Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Panthers Improving

from the Miami Herald,

Call me a schmendrik who is spinning the facts like so many dreidels. But maybe this Panthers team isn't as awful as their autumn. Maybe they just needed time. Skaters who weren't regulars or even with the Panthers in the 2003-04 season account for more than half the Panthers' lineup on a normal night. ...Maybe all they needed was goalie Roberto Luongo to revert to pre-Lockout Luongo. That's what's happened the last eight games, when his save percentage has bulked back up to .946.
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Emotional Ride For Bruins Fans

from the Boston Herald,

If you were a Bruins fan in 2005, even an Academy Award winner like Meryl Streep would have had a hard time capturing your emotional range. Despair, hope, excitement, disbelief, anger -- you probably felt it all through the year. From the lockout of last winter, to the brokered peace of the summer, from the wild days of August’s free agency to the stumbling of your team into last place of the Northeast Division -- and, oh, yeah, the stunning trade of franchise player Joe Thornton -- it was certainly an eventful 12 months (even if there was no NHL whatsoever in the first six).
continued

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Zamboni Explodes

from the NY Post (reg. req.),

A Zamboni ice-grooming machine exploded at a Long Island skating rink yesterday afternoon, sending some 80 people — including many children — slipping and sliding to safety, authorities said. The frightening incident began after an employee at the Port Washington Skating Center — formerly owned by retired Islanders hockey star Brian Trottier — noticed a leak as he changed the propane fuel tanks on the device at about 3 p.m., police and fire officials said.

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The CBA Quirks

One day the fans will be able to read the CBA, maybe the new year will bring it to us. from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

"All player salaries and bonuses earned in a league year by a player who is in the second or later year of a multi-year SPC which was signed when the player was age 35 or older . . . but which player is not on the club's active roster, injured reserve, injured non roster or non roster, and regardless of whether, or where, the player is playing . . . shall count towards the calculation of averaged club salary . . ." That's the pesky paragraph that will require interpretation as it applies to Malakhov, who signed a two-year $7.2M contract with the Devils last August at the age 36.
much more (req. req.)

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Brodeur Can’t Just React

from the Toronto Star,

Martin Brodeur is not accustomed to applying mind over reflex. That's one explanation for the uncharacteristic troubles this all-star netminder has experienced in a season of discomfit for the New Jersey Devils. "Every time there's a dump-in, every time I make a save and the puck squirts out, I always have to stop and think,'' Brodeur was saying yesterday, as his club prepared for a rematch with the Maple Leafs, less than a week removed from their 2-1 loss in Toronto. "To a certain extent, hockey should be a reaction game. For a goalie, it's tougher now to just react, especially when you want to play the puck.''
read on update 9:19am, In another Marty story from the Toronto Sun, Brodeur says he has a no-trade clause in his contract and has no plans to play for any other team.
Wanting to squash recent rumours that he might be moved to a stronger team by the struggling Devils in the next couple of months, Brodeur said yesterday that he is going no where. A recent report out of nearby New York suggested the Detroit Red Wings might be willing to ship flashy forward Henrik Zetterberg and goalie Manny Legace to Jersey in exchange for Brodeur, the two-time Vezina Trophy winner who has backstopped the Devils to three Stanley Cup championships.

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Maintaining The Integrity Of The New Rules

from the Philadelphia Inquirer via the Mercury News,

Based on public opinion and the players themselves, Shanahan is convinced the ideas weren't as outlandish as believed, but they could use some minor adjustment. "Just some of the things that occurred on the penalty shot - in the shoot-outs, the double hit, and the ability to review penalty shots quickly," he said during a recent conference call. "Things will pop up. I don't think we're going to sit down now and not do anything for the next 25 years. I think that when things pop up, like, for instance, the goaltenders were getting hurt, maybe (they were) interfered with a little too much."
read on For Wings fans, from the same article,
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock is playing Kris Draper at center during home games and at wing on the road. It's all about last-line changes for matchups. "I just feel this is a way for him to help our team any way," Babcock told Detroit reporters
He may have told Detroit reporters, but I have yet to read about that, but could have missed it. I did miss it, thanks to IwoCPO for the heads up. By the way, if you are a Wings fan, you need to check out his blog. Just starting out but he is doing a great job with all the Wings information you would want.

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New Year’s Eve Wins

from STATS blog via NHL.com,

Most Victories on New Year’s Eve, Since 1917 Detroit Red Wings 30 New York Rangers 21 Toronto Maple Leafs 18 Montreal Canadiens 16

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Womens Hockey Growing

from the AP via the Globe and Mail,

Statistics and tournament attendance show that women's ice hockey is taking off in the United States. In Connecticut, more than 220 girls hockey teams skated this week in what is billed as the largest youth ice hockey tournament in the U.S. The four-day tournament drew more than 3,700 girls from across the United States and Canada. USA Hockey statistics show the number of registered female players around the country has risen from 6,336 to 51,275 since 1990. “It's big,” said Rae Briggle, senior director of member services at USA Hockey. “Female hockey has just gotten huge in the last 10 to 12 years. It's our largest growing segment today.”
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Shootout- Goalies Point Of View

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

While shooters get to hang out at the bench while awaiting the call for the shootout, goalies, as is often the case, are left to their own devices. "You just try and catch your breath, relax a little bit, calm down. It's an exciting time and the crowd's usually going pretty crazy," DiPietro said. "The spotlight's on you as a goaltender. It's a big spot, and at the end of the year, you're going to look back and those extra points you get in the shootout could be big in making the playoffs and not making the playoffs, so it's definitely a huge part of the game. "You just try and refocus yourself. Picture yourself making some saves and winning the game and just a lot of positive stuff and hopefully it carries over to the shootout."
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Flyers Get Life Lesson

from the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Yesterday, instead of preparing them for this afternoon's New Year's Eve matinee against the Capitals, Hitchcock accepted an invitation from Brig. Gen. Jeff Hammond and Col. Christopher Hughes to visit the Pentagon. The Flyers and their staff were briefed on the war in Iraq at the Army Operations Command Center and later visited the wing where American Airlines Flight 77 crashed on Sept. 11, 2001. The players also mingled with soldiers and employees and signed autographs at the command center. The purpose of the visit was summed up by Hammond. Sometime in the future, he said, he hoped the players might want to reflect on how lucky they were because every soldier in Iraq right now wishes he or she led their kind of life.
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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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