Kukla's Korner

Big And Agile

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Karl Samuelson of NHL.com,

Size, strength and agility might help explain why Chara is at or near the top of the NHL in hits every season. But genetics might also play a part. The son of a former Olympic wrestler has no equal when it comes to impact strength. "Chara is dominant out there," says Detroit Red Wings forward Kirk Maltby. "It is almost unfair from another player's standpoint. He utilizes his size and strength and he is so agile for such a big man."
more

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Alternatives For The Penguins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Conceding that Pittsburgh is in danger of losing the Penguins, Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato said yesterday he and Pittsburgh Mayor-elect Bob O'Connor are trying to "find a way" to fund a replacement for the Mellon Arena and secure the team's future. Mr. Onorato said he and Mr. O'Connor are considering a number of financing options, including private investment, state capital funding, naming rights sales and slot machine revenues.
continued It was also nice to hear both Mike Emrick and John Davidson talk about this situation on the OLN broadcast last night. They both stated the politicians had a gentleman's agreement with the Penguins to build a new arena in 2003 but have not followed through on it.

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Teams Designed By Buccigross

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

John Buccigross of ESPN picks his USA and Canadian Olympic Team-

USA Forwards Mike Modano-Brian Gionta-Chris Drury Craig Conroy-Brian Rolston-Dustin Brown Doug Weight-Keith Tkachuk-Mike Knuble Scott Gomez-Erik Cole-Jason Blake Canada Forwards Joe Thornton-Jarome Iginla-Simon Gagne Vincent Lecavalier-Brad Richards-Martin St. Louis Joe Sakic-Dany Heatley-Patrick Marleau Sidney Crosby-Paul Kariya-Ryan Smyth
more

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Naslund Hurting- Cooke Returns

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Sun,

Winger Matt Cooke's expected return tonight to the Vancouver Canucks' lineup will not be enough to fill a gaping hole at forward if captain Markus Naslund is unable or forbidden to play. Naslund, who exacerbated a groin injury by playing Friday against the Ottawa Senators, did not practise Monday and Canuck coach Marc Crawford confirmed the Canucks' top scorer may require a few days off.
more

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Doan Still In The Mix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Arizona Republic,

Many experts considered Doan, who scored the World Cup-clinching goal for Canada in 2004, a lock to make the Olympic team before the NHL season started. But Doan has struggled offensively, and the emergence of younger players Sidney Crosby, Jason Spezza and Eric Staal could end up costing Doan a trip to Turin, Italy. When asked whether he felt he deserved to be on the team, Doan, who has six goals and 14 assists in 30 games this season, politely said: "I have no say whether I deserve it or not." Doan added that he doesn't feel any pressure to play extremely well in these final days as Gretzky and other Team Canada officials put their finishing touches on the roster.
read on

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If The Pens Move

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

Could the "Return of the Winnipeg Jets Campaign" finally bear fruit? Would the Penguins move from one Steeltown to another? Does the NHL adore Quebec City? And what about new possibilities on the NHL map, places like Houston, Las Vegas and Kansas City? The largest city in the U.S. that doesn't have an NHL team is Houston, the country's fourth biggest. Also big, puck-less and potentially profitable are San Francisco, Seattle, Las Vegas and Kansas City. Ryder calls relocating the Penguins to an American city Plan A. Plan B, he said, would be deciding the NHL is in fact a regional sport and thereby moving the franchise to Canada. The six largest Canadian cities already have teams, but Winnipeg, Quebec City, and Hamilton — all about the same size — and much smaller Halifax could all be in the mix.
more

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Moore Brother Meets Bertuzzi

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NY Times,

As a 25-year-old rookie playing a supporting role, forward Dominic Moore has quietly been a valuable contributor to the Rangers' surprising rise to the top of the N.H.L. standings this season. For at least one night, however, Moore will reluctantly be thrust into the spotlight. The Rangers play host to the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden in a matchup of two of the league's better teams. The Rangers (20-8-4) lead the Atlantic Division, and the Canucks (18-9-2) are only 2 points behind first-place Calgary in the Northwest Division. It is the teams' only meeting this season. But the main subplot is the first meeting between Moore and Vancouver right wing Todd Bertuzzi.
continued

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Bruins Try To Focus On Positive

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Boston Globe,

Coach Mike Sullivan took a different tack yesterday, canceling the Bruins' on-ice workout at the Ristuccia Center and holding an off-ice session and team meeting instead. The idea was to accentuate the positive and purge the negative aura that has enveloped the club more and more since the losses started mounting.
read on

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Let It Go Fisch

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press (Tues. edition) via the Mercury News,

Choking back tears, the Red Wings' Jiri Fischer gives thanks and admits he's lucky - but won't give up hope of resuming his career He entered with a smile, but within seconds he was sniffing back tears, trying to do the impossible, say "thank you for saving me" and "don't forget me" at the same time. And even as young Jiri Fischer spoke, earnestly, passionately, you couldn't help but hear what fate was whispering in his ear. The only thing worse than almost dying on the ice is dying on the ice. Let it go.
continued update 7:45am Tuesday, link to Detroit Free Press now available Also, from Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News,
But this wasn't only about what Fischer doesn't know. This was about what he probably does know, deep in his chest. Hockey is suddenly secondary, maybe an impossibility now, and the mere thought staggers him. "Life without hockey -- I hope I don't have to face it for some time," Fischer said, speaking to the media for the first time since collapsing on the Wings' bench and being revived by doctors. "This is what I know, this is what I work for my whole life. I don't want it to be taken away."
read on

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Lindros Out With Wrist Injury

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sportsnet,

The Toronto Maple Leafs will be without Eric Lindros for tonight's game against Anaheim, and possibly a lot longer, because of a ligament tear in the forward's right wrist. Lindros missed practice on Sunday and underwent an MRI in Toronto today, revealing the extent of the injury.
more

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