and popular picks to skate off with the most revered and famous championship trophy in all of sports. Supposed experts on both sides of the border, impressed primarily by the presence of Pronger and fellow Norris Trophy winner Scott Niedermayer, are lining up to cast their respective lots with the Ducks, a team that has reached the playoffs four times in its 12 seasons.
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Starting To Get It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

It's not very likely that "National Hockey League" and "progressive thinking" are paired up in many word association tests. But the league has made a lot of progress in the past year in improving the quality of its TV product. The first sign that things have changed at NHL headquarters is a new TV ad campaign that features the game's stars. While the ads are hit-and-miss, the point is that the NHL is promoting its most valuable assets — its best players. It's a major improvement over the faceless gladiators that heralded hockey's return last season.
read on

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600 For Shanny

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the AP,

Brendan Shanahan scored twice in his debut with the New York Rangers on Thursday night, becoming the 15th NHL player with 600 goals. Shanahan electrified the Madison Square Garden fans in the second period with a breakaway goal that gave New York a 3-1 lead in its season opener against Washington. He reached the milestone in more typical fashion, putting a puck in from in front of the net during a delayed-penalty call at 2:58 of the third.

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Hockey Names

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fox Sports,

The NHL has seen it's share of classic nicknames over the course of its history, so we figured we'd take a look at some of the greatest. To be sure, this was no easy task. Our first list, after editing, ended up at just under 100 names. But we were able to whittle it down to the best of the best. Keep in mind, this is not a reflection on the talent of the player, just his alias. Therefore, classics like "Super Mario" and "The Rocket" won't make the final cut. Likewise, we also have to look past immortals such as "Toe," "Mr. Hockey" and even "The Great One" — not to mention "The Grate One." And while there's nothing like a Hall-of-Fame-caliber father and son combination, there will be no mention of "The Golden Jet" or "The Golden Brett." "The Silver Jet" is right out. We're going to focus on the mean, the original and the witty. So let's get to it.
read on

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Pronger Ailing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector at his Fox Sports blog,

TSN reports Anaheim Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger missed practice yesterday because of symptoms attributed to stomach flu.
continued

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The Numbers Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via Slam,

Picture a computer geek thumbing through a thick stack of printouts with the front-office staff of an NHL team. They're in deep discussion, breaking down the merits and faults of players using numbers no hockey fan would recognize. Rather than goals, assists and shots, they're examining an on-ice grid that shows who scored how often from where, and who produced most at different points of a game. That info is then used to project the output a team can expect from a certain player and help attach a dollar-value to him.
continued

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Toronto Area Needs Another Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

A second team in the metropolitan Toronto area would galvanize all the Leaf haters into one faction and presumably, put them squarely behind the new team, in the same way the New York Mets came along at the start of the 1960s to give New York baseball fans an alternative to the Yankees. If anything, the presence of a second team in Toronto would only enhance the franchise — by adding one more natural geographic rival — and if they ever met in the playoffs, it would represent great drama, a Gardiner Expressway series between the downtown Leafs and the Mississauga-based newcomers.
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Lindros Refreshed In Dallas

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei at ESPN,

"It's all refreshing, it's all new to me. The city of Dallas is a wonderful place to play. It's a great organization. The practice facility is fantastic, with great ice down there for being so hot all the time. Really, the ice is fantastic, which in turn helps in our practices and our skill level." That statement might seem predictable and mundane. But here's what is striking about Lindros. As he talked about the practice ice, there was genuine excitement in his voice. Practice ice! And this from a man with a reputation for dispassionate, guarded detachment when in the spotlight. We are rooting for him.
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Perfect For Each Other

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Russell at the Sporting News,

Critics said last year that the NHL was wrong -- and that might be a kind description -- for jumping to a little-known network. However, as I said then, the NHL in my opinion made a great move to find a new cable home. The NHL needed Versus, and the network needed the NHL. It's a marriage that was good for both. For example, on Wednesday afternoon, there was a block of pregame programming that included a show called "Soul of a Champion" on Devils great Martin Brodeur, a show dedicated to Game 7 of the last year's Stanley Cup finals and a show that featured the travels of the Stanley Cup during the offseason.... You might construe this as a programming plug for Versus, but, more important, it proves the NHL struck a brilliant deal. The league is getting more than just game coverage, which is all it got from ESPN in the last few years of its deal. On Versus, the NHL won't get put on the back burner. The NHL got a network that is growing and hungry, and reliant on the league, to some degree, to be a cornerstone of its programming.
read on

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Fan Law

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jay Russo at ESPN,

Fan Law: The eyebrows of TV analysts can not be bigger than their foreheads. That means you Tie Domi. You can have a face like Borje, but not the eyebrows of Andy Rooney. For more styling tips, please see Mr. Melrose. Fan Law: The actual banner-rising-to-the-rafters moment should not be longer than a two-minute minor for roughing.
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