Kukla's Korner

Trade Deadline Will See Fewer Deals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Winnipeg Sun,

"There will be movement but not anywhere near the level we've seen before," said Nonis (Canucks GM). "We had 30 teams together (in Las Vegas) prior to the (Olympic) break and not one deal came out of it. That's unheard of."

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Talking Gold

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the IIHF, Bits & pieces about the two teams involved-

Three Swedes remain from the Olympic gold medal team from Lillehammer 1994, brothers Kenny and Jorgen Jonsson and Peter Forsberg. General Manager Mats Naslund was also a member of the 1994 team. Four Finns remain from the 1995 IIHF World Championship gold medal team, Finlands lone championship in international hockey. They are Petteri Nummelin, Saku Koivu, Ville Peltonen and Jere Lehtinen.
much more from Phil coffey of NHL.com,
"I feel very, very good," Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom said. "This is something we have dreamed about. There are some of us here that were here in 1998 and in 2002 when we had the devastating loss (to Belarus). You don't get these chances often." Lidstrom is one of the NHL's most successful players, having won three Stanley Cups with the Wings, so where would a gold medal rank? "It would be right up there," he smiled.
read on

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Finns One Game Away

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the IIHF,

Do you remember the good old (or for some not so good) days of international hockey? I'm talking about the days when the Soviet Union ruled the hockey world and the Finns always lost the life-or-death games. Well, that was exactly how it was 20 years ago.
continued

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Modano- “Timing Was Bad”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via TSN,

Dallas Stars forward Mike Modano has apologized for the tone of recent criticisms of USA Hockey, saying the "timing was bad" and that he wants to help the organization in the future. Modano blasted coaches and administrators after the United States lost to Finland 4-3 in the quarter-finals of the Turin Olympics and finished 1-4-1.
continued

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Team Concept For Finland

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Calgary Sun,

As part of a 7-0 run that saw the Finns beat Russia 4-0 yesterday, Jari Kurri's crew enters tomorrow's Swedish showdown having allowed just five goals. Since the playoff round was added to the Olympic tourney in 1980, no team has ever been so stingy. And what makes the story so rich is how they've done it: not only are they playing with a goaltender listed third on their wish list, but their blueline includes three European club players, the laughingstock of the Maple Leafs god-awful defence (Aki Berg), and a man so old he played eight years with the Winnipeg Jets (Teppo Numminen).
more

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Officials Go Back To School

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

Walkom, who attended the Winter Olympics on behalf of the NHL, was to return from Turin last night. Later today, he will be back at it when he kicks off a weekend training camp with the league's 33 referees and 34 linesmen near Toronto's Pearson International Airport to prepare the officials for the final six weeks of the regular season. There has been concern around the league and from the NHL brass that the stricter rule enforcement demanded this season slipped somewhat in the weeks and days leading up to the Olympic break.
read on

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Bronze Medal Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The game between Russia and the Czech Republic is 2:30pm EST today on NBC & CBC. I wonder if thes teams will have any jump at all, playing their 8th game in 11 days.

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Avs call In The Reserves

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from 9News,

Two local men are living out a hockey fantasy as many Colorado Avalanche players are living out their own dreams by representing their countries at the Olympic Games in Italy. Eric Schaupeter and Mark Faur are minding the nets for three practices as regular Avs goalies David Aebischer and Peter Budaj travel back from the Olympics.
more with video... image

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Breaking Down Finland Against Sweden

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,

"That's probably the most hated team we face in hockey," Finland captain Saku Koivu said. "People are going nuts back home. For a Finn, having an Olympic gold medal game against Sweden, it's not getting any bigger." The Finns played a textbook game in the 4-0 cakewalk against the feared Russians in the semifinal, clogging the neutral zone like it was rush hour on the Long island Expressway.
read on update 8:11pm, from Ray Ferraro of NBC Sports,
I expect the gold-medal game to be a very tactical game, pretty similar to the way Finland played tonight. But they face a team from Sweden that has gotten progressively better as the tournament has gone on, and I think they are probably a little deeper offensively than Finland.
more update 8:48pm, Finland will be the home team in the final and they chose to play in white. Therefore, Sweden will play in blue. update 8:55pm, from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
The Swedes have the more talented team and the Finns are playing the best in this tournament. It's a toss-up. Take the Swedes only because Forsberg and Sundin want it badly.
more, plus a look at the bronze medal game... added 9:05pm, As I mentioned earlier this week, some of the Olympic jerseys were close to selling out. The Sweden Olympic jersey is temporarily out of stock but I will leave the link up for a week or so in case it becomes available again. The Finland jersey is available and remember you can customize the jersey with name and number. The lettering is the same twill style you see on the official jersey. Just click the jersey on the right sidebar if you have an interest.

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Lidstrom Will Sit Tuesday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Mike Babcock was on Detroit radio and he said Lidstrom will not play on Tuesday against San Jose. He also mentioned that Datsyuk has either a broken finger or hand, not sure what it is right now but it looks like he can play. Babcock mentioned a team that has five guys playing in the finals of the Olympics should not be traveling across country to play their first game 48 hours after the Olympics. But only the good teams get robbed of this, the more players in the Olympics the more the NHL team will suffer. He plans on sitting out one or two other Wings on Tuesday, but said Kronwall will play. He will deal with it when everyone is together and he sees first hand the condition of the players coming from Turin.

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