Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

“Joltin” Joe Thornton Responds

from Inside Bay Area,

The Sharks are home tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets. After practice Wednesday, the 6-foot-4, 223-pound Thornton talked about his impact since coming west. Q. What has been your biggest influence on the Sharks? A. Just a new face. I came in here and just started working hard. They were losing a lot of one-goal games and ... I don't know what I did. It's just a team effort. It's just not myself. Everyone has gotten better in the last month. I'm just helping out wherever I can. Q. What is your strongest asset as a hockey player? A. Probably my playmaking ability. I like to pass the puck. Q. What is more natural to you, scoring or passing? A. Probably passing. My idol was Wayne Gretzky. He was always a passer. That's not who I took my game after, but I always watched him.
read on

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Clement Looks At The 2nd Half

from Bill Clement of MSNBC,

It should be a very interesting second half of the NHL season, and among the top things to watch is what I expect to be Atlanta's push to the top of the Southeast Division, and into the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. ...I look for Colorado and Vancouver, two bitter division rivals, to both acquire goalies. As soon as one pulls the trigger on a deal, the other will be forced to do so as well. And these two teams will most likely be shopping for the same goalies. ...There will be at least one and maybe several blockbuster deals before the March 9 trading deadline, but the new twist will be that because of the salary cap I expect these swaps to be ultra creative and involve three or more teams.
read on

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Coaches Adjusting To Rules

from the CP via CJAD,

As the NHL reaches the official halfway point of the regular season this weekend, some clubs have reverted back to a more defensive style. The numbers have not changed that much. The NHL was averaging 6.3 goals per game entering Wednesday's games, down only slightly from the 6.4 it averaged in October. The bottom line is that coaches and players eventually began adjusting to the new NHL, which is something that was expected. ...Even the high-scoring clubs have adjusted. "Yes I think everybody did," said Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, whose team is third in the league in goals. "I mean, we changed our forecheck three times to try and figure out how do it. And we just slowly got to a smarter way of playing."
more

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Talking Old School Ref

from Hockey Refs,

Bruce Hood was widely considered the NHL’s top referee in 1984 when he retired after 21 seasons. During that time, he officiated 1,033 regular season and 157 Stanley Cup playoff games, three All-Star Games, and three Canada Cups. He was also the first professional to officiate a world championship, the last to wear number one on his jersey, and the last to officiate in all Original Six arenas. After retirement, he pioneered a line of officiating equipment, authored two best-selling hockey books, and went on to be a successful travel agent and eventual public servant as Canada’s first air travel complaints commissioner.
continued...an exclusive interview with Bruce Hood and how he feels about not being in the Hockey Hall of Fame... image

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Under 17 Gold Medal Game On Center Ice Tonight

via NHL.com,

The 2006 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge gold-medal match-up between the U.S. National Under-17 Team and Team Quebec will be aired at 9:30 p.m. EST on NHL Center Ice.

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Yzerman Scheduled To Return

Yzerman plans on playing tomorrow night against St. Louis. Steve has been out almost a month but now feels ready to go. update 8:22pm, WXYT radio in Detroit just played an interview Yzerman did after practice today. Steve says he has made significant progress in the last week. He said he took the pre-game skate on Tuesday and was ready to play that night if Shanahan was not able to go (anothe fine example of the Detroit media failing to find out what is wrong with Brendan). update Thursday 8:10am, via the Detroit News,Brendan Shanahan (back spasms) was a game-time decision, but Shanahan played. Yzerman would have if Shanahan didn't. Why ddin't they report the Shanahan back spasms yesterday? I thought that is one of the key jobs of a beat writer, to get news!!!

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Mid-Term Grades

from Shawn P. Roarke of Fox Sports,

Prof. Roarke has dug out his red pen and calculator, putting each franchise under the microscope and issuing some midterm grades. Here at Hockey U, high grades are not easy to come by. In fact, a spectacular effort is necessary to earn the highest of marks from this professor. With that said, let's see where each of the league's 30 teams stand as they head into the homestretch.
continued...Wings fans, pay close attention, you are not at the top of the class...

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The Hate Was On At WJC

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,

The World Junior tournament, being held in Vancouver, has been a huge hit at the turnstiles. Massive and spirited crowds have been in attendance at every game, cheering for some great hockey. Except at the Team USA matches. For these, the Canadian faithful seem to arrive in great numbers with single-minded purpose: to mercilessly boo the Americans. To paraphrase Glenn Frey, the hate is on.
more

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Mogilny Waived

via Sportsnet,

In the new NHL it's business first, everything else second. A clear indication of that comes out of New Jersey today, where sources tell Sportsnet the Devils have placed future Hall of Fame forward Alexander Mogilny on waivers.

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Holik Out With Broken Foot

via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ( reg. req.),

Just when the Thrashers seemed ready to make a big playoff push, they have another obstacle to overcome. Center Bobby Holik is expected to miss two-to-four weeks with a broken bone in his foot suffered when hit by a shot from Ilya Kovalchuk during Sunday’s game at Washington.

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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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