Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Habs Trying To Recover

from the Montreal Gazette,

For the Canadiens, that makes six wins in the last 22 games. They narrowly avoided tying an all-time franchise record for consecutive losses on the road when they won in Tampa over the holidays, then resumed the losing streak with losses in Florida and Carolina. Only in My New NHL do they have what looks like a winning record, thanks to the absurd practice of awarding points for overtime and shootout losses. Check the standings and it says the Habs are 18-14-6 for 42 points; what it should say is that they are 18-20 for 36 points. Whatever, after a very strong start to the season they are now tied with the Atlanta Thrashers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
more

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Lindros May Have Surgery

from the Toronto Star,

Eric Lindros hopes that a new cast will help the damaged ligament in his right wrist heal properly, but won't know for at least two weeks whether he'll still need surgery. Lindros, who has not played since Dec. 10, could not handle a stick in his right hand yesterday. "I'm told the cast will stay on for two weeks ... then doctors will take it off," said Lindros. "Hopefully, it heals on its own and we won't have to worry about alternative ways (surgery) to deal with it."

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WJC- Man Among Boys

from the Toronto Sun,

The question barely was out of the interpreter's mouth when Evgeni Malkin gave a one-word answer: "Easily." The query to Malkin, the supremely talented 19-year-old Russian, was whether he thought Russia would beat Canada tonight if it plays to its capabilities. "That strikes me as typical Russian confidence and that's fine," Canadian forward and Mississauga native Ryan O'Marra said.
continued...much more about Malkin...

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Cap Games- Devils Version

from the NY Post,

The obvious suggestion, since the Devils now have some cap room, is that Lamoriello will soon grab some top star from a nowhere team, someone like St. Louis' Keith Tkachuk. If Mogilny clears waivers today, he can be assigned elsewhere and the second half of his $3.5 million salary removed from the Devils' cap obligations, although they must pay Mogilny, unless he refuses to report to the minors or retires. The Devils have already gone that route with Dan McGillis, removing — but still paying — some $1.4 million of McGillis' $2.2 million salary. They earlier waived and exiled Krzysztof Oliwa, paying him the final 700G of his 836G salary while removing it from their cap liability. His figure boosts the total to some $3.8 million in wasted wages. Lamoriello's other major acquisition of the summer was Vladimir Malakhov, who allegedly retired last month, although his representatives have disputed that. In any case, when Malakhov left the team, he was suspended by New Jersey, losing the final $2.2 million of his $3.6 million salary, which is no longer cap-liable.
more (reg. req.)

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The Real Losers

from the Edmonton Journal,

And you thought only the beautiful people lived in Vancouver. Turns out the left coast has more than enough ugly Canadians to go around, too. Thousands have been hanging out this week at GM Place, polluting a select few games at the world junior hockey championships with their classless brand of athletic support. While Team Canada's performance and decorum en route to today's gold-medal game against Russia has made everyone proud, the anti-American antics of the crowd have made others cringe. They have booed the Americans lustily and chanted mindlessly. The genius at the controls of the GM Place video board has egged them on by flashing "U Suck America." Classy.
continued

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Top Ten Search Items

Instead of giving you the monthly statistical breakdown of Kukla's Korner, which by the way I have been lax in doing the last month or so, I thought it would kind of interesting to let you see the Top 10 search terms people used in December which directed them to KK. First of all let me say, Kukla's Korner was built with the hockey section being #1 and it will always remain that way. But as we know, hockey is a small blip on the worldly screen and the following proves that. Just click on the search term to go to that page of KK. 10. sidney crosby shirtless ( I think they were looking for a pic but none to be found on KK) 9. sidney crosby (people will find 102 threads with the name Sidney Crosby in it) 8. jiri fischer (enough said) 7. kuklas korner (well that makes sense) 6. festivus ecard 5. hockey (pretty self-explanatory) 4. high speed photography 3. katherine jenkins 2. morgan webb 1. huge catfish

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“Joltin” Joe Thornton Responds

from Inside Bay Area,

The Sharks are home tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets. After practice Wednesday, the 6-foot-4, 223-pound Thornton talked about his impact since coming west. Q. What has been your biggest influence on the Sharks? A. Just a new face. I came in here and just started working hard. They were losing a lot of one-goal games and ... I don't know what I did. It's just a team effort. It's just not myself. Everyone has gotten better in the last month. I'm just helping out wherever I can. Q. What is your strongest asset as a hockey player? A. Probably my playmaking ability. I like to pass the puck. Q. What is more natural to you, scoring or passing? A. Probably passing. My idol was Wayne Gretzky. He was always a passer. That's not who I took my game after, but I always watched him.
read on

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Clement Looks At The 2nd Half

from Bill Clement of MSNBC,

It should be a very interesting second half of the NHL season, and among the top things to watch is what I expect to be Atlanta's push to the top of the Southeast Division, and into the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. ...I look for Colorado and Vancouver, two bitter division rivals, to both acquire goalies. As soon as one pulls the trigger on a deal, the other will be forced to do so as well. And these two teams will most likely be shopping for the same goalies. ...There will be at least one and maybe several blockbuster deals before the March 9 trading deadline, but the new twist will be that because of the salary cap I expect these swaps to be ultra creative and involve three or more teams.
read on

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Coaches Adjusting To Rules

from the CP via CJAD,

As the NHL reaches the official halfway point of the regular season this weekend, some clubs have reverted back to a more defensive style. The numbers have not changed that much. The NHL was averaging 6.3 goals per game entering Wednesday's games, down only slightly from the 6.4 it averaged in October. The bottom line is that coaches and players eventually began adjusting to the new NHL, which is something that was expected. ...Even the high-scoring clubs have adjusted. "Yes I think everybody did," said Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, whose team is third in the league in goals. "I mean, we changed our forecheck three times to try and figure out how do it. And we just slowly got to a smarter way of playing."
more

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Talking Old School Ref

from Hockey Refs,

Bruce Hood was widely considered the NHL’s top referee in 1984 when he retired after 21 seasons. During that time, he officiated 1,033 regular season and 157 Stanley Cup playoff games, three All-Star Games, and three Canada Cups. He was also the first professional to officiate a world championship, the last to wear number one on his jersey, and the last to officiate in all Original Six arenas. After retirement, he pioneered a line of officiating equipment, authored two best-selling hockey books, and went on to be a successful travel agent and eventual public servant as Canada’s first air travel complaints commissioner.
continued...an exclusive interview with Bruce Hood and how he feels about not being in the Hockey Hall of Fame... 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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