Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Almost Spin-O-Rama Goal

Ryan Shannon of the Ducks tried a spin-o-rama shootout move last night but was stopped by Marty Turco of Dallas. Great move but couldn't get the backhand off the ice. Video highlights of the game, see the move at the 3:10 mark or so. image added 11:00am, from Mike Brophy of the Hockey News via the Globe and Mail,

When Anaheim rookie Ryan Shannon broke in on Dallas goalie Marty Turco, the first participant in Sunday night’s shootout to break a 3-3 tie, and did a Savardian Spin-a-rama move, I yelled, “Yeah, baby!” Although Shannon failed to score – he failed to get the puck up on his backhander, though he had a sprawled Turco at his mercy – he displayed the type of creativity it sometimes takes to be successful in the shootout. Later, when the Stars Jussi Jokinen scored on a quick snap shot – because he is so established as a player who prefers the deke during the shootout, he has goalies outthinking themselves – it illustrated exactly what a science the shootout has become in only its second year in the NHL.
continued

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Goal Finally For Kovy

via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (reg. req.),

One thing stands out about Ilya Kovalchuk breaking out of his five-game slump to start the season. Kovalchuk did not become a defensive liability while he was not scoring and, as a result, the Thrashers kept picking up points. To show the depth of Kovalchuk's slump, he went 35 shots without scoring. Entering this season, his career shooting percentage was 14.5. According to that pace, he should have scored five goals by now to go with his NHL-high 36 shots. "I'm glad for Kovy," Thrashers coach Bob Hartley said. "He stayed with the program the whole time. He's not used to this. He was putting lots of pressure on himself. This should do him lots of good."

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Cuban Offers Support & Money

from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Mark Cuban still wants a piece of the Penguins. Cuban, a Mt. Lebanon native, contacted Balsillie last week, after the Canadian billionaire signed a purchase agreement for the Penguins. "I sent him an e-mail offering any support I could to help him with the team in Pittsburgh," Cuban wrote Friday in an e-mail to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "He sent me a nice reply. Hopefully, we can do something together."
more Thanks to JJ of Canucks Hockey Blog for the pointer...

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Target Hit

Bob Verdi of the Chicago Tribune writes about the parthnership with 7-Eleven and the Chicago White Sox and managed to get a shot in at the Blackhawks...

Blanket commercialism is everywhere. We never imagined the old-fashioned Blackhawks of the NHL's Original Six would plaster ads on boards inside their United Center rink so advertisers could woo television viewers. But these subliminal messages are there, and you would have to say the Hawks are ahead of the curve, inasmuch as they haven't discovered home television.
more on the deal that changed the White Sox starting time from 7:05 to 7:11...

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Stat, Stats & More Stats

from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,

When the Avs played in St. Paul, Minn., against the Minnesota Wild in the second game of its NHL season Oct. 5, a handful of statisticians employed by the league busily kept track of 18 separate sets of numbers that would, by game's end, appear on the game's official "final sheet" of statistics. In the management suite of the Wild, a 24-year-old former hockey and baseball sportswriter was keeping a different set of statistics. While the league employees were keeping track of things such as hits, time on ice per shift, turnovers and blocked shots, Wild director of hockey operations Chris Snow was tracking some of what he said will eventually be roughly 10 new statistics never previously compiled.
continued...and note to the Denver Post, time to change the NHL logo...

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Bruins Still The Same

Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe tours the NHL, including this about the Bruins,

Not that we dwell on the past around here (oh, noooooooooooo), but boy, the new-look Bruins spent sizable chunks of their first four games resembling the old-look Bruins. Spotty goaltending. Pitiful power play. Attacking without true determination. Defensive orientation disoriented. High on the alarm list: Their top three faceoff guys (Marc Savard, Patrice Bergeron, and Wayne Primeau) were a combined 113 for 287 (39.4 percent) at the faceoff dot. Yielding the puck three of five times in a possession game is a prescription for disaster.
read on

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Commercial Breaks Too Long

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

It's only another 30 seconds three times a period, nine times a game. It's only an additional 90 seconds, in each of the intermissions. But by adding another half-minute to each television timeout then adding another minute-and-a-half to each break between periods, the NHL's attempt to make its product more television-friendly has made the product itself less appealing. It's all about flow, Gary Bettman used to say in discounting the importance of actual goal-scoring back in the pre-cap day when it benefited the league to keep the number of 50-goal-scorers at a minimum - better not to have to pay them, you know? - and the newly adopted extended breaks between play only have served to destroy the flow and natural rhythms of the sport.
continued

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“No” To Wave In San Jose

from the Mercury News,

With about seven minutes left in the game, the whole arena started doing the wave during playing time! This was very inconsiderate, since it is often hard to see around the persons sitting in front of you. Now we had the whole section standing in front of me, blocking my view of the ice. The couple behind me were voicing their displeasure also. I have no doubt there were others who must have felt of same way.
read on

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Niittymaki’s Job To Lose

from Philly Burbs,

While Ken Hitchcock is trying to say all the politically correct things about having two competent goalies at his disposal, he's clearly giving Antero Niittymaki the keys to the car for this season. If the Finn can't keep it on the road, there's always Robert Esche as the fallback position. Those who follow the Flyers might have their own secret conspiracy theories. Like maybe Hitchcock is using this little streak of games simply as a motivating tool for Esche. Maybe deep down he has more faith in Esche and figures he can afford to play mind games in October.
continued

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The Pads Problem

from the Vancouver Province,

It's not uncommon for goalies to flash new pads in games shortly after unwrapping them but when asked post-game if he got caught leaning on the Sharks second goal -- a bad angle shot on which he looked out of sorts -- Luongo responded: "I wasn't feeling too comfortable with the new pads, to be honest with you. I felt good in practice with them, but in the first it was not going great and I don't know if that had anything to do with that goal or not, but I switched back to the other ones." After donning his old, more-comfortable leg pads, Luongo didn't fare much better. The tone was set early for the superstar and it lasted a full 60 minutes. Luongo was clearly frustrated after the game that he wasn't able to make the huge save when it was needed most, notably on breakaways by third-line checkers Curtis Brown and Mike Grier
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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