Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

A Few Wings May Sign Soon

from Mlive,

Andreas Lilja and Chris Chelios were pleasant surprises for a Detroit Red Wings defense beset with injury and illness this season. So it's no surprise that both will more than likely return next season. Wings general manager Ken Holland said Thursday he's "pretty close" to signing Lilja, and Chelios said he also hopes to have a new contract in place before the playoffs. Holland said he's had conversations with Chelios, who signed a one-year deal for $850,000 in July, but has no further meetings planned. "That doesn't mean we can't talk between now and the middle of next week," Holland said. ...Lidstrom has elected to wait until the summer to negotiate a new deal. The club's other unrestricted free agents are Shanahan, Steve Yzerman, Manny Legace, Chris Osgood, Jason Woolley, Cory Cross and Mark Mowers.
read on

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Burke Likes Ducks’ Chances

from the Orange County Register,

"I like our chances in the playoffs," Burke said. "That's provided the league continues to be consistent about calling the obstruction penalties. We've got good playoff experience in places, we're a little thin in other places, but I think the style of play that we have will help us." "Randy's an ass-kicker," Burke said approvingly. "Every coach I ever have is going to be one. With the money we pay these guys, I don't think it's too much to ask to challenge them. What I was most impressed with is that even when we were losing, Randy still had this team in the palm of his hand. He's demanded that they work hard. And give them credit, because they have responded."
read on

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AO Hits Five-O

via the AP,

Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin became only the second rookie in NHL history with 50 goals and 100 points when he scored against the Atlanta Thrashers on Thursday night. Ovechkin scored his 50th goal at 13:01 of the first period with a shot from the top of the left circle. Atlanta goalie Mike Dunham appeared to be screened in front by defenseman Garnet Exelby. Ovechkin picked up his 52nd assist in the second period, setting up a power-play goal for Dainius Zubrus with a perfect cross-ice pass. With his 101st and 102nd points, Ovechkin broke a fifth-place tie with Mario Lemeiux on the rookie list and pulled even with four-place Joe Juneau, who scored 102 in 1992-93. The only rookies to score more points were Selanne, Peter Stastny (109 in 1980-81) and Dale Hawerchuk (103 in 1981-82).

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The Party Has Stopped

from the Globe and Mail,

Calgary — Remember the Red Mile? Well, Calgary police want you to forget it. Forget the post-game revelry during 2004 NHL Stanley Cup playoff run that drew up to 55,000 Calgary Flames hockey fans to the Red Mile, the official unofficial name for 17th Avenue. Forget the stumbling drunks with libations in hand. Forget the breasts being flashed to an ogling crowd. Forget the late night honking and hollering team spirit.
continued image

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Russians Invade Pittsburgh

from the Pittsburgh Penguins,

Evgeni Mihkeyev and Yaroslav Tretiakov made the long trip from Russia to the United States to watch three Penguins games this week. The two Moscow residents are part of the Penguins Support Crew, which gathers regularly at a sports bar to watch the handful of Penguins games broadcast live on television in Russia every season. “It’s just a sports bar, but our company of people goes there to watch every live Penguins game. There are not so many of them that are broadcast live. There are maybe five, 10 or 15 a year. It depends,” Mihkeyev said. “Right now, we can see a lot of Philadelphia Flyers games, but we don’t like them.”
more

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Wings Dressing 18 For Tonight

Yzerman, Chelios, Lang, Schneider, Datsyuk and Williams all out with lower or upper body injuries. Cap doesn't allow for any more call-ups so, Wings play with 18 tonight. added 3:35pm, Yzerman and Chelios are more of a resting mode, Williams a few bumps and bruises and Lang and Schneider hope to play on Saturday, maybe Datsyuk too. added 3:45pm, Same information from the Detroit News...

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Disappointed In Atlanta

from Barry Melrose of ESPN,

A few months ago, we thought Thrashers GM Don Waddell was nuts, pulling a Knute Rockne and predicting that Atlanta would make the playoffs. The Thrashers went on to play themselves into a postseason spot, but then, they hit a wall. Now, they have dropped out of the playoff picture. The only way Waddell's prediction will come true is if the team wins its four games and gets a few favors from the teams above them in the standings. I don't know why this happened to the Thrashers. Everyone was competing, players like Marc Savard and Kovalchuk were storming up the scoring list and the team overcame huge goaltending woes. Now, for all intents and purposes, they are out of the playoffs. There's no reason for it. They proved they were a good team. It's one of my big disappointments over the past few weeks.
more...inlcuding the "good" Yzerman & the "ugly" Nashville...

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Playing The Percentages With Foppa

from the Delaware County Times,

Peter Forsberg will play for the Flyers in the playoffs, even if it takes 11 yards of adhesive tape, all-night whirlpools, prescriptions, pills and prayers. If he is 100 percent healthy, he’ll play. If he is 90 percent healthy, he’ll play. Eighty? Seventy? Sixty? Half-and-half? He’ll play. "If he’s 40 percent," Ken Hitchcock bid Wednesday, after an optional Flyers workout at the Skate Zone, "he’ll play." So Flyers fans have 40. Do they hear 39?
contiued

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Top Turnarounds

from Sports Illustrated,

The top regular-season turnarounds in NHL history as measured by points. (The list does not include 1995-96, which followed the abbreviated lockout season of '94-95.) 1. 1993-94 San Jose Sharks, 58-point improvement Coach: Kevin Constantine The Sharks moved from the Cow Palace, their temporary home in Daly City, to San Jose and the high-rent district in the form of a lift from 24 points the previous season to 82.
read the other nine...

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Hasek Pushes Back Start

via TSN,

Dominik Hasek practiced with the team again Wedensday, but left practice early on Thursday morning with a sore groin. He said he's worked out too much in the last two weeks and now expects to play his first game Tuesday in New York. Ray Emery, who was bothered by a sore hip, is expected to be in net against Florida

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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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