Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Ovechkin Can Get Better

from Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen,

Even during practice, Alexander Ovechkin is a striking figure.
When it comes to bright colour, he is an equal opportunity employer. He wears a red practice jersey and a white helmet with the famous tinted visor, canary yellow laces on a pair of black and silver skates. Yellow laces also hang from his black hockey pants, and in his hands is a tri-coloured stick shaft that leads to a wicked curve near the tip of the blade.
He emerges from the visitors’ bench and explodes up and down the ice with those bow-legged strides, blasting a shot high and wide, first at one of the Scotiabank Place ice, then the othe.r

continued

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Lemaire Loves The Challenge

from Grant Kerr of the Globe and Mail,

Some critics may not endorse Lemaire’s coaching because of the use of the neutral-zone trap, but there’s no denying he’s an astute teacher, one capable of getting his message across.
The Wild check tenaciously, get their sticks in passing lanes and defend leads. Minnesota also is going on the offensive more often, getting away from trapping because it has more skill at the forward positions….
“I love the challenge of coaching, all the competition, especially when the guys are working hard,” he had said in Vancouver.
“But sometimes you have to push them to work. You get frustrated.
“When we had less talent [in other seasons], we were winning games on the road. We do have more talent than before, so where do you go? You work a little harder, that’s all.”

read on

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Don’t Expect Gomez Trade

from Mark Everson of the NY Post,

The GM who always holds his cards close to the vest has tipped his hand.
As the Rangers visit the Meadowlands tonight, Devils GM Lou Lamoriello has six weeks to decide if his team is a genuine Cup contender, or whether he should trade Scott Gomez for significant return, before he likely loses his top offensive center in July without compensation….
Trading Gomez for a promising kid, or a first-rounder, is almost certainly the wise move for the future of the franchise.
Just don’t expect it to happen.
And expect Gomez to walk in July.

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Eat Peanuts- Score Goals

from the Daily News Journal,

Fann and her husband Howard, Murfreesboro residents, have been season ticket holders since 1999-2000, the second season of the NHL franchise’s existence. As such, they have seen the team go through its growing pains, endured the pain of a lockout which wiped away an entire season ... and even risked stomach pain….
“Howard had a pack of peanuts, and somehow or another he turned and said, ‘Here, eat a peanut so we’ll get a goal,’” Debbie Fann said. “So everybody around there was eating a peanut, he was passing a peanut to everybody and it’s like, they scored a goal. So then, every time we wanted a goal ... I bet they eat five, six packs of peanuts a game.”

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Rangers-Devils Rivalry Takes International Flavour

from the New York Times,

The Rangers and the Devils have always been separated by more than the Hudson River and a few miles of swampland. Their bitter rivalry has pushed them to opposite ends of many scales — playing style, free-agent signings — making it often seem as if one serves as the other’s N.H.L. counterweight.
Now, however, they also find themselves with an unintentional cultural gap. The Rangers have become a sort of United Nations of the sport, featuring players from eight countries and even selling T-shirts with “Be a Ranger” written in those countries’ languages.
The Devils, in contrast, have the most players from the United States of any team in the N.H.L., 14. (A 15th, Cam Janssen, has played 28 games with the Devils this season but is in the minors.)

read on

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Yotes Ready To Retain Tellqvist, Perreault

from the Arizona Republic:

The Coyotes have offered center Yanic Perreault and goaltender Mikael Tellqvist, two players who have keyed their revival this season, contract extensions and are awaiting their replies.
Few details are available, but Perreault, 35, has been offered a one-year contract and Tellqvist, 27, has been offered a multiyear contract.
“He’s a consummate pro and a zero-maintenance pro,” General Manager Mike Barnett said of Perreault, who will represent the Coyotes at the NHL All-Star Game next week. “He’s happy to play with anyone and understands the system and buys into it and works hard every day. . . . We hope to have him signed soon for another year.”

continued

 

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Tentative Reassurance For Malone

from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Penguins general manager Ray Shero meets informally with members of the team all the time. But his sit-down discussion Monday with forward Ryan Malone had a bit more urgency than most of his recent talks with the club.
The talk centered on a rumored trade involving the 26-year-old forward.
Sunday, the New York Post reported a possible deal that would send Malone and, potentially, defenseman Brooks Orpik to the New York Rangers in a package deal including forward Petr Prucha.

“(Shero) kind of told me that he talked to Glen, obviously, and that teams were asking about me,” Malone said. “He said he’s not looking to trade me, but it’s part of the business and that’s just the way it goes. I’m kind of struggling or whatever, and I don’t think I’m playing up to my potential right now.”

continued

 

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Mark Cuban Talks NHL

from the Toronto Star,

That Mark Cuban is a rare American is well established. The owner of the Dallas Mavericks is one of the world’s 793 certifiable billionaires. He’s also among the few pro-sports executives who, in his jeans and sneakers and T-shirts, isn’t a suit-and-tied corporate drone.
Less known, perhaps, is that he’s of the opinion that the NHL — left for dead as a niche sport points south — should be considered a peer of the NBA’s….
“People in the States underestimate (hockey),” he said. “More people watch Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday nights than watch NBA basketball on Thursday night in the States. People in the U.S. don’t realize that. They don’t realize there are more hockey fans in a country of (32.8) million than there are NBA fans in the U.S. (population 300 million).
“I’d be out there promoting the NHL’s combined TV viewership in the U.S. and Canada. But it doesn’t happen.”

read on

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KK- Power & Freezing Problem

Folks, Ilost power sometime during the night.  Freezing temps now and winter coat is being worn in the house.
Updates will be a little behind today. Have web access through my micro pc, but hard to type on smaller keyboard with gloves on!!!

update 11:00am, Now have a generator hooked up to my PC and a small space heater.  We move on…. back in business, sort of…

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NHL Needs Eric Staal

from the Rocky Mount Telegram,

Already with far more world experience than normally expected of a guy just 14 months removed from his first legal drink, Staal is fully aware of why he is headed to Dallas in eight days.
“I am not having the year I was having last year, though there is plenty of season left,” Staal said. “I am one of the younger guys that they are probably trying to push in order to promote the league.”
While the move smells like just a bit of desperation by the NHL, it was the right one.
In the collective sporting mind, the NHL is the fifth-place league in a four-league world. This statement has become so much of a fact that there is little reason to answer questions like “How?” and “Why?”

more

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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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