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-"The best performance I've ever seen as a player," Friesen said. "Anybody I played against, anybody I played with. That was incredible. "He scores about every night, but you see a performance like [that], you don't know what to say. That's great for the league."- Washington's Jeff Friesen after Ovechkin's first hat trick. (LA Times) -"Good teams should win more than they lose. They're dying for us to win here."- NY Islander coach Steve Stirling a few days before he was fired. (NY Times) -It was a bit of a stretch for (Bill) Clement to refer to the coaching change in Montreal and say that it was reported "by our Pierre McGuire." McGuire did indeed report it. That's what happens when a team issues a press release. Reporters report it.- Toronto Sun "TV Critic" Al Strachan, writing about the NBC covering the NHL. -There's a blond woman who attends the Flyers' practice at Skate Zone on occasion wearing a full mink coat. When Simon Gagnepasses the back glass, she flashes him, wearing nothing under the coat. Chris Therien is upset. The woman won't flash him. Let's see, a guy who might score 60-plus goals versus a guy who has none. Whom would you flash? (Tim Panaccio of the Philadelphia Inquirer) -The Bruins didn't bother to inform coach Mike Sullivan before they traded his best player, Joe Thornton, away. Now I have this theory; They have fired Sullivan as coach and just haven't bothered to tell him. (Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun)

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All You Have To Do Is Win

from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,

"Hockey is a team sport," Gainey said yesterday. "You bring people from different groups together ... you want them to be happy to play together. A number of our players haven't played up to their potential ... important players have underachieved for a long period of time and when that happens, the nerves, the anxiety and the frustration set in. I'm going to address those things to allow the players to be comfortable and relaxed."
read on

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Bad Year For The Blues

from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

In order to reach 90 points this season, much less qualify for a 26th consecutive postseason, St. Louis will need to win 33 of its last 41 games. The likelihood of that happening finally could be starting to set in for the Blues, who face the Carolina Hurricane at 12:35 p.m. Sunday. "At the beginning of the year, I think everybody picked us to be last," defenseman Barret Jackman said. "It's something that we never thought. But we've proved what everyone expected, I guess." What went wrong? The easiest answer: Everything.

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Describe Ilya

from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Ever hear of Ilya Kovalchuk? If so, then describe the guy, or admit that you wouldn’t know him from a potted plant or a picture of Nikita Khrushchev. This is a shame. When it comes to professional athletes who work and live in Atlanta, we’re talking about a Thrashers star who shines as brightly at his craft as the Jones boys (Andruw and Chipper). Not only that, Kovalchuk is becoming such a 22-year-old wonder around the NHL that opponents are doing what opponents always do in sports when they can’t beat somebody physically. They try to do so mentally, which is why they are whining everywhere that Kovalchuk likes to use an illegal hockey stick.
read on (reg. req.)

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Calder Candidate Phaneuf

from the NY Times (Sunday edition),

With the N.H.L. season past the halfway point, the consensus Calder Trophy contenders are the No. 1 picks from the last two entry drafts: Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Washington's Alexander Ovechkin. The Calgary Flames would beg to differ. When asked last week who he thought should win the Calder, awarded to the league's top rookie, Jarome Iginla, the Flames' captain, said, "I have to be biased: Dion."
read on image

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Carbonneau Will Coach Canadiens Next Year

from the CP via Sportsnet,

General manager Bob Gainey finally decided that the jolt the slumping Montreal Canadiens needed was to get behind the bench himself. Gainey fired head coach Claude Julien and assistant coach Rick Green on Saturday and installed himself as interim coach. He also brought in former team captain Guy Carbonneau as an associate coach who will take over as head coach at the end of the season.
read on

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Three exciting games to kick-off the NHL season on NBC. Overall a good first showing from NBC and they did get lucky with the games remaining so close which hopefully held and maybe attracted viewers on a Saturday afternoon. The NYR-Wings game looked OK in HD. Some of the cameras were SD (standard definition) and the PQ (picture quality) was not as sharp as many of us have come to expect with HDTV. One thing I must point out is if NBC continues to use the shift clock, move it up to the top, either on the left or right side. No need to have a drop down of it. image

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Tucker Looking At IR

via Sportsnet,

Darcy Tucker will not be available Saturday night vs. Phoenix, in fact Tucker is going to shut it down for a while and let his ribs heal. Quinn says he will likly be placed on IR.

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Just Dumb

via the Columbus Dispatch, Columbus goaltender Marc Denis after a bad 3rd period in a loss to Tampa Bay.

"I think we just gave that game away," Denis said. "I don’t remember us playing a dumber third period than we played in the third." "You can’t sell the farm and open it up against one of the best offensive teams in the league. That’s what we did, and it was very dumb." "If we go back and forth with (Tampa Bay), we don’t have a chance," he said. "I don’t know what happened." I don’t know how a switch in our brain went off at that point. This was just the wrong way to play this game."

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Needs Practice

Poor guy.... Red Wing fans may have a flashback to Primeau in his early years- if only the jersey was red. image

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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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