Kukla's Korner

They Love Ice “Hokey”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Sun,

Like a wandering knight-errant of old, former Edmonton Oiler and 10-year NHL veteran Shjon Podein is roaming far from home in search of not-so-chivalrous adventure. A week before Christmas, the Ice Bucks were in Harbin, China, to take on the hometown Dragons. Hanging from the rafters were English-challenged banners proclaiming "Harbin Love Ice Hokey!" - a not-so-subtle reminder that credibility might still be a bit of a problem. But on the upside, there are no squabbles over salary caps or revenue sharing - just a genuine affinity for binq-cho, something most folks in the People's Republic have seen only in 30-second clips on TV sports highlight shows.
more

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Smoking Hawks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Chicago Tribune,

"It was just a different time," Mikita went on. "I'm not proud of it, but I smoked too. I haven't had a cigarette for 15 or so years, thank goodness. But I smoked as a kid growing up in Canada because I thought I was the Marlboro Man. And I smoked as a player. Smoked between periods. Five or six of us would go the washroom for a smoke."
read on

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Jacobs Knows Losing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

The Bruins owner has never pretended to know hockey -- the playing of it -- from a tactical or strategic point of view. But, much like his team's fan base, he knows one part of the game inside and out. ''Let's be clear, there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- subjective about the final score," said a chagrined Jacobs, reached by telephone late last week. ''It is very objective. It's a results business. Every time you lose, you lose, and that's it. I don't care about how artistic it is; the score tells you how you've done." ...Nonetheless, said Jacobs, the possibility of such significant changes is ''clearly out there," and at one point he said ''every player and every part of the organization" must be scrutinized within the framework of a very disappointing season. ''And now," said Jacobs, ''it's between Harry [Sinden, club president] and myself. We have to come up with the answers."
read on

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Defense Is Back

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sherry Ross of the NY Daily News,

I hate to be the one to break this to the National Hockey League, but defense is back. I'll pause here while a minion fetches the smelling salts for Gary Bettman. Consider this: In the first 150 NHL games of the season - roughly three weeks - there were 12 shutouts league-wide. In the past six days going into this weekend's action - a total of 40 games - there have been seven shutouts.
more

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Who Will Coach The Devils

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the NY Post (reg. req.),

Lou Lamoriello insists he isn't afraid of upsetting his sudden winning-streak apple cart by replacing himself with a new coach. "It's still on track. As soon as I get someone, [I'll] make some decisions," Lamoriello said. While some figures claim Brent Sutter will be named coach, perhaps as early as Tuesday, others remain dubious that Sutter would leave his junior team in midseason, or that Lamoriello would hire someone without NHL head coaching experience. Usually ubiquitous Rick Dudley has been suddenly invisible in the press boxes, despite being on the seat assignment sheets. Dave Lewis and Walt Kyle remain possibles, while two new names were broached yesterday: former Flyers coach Terry Murray and Bruins ex-coach Terry O'Reilly. And wasn't Robbie Ftorek brought back to Albany exactly for this situation?

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They Said It

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

-Oilers enforcer Georges Laraque on younger players wanting to fight him: "Guys come up and ask you, so politely, `Georges, would you do me the honor? Could we go?' It's almost like they're asking for candy." -There won't be a lot of broken hearts around the league if Bryan Marchment of the Calgary Flames suffered a serious knee injury on Friday. As he has done so often, he was targeting someone else's knee.- Al Strachan -So how come Jeremy Jacobs, who has systematically reduced the once-great and all-powerful Bruins franchise to utter irrelevancy in his three Cup-less decades as owner, isn't all over the papers this year telling his stenographers in Boston how smart he is and how much he knows about hockey?- Larry Brooks -Their four-game homestand complete, the Sharks fly to Boston today for what's expected to be a 48-hour circus surrounding Joe Thornton's return to his NHL roots. "It's going to be nice to get there," Thornton said Saturday, "but I think after a couple days, it'll be nice to leave."

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He Needs A Cup

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Sun,

In Greek mythology, the 12 Herculean feats were so difficult that they seemed impossible. In Canadian hockey, mythology is filled with tests that require extraordinary ability. And while Pat Quinn may not have had to perform 12 Herculean feats, the amiable Irishman already has achieved several honours during his hockey coaching career that will be almost impossible to duplicate. However, the greatest and most-difficult task facing Quinn is the one he has spent the past eight seasons trying to achieve -- taking the Maple Leafs to the Stanley Cup final and then sipping champagne from Lord Stanley's oversized silver chalice.
read on

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Cherry Blasts Kovalchuk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

For once, Don Cherry came to the defence of Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby during his Coach's Corner segment Saturday night. "I've seen a lot of things in my life but I've never seen a guy pointing to a guy in the penalty box," Cherry said. "Someone should've broken his (Kovalchuk's) arm but they didn't."
continued

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Zhamnov Breaks Ankle

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Alexei Zhamnov broke his ankle in the 2nd period of today's Tampa Bay-Bruins game. Zhamnov has had some serious injuries the last few years, hope he can make it back from this one.

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Tortorella Points To Bad Habits

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NY Times,

"And I really believe some of the bad habits you pick up by playing a year away, playing overseas, which I don't think helps the game. And then you get the expectations coming in. You get the contracts coming in, some of these guys that aren't used to the type of contracts that they signed. So you get some added pressure all over the place."
more I have one question John, did players on other teams pick-up these same bad habits while playing in Europe, or was it just the Lightning players?

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