Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

The Schedule Is A Tragedy

from Williams Kellengerger of the Rocky Mount Telegram,

Ten Western Conference teams will not see Eric Staal flourish in his third NHL season, marvel at Cam Ward's athletic ability or count the minutes the seemingly ageless Rod Brind'Amour spends on the ice each night. Here in North Carolina, fans will not have the chance to view NHL stars like Joe Sakic, Jarome Iginla, Ryan Smyth, Nicklas Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk and Miikka Kiprusoff up close. Doug Weight will not make a return to Carolina, nor will the Hurricanes make a trip to St. Louis. This is a tragedy. And it's a major hurdle in reestablishing the NHL as one of the four major sports leagues in the United States.
read on... I did a little research on the Wings schedule- 32 of their 41 road games are in a different time zone, including a 3 hour difference numerous times, making for many a late game for those in the Eastern Time Zone. I am sure many other Western Conference teams have the same issues.

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Revolving Around The Leafs

from The Spin, the blog of Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

...In fact, it's interesting to note that for the first five to six weeks of the season - when the Leafs were winning consistently - MacLean and Cherry were able to keep it zipped on the officiating. They were too busy taking credit, for example, for Kyle Wellwood's early success alongside Mats Sundin, although you don't see them doing that or holding up newspapers as proof of their expertise so much these days. But now, with the Leafs now in a deep funk, why, the poor lads just can't contain themselves any longer. Suddenly the game's in crisis. Too many penalties. Not enough fights. Need more hooking, holding and interference.
more

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Cherry Takes Some Shots

from the Toronto Star,

Hockey Night In Canada's biggest star manages to keep himself under control for months at a time, but you know that under the surface there's a lot of pressure waiting to vent. On Saturday, it blew. As usual, the target was those who fail to share his citizenship: Europeans. ``Those French guys" he often thunders about will have to wait their turn. Honestly, it wouldn't be surprising if Cherry admitted he checks under his bed for Euros and Quebecers before going to sleep.
more

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Will Briere & Drury Stay In Buffalo

from the Buffalo News,

One year ago the Buffalo Sabres adopted the policy of not negotiating contract extensions during the season. Now they might be inclined to disregard it because they face a different set of circumstances involving the soul of the roster. In three weeks, NHL teams will be allowed to start hammering out deals with players who are on one-year contracts and headed into free agency. What transpires between Jan. 1 and the end of the season, particularly whether leading scorer Daniel Briere can be locked up before he hits the open market, will have a significant impact on what the Sabres will look like next season.
continued

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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."
more

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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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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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