Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

The Other NHL

from Reuters,

On a frozen alpine lake, stern-looking men on ice skates chase the puck with crude wooden sticks, splashing through pools of melt water, their sweat-soaked clothes steaming in the cold air. Welcome to Kyrgyzstan's fledgling national hockey league, nestled in the Central Asian state's remote region of Naryn. Dwarfed by snow-clad mountains, thousands of fans wrapped in layers of fur and felt watch the game, whistling and cheering wildly. Horses graze nearby on the mountain pasture, picking their way through snow and ice.
continued

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Granato Still Upset

from the Gazette via the Mercury News,

Cammi Granato is angry. She is a broadcaster at these Winter Olympics, not a player on the U.S. women's hockey team. The face of U.S. women's hockey for the past decade, Granato was cut from the team in August by coach Ben Smith. Granato is 34. Six months later, her relationship with Colorado Springs, Colo.-based USA Hockey remains icy.
read on

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Blogging The Game

Chris Young of the Toronto Star is blogging the Canada/Italy game live. Nice to see mainstream media doing this. update 7:36am, Real time updates of all of the games can be found here, along with other sports too. update 8:19am, Nice shot of the Italian goaltender's mask. image image

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Schneider Started Skating On Frozen Lake

from the Asbury Park Press,

Almost every winter there were days when the lake near Ocean County College would freeze, and on those days, that's where Sam Schneider would take his sons Mathieu and J.A. "What I was trying to do was instill a sense of responsibility and accomplishment and respect," Sam Schneider said from his Vermont home last week. "I was trying to teach kids how to grow up to be young men. I just used hockey as a vehicle." ...When the Olympics are over, Schneider will return to Detroit, where his Red Wings are sitting atop the NHL's Western Conference standings. "For me, it's been a breath of fresh air," Schneider said. "It reminds me of playing in Montreal my first few years."
more update 6:22am, A nice feature on Craig Conroy from the Daily Breeze,
Craig Conroy's Olympic dream began while seated in front of a television set at his grandmother's house in upstate New York on a frigid February night in 1980. A little more than two hours later, the 9-year-old learned to believe in miracles.

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Are You Up & Watching

Special kudos to you if you are up and watching Sweden vs. Kazakhstan. We have Dave Strader and Peter McNab doing the game live on UHD. Note to Wings fans, Stefan Liv, Wings goalie prospect is in goal for Sweden. update 6:25am, Sweden just gives up a shorthanded goa at the start of the 2nd period. But the real issue is the ice at 'Espo2'. Too much water on it, Swede dman carrying puck and it went into a patch of water, puck stopped, turnover, goal!. Something to keep an eye on throughout the games.

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Who’s In Charge

Referee assignments for Wednesday and Thursday, via Hockey Refs. Interesting to note refs from Canada and the U.S. will not be doing games involving those two teams.

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It Will Blow Over

from John Buccigross of ESPN,

I have covered hockey and the NHL in some form since 1989 and rather voraciously since 1996. Whether it's because of my age or lifestyle or demeanor or whatever, I have found myself in fun and interesting situations involving NHL players that would make for quite a reality show. I've made close friends and have a pretty good grasp of what has been going on in the game over the past 10 years. I don't think there is any story that would surprise me. "Operation Slap Shot" is no different.
continued Note to the NHL- you should consider Buccigross for a key position for the NHL Network that will launch in the U.S. next season.

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Affiliate Update

I have added the Italian and Czech Olympic hockey jerseys to the right sidebar of the Hockey section. There is still time to make your purchase and wear your country's colors. The Slovakia and Latvia jerseys are available too, but the picture of the jersey is not yet available. IceJerseys.com - Shop Now!

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Olympic Version- Did You Know

Sweden and Belgium played in the first ever Olympic ice hockey game on April 23, 1920. The game which the Swedes easily won 8 – 0, was refereed by IIHF vice president-to-be William Hewitt, father of legendary Canadian radio and TV commentator Foster Hewitt. Paul Loicq, who would become IIHF president two years later, played for his native Belgium. All hockey games at Lake Placid in 1932 were officiated by the same pair of referees: Don Sands, USA and Lou Marsh, Canada. Defending Olympic champion Canada has not defeated the Soviet Union/Russia in Olympic competition since 1960 in Squaw Valley. The 8-5-win on February 28 against the Soviet Union remains Canada’s lone victory against the Soviet Union/Russia. Canada has since recorded seven consecutive losses against the historical rival for an aggregate score of 11-33. But the teams have not met in Olympic competition since the 1992 Gold Medal Game in Albertville where Russia (Commonwealth of Independent States) downed Canada, 3-1.

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An Honor to Be Team USA Captain

from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,

"In Detroit and in the new NHL, we (the Red Wings) have a certain chemistry," said Chelios, who admits his love for the game has never been stronger. "I continued to play at that level. The way things went this year, I knew I was on the bubble. But Jiri Fischer and Niklas Kronwall got hurt and I got to play a lot of minutes." And that helped get Chelios off the bubble according to Team USA coach Peter Laviolette, who used the NHL season as a tryout for the members of his team, regularly checking their progress. "Chelios has been playing a lot of minutes in Detroit," Laviolette said. "He brings that experience that we rely on in the locker room."
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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