Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Big Game In Red Square

from the Edmonton Journal,

Making a hockey rink in a football stadium was a huge undertaking here, but how about ice in Red Square? That's the grandiose plan for next Saturday, having a group of retired NHLers -- Paul Coffey, Jari Kurri, Peter Stastny, Billy Smith, Mats Naslund -- and the winningest coach of all-time, Scotty Bowman, behind their bench, playing an array of former Russian greats, and reportedly some like Alex Mogilny, who's on long-term disability in New Jersey with a bad hip.

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Players Adjusting To Hitchcock Style

from the Edmonton Journal,

Columbus centre Sergei Fedorov has played for Scotty Bowman in Detroit and now for Hitchcock. He likes what he sees so far. "Scotty was more mental and Hitch is more about details. He shows you how he wants you to play. That's the biggest difference," said Fedorov. "For me, it's very easy communicating with Hitch. What he preaches is what I've already gone through (in Detroit)."
more on Hitchcock...

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Tallon Under Fire

from Greg Couch of the Chicago Sun-Times,

...If Savard fits Tallon's philosophy now, then why didn't he fit it as well as Yawney did in July 2005? Anyway, let's do a rundown: Tallon has acknowledged he brought in the wrong players last season and now apparently is saying he hired the wrong coach, too. The team this season, he said, is more talented than the record shows. So if Savard can't coach them to the playoffs, then will it be because he had the wrong philosophy or because the players did? It'll be interesting to watch, if only we could. One more thing: If you think I'm calling for Tallon to be fired, which would seem logical, know that such an idea scares me to death. Why? Brachiosaurus Bob still is hovering. If he takes over again, things could get really messed up.

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All Numbers & Facts

from the Elias Sports Bureau at ESPN,

Fredrik Norrena stopped all 21 Edmonton shots on goal to record his first NHL shutout as the Blue Jackets beat the Oilers 4-0. Norrena, who turned 33 years old on Wednesday, was playing in only his eighth NHL game, having spent his entire pro career in Europe prior to this season. No goaltender in Norrena's lifetime has recorded his first shutout at age 33 (or older). The last to do so was the Bruins' Ross Brooks (35) on Feb. 11, 1973.
more of these types of facts from last night's action...

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Jagr Avoiding Shootouts

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

"I have to be honest with myself and with Tom [Renney] and admit that my shot just isn't where it needs to be for me to think I give my team the best chance in a shootout," Jagr told The Post yesterday. "It's not just the shot, either; the power is not there in my shoulder for me to be able to stickhandle and make a strong move without losing the puck. "The goalies in this league are just too good to try and beat without being able to deke. Even if I'm healthy, though, maybe breakaways aren't the best part of my game."

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Some Teams Are Beginning To Get It

from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,

Watching highlights of TSN's new initiative to get closer to the action, one can't help but think the NHL and its franchises -- some of them, anyway -- are finally starting to get it. They understand the fans want to be let in: More access, more interviews, more insight, more personality. Watching play-by-play broadcaster Chris Cuthbert interview Buffalo Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff Friday from between the benches, where Cuthbert was allowed to call a game for the first time, was spectacularly similar to the sideline talks NFL followers have enjoyed for years.
read on

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Bad Ice- In One End

from the Globe and Mail,

Not only are the hockey gods conspiring against the Toronto Maple Leafs these days, but so are the Zamboni drivers. According to Leafs coach Paul Maurice, his club was at a disadvantage after the Zambonis scraped the Bell Centre ice prior to the shootout in the Montreal Canadiens' 4-3 victory on Saturday evening.... "The ice wasn't great and it was nice of them to leave a little bit more on our shooting end than on their shooting end in the shootout — for the second time," said Maurice, meaning that the scrape in the Toronto zone was wider and better for the Montreal shooters.
read on

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BOG Discussion

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Sources told the Sun not only will the schedule be a major topic of discussion during the two-day board of governors meeting, NHL owners are also considering a major change to the playoff format. While NHL GMs decided to put off any discussion about the schedule a couple of weeks ago , it's believed more than 15 owners called commissioner Gary Bettman and demanded he put it on the agenda.... And, for the playoffs, the NHL is looking at a bracketed format -- using the NBA and the NCAA March Madness tournament as examples.

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Ovechkin Gets A “Gamer”

from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post,

Ovechkin, a player as likable as he is talented, was sent off 4 minutes 52 seconds into the second period after he checked Daniel Briere, the Sabres' high-scoring captain, into the side boards from behind. Briere, who had dumped the puck and was heading for the bench for a line change, hit the boards headfirst, sending his helmet flying. "He just turn around, and I don't have time to stop," said Ovechkin, who scored the Capitals' third goal of the opening eight minutes. "I'm not trying to give not clean kind of hit. It's a game; that happens." Ovechkin received five minutes for fighting, five for boarding and a game misconduct. Briere, meantime, returned for his next shift.
more (reg. req.)

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ESPN Won’t Air NHL Spots

from Larry Brooks at the NY Post,

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHL Enterprises president Ed Horne each told Slap Shots this week that ESPN has refused to accept commercial advertising from the league. It's always interesting when bullies - we're not referring to individuals, but rather entities - collide, isn't it?
more topics from Larry...

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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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