Kukla's Korner

The Beer Bottle Breakout

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Sitting by the pool in Florida one night in 1994, former Senators coach Rick Bowness decided the reporters covering the Senators didn't know what they were talking about. He demanded somebody draw him a breakout and when nobody could, Bowness used beer bottles as hockey players to show us how to take the puck out of the zone. From that point forward, Bowness was known as the designer of "The Beer Bottle Breakout."
The Ottawa Senators will play the 1000th game in the teams history tonight. Enjoy more highlights from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun.

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Good & Bad

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

-Ratings for the Buffalo Sabres continue to soar compared to the 2003-2004 season. The Sabres are averaging a 4.9 rating on MSG this season, up 69 percent from a 2.9 on Empire the last time the team played. That shows what winning can do for ratings in a hockey town. NBC's NHL opener on Channel 2 last weekend had a 2.3 rating, well above the national average of 1.5.- Buffalo News -"The one thing is, I was pretty surprised that I didn't get a heads-up on it, because I did get a heads-up phone call when I wasn't invited to the Olympic summer camp. When I didn't hear anything or get a call beforehand, I thought that I had made the team. "To find out that I hadn't by watching on television when the roster was announced, that was pretty disappointing."- Brian Leetch, via the NY Post

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If I Lived In Texas

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

While reviewing the NBC coverage map (will open pdf file) of today's NHL games, I noticed hockey fans in the state of Texas will be receiving the Flyers/Penguins feed instead of the Avs/Wings game. You would think fans in Texas would have more interest in a western conference game which directly impacts the Stars, instead they get to watch two eastern teams battle.

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Remember Salo

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Sun,

Henrik Lundqvist, make yourself comfortable. Like it or not, you are on the Olympic hotseat. The New York Rangers rookie is expected to be the starting goaltender for Team Sweden next month in Turin, a job that carries significant historical baggage with it. From Stockholm to Gothenburg, millions of Swedes will look to Lundqvist and the Maple Leafs' Mikael Tellqvist to wipe out the memories of the goaltending catastrophe in Salt Lake City four years ago, one that left an entire nation in mourning.
continued

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Sundin MIA

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

The NHL lockout, upon further review, apparently robbed the Maple Leafs of their franchise player. As the eighth-place Leafs attempt to fight through a significant January slump by going north to face their tormentors in Ottawa for two games over the next three days, the evidence suggests Mats Sundin is but a shadow of the consistent points producer and elite attacker who was part of the 2004 Leaf playoff team that lost in the second round. While New Jersey has used the return to health of winger Patrik Elias to power past the Leafs in the Eastern Conference standings and the Atlanta Thrashers have also been riding the hot stick of ex-holdout Ilya Kovalchuk to pass Pat Quinn's club, the Leafs have received nothing of similar impact from their highest-paid forward this season.
more

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No More Roaming Goalies

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Montreal Gazette,

Beyond the trapezoid-shaped zone behind the net of a National Hockey League rink is an icy Bermuda Triangle. It's where goaltenders vanish into thin air, then reappear for two minutes or less on the penalty sheet. No longer can a goalie race into the corner on a dump-in and fire the puck up ice to foil a forechecker. If he's outside his crease and touches the puck behind this line with even a skate out of the zone, Section Four, Rule 31 (j) will tag him with a minor penalty for delay of game.
continued

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Will Mowers & Esche Save Arena

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Utica Observer Dispatch,

Whitesboro native and National Hockey League veteran Mark Mowers said the town should make keeping the Whitestown Community Center's ice rink open year-round a priority. The Town Board voted Wednesday to close the rink from April 1 to July 5 because of rising costs after offering year-round ice since 1986. Mowers, who is earning $450,000 this year with the Red Wings, appears ready to put his money where his mouth is. "I know what people are going to say when they read this. They'll say: 'Why don't you and (Philadelphia Flyers goalie) Robert Esche (another Whitesboro native) do something about it?' Well, why didn't they come and ask me? I never got a call." You can bet Mowers will now.
read on Also from the Utica Observer Dispatch,
"Two years ago in Detroit, I felt like the coach wasn't afraid to throw me into any situation," Mowers said. "But this year, I'm starting to lose faith that that's ever going to happen. "But I'm trying to stay as positive as possible. When I do play, I try to keep it simple and do my job and hopefully good things will happen."

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Jagr Unleashed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Sun,

"You just have to come to a team that appreciates you,'' he said. "A team that wants you and will let you play.'' "If they don't let me play here in New York, I'm the same player I was in Washington,'' he said. "That's the way it is. I don't want to make any excuses, but look at Petr Sykora. You think he was reborn in two days?
more

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Devils Looking For Ninth Consecutive Win

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Asbury Park Press,

Remember where these Devils were two months ago? They were a punching bag of a team with an injured goalie, an ailing forward, a stressed-out coach, a porous defense, and a sub-.500 record. Now? Now the punching bag has sprouted arms, balled its hands into fists and is swinging back at the rest of the NHL. David has morphed into Goliath.
read on

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Ottawa Owner Wants The Cup

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Citizen,

Almost to a fault, Melnyk is driven to bring back the glory years of the original Senators hockey club of the early 20th century. He wants it so badly he can taste it, and speaks of it, fate-temptingly, in January. In an effusive open letter to fans Melnyk has sent to local newspapers encouraging fans to "help bring the Cup home," the owner suggests his 2005-06 team is "harnessing the spirit of 1927." "We came back to the team we love," he writes. "We made the right trades. We mixed the right players. We hired the right coaches and -- today -- we're delivering a winner."
continued

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