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Avoiding Sophomore Jinx

from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

They contend that, for any number of reasons, even the most gifted players are pretty much doomed to sputter, if not regress, during their second season. And while plenty of players in all sports have done that for years, Crosby and people with whom he works seem convinced there's very little danger of that happening to him. "Absolutely not," coach Michel Therrien said. "He's a special player. He wants more than [he did] last year. Some players have a tendency, especially after they have a good year, [to think] that maybe things are going to be easier. "But a guy like Crosby, he doesn't have that personality. He wants to be better than last year. He's working harder than last year. He's working on details, like faceoffs. All the little things that are going to make him a better player. That's why I'm not worried."
read on

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Pre-Season Rankings

TSN Power Ranking...

1. Detroit 2. Ottawa 3. Nashville

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Bonding- Again

from the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Every training camp under Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock has included a "team bonding" exercise. Twice it has been at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. This past weekend, the Flyers spent a day and a half at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. Apparently, this team is in need of bonding. The Flyers have 25 guys on the roster, and given their dismal 1-5-1 performance in exhibition games, the group is lacking team chemistry on the ice. "The physical and mental experiences by the players there, that is what we're looking for," Hitchcock said of the bonding trip. "We are looking for chemistry."

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Avs Believe In Themselves

from the Rocky Mountain News,

Many believe the Avalanche's chances of merely qualifying for the playoffs are remote, let alone being able to compete for a Stanley Cup. "That's their opinion," Theodore said. "I feel really comfortable with the bunch of guys that we have here. We're working hard, and we have a lot of talent and great leadership with Joe (Sakic) leading the way. I'm really happy and looking forward to the season, because we have a great bunch of guys. That makes up for a lot of things. "We don't really pay attention to whatever's around, what people are saying about this team. We're confident about our group. We like the players that we have here, and that's all matters."

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NHL Response On Devils Trade

I wake up this morning to find about 30 emails basically asking me the same question, How could the NHL allow the Devils/Sharks trade? Bill Daly responded... from NorthJersey.com.

There was some question as to whether Malakhov was eligible to be traded because he is not playing, but NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly wrote in an e-mail Sunday that the league approved the trade because, "It was a broader deal with real hockey consideration involved on both sides." Daly also noted that there is "nothing that would preclude Malakhov coming back and playing for San Jose if he chooses to."
more...it looks like the Devils are fine for the moment... added 7:48am, check out Sharkspage for a San Jose point of view of the trade...

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Contending Sharks

from Robert Picarello at Fox Sports,

A very solid overall team, the Sharks will be among the leaders in the Western Conference this season and should battle the Ducks for the top spot in the division. San Jose has talented and deep forwards, solid goaltending and a strong defense, all the ingredients needed for success in the long term. The surplus in depth in goal may be a boon as well. Should Toskala continue to play well, GM Doug Wilson will be able to move Nabokov — vice-versa — to shore up any other potential weakness that become evident. The top two lines will put up a lot of goals this season, and the Sharks will be adept at keeping the puck out of their own net, so this is a team that bears watching. Where they'll finish Division: Second Conference: Fifth

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Devils Trade Malakhov To Sharks

via TSN,

The New Jersey Devils acquired left wing Alexander Korolyuk and defenceman Jim Fahey from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for defenseman Vladimir Malakhov, and a conditional first-round pick in the NHL Entry Draft.

Continue Reading »

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Harry Neale On Hockey

from the CP via the CBC,

Favourite memories? Neale has many. "When you've done it as long as I have it's the next moment that's the best one," he said. He remembers the night in New Jersey during the 1988 Stanley Cup playoffs when Devils coach Jim Schoenfeld's tirade towards referee Don Koharski triggered a walkout by the officials. Neale and play-by-play man Bob Cole were forced to keep talking until the game finally started. "It was nothing but hot air," Neale chuckled. Then there was the 1987 playoff game that went into four overtime periods before Pat Lafontaine scored to give the New York Islanders a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals. "I remember how hungry I was," Neale said. "I was also getting to the age where I couldn't go seven periods without going to the bathroom. "The washroom in the old Washington rink was quite a hike and fairly crowded by the time I could get to it."
read on

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“You Have To Be Who You Are”

from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen,

Spezza has never had a problem presenting himself. On any given morning, Spezza can be found holding court in the dressing room, talking to anyone and everyone, about anything and everything -- from video games to the number of teammates who have babies to the state of the team and his own game. "You have to be who you are," he says. "I would rather be honest and say what I feel, whether it's right all the time or not. I'm not going to second-guess myself." That attitude carries over to the ice, as well, where he often attempts plays no one else would dare try, often looking for holes between skates and over sticks.
more...long, but if you like Spezza it is a must read...

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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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