Kukla's Korner

Olympic Predictions

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Shawn P. Roarke of Fox Sports,

With that in mind, we take a look into the FOXsports.com crystal ball and predict some of the things — both the good and the bad — that may well be on offer during the Olympic hockey tournament. -The Czech Republic will win the gold medal, reprising the role of champion it assumed in the first Olympic tournament opened up to professionals eight years ago in Nagano, Japan. -Evgeny Malkin will make a run at the scoring title for his team, but will be nipped in the end by fellow Russian youngster Alexander Ovechkin, who will finish in the top five in scoring for the tournament. The Czech Republic's Jaromir Jagr, the leading scorer in the NHL, will win the Olympic tournament scoring title as well.
much more

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Team USA A Talented Group

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the IIHF,

General manager Don Waddell and head coach Peter Laviolette took the stage on behalf of Team USA's quest for hockey supremacy in Turin this evening after their first practise a short time earlier. "We're looking forward to playing some games," Waddell said. "I know a lot of people aren't picking us to do much, but we feel we have a talented group."
continued

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Lang Named Captain

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Reuters,

Detroit Red Wings center Robert Lang will captain the Czech men's ice hockey team at the Olympic Games, team officials announced on Tuesday. The Czechs, seen as a hot contender to dethrone Canada for gold, will be led by Jaromir Jagr up front, but he has tended to shy away from leadership roles on the team in the past. Dominik Hasek was the backbone of the Nagano team and coach Alois Hadamczik said the Ottawa Senators netminder will start the first game of the tournament on Wednesday against Germany. But, he added, Tomas Vokoun of the Nashville Predators will get the call for the following game against Switzerland on Thursday. Hadamczik said he will wait until after the Swiss game to decide on who will play goal the next match.

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Games On Wednesday

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the IIHF,

The men's tournament kicks off February 15 with six exciting Preliminary Round matchups. Here's a little historical background and feel for where each of the games is likely to go. Italy-Canada, 13:00, Palasport Olympico: Would Team Canada consider loaning its two stars of Italian heritage, goalie Roberto Luongo and forward Todd Bertuzzi, to the host team to even out the playing field a little? OK, maybe not.
read on note: times listed are 6 hours ahead of eastern standard time.

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The Venues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Olympic hockey games are being played at two locations- The Olympic Palace and the Torino Esposizioni. The Olympic Palace will be the location for the semi and final rounds of hockey. note: both pictures are very high resolution, more than 3mb each. image image

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Poor Dom

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Hasek still without his equipment. Notice the duct tape on the trapper. image

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With Hope & A Prayer

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via the Times Union, Italy goaltender Jason Muzzatti wears a mask at practice adorned with portraits of Pope John Paul II and the Virgin Mary. Opening against mighty Canada, the Italians don't have a prayer. Spend a day with Team Italy, though, and you might just believe the host country's hockey team -- with barely a season of combined NHL experience -- can compete with the overwhelming gold medal favorite. Assistant hockey coach Jim Corsi gathers the team around a dry erase board, leaning against the glass while he explains a drill. About half the team is from North America, but Corsi runs practice with the native tongue. read on...and check out the goalie mask...

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...More On The Nash Incident

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Hockey Refs,

Nash, a Canadian, plays for Columbus in the NHL and was caught on videotape apparently assaulting referee Vyacheslav Bulanov of Russia and linesman Miroslav Halecky of Slovakia during the Canada-Sweden game last May. “Basically the two officials, to a degree, were partially holding up his progress up the ice,” said IIHF supervisor Bob Nadin of Canada. “That’s how both officials look at it.” Many disagreed with that analysis, as the videotape from Sweden’s TV3 clearly showed Nash yelling at Bulanov before hooking him twice and then striking Halecky – who was trying to separate the two – in the shoulder.
more View the video...

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Hasek Downplays Czech Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Prague Daily Monitor,

The Czech ice-hockey team is considered one of the hottest favourites as betting shops, experts as well as Czech fans expect the team to win a medal. Hasek said he had heard this and read about it. He said the Czech team came to Turin to do its best and represent the Czech Republic. He nevertheless added that he cannot promise anything because of tough competition. Hasek said he considers important the first game which the Czechs play against Germany on Wednesday. He pointed out that the Germans have been jointly training for some time already, while the Czechs will play only one training together and some of the players may not even arrive in time for it.
more

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Gagne Travels With The ‘Gold’

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Courier Post,

Simon Gagne's 2002 Olympic gold medal rests neatly in a shiny wooden case. And it goes with him wherever he goes. "If I go back home to Quebec it's in my luggage," said Gagne, who is in Torino, Italy for his second Olympic experience. "When I'm in Philly, it's with me. "Every place I go for a long time the medal is going to come with me. At one point I'm going to have to do something special with it. But for now it stays with me."
continued

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