Kukla's Korner

Shh Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Sun,

The secret is out. The Edmonton Oilers have a No. 1 line. Word hasn't quite reached the far outposts of the NHL just yet, but if other teams are listening, they'll soon hear a buzz about the SHH Line. Of course, you might think head coach Craig MacTavish would want to keep his productive trio under wraps for as long as possible. But in reality, MacTavish is tickled pink to open up about the triumvirate of Ryan Smyth, Shawn Hor-coff and Ales Hemsky that combined for 11 points Thursday night against Detroit.

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Esposito Scores

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

It's as though Sidney Crosby walked out one door and Angelo Esposito came in another. Quebec junior hockey barely had the chance to lament the loss of Crosby, a brilliantly talented and lucrative drawing card, before welcoming Esposito, a 16-year-old just as telegenic, dedicated, articulate, bilingual and marvellously skilled as Sid the Kid. In some ways, he's even more accomplished. For instance, Esposito's actually trilingual, with French, English and Italian. In fact, his older sister, Josephine, could speak only Italian when she started school, a problem that had her parents, John and Gianna, summoned to meet the teacher. "They said she couldn't speak English," said John. "I said, `Well, why do you think I'm sending her to your school?'"

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Tanabe Traded To Boston For Scatchard

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the AP,

The Phoenix Coyotes traded defenseman David Tanabe to the Boston Bruins on Friday night for center Dave Scatchard. Scatchard has 111 goals, 121 assists and 861 penalty minutes in 542 regular-season games over eight NHL seasons with Vancouver, Boston and the New York Islanders. He had four goals and six assists in 16 games for the Bruins after signing a four-year deal this summer worth over $2 million per season. Tanabe had just four assists in 21 games for Phoenix this season. He joined the Coyotes in a June 2003 trade with the Carolina Hurricanes, who made Tanabe their first-round pick in the 1999 draft.

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Yzerman Not Happy With Rule Changes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Detroit Free Press (Saturday edition) via the Mercury News,

Detroit Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman has played 13 games in the new-rules NHL. He would like to see some of the old NHL back. "Everybody keeps saying this is great. It's not great," Yzerman said. "It's not hockey." "There are penalties all over," he said. "I'll just use Mathieu Schneider's penalty as an example. He steps up and takes his guy out, and his stick gets caught and the crowd cheers so the referee puts his hand up. There has to be some discretion. The referees have to use some judgment on what is a penalty and what is not. They've taken judgment out of it and I think it's somewhat made it easy on the referees just to call anything, because there is no judgment. "Good referees used to have good judgment. Now they've taken that out of the game. I'm not saying I'm blaming the referees for it, I just feel the whole thing has to be adjusted and they have to look at this seriously. They can't continue to call irrelevant things that have no business being called."

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Guess Who

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

As many of you know, Phil Coffey of NHL.com has a weekly feature highlighting the quotes from the past week in the NHL. Today, I am going to give you the quote only, you may want to try to figure out who said it or of course you can cheat and just read his column.

"When you're not at your best, and you have four of your six defensemen not at their best, how the hell are you going to win when you're under pressure? You turn the puck over, you don't read well ... that's the way it is. You have to wake up and play better. ... We have three of our best forwards out, and you have six not showing up? You're trying to win against a team that is playing great hockey? It's going to be tough." "If we were 15-3-2 and I didn't have a goal, I think it would be a different story. I think I would be playing good solid defense, and things like that. But the bottom line is we're a .500 team, so, as the captain of this team, a lot of people point at me, and say I have to play better. And, in a way, they're right. I still have some room to improve." "People can speak and say whatever they want. So be it. I'll just continue to work hard and hopefully it continues to get better. You know what? I just beat to my own drum. I do what I've got to do to get myself better."
Make sure you check out Phil's answers to many of the emails he receives from fans like us.

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Bad Team- Who Gets The Ziggy First

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

In the old days, the solution was easy enough. A team gets off to a rocky start or goes through a prolonged slump, opens the window and yells "look out, coach coming!" And to steal a line used by almost every GM after defenestrating their bench boss: "You can't fire a whole team even if you might want to." In the new NHL, however, when owners have to look below the fold in their morning papers to find their beloved team, it might not be the coach that comes to mind first, but the general manager.

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Keep An Eye Open

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kara Yorio of the Sporting News,

Here are storylines to watch as the NHL rolls into high gear. Most shocking -- and misleading -- stat Attendance 'M' is for mediocre Once mighty in their own zone, the Devils now are messy, with no signs of cleaning things up anytime soon.
more

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Canadian All-Hockey Talk On XM

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Channel Canada,

XM Canada has announced the signing of an all-star roster of on-air talent for Home Ice, XM's all-hockey talk channel (XM Channel 204). The channel will provide XM subscribers with groundbreaking hockey talk as well as live, play-by-play coverage of more than 1,000 National Hockey League games per season and more than 40 games per week. Expert analysis and commentary from well-known broadcasters and NHL legends will make this a "must-have" channel for hockey fans across North America. Broadcasters who have joined XM's Home Ice channel include Hall-of-Famers Phil Esposito, Denis Potvin and Mike Bossy, NHL All-Star Bill Clement as well as respected sports broadcasters Jim Tatti, Scott Laughlin, Cameron Stewart and Todd Lewis.
It sure would be nice if we could get something like this in the USA. According to KK reader Brad, it is available in the US. See comments for more info.

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Top U.S. College Players

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from College Hockey News,

The NHL's Central Scouting Service has released its Preliminary Rankings for the 2006 NHL Draft. Minnesota's Phil Kessel, widely hailed as the probable top overall pick in next year's draft, is No. 1. Jonathan Toews of North Dakota, who McKeen's Hockey lists as the probably third overall pick, is ranked second among NCAA skters. They are followed in the top five by Mark Mitera (Michigan), Ben Street (Wisconsin) and Zach Jones (North Dakota).

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Marchant Update

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Doug MacLean was just on NHL Live and he said there is no way Columbus will be picking up half of Marchant's salary if he moved. Doug said numerous coals are in the fire and the next week of so something should happen. Marchant will not report to Syracuse and won't be recalled in the near future, which would allow teams to claim him and pay only 1/2 of his salary while Columbus would be responsible for the other half.

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