Kukla's Korner

Cheechoo Emerging

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Sun,

Cheechoo's claim to fame used to be he was the first member of the Cree First Nations to sign an NHL contract, but with 25 goals when the Edmonton Oilers came calling at The Tank last night, the soft-spoken kid from Moose Factory, Ontario is a well-kept secret no more. "I think a lot of it is the rules," said the modest Cheechoo, who faced the Oilers on a career-high nine-game points streak. "The rules have opened things up more and you get more power play chances here and there."
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Learn Hockey In Nebraska

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Journal Star (Lincoln, Nebraska),

The class taught by Professor Reynolds is a little, uh, different. There are no supply-and-demand charts. No homework papers on the Bay of Pigs. No deep discussions about Descartes, unless, that is, a guy named Descartes once played winger for the Maple Leafs. No, Derek Reynolds doesn’t have any of that stuff on his class syllabus. But if you want to learn about Terry Sawchuk and how he had to get 100 stitches in his face because he was the last hockey goalie to not wear a mask, or that they once had to drill a hole in Gordie Howe’s head to relieve pressure on his brain after he got checked into the boards, well, you need a little Hockey 101.
read on

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Mario Lemieux Discusses Future Plans

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the New York Times,

In his owner's box before Thursday night's game here against the Rangers, Lemieux was asked if he wanted to play again this season. "I'm not sure," he said. "I'm just taking it day by day now, hopefully start to feel better, and we'll see." Lemieux, who came out of retirement in December 2000, was also asked if there was a chance he had played his last game. "Well, there's always a chance," he said. "I'm not sure," he said. "The thing that I have now - atrial fibrillation - might be attributed to stress, and I've been getting a lot of stress the last couple of years. But you can't say for sure that's the problem."
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Fight Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Calgary Sun,

The Flames took the lead shortly after a bloody battle between Darren McCarty and Souray 12:15 into the first period. McCarty was sent to the locker-room for a little medical attention with a gash over the right eye but the Flames came away on the winning end of the incident when Souray was given an extra five and a game for intent to injure.
Where to go to discuss the hockey fight! update 10:13am, from TSN,
The National Hockey League has reviewed Montreal Canadien Sheldon Souray’s match penalty from last night’s game with the Calgary Flames and decided no suspension is required. Souray was assessed a match penalty during his first-period fight with Calgary’s Darren McCarty, who was cut over his right eye during the fight.
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Over The Boards

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

-"Ziggy, he's a strange bird. He's a guy that I think, on a winning team, would be a great player. On a losing team, sometimes if he didn't feel he had a chance to win, he wasn't 100% into it. He, in my eyes, was one of the best offensive players I ever played with. He's a very special talent. But a lot of the game is mental with him."- Mathieu Schneider (Detroit Free Press) -"They've got a huge problem," Jaques Lemaire said after the Wild's practice Thursday. "And it's not the referees' fault. The league has a problem with the officiating. We have a major problem, and I don't know how we're going to solve it." With referees forced to move faster and watch increasingly quicker sequences all over the ice — all the while avoiding injury as they work in dangerous conditions — it's impossible for them to see as much as they used to, Lemaire said. "It's just too much for the refs," he said. "They can't see everything that's going on. And they will respond to that by saying, 'We can miss calls, and it's always been like that.' And that I understand. You can miss calls. But you can't miss 15 of them in a game."- Pioneer Press -Robitaille scored three goals for his 15th career hat trick and passed Marcel Dionne to become the Los Angeles Kings' career leading goal scorer Thursday night in a wild 8-6 victory that snapped the Atlanta Thrashers' five-game winning streak. ''It's certainly something I'll cherish forever,'' Robitaille said. ''It was an amazing night. Nights like this are always fun when you win on top of it. I wanted it to happen earlier, but it was special to do it at home. I have so many great memories here.''- AP

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Elias Makes The Difference

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chico Resch of MSG Network,

Can one man make a difference in a team sport? Well, the answer is yes if the name is Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, Joe Sakic or Peter Forsberg. But now you can add a new name to that list -- and that name is Patrik Elias. Need some convincing? Here we go:
read on

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Berard Failed DrugTest For Olympics

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

Columbus Blue Jackets defenceman Bryan Berard tested positive for a banned substance as part of drug testing for the Olympics. Sources say Berard, who was invited to the U.S. summer Olympic evaluation camp and therefore eligible for Olympic testing, tested positive for the substance nandrolone, an anabolic steroid which is on the IOC banned substance list.
read on update 9:44pm, from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
The mandatory testing, as agreed by the NHL and NHLPA in the new CBA, began on Jan. 15. The first set of results should begin filtering in any time now. So if there are players out there ingesting performance-enhancing substances, we're going to know and they're going to get punished. Now, is it possible more than one NHL player will test positive? Sure, that's possible when you're talking about a group of 700 players. Is it possible it could be as many as another 230? Possible, one supposes, but plausible? Difficult to imagine, isn't it?
read on

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The NHL Is Clean

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei of ESPN,

The sport doesn't have a drug problem, at least within the parameters of modern definition. For many, that's one of the NHL's selling points. The NHL doesn't need to sweep it under the rug, but instead should have implemented testing long ago to emphasize that it has so little to hide. Granted, maybe that's naïve. At some point, many of us also believed that Milli Vanilli really sang, that "A Million Little Pieces" indeed deserved to be displayed in the nonfiction section of the bookstore, and maybe even that illegal sticks were extremely exceptional, not commonplace. But it's our story and we're sticking to it.
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Goal Scorers See The Opening

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Let's Play Hockey,

Number 8 in the Capitals’ jersey attacked the zone with his usual disregard for the opponents’ defense. Most “normal” folks see four people back, seemingly in perfect position to defend against the rush. But Alex Ovechkin sees openings, not bodies. Attacking diagonally through the offensive zone, Ovechkin was moving his hands and feet with lightning speed, looking for that perfect moment — a chance to beat the defenseman or to shoot between the legs, using the D as a screen. But this time, as he carried across the zone toward his backhand side, No. 8 saw no perfect opening, and he carried the puck a bit too far. The night before he did the same thing. Maybe even for him, as for mere mortals, skating toward the backhand side makes it difficult to pull the trigger.
continued

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Ilya And The Canadians

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John McGourly of NHL.com,

There will be something far greater motivating Canadians when, and if, their team plays Russia and that will be a strong desire to see Atlanta Thrashers forward Ilya Kovalchuk get what they believe is his comeuppance. For his part, Kovalchuk, bidding for his second-straight Rocket Richard Trophy as the NHL's top goal scorer, is doing all he can to stoke their ire. And, he's enjoying it.
read on

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