Kukla's Korner

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Ranking Brodeur

from Jeff Z. Klein and Karl-Eric Reif of the New York Times,

His performance also revived the discussions usually heard around playoff time: that Brodeur is the best goalie of this era. It is hard to argue with the evidence: three Cups; game-in, game-out consistency through 13 seasons; exemplary conduct on and off the ice. But is he really the best?
His main rivals for those laurels would have to be Patrick Roy and Dominik Hasek. Roy had four Stanley Cup championships to his credit by the time he retired in 2003, two with Montreal and two with Colorado — one more than Brodeur.

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Oilers Help Fraser Make Due Sans Equipment

from the Edmonton Sun:

No luggage, no problem for Kerry Fraser.
Although he arrived for last night’s Edmonton Oilers game without a single piece of equipment - including his skates and jock strap - the veteran referee made it to centre ice for the opening face-off thanks to an incredible effort behind the scenes.
“The (Oiler staff) was phenomenal. They bent over backwards,” said Fraser in his dressing room after the tilt.

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Osgood Suffers Broken Finger

from Ansar Khan at Mlive,

Wings goalie Chris Osgood has a broken finger on his right hand. Coach Mike Babcock said it’s not a serious injury—it’s not displaced—but it’s not a day-to-day thing, either. It happened in the warm-ups prior to Friday’s game in St. Louis and he played through it.
Dominik Hasek and Joey MacDonald are battling the flu, but both practiced Saturday and should be able to dress today against Colorado (who’s left?).
Kris Draper, Robert Lang and Valtteri Filppula—all battling the flu—practiced and will play Sunday.

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Kessel Not Some Young Punk

from the Boston Herald,

Less than a month later, he was back playing NHL hockey. Let the critics chew on that, Kessel must have thought.
“I feel like I’ve answered them,” said Kessel while watching the All-Stars practice. “What I had to deal with and what I’ve gone through, I think it shows I’m pretty mature for a young kid, and hopefully they’ll look at me like that and not some young punk.”
With the team sputtering, coach Dave Lewis moved him up from the fourth line to play with Patrice Bergeron and Marco Sturm, with an occasional shot to play on the first line with Marc Savard and Glen Murray.
“It’s been good,” said Kessel of his time with Bergeron. “Obviously, he’s a great young player also, he has a lot of skill and he wants to win. He goes out there and he tries his hardest every night, and you can tell how bad he wants to win each game.”

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Recchi Gets To 500

Mark Recchi gets goals 499 & 500 (watch) last night.

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pic via the AP

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Early Games Today

20 teams in action today.  Action begins at 1pm ET.

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Welcome To The “Ballet”

from the Tampa Tribune,

“This coach, here, I think the game’s going in the wrong direction,” Tortorella said. “I think we’ve done some great things as far as some of the rules changes, in allowing our best players to be our best players. But I think what we’ve done is we’ve gone across and gone down the wrong road and taken the physicality out of the game, taking the jam out of the game. And I think we get so hyped up about trying to bring new fans in, we forget about the old-schoolers that are going to be there, thick or thin. And I think we’re losing them, because it’s a ballet.”

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Tonight On The Report: Colbert Wins!

from Bob Duff of the Windsor Star:

The last time the Windsor Spitfires visited Saginaw, Steagle Colbeagle was born.
Thanks to satirical television talk-show host Stephen Colbert, when the Spitfires return to Saginaw’s Dow Enter Center tonight, they will discover that since then, he’s grown into an international phenomenon.

Colbert, who has donned a Spirits jersey during his show, features OHL updates during his Sport Report segment.
The latest one aired Thursday and concluded with Colbert accepting a bet from Oshawa mayor John Gray.
If Oshawa were to win Friday in Saginaw, Colbert must wear a Generals sweater through an entire episode of his show.
If the Spirit were triumphant, Gray would decree Colbert’s birthday as Stephen Colbert Day in Oshawa.

continued

update from the Toronto Star:

With their 5-4 win over the Generals last night, the Spirit have ensured the American host will have his party in Oshawa.
“I’m always disappointed when the Gens lose,” said Gray last night from a fan bus heading home. The mayor said he hoped to talk with Colbert’s people on Monday to honour the bargain.
“We’ll give him an open invitation,” Gray added.

continued

 

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Bruins Talk

from the Patriot Ledger,

Can this group be saved? Chiarelli has to figure that out - fast.
Unrestricted free agency beckons for Stuart, who despite a recent slump to minus-12 remains No. 2 on the defense depth chart. Chiarelli faces a tough call if Stuart remains unsigned near the deadline, and the Bruins are still in the playoff race: Can he swap Stuart for a defenseman of equal stature?...
Left wing Marco Sturm presents a similar quandary - although not quite as urgent as Stuart’s. Sturm can almost count on being traded at the deadline if he doesn’t pick up his production (12 goals in 42 games), and some think Boyes (26 goals as a rookie last year; 8 so far this season), his status threatened by rookie Phil Kessel and several prospects in Providence (American Hockey League) might not survive the deadline, either.

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Predators Loyal Fan Base- 10,000 People

from Joe Biddle of the Tennessean,

The Predators have a core of loyal fans that numbers no more than 10,000 fans. Corporate support has been noticeable by its absence. The Preds currently rank No. 24 of 30 NHL teams in average home attendance at 14,516 a game.
While the Titans have had players in the news for a variety of legal embarrassments, the Predators have been model citizens. Still, Nashville wraps its arms around the Titans and ignores the Preds.
I thought winning and making the playoffs would change that. It hasn’t.
Leipold has been saying all the right things, claims he has no intention of selling or moving the team.
But if this trend continues, Leipold will have no choice. He loves the game, but Nashville hasn’t responded in kind.

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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