Kukla's Korner

Deal With It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Swedish coach Bengt-Ake Gustafsson has a message for Flyers general manager Bob Clarke, and it's not being sung with amore: You have an agreement. Now live with it. A day after Clarke said he didn't appreciate indirect pressure European nations might have placed on his players - including Sweden's Peter Forsberg - to play at the Olympics, Gustafsson said he had talked with Forsberg but had never applied pressure.
continued

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Who Wins Today

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Chicago Tribune,

So now Wayne Gretzky and Don Waddell must know how the Blackhawks feel. While NHL teams were trying to get their European players to play more like North American grinders, the league embraced the type of game in which European players typically excel. The question now is how quickly NHL teams, as well as the Canadian and American national teams, can adapt. Friday's Olympic semifinals will offer a lesson on how far they have to go.
read on for predictions on today's games... from the Phildadelphia Inquirer,
The Russians have the most electrifying young player in the world in Alexander Ovechkin. The Finns have Antero Niittymaki, who still has not proven to Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock he should be a full-time starter, yet he might win a gold medal. The Swedes have a skill line of Peter Forsberg, Mats Sundin and Fredrik Modin. And the Czechs possess the one player most countries fear as having the ability to turn a game around single-handedly: Jaromir Jagr.
continued

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What’s In A Name

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Toronto Star,

Swedish forward Tomas Holmstrom was holding court in the mixed zone yesterday, noting that the Czechs will be a tough opponent tonight because they have a hot goaltender in Tomas Vokoun. When it was pointed that Milan Hnilicka has taken over as the Czech netminder, Holmstrom raised an eyebrow and said: "Oh. It doesn't matter what the name is as long as he's hot."

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Snap Out Of It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

Much of the thrill is indeed gone from these Olympic Games, with the banishment of Team Canada as distant also-rans. Unlike some mean-spirited media misanthropes, I take no glee from the failure of the glossy hockey squad. I take no pleasure when any athlete — professional or so-called "amateur'' — flops, especially with the whole world watching, except for those millions of Americans who have apparently flipped the channel already to American Idol or reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond.
more

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Peter Is Blind

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Capital News 9,

Peter is legally blind. He's been playing hockey with the Berkshire Rattlers youth hockey league since he was four and half-years-old. Peter said, "I can't really see the ice. Once I'm looking where I'm going, I can't look at the puck. Normal people, without glasses, can see that. I quickly look down and back up, down and back up. It's pretty difficult, but it's kind of easy once you get used to it."
read on...and check out the video too. This article will put the game of hockey as we know it in perspective.

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Tough Olympics

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Sundin has had a tough few games. He looks like the loser of a boxing match. I'll let Jes at Hockey Rants explain. image

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Thought Of McKenzie From Turin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

The pride the Finns have been showing, along with the Russians, the Swedes and the Czechs, it just goes on and on. Full marks to those countries. They've done a great job, but I will say this -- and this isn't because Canada and the United States are out -- this is a freeze-dried hockey tournament. You can take it for whatever it's worth.
more

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Refs Remain consistent

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Shawn P. Roarke of Fox Sports,

Like any athletes, hockey players want to know what to expect from the men that regulate their contests. As they have shown this year, players will adjust to the rules, no matter their severity, as long as the standard remains uniform. Consistency is the foundation of a player's comfort zone. This year, the NHL's 67-man strong officiating crew has delivered the consistency in dramatic fashion, helping each the transition into a brand new hockey culture. For that, they should be commended.
read on

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Foppa’s Time

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Mercury News,

This is what Peter Forsberg came for. After all the consternation about his groin injury, the questions about his ability to play, whether he should even be here, the accusations about undue pressure to play for Sweden, he is in the position he wanted from the start - in the hunt for a gold medal. "I feel great," Forsberg said after Team Sweden's practice Thursday afternoon.
more

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Dirty Big Secret

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Las Vegas Business Press,

Illegal sports betting is the dirty big secret of modern college and professional sports. League representatives talk tough -- get them in front of a congressional hearing and they will bluster on about how their athletes must refrain from associating with "gamblers" lest the integrity of their game be called into question. ...American sports betting is not going to go away simply because the leagues want it to. If any good can come from the Tocchet case, perhaps it will be that more people will wake-up to that reality, and work for a solution that will allow more Americans to bet on sports legally.
continued

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