Kukla's Korner

Alabama Writer Hates Hockey- Surprised?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Clanton Advertiser (Alabama),

In the midst of this football cornucopia, we actually have basketball and hockey games going on, too. That's right, hockey's back. By now you've probably seen one of the NHL's commercials broadcasting, as I said, that hockey is back. If you're anything like me, you just changed the channel. There were no (zero!) hockey games last year, and I never even noticed. I understand that there are NHL fans out there who scoff at me for being such a fool to avoid the "wonderful" sport of hockey, but I've got a couple of football games to watch, so you'll forgive me if I just don't listen. Has any league ever started (or in this case, started back) with less hoopla? Not having hockey highlights last year just made Sportscenter feel like a fresher, shorter, more analysis-based show. And I already miss that. I'd still rather listen to a 15-minute rant by Stephen A. Smith or Sean Salisbury than watch a hockey highlight.

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Focus On The Words

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elisha Cuthbert, special blogger of NHL.com,

My name is Elisha Cuthbert, born in Calgary, Alberta, but raised in Montreal, Quebec. Growing up in Canada opened my eyes to the world of hockey. My brother plays on two teams -- his school and city. My mother plays on a team as well. I, on the other hand, am just an actress who loves the sport and does not play -- but that doesn't mean I can't talk about it!
continued

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Russian Power Struggle

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fox Sports,

Russian coach Vladimir Krikunov has been touring NHL arenas in the last while, feeling out players about whether they want to play in the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy. When Krikunov was asked whether player recruitment was Bure's job, he didn't exactly agree with that assessment. He said the title of GM is more like a figurehead title and saw Bure as some sort of an attache. "I think Bure will be more of an Olympic committee representative," Krikunov is quoted as saying. Sounds like the forces of divisiveness are at work again.

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Complete Nonsense

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette was asked about the new NHL... via the Globe and Mail,

"It's ridiculous. You sit at a game now and you know there's going to be a steady parade of people going to the penalty box. You're almost assured of some team having a 5-on-3 late in the third period, and the other team is going to get a 5-on-3 even later in the third period. "What it comes down to is, the referees are deciding the outcomes of the games," Fisher said. "It's complete nonsense.
Fisher should know, he has been covering hockey for 51 years.

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Those ‘Ugly’ Goaltenders

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Highlighting the 'Ugly" from Barry Melrose of ESPN,

Three veteran goalies have gotten off to ugly starts: Nikolai Khabibulin in Chicago, Rick DiPietro with the New York Islanders and Martin Brodeur in New Jersey. They are three of the best goaltenders in the NHL, but I don't think the trio is enjoying the new NHL. All three netminders are under .500, all are over 3.00 in GAA and all are under .900 in save percentage. Compare these three goalies, and money they make, to someone like Labarbera. Look at those numbers.

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Lecavalier Calls Out Officiating

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sportsnet,

Following a 3-2 loss to Montreal last night, Tampa Bay's fourth straight setback, Lightning star Vincent Lecavalier became one of the first among top-line players to criticize NHL officiating. "Question mark is, why is it always even on both sides? That's what I don't understand. It's a lot better than it used to be with hooking and grabbing but there's still too much. They still should call more. A hook is a hook. If a guy puts a stick on a guy's glove or if he grabs a shirt it's a penalty. It should be like that. It's a tough adjustment for everybody, you know, for them too, for referees, it's their first year."

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Over The Boards

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

-The streaking Carolina Hurricanes will be looking to establish a new franchise record for consecutive wins when they visit the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday. The Hurricanes have won seven straight games to equal the club record set from March 16-29, 1985, when the franchise was known as the Hartford Whalers. -Sergei Fedorov should be back in the Ducks lineup this weekend after recovering from a groin injury. -Peter Forsberg is on a pace for 151 assists and a +88.

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Kings Invade JLA

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

The Los Angeles Kings weren't ranked very high by most hockey prognosticators this season, and while it's still early, they are proving their doubters wrong with a 10-5-0 start that has them atop the Pacific Division. "I think most of the pre-season predictions had us certainly as an outsider in the playoffs, anywhere from 11th to the bottom in our conference," said Kings head coach Andy Murray. But Murray is also quick to point out his team has benefited from playing 10 of its first 15 games at home. "Detroit came in here and beat us (5-2 on Oct. 13) and they're at the top of the conference right now," rookie Kings goalie Jason Labarbera said in a phone interview. "It's a big test for us, we want to measure ourselves against the best teams in the conference. To go into Detroit which is a tough place to play, I've never played there yet, so that'll be a good test."

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Mario Praises Ilya

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Mario Lemieux is something of an authority on the subject of goal-scoring, having done it 689 times in the NHL. So when he praises another player for his ability to put the puck in the net, it's worth it to listen. And when he singles out Atlanta left winger Ilya Kovalchuk as perhaps the finest pure goal-scorer in the game, it's an opinion that has to be taken seriously.

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Regehr Plans On Physical Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Calgary Sun,

Physical play is supposed to be on the way out in the NHL. Tell that to Robyn Regehr. The rugged Flames defenceman has a theory about how to play with the obstruction clampdown, having now skated in three games since returning from the knee injury that forced him to miss the first month of the season. "I think the best way to play it is as physical as you can and, if you're doing something wrong, the refs will talk to you. From there, you can tone it down if you have to," Regehr said.

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