Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Will The Real Oilers Please Stand Up

from the Edmonton Sun,

Chris Pronger says the Edmonton Oilers are not the inexplicable, unexplainable, manic depressive hockey team that everybody seems to see. No, says the only guy in the line-up who could possibly be considered a playoff expert. No, they're a study in consistency says Pronger. OK, a little quirky, he'll give you. "We're up. We're down. We're all around,'' he admits of the way they play day to day.

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A Glorious Comeback

from the Centre Daily,

For a sport that sacrificed more than any other pro sport in the modern era -- remember, there was no hockey at this time last year, only pompous posturing by men in dark suits in high-rise conference rooms -- hockey has made a glorious comeback, even if the league's television contract is with Outdoor Life Network. The black eye of the 310-day work stoppage is just about healed. Attendance is up, goal-scoring is up nearly 20 percent and the rule changes put in place to eliminate the boring, clutching-and-grabbing defensive styles seem to have worked. Want proof?

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Agitator Vs. Physical

from the Columbus Dispatch,

Toronto forward Darcy Tucker and Nashville defenseman Brendan Witt applied knee-on-knee hits within hours of one another in two different games Monday night. Tucker’s hit, on Sabres forward Jochen Hecht, caused a firestorm of controversy, Witt’s hit, a wee tempest. It’s a tale of two knees. There are a number of reasons why the two allegedly dirty hits were perceived differently. Among the reasons is this: Tucker is prone to agitation and has a reputation for stretching the definition of "clean." Witt, on the other hand, is known as being physical but not dirty.

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Canadian Teams Beating On Each Other

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

But in Gary Bettman's new NHL, it is almost impossible for all six Canadian teams to join the post-season festivities. The theory of pitting regional rivals against each other on an accelerated basis has some obvious attraction, but it means every Canadian team plays no fewer than 16 games against Canadian rivals. Some seasons, like this one for instance, that number rises to 19. That means that for almost one-quarter of the season, the Canadian teams are busy knocking each other off.
read on...come on Al, should the U.S. based teams use the same theory?

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Management Movement

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

While teams compete to get into the playoffs and do battle for the Stanley Cup, it's all set against the backdrop of what can best be described as a job fair in the National Hockey League. Early indications are there will be an unprecedented number of hirings and firings involving general managers and head coaches through the spring and summer.... There is a movement in Toronto for the Leafs to clean house and go out and steal an established GM like Detroit's Ken Holland or perhaps hire a guy like Campbell to oversee hockey operations.
much more

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Henderson Has A Message

from the Meridain Booster,

Paul Henderson can’t go a day without being asked about his famous winning goal in the 1972 Summit Series or hearing Foster Hewitt’s immortal call. But it is a higher calling that is keeping him busy these days. Henderson was a man who had it all – a wife and three daughters, he played professional hockey for the team he grew up idolizing, and he was considered a god among his countrymen. But he wasn’t happy because there was something missing in his life.

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A Few Topics With Kevin Allen

Kevin Allen of USA TODAY and also the President of the NHL Writers Association was just on Detroit radio. He said he has been trying to work with the NHL all year long about reporting injuries. Kevin said it is getting "cartoonish" with all of these upper and lower body injury reports. He said the NHL is taking a "player privacy" stance and they are not willing to force teams to report the specific injury. Kevin noted there are teams that would be more than willing to report an injury, but if one team refuses, then they might as well not report it either. Allen stated it is so easy to get an injury report during the playoffs, just go to the opposing team and someone there knows exactly what the injury is. He feels the NHL owes it to their fans to force the teams to start reporting and will continue to work on it. Kevin also mentioned we will not be seeing as many power plays in the playoffs; players know what they can get away with now and they will basically play the same way during the playoffs. He was asked if penalty calls will get overlooked as the games get more important- Kevin said he hopes not but he thinks they will. Also mentioned a message needs to be sent to players about the recent knee to knee hits, but the NHL has turned the other cheek. Yzerman was brought up and Kevin says the talk of the league is the play of Yzerman. He cannot believe the type of game he is playing these days and should not even consider retirement now, but Steve has given no indication on what his plans are.

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Recognize The Hockey Bloggers

As you can imagine, I agree 100% with Vancouver Op Ed. Many of us have been turned down but we keep on digging and waiting to be recognized as an accredited source. Although it may be difficult for hockey teams and the NHL to establish which hockey blogs are actually providing a service to many of the hockey fans, it would be in their best interest to start establishing some time of relationship with them. Just look at my left sidebar for links to other hockey blogs, or check out those blogs and see their recommendations. Now back to Vancouver Op Ed,

Our intention is not to overestimate our own importance, or to stomp on mainstream media. The newspaper articles we read every day are informative, inspiring, entertaining and irreplaceable. We would be lost without them. We’re just saying that there’s a role for blogs to play in hockey journalism as well. And we think that role will only get bigger.
read on

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Canadian Press Makes Their Picks For The NHL Hardware

from Pierre LeBrun of the CP via Yahoo,

The battle for the Hart Trophy as awarded the NHL's most valuable player to his team is a race between the two top scorers in the league and Miikka Kiprusoff, whose stellar netminding has allowed the offensively inept Calgary Flames to remain a contender. Jagr is looking for his second career Hart Trophy after leading the New York Rangers to their first playoff appearance since 1997.
read on

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A Playoff Future For the Blackhawks

from Spector of Fox Sports,

The Blackhawks do have the makings of a future playoff contender, but requires stability both behind the bench and in the front office to fulfill that potential, develop their promising youth and most importantly, bring back its fans.
read on...I feel so much for the Chicago fans because I remember the numerous battles with the Wings. I hope one day the Hawks make a huge comeback....

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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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