Kukla's Korner

What Teams To Watch

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via Metronews,

Few people thought the Carolina Hurricanes would make the playoffs last season, let alone finish second in the Eastern Conference or win the Stanley Cup. Ditto for the Edmonton Oilers, who slipped into the post-season by finishing eighth in the West before falling one win short of the NHL championship. There's a growing feeling around the league that almost any team can come out of the pack and rise to the top. A list of teams to watch this year must first start with the Hurricanes and Oilers, but there are plenty of others worth a look.
continued

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The #1 Goalie

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,

Given the understudy heroics we were treated to last spring, and the fact that there's more depth at the position than ever before, an intriguing question is who owns the title of best starting goaltender in the NHL right now? It's not as easy a call as it used to be. The netminding hierarchy is going through a seismic transitional period, with Patrick Roy's skates already up on a peg, Dominik Hasek and Ed Belfour on their last legs, and more elite caliber youngsters stepping between the pipes than at any time in history.
continued

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Greeks Play On

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bill Meltzer at NHL.com,

"We're hockey players. We want to keep the sport alive," says Team Greece captain Dimitris Kalyvas. "We live in a country that hosted the 2004 Olympics. I just can't and won't accept the idea we can't have an ice rink. For the past three years I've done everything I can to make the rink a reality. I won't stop until we succeed. The obstacles on the road only make the goal even bigger. We deserve a rink and I promise that one day all Greeks will be able to skate on a rink in Greek soil."
read on

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You Are Throwing Like A Girl

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the blog of Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post,

Ovechkin's throwing the opening pitch at the Nats game in about two hours. (He throws lefty, btw). Here's what Jose Vidro said when Ovie started warming up. "You throw like a girl. [Bleep Bleep]. C'mon. You've got to be [bleeping] me." So there's that. "He's got a little work cut out for him," captain Chris Clark acknowledged. "We've got three hours. I think we can work out the kinks." Jamie Heward then took AO aside, and several other players started giving him advice, and things seem to be looking up.
continued...and make sure to check out Dan's D.C Sports Blog, it does cover all sports and hockey has been a daily inclusion...

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CCHA Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from CSTV,

When Miami captured the CCHA's regular season championship last winter, the RedHawks became the first team outside the state of Michigan to win that title since 1987, when Bowling Green finished first. According to the league's preseason media and coaches' polls, 2006-07 will see a return to business as usual. The release of the polls during CCHA Media Day at Joe Louis Arena saw a rare disagreement between the coaches and the media as to which team will finish first in the CCHA this season. However, it will, by all accounts, be a close call between two Michigan-based teams.
continued...including some rule changes...

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The Pressure Is On

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

NHL coaches used to live with their bags packed because they just never knew when they'd get to the rink and find the locks had been changed and some other guy was standing in their shoes behind the bench. Now, it's their bosses, NHL general managers, who have to peek nervously into their offices every day and hope they don't see the soles of someone else's feet propped up on their shiny desks. The pressure point has shifted to the men who assemble the talent and juggle the salary cap, appoint the scouts and meet with the owners when the ship starts to list. "The hangman's never far away in this job," Anaheim GM Brian Burke said. "It's a command job and the casualty rate is high for guys in that field."
continued

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And I Quote…

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

VCOE gathers quotes from around the NHL and a special "oops" for the Wings fans... added 9:29am, Sharkspage updates us on the Verus talk and takes NHL fans on a tour around the league.

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The Young Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Boston Globe,

At a creaky 24 years old, Brad Boyes is the graybeard of the Bruins ' No. 1 line. And at 21, Patrice Bergeron has become the mentor to soon-to-be 19-year-old Phil Kessel, the youngest of the threesome. "He had to live through the process of being a young, young player in a league," said coach Dave Lewis of Bergeron, "on a team with high expectations. I don't know if [Bergeron and Kessel] have talked much about that, but I think he can relate to the starting point for Phil. He knows where that starting point is. He's lived through that process."
continued

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Party Time

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from NHL.com,

The stars of television and movies were part of Wednesday's gala NHL/FHM Game On Party, presented by COLD-fX, on Manhattan's West Side. Actors, actresses, VJs and ring announcers were just part of the crowd that rubbed elbows with NHL players and invited guests.
continued...pics, video, included too... image WWE ring announcer Lilian Garcia

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Sundin & Everyone Else

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons at the Toronto Sun,

More than ever before Mats Sundin stands alone, not only as the oldest, richest and most decorated Maple Leafs forward, but as the only sure offensive player on a team clearly lacking in essentials. It is him and no one else. There is no real backup plan. The Leafs can spin this any way they choose in these meaningless moments they call pre-season, but it is ever apparent that this team is a sporting sandwich devoid of scoring meat.
continued

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