Kukla's Korner

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Sens Feeling The Heat

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

The heat is on in Ottawa. The Senators are stumbling along at 6-8-2 entering the weekend, coming off a home loss to the New York Islanders. They meet again on Long Island on Saturday night.

We phoned Sens GM Bryan Murray on Friday and began our conversation with the Stupid Question of the Day: “How are things going?”

“You don’t have to ask that question,” Murray told ESPN.com. “It’s disappointing, that’s what it is. I think we have a decent group here.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

NHL Investigating All Star Voting Spikes

From CBC:

The NHL is investigating a suspicious spike in votes for Montreal Canadiens players in all-star fan balloting.

Fans choose the starting lineups for the all-star game by voting at NHL.com, and all six Canadiens on the ballot have huge leads in balloting for the Eastern Conference team.[...]

“I don’t want to jump to conclusions at this point. There is some indication that something has happened,” said NHL spokesman Gary Meaghar. “I’m not at a point where I can say definitively that something has taken place.”

Read on. And for more background, there are some links and comment that were posted yesterday at Red & Black Hockey and Canucks & Beyond.

added 5:12pm (Paul),NHL Statement…

We appreciate the excitement and energy the fans are showing for the All-Star Game and the All-Star voting process. While we encourage all fans to cast votes—even multiple votes—for their favorite All-Star candidates, the League has identified some instances of automated voting activity that expressly is prohibited by the voting rules and regulations. This situation is being addressed and we are in the process of validating all votes to make sure that they comply with the rules.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Goaltending is the Great Equalizer

From Gare Joyce at Sportsnet:

Junior is like any other level of hockey.  Good goaltending gives a decent club a chance to beat anybody. Something less can undo a powerhouse.

I’m dating myself here but I recall a Toronto Marlies team in 1972 that was as good or better than the franchise’s other powerhouses of that era, including a couple that won Memorial Cups. The ‘72 Marlies were loaded with first-rounders and ran away with the regular-season championship. A mere infant, my world came undone when the Peterborough Petes knocked them off in the playoffs and I put it down to the cruelty of the fates. Years later I had a chance to ask a member of that team, Bob Gainey (this was Bob Gainey before he became that Bob Gainey), exactly how they pulled it off. “Goaltending,” he said expansively.

read on for more junior hockey talk

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: goaltending

NHL: Burke Can Start Talking to Teams

From TSN:

Anaheim Ducks CEO Michael Schulman filed paperwork with the National Hockey League earlier today that would grant all teams permission to speak with former GM Brian Burke.

The league approved the documents and Burke is now free to speak to any team who inquires about his services.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke

Some Gems in Los Angeles

From Allan Muir at Sports Illustrated:

I was looking forward to working Thursday night’s game between the Stars and the Kings for one reason—and no, it wasn’t to see how the stunningly out-of-sorts Marty Turco would shoot himself in the foot this time. Thursday was my first chance to catch the early leader for the Calder Trophy: Los Angeles defender Drew Doughty, in person. And brother, the 18-year-old did not disappoint.

read on for talk about Doughty and teammate Oscar Moller

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: drew+doughty, oscar+moller

Time Needed To Heal

from Kristina Rutherfordatf CBC Sports,

“You don’t get a concussion every time that happens, but you’ve got to ask yourself, ‘OK, did I get a concussion as well?’ Often that facial injury gets all the attention, and the brain injury tends to get put on the back-burner until later.”

Because it’s an invisible injury only the athlete feels, it’s one they’re too often “playing through,” Czarnota says.

“There’s a culture, certainly in hockey and in all sports, that you don’t sit down. Players want to play through it so they don’t get labelled as soft. Sometimes there’s a fear that if a player sits out, they may lose their starting position. Players don’t want to let the team down.”

But returning to the ice too early can hurt players not only in the short run, but also down the road, the doctor says. That’s what he tells parents, players and their coaches when he sits down with them to suggest the athlete take some time off to heal.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Kovalchuck Talks

from Greg Wyshynski aka Puck Daddy,

Just so we’re clear: Dmitry Chesnokov has translated this interview from Igor Arkhipov of Sovetsky Sport, but did not conduct it.

Questions and comments from Sovetsky Sport are in bold; Kovalchuk’s translated answers follow. We edited out a few clunkers and Russian-specific questions.

What if players in the NHL start speak critically about each other, what will happen in the NHL?

“Semin didn’t just start talking about Crosby. He was asked a question by one of your reporters…  You know, players here are frequently asked about who is better Gretzky or Lemieux. It is virtually in every interview. One can make a big deal out of this too. Let’s say you pick Lemieux. And what’s next? Will you be blamed for not liking Gretzky?

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuck

Khabibulin Red Flags Removed

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

In the post-lockout NHL, the trading game usually grinds to a halt between the second week of the season and the middle of February, but the one player that may legitimately get moved is the Blackhawks’ Nikolai Khabibulin, who inches closer to free agency every day; sees the dollars click off that $6.25-million (all currency U.S.) annual salary – and continues to play great. Khabibulin was sensational in last week’s 2-1 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins. Apart from the money, performance and attitude were the two red flag for teams pondering a move on Khabibulin had to consider. It doesn’t seem as if either is an issue at the moment.

many more hockey notes plus Burke made for Toronto…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nikolai+khabibulin

Criminal Investigation Continues in Cherepanov’s Death

The KHL’s Vice-President of Hockey Operations Vladimir Shalaeva and others addressed the media at a press conference today in Moscow, with updates surrounding the investigation into Cherepanov’s death. 

“Today November 14, 2008, there was a move to close the criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Aleksei Cherepanov, however the prosecutor ordered that the criminal investigation continue.

“A comprehensive forensic study, conducted by additional medical specialists is underway to more deeply and thoroughly analyze the case. We will not be able to share the cause of death of Alexei Cherepanov until this examination is completed in full.”

—Vladimir Shalaeva

Shalaeva also noted that the New York Rangers have provided their own medical records on Cherepanov to the KHL.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+cherepanov, khl, vladimir+shalaeva

What Could Have Been

from Greg Logan of Newsday,

The NHL schedule maker must have a cruel streak where Islanders fans are concerned. As if to cut through the scar tissue from the Mike Milbury era and re-open old wounds, the league scheduled back-to-back Coliseum visits for Ottawa forwards Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza Saturday night and Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo Monday night.

At a time when the franchise basically is starting over from scratch with a rebuilding program, that trio of NHL All-Stars represents the core of the Islanders team that could have been.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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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