Kukla's Korner

Congrats To The Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NY Times,

Jaromir Jagr all but guaranteed that the Rangers would make the playoffs on the first day of training camp in September. He might have been the only one who actually believed it. The Rangers finally ended seven seasons of futility last night when they clinched a playoff berth by defeating the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-2, in a shootout at Madison Square Garden. "It doesn't matter who believes you," Jagr said before the game. "Even if somebody picks you first, you still have to prove it. They don't give you the Stanley Cup just because somebody picks you to win it." He added: "There probably was no reason to believe that we could make it. But we, as players, it's all a matter of how many guys on your team believe you can do it. It's always been that way. It doesn't matter what the media thinks."
more (reg. req.)

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Red Wings Asst. GM Keeps Busy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Detroit Free Press,

Assistant general manager Jim Nill criss-crossed Europe recently checking out prospects for the upcoming draft, players who'll be draft-eligible in a few seasons and some of the Wings' own prospects. He takes two or three long trips to Europe every year to scout players.... At some tournaments, he'll watch three games in a single day. He takes notes, then enters his observations into a log that other Wings scouts use to record their thoughts on the same player. The fun part of such trips, Nill said, is watching the next big players while they're still a small blip on the radar. For example, Nill first saw Washington Capitals forward Alexander Ovechkin, the favorite to win NHL rookie of the year, play as a 14-year-old.
read on...FYI, Jim Nill may be on the last leg with the Wings, his name has been brought up for a few GM jobs that may become open after the season...

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Where Does Kessel Stand

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

But in the latest rankings of the International Scouting Service, an independent organization that evaluates draft-eligible talent on a monthly basis, Kessel finds himself at No. 4 overall, behind No. 1 Johnson, Toews at second and Peterborough Petes forward Jordan Staal at No. 3. A year ago, Kessel at No. 4 would have been unthinkable. Now? Well, it's a possibility. In a small survey of five NHL scouts by TSN, only one of the five had Kessel rated as low as No. 4.
read on

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Buffalo Fan Reacts To Tucker Hit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Mark at BFLOBLOG expresses his view of the Tucker hit on Hecht last night. Mark is a Sabres and makes some very good points.

The NHL has decided that they are not going to suspend Toronto’s Darcy Tucker for his knee-on-knee, intent to injure hit on Buffalo’s Jochen Hecht in Monday night’s game. That means that Tucker will be on the ice for Toronto’s next game while Hecht sits at home and rehabs his MCL for the next fourteen days.... There is also the very real possibility of violence in the stands between Sabres and Leafs fans during that game. Leafs fans come down to Buffalo by the busload for these games and there are numerous drunk and obnoxious fans in the stands (on both sides). That creates an atmosphere ripe for fights. The league isn’t so ignorant that they don’t realize the implications of their inaction. Therefore, I have to believe that they welcome the controversy and potential violence (on the ice and off) that they have created.
read on

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Fighting Way Down But Tough Guys Still Around

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via CJAD,

Fighting is down 42 per cent in the new NHL, where you don't dress if you can't keep up. There were 858 fighting majors handed down this season through Monday night, down from 1,471 through the same number of games in 2003-04. "The thing about the new NHL is that we've had our ice time reduced," says Edmonton's Georges Laraque. And the dean of the NHL tough guys doesn't like it.
continued

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I Notice A Resemblance

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

You might be surprised who Sean Avery looks like! image

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Datsyuk Out

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Wings announced today Datsyuk out with lower body injury- 7-10 days. update 4:35pm, Just saw the Wings release, minimum of 7-10 days, will be re-evaluated at that time. added 5:01pm, via Sportsnet,

Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk suffered a lower body injury late in Monday's 2-1 shootout victory over Calgary. Datsyuk is expected to be out of the lineup a minimum of 7-10 days and will be re-evaluated at that time.

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Another Award For Emery

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NHL,

Ottawa Senators goaltender Ray Emery, who led all goaltenders in victories with a 12-2-2 record, 2.09 goals-against average, .925 save percentage and two shutouts, has been named the NHL Rookie of the Month for March. Emery edged Washington Capitals left wing Alexander Ovechkin (11-13--24 in 15 games), Boston Bruins right wing Brad Boyes (8-11--19 in 16 games), Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (5-13--18 in 14 games), San Jose Sharks right wing Steve Bernier (10-6--16 in 15 games) and Montreal Canadiens center Chris Higgins (10-4--14 in 16 games).

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Hecht Out Two Weeks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via the Globe and Mail,

Sabres forward Jochen Hecht will be lost for two weeks with a sprained MCL in his left knee. Hecht was hurt by a controversial hit from Toronto's Darcy Tucker in the third period of Buffalo's 3-2 shootout win over the Maple Leafs on Monday night. After the game, Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff lashed out at Tucker, saying he wanted the player suspended and fined. The league informed the Sabres Tuesday no disciplinary action would be taken. "That really bothers me," Ruff said following practice Tuesday. "I disagree with it. They agreed that his elbow grazed the head, and to me, that's a shot to the head. When you're going after somebody's head, you've got intent to hurt. Don't tell me the knee is accidental after that. He knew exactly what he was doing, and should pay a price for it."
more

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Witt Suspended

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Tennessean,

Predators defenseman Brendan Witt has been suspended by the NHL for one game because of a hit on Columbus forward David Yyborny in Nashville’s 3-1 loss Monday night. Witt, who will sit out tomorrow night’s game in Chicago, said he disagreed with the ruling. Witt’s first-period blue-line check, on which he appeared to hit Vborny’s leg with his knee, left Vyborny with a Charlie horse. It had Columbus Coach Gerard Gallant calling for a suspension.

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