Kukla's Korner

J.R Chat Alert

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NHL.com will be hosting a chat session today at 4pm EST. with Jeremy Roenick. I wonder if he will bring Avery along with him? image

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Devils Looking For A Leader

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NY Post,

He has shaken them. We'll see tonight if Larry Robinson has stirred the Devils by calling them "the strangest team I've ever been around." He also defended his decision not to name a captain at season's start to replace first Scott Stevens, and acting captain Scott Niedermayer. "That probably would have backfired because I believe you're born with leadership. I don't think you can create it," Robinson said. "Not everybody's a leader. "I don't think there's been somebody that's stepped up and deserves it, or has shown me they're a leader."
read on (reg. req.)

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Bettman In Love

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Arizona Republic,

Gary Bettman looks revitalized. He is smiling, telling jokes, slapping backs and walking with pep in his step. The nervous twitch he often seemed to unconsciously carry with him for the past few years is gone, and so with it, the paranoid stares he would regularly plant on inquiring minds in the hockey media. "Hey, I love you guys," Bettman said wryly to reporters during a recent visit to the Valley. "I love the game. I love what we're seeing," Bettman said. "You know what I love best about it? I'm loving the uncertainty of the results and the lead changes. When I was in Tampa on opening night, I was watching the scoreboard and I saw Los Angeles had gone up 4-0 on Dallas in the first period, but then lost the game 5-4. "Right then, I knew we were on the right track and that this was working. We're seeing more lead changes in the third period than we've seen in modern time. Every team's got a shot. That's the best thing we can give our fans."
more

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MRI Today For Vokoun & Legwand

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the AP,

Predators goaltender Tomas Vokoun strained his left knee in the first period Thursday night, and center David Legwand sprained his left knee in the second and had to be helped off the ice in a 5-1 loss to the New York Rangers. Both were scheduled for MRI exams Friday. Coach Barry Trotz said only that Legwand had a "leg injury" and that the Predators would know more after the tests. "Hopefully, we have some results for you," Trotz said. Vokoun said he hurt his left knee stopping a shot by Rangers defenseman Darius Kasparaitis when his leg was caught and twisted at the net at 12:15 of the first. He felt pain but stayed in the game. He didn't say anything to the trainers and returned to the ice and tried to play in the second. "I tried to stretch. I can't go in the butterfly. ... I was as surprised as everybody. I just went down, tried to extend my leg and I couldn't do it. I just went off the ice. That's when I knew something was done," Vokoun said.

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Canada Needs Mario

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

The temptation will be there as early as today for Team Canada to excuse Mario Lemieux from participation in the Turin Olympics. Problem is, the man's country very much needs him to play. This will seem, of course, somewhat counter-intuitive to those who look at Lemieux's lousy stats this season, his slowing 40-year-old body and brand new heart concerns and figure he's no longer suitable for the defending Olympic champs.
continued

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Attendance Picking Up In Phoenix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Arizona Republic,

More promotions, cheaper ticket prices and a loyal fan base are being credited with making the return to the ice for the Phoenix Coyotes a good one. It also doesn't hurt to have the National Hockey League's reputed greatest player ever as the head coach of a team that's winning games. The Coyotes are reporting an increase in ticket sales from the previous season and are averaging more than 15,000 fans a game.
read on

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Everything Runs Through Highway 68

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Pretty good quote from Barry Trotz in the Asbury Park and Press,

Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz, whose team has surpassed preseason expectations to become one of the NHL's top teams, was asked about the similarly surprising Rangers. "Everything runs through Highway 68," Trotz said.
more...recap of last night's game between Nashville and the NYR...

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Original Six Fading

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Chicago Tribune via the Mercury News,

They are two words people with longtime ties to the sport deem sacred: Original Six. For many, those words evoke memories of Hull, Mikita, Howe, Richard, Beliveau and Sawchuk, when the sport was concentrated in six cities - Chicago, Detroit, Boston, New York, Montreal and Toronto. It's fondly referred to as "old-time hockey." But as the years go by, the mystique of the Original Six appears to be fading. Wednesday at the United Center was another example. Despite making their only appearance of the season and perhaps their only showing in the next five or six seasons, the New York Rangers, one of those Original Six teams, failed to fill up the United Center for their game against the Blackhawks.
more

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U.S. Olympic Roster Trimmed Down

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

While the media spotlight in Canada has centred on Wayne Gretzky's Olympic scouting trip this week, U.S. general manager Don Waddell quietly went about cutting down his short list to about 30 players. The Americans are down to 26 skaters and four goalies. ''We have about six guys on the bubble right now,'' the U.S. general manager said Thursday. ''We're going to see all those guys one more time here in the next 10 days.
read on

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Scotty Says Make The Goalie Equipment Smaller

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Scotty Bowman was just on Detroit radio and said he has noticed scoring down the last couple of weeks or so. Teams are starting to play more defense and protecting leads. Scotty mentioned the goalie equipment must get smaller. He was watching Hasek on TV the other night and he looks four feet wide. If policemen can wear bullet proof vests and we can't even tell they have one on, then why can't the equipment be made smaller. Not too many even strength goals, he wants to see the winger coming down the boards, fire a slapper from 40 ft. and score. He feels the NHL must meet with the NHLPA and change some rules, the goalie equipment being the #1 priority. Bowman also talked about the goalie situation in Detroit. Until Manny gets back into action, there will be some doubt. His recommendation is wait for Manny to come back and see what shakes out. No need for a trade now. My two cents on the rumor that Legace will be moved in a trade- Hogwash. Manny is a UFA after this year, no team is going to offer a player of much value, and besides, who plays goal for the Wings if he is gone. It makes no sense to move him unless the value offered is too good to pass up. which is not going to happen.

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