Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

The Versus Blogger

Hi. Hola. Ciao. Hast du irgendwelche Waffeln? Whatever the language, I just wanted to introduce myself, and say “hello”. (Actually, that last line is German for “Do you have any waffles?” I’m a little excited, and when I get that way, I get hungry!) I prefer to remain anonymous, but what I can tell you is that I am part of VERSUS’ NHL production team and I’ve been producing hockey for a LONG time (more on that below). Since Blog-o-mania seems to have overtaken our fine land, I thought: “Why not join the fun?” -- particularly when it comes to talking about the best sport on the planet: the NHL.
continued at Versus... One note from me about the game tonight on Versus between the Caps and Pens. If you don't get INHD2, many of us will not see the HD version of the game until 11pm, since INHD will be showing an NBA game live.

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Blue Jackets Trying To Get In The Race

from Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,

This is no parlor trick. This makeover is more than a little makeup, a girdle and a pouffy wig. The names are the same, but since Hitchcock became coach eight games ago, the Jackets have become a different team. "We are," Anson Carter said. "We have a little better focus right now. We have a lot more poise, a lot more patience. We’re playing with better hockey sense. Guys in this room always worked hard, but now, we’re combining that work ethic that was here before with working smart, and we’re getting results."
read on

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Feeling The Pain

from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,

Only the mothers and fathers among us can even begin to imagine the horror, the torture, the grief that Bob Gainey is going through now. Parents aren't supposed to lose a child. There is no pain greater than this, and nobody, not Gainey, not anyone, should be confronted with it.
continued

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Canucks Won’t Force A Trade

from the Vancouver Province,

"I could make a trade and making a trade isn't hard," said Nonis. "But at this point, I can't make our team better -- even now or long term -- and that's how you have to look at it. "Ultimately, there may be a deal out there, but I'm not going to force one. And until those deals are available, we're going to push forward with this group." With so many teams near or at the salary-cap ceiling of $44 million US, only dollar-for-dollar swaps make sense now.
more

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Hasek Staying Healthy

from John Niyo of the Detroit News,

Hasek admits in the past he'd show up about 30 minutes before practice, drink some coffee and hang out with teammates. Now, he gets in about 75 minutes before practice and puts heat pads on his groin for 15 minutes. Then he gets a massage. Then he goes back to the hot packs. Then he stretches. It's tedious, but it's necessary if Hasek really is going to last the season. "He knows his body better than anyone," Wings trainer Piet Van Zant said. "But we did try to get him into a routine where if something were to happen, it wouldn't be because we weren't prepared. Dom's been great. His body is as flexible as anybody I've ever seen. The first thing I noticed when he came in was that he looked much leaner. He reminded me more of the 2002 goalie than the 2004 goalie."
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More Goals For Markus

from Ed Willis of the Vancover Province,

Markus Naslund is trying his damnedest to conform to Alain Vigneault's system but we'd trade the reliable, defensively-responsible Naslund in a heartbeat for the guy who used to score 40. There are a couple of problems, of course. Vigneault's emphasis on percentage hockey doesn't play to Naslund's strengths. Naslund misses Todd Bertuzzi's ability to play the give-and-go game and create space in the offensive zone. He hasn't found any chemistry with the 98 linemates he's had this season.
read on

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Keep An Eye On The Caps

from Scott Burnside at ESPN,

But the Capitals are climbing the ladder as a team in a way that few others are. While the lockout was debilitating for some franchises and confusing for others, the Capitals took advantage to build from within, which is just as well given that owner Ted Leonsis isn't about to spend much money after the Jaromir Jagr fiasco. Hanlon points to center Brian Sutherby, who has played with a significant portion of the team at a number of different levels in the past four or five years. "Brian Sutherby has been pretty much the captain of a group of younger players. They've established that, and it's a really neat relationship. These guys have been together in their summer camps and they've just been so close and so tight," Hanlon said.
more

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Define The Shootout Rules

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

But now that shootouts are established and clearly here to stay, the expected response is evolving. Coaches and players are pushing the rules to the limit. Last week, the Minnesota Wild's Pierre-Marc Bouchard beat the Chicago Blackhawks in a shootout with a goal that probably should have been disallowed. He roared in on Nik Khabibulin, did a 180-degree turn at the edge of the crease then backhanded the puck into the net. First of all, he interfered with Khabibulin, who had no chance to react with Bouchard leaning on him.
read on

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Alfredsson At 70%

from the Ottawa Sun,

"It's not bad, I can skate at 70% without a problem," he said afterward. "I haven't tried starts or stops or sprinting or anything, but it's just nice to be out there." Alfredsson could only say "I hope so" when asked if he would be able to play on the current Senators' road trip, which has four stops and ends Saturday in Buffalo. "There's a possibility he could play by the end of the week," said coach Bryan Murray, who points at Alfredsson's ability to bounce back from a rib injury after just four games last season as an example of the Swede's toughness. "It's day-to-day, and it'll be his call."
more

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Hockey Sense

from the San Francisco Chronicle,

In the span of his first eight NHL games, Joe Pavelski has scored in his debut, put together a three-game goal-scoring streak and scored a game-winner in the final six seconds of regulation to give the Sharks a rare win in Detroit. He also has picked up the nickname "Little Joe", which might be his proudest achievement to date. Anytime a 22-year-old rookie can get linked to Joe Thornton that fast is impressive indeed. This Little Joe didn't come straight off the Ponderosa, but you can't blame the Sharks if they think they've struck a bonanza. "He's just a hockey player," general manager Doug Wilson said. "He can play anywhere, he can play with anybody. Hockey sense not only allows you to step in, but it allows you to play."
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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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