Kukla's Korner

Will Leafs Buy Or Sell

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

If logic were the only consideration, John Ferguson's decision wouldn't be unduly difficult. But a lot of other factors come into play -- factors like self-confidence, experience, job security, personal pride and even courage. The decision in question? Whether the Maple Leafs should be buyers or sellers after the Olympic break.
read on

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Time Is Running Out

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

Something is terribly wrong with the defending Olympic champion and pre-tournament favourite. The Canadians are so big they seem somehow too big. They could not skate with the Swiss — as well as could not score, despite 49 shots, against goaltender Martin Gerber — and against the Finns they simply could not keep up in either speed or creativity. "We're not playing very much like a team," admitted Quinn. "We haven't made the kind of progress we'd hoped."
read on from the Columbus Dispatch,
"If I’m not going to score on my chances, then I don’t expect to see ice (time)," Blue Jackets star Rick Nash said last night, after he and the Canadians suffered a 2-0 loss to Finland at the Torino Esposizione.
more

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“We Have To Get Better”- Jarome Iginla

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Four years ago, the Canadian team started poorly and slowly but surely gained traction. Canada got waxed by Sweden in the first game, eked out a win over Germany and then tied a good Czech team before hitting its stride with medal-round wins over Finland, Belarus and finally the United States in the gold-medal game. But here in Torino there is no traction so far, only quicksand. "Tonight we looked kind of dopey, to put it frankly," head coach Pat Quinn said after watching his team's goal-scoring drought reach 120 minutes, 34 seconds.
more

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Fighting For An Interview

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rich Libero of NHL.com,

The Mixed Zone works like this: The players come off the ice and head down a series of chutes. Their first mission is to do TV because TV is king and gets everything it wants (that's the old bitter print guy in me). The players then proceed to foreign media and then down the rest of the chute. Basically, everyone just presses up against the barrier and asks players to stop and chat as they pass by. A scrum ensues. If you're not on the rail and you're deaf like I am (too much death metal during my salad days), you're probably not going to get any quotes.
read on

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Team USA Playing With ‘Relics’

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

There is little question that Don Waddell put together an Olympic hockey team capable of winning a gold medal. Maybe not in Turin, but four years ago. The U.S. will advance to the next round of the men’s hockey tournament. It’s the residue of a generous playoff system and the good fortune of being grouped in the same pool with Latvia and Kazakhstan. So lap it up.
read on (reg. req.) added 6:39pm, from MSNBC,
The U.S. Men’s Hockey Team lost to Sweden Sunday, but, for a change, there was no defeat in this one. And if the team can find anyone who can actually score a goal, there may be a medal at the end of its Olympic journey after all. I was one of many who didn’t think that likely when this lightly-regarded team arrived in Italy with no established goalie, a captain who’s older than the Alps and a lack of offensive firepower.
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Time To Bury The Loonie

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Italian security has been put on hgih alert after rumors are starting to surface Canadian fans in Turin are planning to sneak into the Palasport to place a Lucky Loonie under the ice surface. image

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Sweden Tops USA

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I normally don't recap the game, but NBC lost the picture in some areas of North America for the last six minutes of the 3rd period. Final was 2-1 and the USA did not have any scoring chances in that time frame. Team USA will lkely finish fourth in their pool, which will still qualify them for the quarterfinals on Wednesday. update 3:31pm, from Rich Libero of NHL.com,

Despite losing 2-1 to Sweden on Sunday night at the Torino Esposizioni, Team USA will still advance to the quarterfinals.
more

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Sakic Update

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the AP,

Team Canada captain Joe Sakic has suffered a small cheek fracture, but will play in Sunday's game against Finland, according to a team source. Sakic was high-sticked in the third period of Saturday's 2-0 loss to Switzerland and had a precautionary X-ray taken after the game. The Colorado Avalanche forward may need to wear a full face shield for the game against Finland.

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Trade Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the St. Petersburg Times,

The biggest move could involve St. Louis star Keith Tkachuk. Several teams, including the Devils, Flyers and Senators, are believed to have interest. The Devils are going to do something big because they have plenty of room under the salary cap. Don't be surprised if the Oilers pursue Phoenix goalie Curtis Joseph. The one name resurfacing in Lightning trade rumors is Washington defenseman Brendan Witt.
update 8:25am, from the Edmonton Journal,
The problem with moving the deadline back is that it arrives with more teams still in the playoff hunt. That means fewer sellers. As of the Olympic break, only five of the NHL's 30 teams are clearly playing for next year -- Pittsburgh, Washington, St. Louis, Chicago and Columbus. Florida and the Islanders are just barely alive. Some teams that might be in a mood to acquire players are already bumping up against this season's $39-million salary cap. Teams like Toronto, Vancouver, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Jersey, Atlanta, Boston and Colorado will have to be creative. Here's how the trade market is shaping up:
contiune

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Forsberg Hopes All Is Forgiven

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

While blood pressure may be shooting up for certain people back in the City of Brotherly Love, patriotism courses through Peter Forsberg's veins. "I knew I wanted to go over and play. It was just a matter of whether I was healthy or not. I didn't care about the pressure from either side, whether Snider said I shouldn't go or the Swedish people wanted me to go. That's why I didn't read the Swedish papers for the last week. I don't think you can make a decision based on what other people think. "I had to make my own decision."
more

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