Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

If I Lived In Texas

While reviewing the NBC coverage map (will open pdf file) of today's NHL games, I noticed hockey fans in the state of Texas will be receiving the Flyers/Penguins feed instead of the Avs/Wings game. You would think fans in Texas would have more interest in a western conference game which directly impacts the Stars, instead they get to watch two eastern teams battle.

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Remember Salo

from the Toronto Sun,

Henrik Lundqvist, make yourself comfortable. Like it or not, you are on the Olympic hotseat. The New York Rangers rookie is expected to be the starting goaltender for Team Sweden next month in Turin, a job that carries significant historical baggage with it. From Stockholm to Gothenburg, millions of Swedes will look to Lundqvist and the Maple Leafs' Mikael Tellqvist to wipe out the memories of the goaltending catastrophe in Salt Lake City four years ago, one that left an entire nation in mourning.

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Sundin MIA

from the Toronto Star,

The NHL lockout, upon further review, apparently robbed the Maple Leafs of their franchise player. As the eighth-place Leafs attempt to fight through a significant January slump by going north to face their tormentors in Ottawa for two games over the next three days, the evidence suggests Mats Sundin is but a shadow of the consistent points producer and elite attacker who was part of the 2004 Leaf playoff team that lost in the second round. While New Jersey has used the return to health of winger Patrik Elias to power past the Leafs in the Eastern Conference standings and the Atlanta Thrashers have also been riding the hot stick of ex-holdout Ilya Kovalchuk to pass Pat Quinn's club, the Leafs have received nothing of similar impact from their highest-paid forward this season.

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No More Roaming Goalies

from the Montreal Gazette,

Beyond the trapezoid-shaped zone behind the net of a National Hockey League rink is an icy Bermuda Triangle. It's where goaltenders vanish into thin air, then reappear for two minutes or less on the penalty sheet. No longer can a goalie race into the corner on a dump-in and fire the puck up ice to foil a forechecker. If he's outside his crease and touches the puck behind this line with even a skate out of the zone, Section Four, Rule 31 (j) will tag him with a minor penalty for delay of game.

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Will Mowers & Esche Save Arena

from the Utica Observer Dispatch,

Whitesboro native and National Hockey League veteran Mark Mowers said the town should make keeping the Whitestown Community Center's ice rink open year-round a priority. The Town Board voted Wednesday to close the rink from April 1 to July 5 because of rising costs after offering year-round ice since 1986. Mowers, who is earning $450,000 this year with the Red Wings, appears ready to put his money where his mouth is. "I know what people are going to say when they read this. They'll say: 'Why don't you and (Philadelphia Flyers goalie) Robert Esche (another Whitesboro native) do something about it?' Well, why didn't they come and ask me? I never got a call." You can bet Mowers will now.
read on Also from the Utica Observer Dispatch,
"Two years ago in Detroit, I felt like the coach wasn't afraid to throw me into any situation," Mowers said. "But this year, I'm starting to lose faith that that's ever going to happen. "But I'm trying to stay as positive as possible. When I do play, I try to keep it simple and do my job and hopefully good things will happen."

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Jagr Unleashed

from the Edmonton Sun,

"You just have to come to a team that appreciates you,'' he said. "A team that wants you and will let you play.'' "If they don't let me play here in New York, I'm the same player I was in Washington,'' he said. "That's the way it is. I don't want to make any excuses, but look at Petr Sykora. You think he was reborn in two days?

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Devils Looking For Ninth Consecutive Win

from the Asbury Park Press,

Remember where these Devils were two months ago? They were a punching bag of a team with an injured goalie, an ailing forward, a stressed-out coach, a porous defense, and a sub-.500 record. Now? Now the punching bag has sprouted arms, balled its hands into fists and is swinging back at the rest of the NHL. David has morphed into Goliath.
read on

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Ottawa Owner Wants The Cup

from the Ottawa Citizen,

Almost to a fault, Melnyk is driven to bring back the glory years of the original Senators hockey club of the early 20th century. He wants it so badly he can taste it, and speaks of it, fate-temptingly, in January. In an effusive open letter to fans Melnyk has sent to local newspapers encouraging fans to "help bring the Cup home," the owner suggests his 2005-06 team is "harnessing the spirit of 1927." "We came back to the team we love," he writes. "We made the right trades. We mixed the right players. We hired the right coaches and -- today -- we're delivering a winner."

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Shooting For 50

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Early this season, thanks to a burst of postlockout scoring, it looked as if a dozen players might turn the trick. The numbers fell off after the first month, but seven players remain on a 50-goal pace, now that the season is past the halfway mark, and a handful of others could get there, provided they go on a little scoring run in the next three months.

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Players Fear Accidental Use Of Drugs

from the CP via Slam,

"I think this is the thing that scares players right now," Toronto Maple Leafs forward Jason Allison said after practice Friday. "I could go to GNC or whatever, buy something to keep my weight on, read the package and it looks good, the next thing you know you get a positive test and people are saying you're cheating, which isn't true.
more from the Columbus Dispatch,
For all the trouble and embarrassment the steroid announcement caused him and the Blue Jackets — he is the first NHL player who ever tested positive for steroids — it was pretty much business as usual last night in Nationwide Arena. The fans didn’t boo Berard. They didn’t hold up signs that expressed their anger or even their extreme disappointment with him. They might have been unhappy with him for the three St. Louis goals that were scored when he was on the ice, but there was no indication they even noticed that. And from the way they acted, they apparently don’t feel even the least bit betrayed by his steroid test.
read on Brendan Shanahan on steroid use in the NHL-
"Are guys going to get discovered? Sure, we've got over 700 players; we're going to have the odd guy," Shanahan said Friday. "But I've been playing for 18 years, and I've never heard a player talk about its benefits, I've never heard of a player taking it; I've never suspected a player I've played with is taking it."
- Detroit Free Press

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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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