Kukla's Korner

Undefeated Ducks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jeff Miller at the OC Register,

Can they be the NHL's first undefeated team, that is, go 82-0? The idea remains inanely legitimate, legitimately inane. Ask a dumb question, get a dumber one in return. "In my first year, I scored 76 goals," winger Teemu Selanne says. "In our first game the next season, I had a hat trick. Afterward, a newspaper guy comes up and asks me if I think I can score three goals every game. He was serious." Now that's just ridiculous. But 82-0? Sorry to hyperventilate at the keyboard, but we aren't used to the Ducks starting any way but sideways. They're 3-0 after never once even being 2-0. If they can maroon the Islanders tonight, why not dream outrageously large?
read on

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Gaborik Shining

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Sun,

As an owner of a junior team in Slovakia, Pavol Demitra knew he had a special player in Marian Gaborik. A little later, the Minnesota Wild knew it, too. But six seasons into Gaborik's National Hockey League career, no one yet knows how special the winger might become. The Wild drafted the thoroughbred and harnessed him to a plough. Only when Gaborik threatened last spring to leave as a free agent was the yoke removed.
continued

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Habs Trio Looking For Their Groove

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pat Hickey at the Montreal Gazette,

But Samsonov was quick to defend Kovalev against a suggestion that he was holding on to the puck too long. "From upstairs, it might look like he's hogging the puck, but his puck control is the strength of his game," he said. "When he has the puck, we try to stay out of his way because there's nobody who's better playing one-on-one. What we have to do is find spots where we can get open and give Alex a chance to get the puck to us." Samsonov also said the new NHL makes it difficult to find a rhythm. Kovalev is the only member of the trio to collect a point in the first two games. He has a pair of assists that were earned on the power play.
more

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Wildly Creative

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the blog of Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

If you want to see a shootout show, check out the Minnesota Wild next time they go to deciding penalty shots. In the shootout, however, it's like watching the Harlem Globetrotters, as Roberto Luongo and the Vancouver Canucks found out last night. Four Minnesota shooters - none of them named Marian Gaborik - took a free shot on Luongo, and three of them scored via distinctly different tactics.
more

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Good News For Pens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

With the clock winding down toward a decision on who will win Pittsburgh's lone slots license, Isle of Capri Casinos has made a comeback. Isle of Capri is the frontrunner for the license, according to Robert Shore, an analyst for Philadelphia-based Susquehanna Financial Group. Shore's report, released Monday, said IOC has a 55 percent chance to win.
continued

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Radio Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I will be on the Inside Sports Show tonight on 630/CHED in Edmonton. I should be on around 11:10pm EDT. Hopefully the Detroit Tigers game will be over by then, or the folks may get more baseball talk than hockey talk. Online audio streaming is available... image added 12:35am, 10/11/06, If you wish to listen to the interview (will open mp3 file), it is about 18 minutes of hockey talk...

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Fantasy Related- Hot Hawks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Hockey News,

The new NHL season is less than a week old, but the Chicago Blackhawks have shown they have, in fact, solved the problem everyone thought they may have over the summer: offense. Spearheaded by the off-season acquisition of Martin Havlat, the Blackhawks have managed to pot 12 goals in just two games – tops in the league. Havlat’s six points are more than anyone else in the NHL has managed at the two-game mark and Michal Handzus, another summer acquisition, has five points.
continued

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Spotting AO

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from D.C. Sports Bog,

So I'm sitting there, and I'm looking around, and I see a man in a bright pink t-shirt that says "Love Metal," which is pretty noteworthy in itself, and he's next to a woman with a very loud red and black outfit and very blond hair, and I'm like, ok, that's Alex Ovechkin, sitting 20 rows back in a corner section of a Wizards exhibition game, completely anonymous. He was eating Skittles. (The Wizards PR people later told me that they would have gotten him better seats, but he never asked.) There were multiple public displays of affection between AO and his GF. His dad was also there; when the "Bubble Vision" came on the jumbotron, in which fans' faces are distorted and everyone laughs, his dad stuck out his tongue and put his hands by his ears, apparently in an effort to make it onto the Bubble Vision. He didn't make it.
more

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The North American Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei at ESPN,

This can get tricky. In 30 years of covering the sport, off and on, I've sampled a lot of hockey experiences around North America. But not all of them. So this list of my Top Ten North American hockey experiences comes with disclaimers. - COLLEGE GAME AT GRAND FORKS, NORTH DAKOTA The University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux are the biggest athletic act in the state. They play their Western Collegiate Hockey Association home games in what might be not only the nicest arena in college hockey, but also in the sport -- the 11,406-seat Ralph Engelstad Arena.
much more

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On the Hockey Blogs

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Erin Nicks is a freelance hockey writer who also writes The Universal Cynic, a blog which sort of managed to call the Toronto Maple Leafs 'freaks' last week. (Well, that's the way I chose to read it, anyway... more fun that way. There's also something about that team getting fat on rich food as a bonus. Fun!) Or you can check out Off Wing Opinion where a reader provides a user guide for How to Heckle Cam Ward which might come in handy for fans across the league this season. From Detroit, there's Behind the Jersey and this week's feature where Christy interviews the founder and writer of Calgary Flames blog, Double D(ion). And head over to Hound Central 2.0 where you'll discover that the Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron is actually a very, very cool guy. Detroit might have nailed the Pens 2-0 a couple days ago, but the Sidney Crosby Show had bigger concerns that day -- Crosby's second year hockey card issue: "Yes, we have Sidney The Great doing his thing and then we get some Flyers fan dweeb talkin on the cell phone...probably ordering another pizza to stuff his face with." Check it out, hockey fans... that is some kinda hockey card. I'd like to give a general shout out to a couple other hockey blogs I might not have mentioned before. First there's Bolts Mag. Among his many talents, John is adept at repeatedly typing the name Afanasenkov and never making it look like Afiganasekovokoskiv. Along the same lines, there's also Sabre Rattling where Joe has mastered the art of spelling Afinogenov without turning it into Afg*&r#ag*&$off. For spelling alone, read their freakin' blogs. (And yeah, they're also pretty good hockey writers.) I'll finish this off with a segment from Army of the Ohio, because it's on a topic that every hockey fan -- particularly American fans -- can relate to. Michael is none too pleased with Ian O'Connor's story on FoxSports the other day. About that article, Michael writes:

"In his wonderful little editorial, we're welcome to the usual cruft of "No one in the United States cares about hockey", "This is why no one cares about hockey", "Hockey has horrible ratings", "Even [insert obscure sport/television programming] outrates hockey", and so on and so forth. In short? It is the exact same article we've all seen several dozen times to the tenth power." [...] So this is a message just for you, Ian O'Connor. I know you probably won't see it, and I really don't care. But I do this for my own self-satisfaction: NEWS FLASH: YOU HAVE BEATEN THE DEADEST OF THE DEAD HORSES IN ALL OF DEAD HORSES! CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR PROWESS AT BEATING HORSES SO DEAD THAT THEY MAKE THE CORPSE OF GENERAL ULYSSES S. GRANT LOOK FRESH! BE PROUD OF YOUR DEAD HORSE BEATING SKILLS!
Maybe it's time someone started an archive of stories like Ian O'Connor's -- hockey fans everywhere can then cross-check and compare, and at least make sure that the Dead Horse Beaters aren't reprinting the exact same article they wrote last year. Not that they would ever do such a thing, I'm sure...

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