Kukla's Korner

Over the Boards

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

-Calgary Flames are getting healthier; Darren McCarty who was on the shelve with a sore neck is expected back in the lineup tonight and Robyn Regehr is expected to play in his first regular season game on Saturday. -Phoenix center Petr Nedved will miss at least two weeks with a dislocated elbow. -Wild left wing Marion Gaborik will miss the team's four game road trip with a groin injury. -Mark Parrish of the Islanders will be a game time decision tonight.

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Top Loyalties And Branding

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brand Week,

In this year's survey findings, five of the top six brands with the most loyal consumers are technology related. Only Avis (which ranked No. 1 from 1997 to 2003) remains a traditional holdout among the hot, and comparatively, newer brands. Google's first-place finish, its second in a row, won't surprise many. “The ability to search the Internet is vital to the way people work, play and function. To take it away would be disruptive to my life,” said Nitin Gupta, an analyst with the Yankee Group, Boston. Among all brands, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League fared the worst. After locking out for a season, hockey ranked dead last. “The NHL didn't bother showing up last year. You can't disappoint fans any more than that,' said Passikoff. The second biggest loyalty loser was Major League Baseball. With the steroid scandal putting a cloud over the season, loyalty plummeted and MLB careened to No. 221, falling 152 spaces.
I guess NHL fans can look at it this way, the only direction for the league is up!

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Olczyk On The Hot Seat

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

He has received public votes of confidence from his general manager and his team owner the past several days, but Penguins coach Eddie Olczyk isn't naive enough to think his job is dead-bolt safe. Or maybe even screen-door secure. Not when the team is 1-5-5, last in the Atlantic Division with seven points, and one point off the bottom of the NHL standings heading into a five-game road trip that begins tonight at New Jersey.

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Fans Power Rankings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from ESPN,

From sea to shining sea, without regard for the world's longest undefended border, parity is skating amok on NHL rinks. Entering play on Tuesday, fully one-third of the league's teams had six wins, and only the Detroit Red Wings had more than eight wins. It's hardly more clear on the other end of the spectrum, where only the Penguins, Blues, Blackhawks and Thrashers have fewer than four wins.

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Havlet Set To Return

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Sun,

Martin Havlat has served his sentence for kicking Boston Bruins defenceman Hal Gill in the groin. Now the Senators winger is getting a figurative kick in the butt from Senators GM John Muckler. "Having sat out five games now, I think it has taught him a lesson in responsibility," Muckler said yesterday on the Team 1200. "He's got to think a little more about his teammates. He's a very, very important part of our hockey club. We need him on the ice. When he takes a penalty like he did the other night and gets suspended for five games, he not only hurts himself but his team and his teammates.

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Minutes Cut For Laraque

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Sun via Slam,

Georges Laraque has averaged 3:22 of ice time in the last three games he's played, or about as long as it takes to sing the U.S. and Canadian anthems, give or take a patriotic bar or two. That's a fact, but if the Edmonton Oilers tough guy is frustrated with his lot in life and upset with his lack of playing time, he isn't singing an unhappy tune -- at least not yet. "With three minutes a game, obviously it's hard, but you still have to be positive," said Laraque, one of many fourth-liners in the NHL who has had his backside stapled to the pine by a glut of special teams play. "Hopefully, the more the year goes along and players adjust to it, there won't be as many penalties."

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Sabres Short A Pair

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Buffalo News,

Short-handed by a couple of indefinite injuries, the Buffalo Sabres have decided to keep their roster as is for the time being. The Sabres were without defenseman Toni Lydman and left wing Taylor Pyatt at Monday morning's practice in HSBC Arena, and 72 hours after they were hurt coach Lindy Ruff still wasn't sure how long they would be missing from his lineup. Lydman strained his groin and Pyatt might have sustained a concussion in Friday's 3-2 road loss to the New Jersey Devils.

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Habs/Rangers Game Last Night On OLN

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

My understanding is some Cablevision viewers had issues last night and were not able to see the game until the 2nd period, plus the audio was an issue all night long. But it does seem the OLN production side is improving. Other than some sound problems via INHD2, this game was their best production to date. They are getting the bugs out and hopefully this will continue throughout the season.

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Rick Nash May Play Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Sun,

Rick Nash might be 50-50 on returning to active duty, but the Columbus Blue Jackets are 100% sure they want, and need, him back in the lineup. The super-sniper hasn't played a game, save for one period of the season-opener against Washington, after suffering a high ankle sprain on the second day of training camp back in September. Nash missed the remainder of camp and then attempted to come back against the Capitals - only to be forced to sit out for the next 11 games. Nash laboured a bit on his repaired wheel during the Blue Jackets' practice at Rexall Place yesterday, and will wait to see how the ankle feels before making a decision on whether to play tonight against the Edmonton Oilers.

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Decision Time For Primeau

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Philly Burbs,

Can I go on? Do I go on? Some, like Hall of Famer Pat LaFontaine, were forced to retire. Others, such as Jeremy Roenick and Eric Lindros, press ahead. Now Keith Primeau may be joining that list of those who have faced such difficult decisions. Primeau underwent neuro-psychological baseline testing by team neurologist Dr. Gerri McGinnis at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia and was told that he has a concussion. Flyers head trainer Jim McCrossin, after consulting with team doctor Gary Dorshimer, told the media that it's unclear what long-range effect this latest injury will have on Primeau's career.

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