Kukla's Korner

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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The First Month Of The New NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the LA Daily News,

To hear NHL officials talk, the league's outlook couldn't be rosier. Attendance is strong, fans are energized and the game is more appealing to watch and has a certain positive buzz about it this season. But here's what won't end up in the league's next glowing news release: Colorado's decade-long sellout streak has been in jeopardy, an Islanders-Rangers game didn't sell out for the first time since 1998 and hockey's miniscule TV ratings, on a network that features "Survivor" reruns, still lag behind poker. One month into the NHL's post-lockout comeback, this much seems certain: fans and corporate sponsors have returned, but not enough to justify bold declarations of financial success.

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‘Bat’ Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from MSG Network,

In 1975, we were in the Stanley Cup Finals against the Flyers, and one of the games was at Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo. I don’t know if someone brought it into the building or if it sneaked in, but in the first period there was a bat dive-bombing from the roof throughout the game. When the bat came close to the ice, I can still remember at one point in the first period Flyers goalie Bernie Parent was swinging at it with his stick. It was a real distraction, not to mention the fog that was in the building because it was so hot in there in those days.

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