Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Both Are Impact Players

from the Allentown Morning Call,

If the NHL wants to market its new ways, simply put Ovechkin's magnificent goal on a non-stop, 24-hour replay loop and then open the box office. That moment of ad-lib genius is destined to define the Washington wizard's career the same way Michael Jordan's sky walk at the NBA Slam Dunk competition did 20 years ago. The scary thing is, Ovechkin appears to have the skills to author these transcendent plays on any given shift, so you'd better pay attention. Ovechkin has stolen a lot of the thunder away from Sidney Crosby, the 18-year-old Pittsburgh Penguins phenom, who was anointed the league's savior before the first puck was dropped back in October. Sure, he's been goaded into some stupid penalties and needs the added strength that physical maturity will bring, but Crosby has certainly delivered as advertised.
read on

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Lemaire Thinks Team Will Finish Last

The top four teams in the Northwest are all in the playoff range, and though Minnesota is just nine points back, closing the gap won't be easy. The number of games within the division means that just about any night, one of the teams ahead of the Wild are getting points. "I feel eight (divisional games) is a lot," Lemaire said. "Six would be perfect. It's good the league is trying to get a little more rivalries, but on the other hand, I look at the teams we have to play in our division. Playing these teams for us is tough. We're last in that division and I think we'll finish last."- via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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Bettman Talks Drugs

from the Toronto Sun,

Gary Bettman is disappointed Bryan Berard tested positive for an anabolic steroid but maintained the league's position that it's not a widespread concern. "My own belief is that it is not a pervasive problem and it will be something we look back on as probably one of the few positive tests we see," Bettman, the NHL commissioner, said last night. "We will move forward with our program and our testing, and the fact is that in the next few months we are going to have a very clear statement of what the status is (in the NHL)."
continued

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Hopefully Nedved Can Play Like Nieuwendyk

from the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Hitchcock likened Nedved's role to that of Joe Nieuwendyk in Dallas behind Mike Modano. "Joe was really good coming out of that second hole where he could help other players on his line," Hitchcock recalled. "We think Petr can do the same." Nedved's passing and puck-possession skills add a dimension that Forsberg also brings to the game. "When you add players with good skill level, they can make other players around them better, and Petr has that ability," Hitchcock said.
more

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Losing The Edge

from the Denver Post,

Words that never should be whispered on Avalanche home ice were shouted. It was a sad sound. "Let's go Red Wings!" a disturbingly large contingent of red-clad fans chanted during the third period of Detroit's 4-3 victory against Colorado. Say what? Let's go Red Wings? Cheering for Detroit should be blasphemy in Denver. Let's go Red Wings? I never thought we'd hear the day.
read on

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Nash Is Go To Guy

from the NY Times (Sunday Edition),

"If Rick Nash was healthy and we didn't have some of the major injuries we had during the season, there's no doubt in my mind we'd be battling for a playoff spot right now," Columbus Coach Gerard Gallant said last week. Fedorov, 36, said that Nash had impressed him, but that he would like to teach him how to work a simple give-and-go, a skill that a dominating player like the Rangers' Jaromir Jagr perfected long ago. "I've mentioned a few times to Rick if you do that, you'll be unstoppable," Fedorov said.
a little more...

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Malkin Dominates RSL

from the Pittsburgh Penguins,

It’s been more than two decades since Dave King has coached a talent like Penguins prospect Evgeni Malkin. Malkin, Pittsburgh’s second-overall pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, is dominating the Russian Super League for his hometown team Metallurg Magnitogorsk under King’s direction. “Mally is a great player. He has skill and energy. He is not a peripheral player. He will dish out as much contact as he takes. He has great enthusiasm for the game,” said King, a native Canadian in his first year at Magnitogorsk. “I am lucky. I get to see him when reporters or scouts don’t and in situations people normally don’t see him; I get to watch him practice and dryland train off the ice. He’s a real throwback. He’s like a country boy who eats, sleeps and dreams hockey.
read on

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High Definition Problem With NBC Game Today

It appears Pittsburgh fans watching the Flyers/Penguins game today were not receiving the HD feed via WPXI. If you are not familiar with high-definition, each station receiving the HD feed from the network must "throw a HD switch on" to allow the game to be processed in HD. You can blame the station for this problem, blame NBC for not notifying affiliates of an HD feed, but mistakes like this need to be avoided at all cost. You can follow this topic at the AVSforum.

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The Beer Bottle Breakout

Sitting by the pool in Florida one night in 1994, former Senators coach Rick Bowness decided the reporters covering the Senators didn't know what they were talking about. He demanded somebody draw him a breakout and when nobody could, Bowness used beer bottles as hockey players to show us how to take the puck out of the zone. From that point forward, Bowness was known as the designer of "The Beer Bottle Breakout."
The Ottawa Senators will play the 1000th game in the teams history tonight. Enjoy more highlights from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun.

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Good & Bad

-Ratings for the Buffalo Sabres continue to soar compared to the 2003-2004 season. The Sabres are averaging a 4.9 rating on MSG this season, up 69 percent from a 2.9 on Empire the last time the team played. That shows what winning can do for ratings in a hockey town. NBC's NHL opener on Channel 2 last weekend had a 2.3 rating, well above the national average of 1.5.- Buffalo News -"The one thing is, I was pretty surprised that I didn't get a heads-up on it, because I did get a heads-up phone call when I wasn't invited to the Olympic summer camp. When I didn't hear anything or get a call beforehand, I thought that I had made the team. "To find out that I hadn't by watching on television when the roster was announced, that was pretty disappointing."- Brian Leetch, via the NY Post

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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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