Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Our Work Goes On

from Helene Elliot of the LA Times,

Stephen Walkom, who hung up his whistle to become the NHL's director of officiating this season, said he is seeing players and referees adjust to the new anti-obstruction standards. That's taking into account that 40 penalty shots had been called through Sunday's games, one more than in the entire 2002-03 season and 17 short of the total for the 2003-04 season. "This is a big change in the hockey culture, because officials have let this go for the last 20 years and players have had it coached in them for the last 20 years," he said. "So our work goes on. "We've done another DVD for our guys of real-game footage — holding, and hooking and situational contact," Walkom said. "Anything that can help us call the game to the best of our ability every night, we're using those tools, whether it be video reinforcement or just self-reinforcement."
read on (reg. req.)...and don't forget about bug me not....

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The New Prototype

from the London Free Press,

For a guy who just had a lot more work piled on him, E. J. McGuire is remarkably upbeat. The head of the National Hockey League's central scouting department is charged with picking gems from the passing hockey parade and advising all 30 NHL teams which ones he and his staff deem the best prospects. Suddenly, a lot more little jewels are popping up. Little is the operative word. Even for defencemen. The removal of the red line this season, along with the serious clampdown on such impeding fouls, has created a revised prototype for the ideal defenceman.

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Kings Nearing Panic Mode

from the LA Times,

Maybe it is too early to push the panic button. But if there is a "seriously concerned" button around, the Kings may need it heading into tonight's game against Toronto.. Just two weeks ago, the Kings had the third-most points in the NHL, one point behind Western Conference-leading Detroit, after a 6-3 victory over St. Louis on Nov. 22. Since then, the Kings have been in freefall, losing five of six games, including the last four, and are sixth in the Western Conference, with Edmonton and Colorado gaining. "We just need to get back to working hard and playing our system," Roenick said.
more (reg. req.)

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The Code

from the Ottawa Citizen,

One aspect of the NHL game that the penalty crackdown will not be able to deter is "The Code," an unwritten rule that, once broken, comes with a violent, underlying message: "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." Certainly, those watching the Ottawa Senators-Los Angeles Kings game Friday night at the Corel Centre saw The Code broken more than a few times and the consequences for doing so subsequently delivered. The good thing for Senators fans these days is that, when their players are being tormented, they eventually become the tormentors.

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Edmonton Goaile Situation

from the Edmonton Journal,

We have to decide what we're going to do," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "We're certainly watching the goalies a lot more in practice than we did when we had two. There's more competition. "If you're a goaltender here right now, you know you're in a competitive situation, from No. 1 to No. 3." As it stands now, Jussi Markkanen is No. 1, and Mike Morrison has moved in behind him in Conklin's absence. "I haven't sat back and said, 'Whatever happens, happens.' That's not my personality," said Conklin. "I'm just trying to stay confident that things are going to turn around. "But a lot has been made that my confidence was terrible. It wasn't that bad," he said. "I was frustrated that the season didn't start out exactly how I planned; I just wouldn't agree that my confidence was wrecked."
read on

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Come On Fish, Keep Going, Keep Going

from the Detroit News,

Colucci described Fischer's coloring as ashen grey. "We then started our emergency procedure," Van Zant said. "Between breaths, I was trying to talk to him 'Come on, Fish. Keep going. Keep going,' " Szuber said. After the initial compressions from Plagens, Colucci decided to cut Fischer's jersey and pads. "I didn't think we were getting good enough compression because he was going through pads that are pretty thick," Colucci said. Fischer was hardly responding. "He had some agonal breathing (barely able to breathe)," Colucci said. "He had his mouthguard still on. I was trying to position his face, neck and head to get the airway open, and that's when I grabbed his mouth guard and took it out of his mouth I didn't want him to aspirate on his mouth guard."
more...the article highlights the people who helped save Fisher's life and you realize how close he was to death...

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A Little Bit About AO

A Q & A from Russian Hockey Digest with Alex Ovechkin.

Why didn’t they make you a captain of Washington? A. Ovechkin: No, no, no! There is nothing to discuss about, I’m a new player in the team. The captain should be a leader of the team. And, actually, my English is still not that great…
read on

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Pitkanen Out 4-6 Weeks

from the Ap via the Centre Daily Times,

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Joni Pitkanen will undergo surgery on Wednesday to have a torn abdominal muscle repaired. Pitkanen, who stands fourth in scoring among NHL defensemen, is expected to be sidelined from four to six weeks, according to the Flyers.

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Semin Order Comes Down

from the Washington Capitals,

The U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., today decided not to grant the Washington Capitals’ motion for a preliminary injunction against agent Mark Gandler, his firm International Sports Advisors Company and Alexander Semin as part of the team’s ongoing efforts to have the forward to report to the Capitals. Washington Capitals vice president and general manager George McPhee made the following statement: “We're well aware that the standard to achieve a preliminary injunction is very high. Given that, our choice was to sit back and do nothing or to act to enforce our contractual rights. We were hoping for a quick resolution to this matter. Nothing in the court’s decision changes the fact that we have a valid NHL contract with our player. We will not cease in our efforts to have the contract honored and Alex Semin in our lineup.”

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Minor Trade- Chicago & Philadelphia

via the Chicago Blackhawks,

GM Dale Tallon announced today that the Blackhawks have acquired center Patrick Sharp and right winger Eric Meloche from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for forward Matt Ellison and a 3rd round pick in the 2006 Entry Draft.

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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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