Kukla's Korner

Sens Battle Kings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch via the Edmonton Sun,

It's a good thing Senators coach Bryan Murray and Kings counterpart Andy Murray aren't related because punches might be thrown if they ever sat together at the dinner table. The two coaches fired verbal shots at each other after the Senators beat Los Angeles 5-1 in a penalty-filled game at the Corel Centre last night. "That's a typical Andy Murray game," a steaming Bryan Murray said after the teams combined for 119 penalty minutes. "That's what Andy does. He sends guys out to run people. It's every game with him.
more LA Kings TV guys, Bob Miller and Jim Fox call out (will open wmp video) Bryan Murray.

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NHL Numbers Don’t Add Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

The league bragged that 3,346,812 fans attended 199 of its games in November. This broke down, the NHL claimed, to an average attendance of 16,818 a game, which was 91.2 per cent of the capacity of its arenas. Anyone who has attended NHL games south of the border this season and looked at all of the empty seats simply cannot believe this, not even management types. One veteran club executive just shook his head this week when the topic of attendance came up. "We're only doing well in Canada," he said. "In the United States, only a handful of markets are drawing -- Detroit, Philadelphia, New York [Rangers]."
more

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We Need To Get Smaller

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The list of little guys making a big impact crosses the National Hockey League's generational divide. From Camille Henry and Henri Richard to Denis Savard and Theo Fleury, there was always a smallish dervish that defied expectation and put up big scoring numbers, against all odds. Even the last year before the NHL lockout, the MVP and scoring leader was a 5-foot-9, 185-pound winger named Martin St. Louis. However, in the new NHL -- with its crackdown on obstruction and its emphasis on skill and speed over brawn and bulk -- it looks as though the trend toward smaller players is taking hold.
read on

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Home Ice Advantage Fading

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

When clubs venturing into the Forum in Montreal were intimidated by the sheer history of the place, and when the waves of noise generated by fans -- and amplified by the acoustics -- at Chicago Stadium overwhelmed opponents. When the Blackhawks, Bruins and Sabres tailored their lineups and styles to exploit the undersized ice surfaces in their buildings. Now, those were home-ice advantages. These days, though, NHL clubs seem to have no qualms about going almost anywhere. Going into last night's games, road teams were 162-179-41 and 14 clubs were above .500 in away games. The NHL's decision to have a winner determined in every game undoubtedly has helped to inflate those figures, but they also reflect the erosion of home-ice advantages around the league.
more

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Goalie Movement

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sportsnet,

In a clear indication Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Craig Patrick is trying to create a fulltime spot in the NHL for Marc-Andre Fleury, sources tell Sportsnet Pittsburgh has placed goaltender Sebastien Caron on waivers.
via TSN,
The Vancouver Canucks acquired goaltender Maxime Ouellet from the Washington Capitals on Friday in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2006 draft. Ouellet will report directly to the Manitoba Moose of the AHL.

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Q & A With Babcock

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from ESPN,

If things had worked out a little differently, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock might have been Wayne Gretzky ... with a British accent. The 42-year-old Babcock went from star player in England to coaching prodigy in North America. The only piece of hardware that has eluded him is the most prized piece, the Stanley Cup. In this week's Facing Off, Hockeytown's coach discusses Jiri Fischer's NHL future, why he flew the coup in Anaheim and why he isn't getting much sleep right now.
more

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Nashville Game Against Wings Rescheduled

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Get this, the game is scheduled for January 23rd, which was originally a home game for the Preds against the Wings, but will be shifted to the JLA. The interesting point of this is the game will start 1-0 Nashville, but the they will start a new game, yes 1-0 Nashville before the puck is dropped in a full game. Nashville will play the Wings at home on March 30th also to make up for the lost game. update 5:17pm, via NHL.com,

National Hockey League Game #312, the Nashville Predators against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena - the game that was interrupted on November 21 - has been re-scheduled for Monday, January 23, 2006, at 7:30 p.m., Detroit time. As a result, NHL Game #720, the Red Wings against the Predators at Gaylord Entertainment Center, has been rescheduled from Jan. 23 to March 30 at 7 p.m., Nashville time. The original game, which was halted at 12:30 of the first period due to a medical emergency involving Red Wings defenseman Jiri Fischer, will be replayed for a full 60 minutes of regulation time, plus any potential overtime and shootout. The rescheduled contest will begin with the Predators ahead, 1-0 - the score at the time play was stopped Nov. 21. "In reaching a determination as to how best to deal with this unique and extraordinary set of circumstances, our first consideration was fairness to our fans. We did not think it fair to ask them to come out again for only 47 minutes of regulation hockey," said Colin Campbell, NHL Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations. "However, in light of the circumstances that led to the termination of play on Nov. 21, and after consultation with both teams, we also have decided that the rescheduled contest will begin with the Predators ahead, 1-0. A goal will be credited to Greg Johnson, with assists to Ryan Suter and Scottie Upshall. All other statistics will be expunged."

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Esche Out

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Courier Post,

Just when Robert Esche had gotten himself in a goaltending groove, he was forced to pull himself from the Flyers' lineup with what is believed to be an abdominal strain. Coming off his first starts in back-to-back games this season, both of them victories, Esche left Friday's practice with pain in his right abdomen and did not join the team for their flight to Nashville, where they will take on the surprising Predators tonight.
more

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Down They Go

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the AP,

The Columbus Blue Jackets today assigned seven players to the Syracuse Crunch, the club's minor-league affiliate in the American Hockey League. Blue Jackets president and general manager Doug MacLean says forwards Dan Fritsche, Steven Goertzen, Nikolai Zherdev, Geoff Platt and Joe Motzko were assigned to the Crunch. They will be joined by defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen and goaltender Pascal Leclaire. MacLean said that the assignments were made because the Blue Jackets have a week off between games and this was a way to keep them playing in the break
. Maybe Doug forgot the other part, a cost saving measure!!!

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NHL Officials Leading The Way

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

It has not been an easy birth. But if we accept that what has transpired in a few short months amounts to a rebirth of the National Hockey League, then the referees and linesmen are the game's midwives helping to deliver the sport back to relevancy. Quite simply, all of the feel-good stories, the attendance records, the often frenetic product on the ice, are but a whisper, a dream, without the referees and linesmen.
read on

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