Kukla's Korner

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Weinrich Talks Hockey

from Eric Weinrich via the Kennebec Journal,

From what we hear, people are excited about the new NHL. One thing I would like to see is more about the players. Especially when the NBC broadcasts start. Let's see more about the players. Promote the players. The players are the league. The other leagues do it. Let the people put a face with a name. This is what the players would like as well. This is not criticism of the coverage, just something to enhance it.
Weinrich is right. During the NBC broadcast on Saturday, they ran a spot about the New NHL. Instead of seeing guys skating in red and black jerseys with very low lighting and the camera following a slow motion puck going into the net (my description of the newest My NHL commercial), it is time to feature real NHL players. Makes sure to check out Weinrich's column, he touches on many subjects.

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Do Wings Have Interest In Komisarek

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Sources say Gainey is also trying to create a market for D Mike Komisarek. The Red Wings want depth on the blueline and may be interested. It doesn't stop there ... the Habs are also believed to be talking to the Blackhawks about a dealing involving C Mike Ribiero for LW Kyle Calder
check out all of the rumors, including who wants Owen Nolan...

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Gretzky Leans On Barry Smith

from the Buffalo News,

Gretzky didn't need a friend. He needed a coach who could teach him how to coach. He needed someone who knew the X's and O's, someone who understood the new rules, someone familiar with most every player on every team. It's why he wasted little time scooping up Kenmore native Barry Smith. "I only knew him as a person and a player," Smith said last week. "It was cordial. We always said hello, but we never knew each other in depth. He checked on some things I had done. He brought me in and said, "You're the guy.' "
more

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Hitchcock Says Sakic Took A Dive

from Philly Burbs,

The Flyer coach was willing to put his money where his mouth was Saturday afternoon after a controversial call led to his team's 4-3 overtime defeat by the Colorado Avalanche at the Wachovia Center. Hitchcock was incensed because referee Don Koharski, stationed at center ice, whistled defenseman Mike Rathje for hooking Colorado's Joe Sakic deep in the Flyers' zone at 3:08 of the extra session, the Flyers' second penalty in the OT. That led to Alex Tanguay's power-play goal (off a glaring Kim Johnsson turnover) at 4:15 and ruined a late two-goal rally by the Flyers that had sent the game into overtime. "The second penalty in the overtime was a dive,'' Hitchcock fumed. "Everyone on the ice knew it, their bench knew it, our players knew it. It was a dive. He grabbed (the defenseman's) stick, hooked it under his body and went down. It was a dive.'' Later, Hitchcock and Sakic passed each other in the hallway. Sakic kiddingly said to the coach that he wasn't a diver and wanted an apology. Safe to say, none will be forthcoming.
read on Two ways to prevent this, don't bring your stick up into the waist, arm area, and start calling more diving penalties. The players are getting smart, if they feel a stick on them, they are beginning to grab the stick shaft or blade and then go down. Calling diving will put an end to that.

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The Games Will Be Great

from the Edmonton Journal,

There's a lot to like in the New NHL, but the best feature may well be upcoming in a month or so -- the break for the 2006 Winter Games in Turin. That's no backhanded slag at the regular season. But if tournament hockey has ever been played at a higher level than the 1998 Games in Nagano and the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, I haven't seen it.
continued

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Searching For A Leader

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

The largest void in the Bruins' game this morning, like all the other mornings, is leadership. Whose team is it? Right now, it looks like a bedraggled ensemble of orphans, with no one showing enough game, gumption, or guts to jump off the bench with the idea of even influencing, never mind changing, the outcome of a game. How sad. How uncharacteristic. So little fight.
read on

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NHL Talk

-"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.
more

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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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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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