Kukla's Korner

The NHL Cares Only About The Money

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

The issues of national pride, integrity, honour, and similar matters are best left aside. The NHL doesn't care about such mundane concepts. The NHL cares only about money. All the NHL wants to do is pack the maximum amount of NHL games into the shortest possible amount of time and shut down the league for a minimum Olympic period. The Olympics should be a true best-on-best national-team tournament, akin to soccer's World Cup. But the World Cup lasts more than a month, not 12 days. If the NHL ran the NCAA, the March Madness tournament would be staged on a long weekend.
read on

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Report- Ohlund Out With Cracked Rib

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportnet,

Sources tell Sportsnet Vancouver Canucks defenseman Mathias Ohlund will return to Vancouver on Friday to further assess a cracked rib...
On a sidenote, it must be a thrill for Niklas Kronwall to be in the Swedish lineup. Four days ago, he was preparing to play with Grand Rapids for a few games, now he is on center stage of the hockey world. update 9:15am, via TSN,
Swedish defenceman Mattias Ohlund is out of Olympic tournament with what doctors suspect are broken ribs. The good news for Vancouver Canucks fans is that Ohlund is expected to be out of action between seven and 10 days. "It's not a serious injury," said team doctor Lannert Hovelius. "But he can't play in the next few days so we had to replace him.

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Gretzky Talks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

In the interview with Bob Costas, Gretzky discusses Team Canada's loss, the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and the gambling scandal surrounding his wife, Janet Jones. GRETZKY ON TEAM CANADA'S QUARTERFINALS LOSS TO RUSSIA: GRETZKY: Well, it has been difficult. We're obviously devastated that we didn't win. I think that the Olympic Games are the greatest sporting event in the world. For our country, the one thing that we prepare ourselves for, the one sport we don't want to accept anything but gold in is ice hockey. read on

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Friday’s Semi-finals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

10:30am Czech Rep. vs. Sweden- MSNBC,CBC 3:00pm Finland vs. Russia- USA,CBC All times are EST.

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Team Canada Didn’t Mix Well

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

They were standing about five feet apart in the mixed zone, an ashen Joe Sakic and the Russian kid, Alexander Ovechkin, fairly bouncing off the walls. The captain of a Canadian team that seemed built for gold with oodles of talent, experience and grit, and the exuberant star of a team that never seemed to get it right at these tournaments. One of them was going home. The other was high-fiving Russian writers and getting ready for a semifinal date with the plucky Finns.
continued Bob McKenzie of TSN describes the Canadian loss as a disaster,
What's that Hockey Canada saying? "Relax, it's just a game." I don't think so. Not this time. This result is an epic disaster. It is a colossal failure
more

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Chelios Sums It Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from USA Hockey,

“You watched the game," said Chelios. "It was undisciplined. It was uncharacteristic of how we have been playing and of what we wanted to do. It was very unacceptable. We had our chances. We talked about being patient, but the lack of discipline cost us."
more

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Hnilicka To The Rescue

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kara Yorio of the Sporting News,

Milan Hnilicka. He was not supposed to be there. Not supposed to be in net for the Czech Republic at all during these Olympics and certainly not supposed to be there when taking on the red-hot rival Slovaks in a quarterfinal game. But Milan Hnilicka it was. When the Czechs faced Canada in the final game of the round robin, color commentator John Davidson remarked that the Czechs came into the Games with goaltending that could maybe be matched but certainly not topped by any other team in the tournament.
continued

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Lou Will Stay Behind The Bench

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via the Phildadelphia Inquirer,

New Jersey Devils interim coach Lou Lamoriello said Wednesday he will remain behind the bench for the rest of the season. Lamoriello informed players at practice of his decision, which he said was made over the weekend after talks with Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek. "I don't think there was anything that didn't go into the decision," Lamoriello said. "The schedule, the timing, the way the team is playing. We sat down and looked at everything."
read on

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Modano Rips USA Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via the Herald Banner,

Mike Modano took no shots in the loss that bounced the U.S. men's hockey team from the Olympics. He saved his best one for afterward. The three-time Olympian was benched for most of the third period in the Americans' 4-3 loss Wednesday night to Finland in the quarterfinals. Then he took aim at the people who put the disappointing squad together. "You'd think USA Hockey would be a well-oiled machine, but it's not," he said. "Basically we were on our own for hotels, tickets, flights, stuff like that. "Normally we wouldn't have to worry about stuff like that."
more

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Not What The NHL Wanted

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

With both Canada and the USA out of the medal rounds, the NHL must be disappointed. The television ratings for hockey have been low but will reach even lower for the semi and final games. Hopefully this will not influence the NHL owners in a negative way for future participation. Maybe it will open their eyes a bit more and hopefully expand their scouting in the European leagues. Hockey is now the most international game; forget basketball, hockey has proven players from around the world have caught up with the Canadian game and in a way, surpassed it.

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