Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Groin Problems- Blame The Skates

from the Sun-Sentinel,

Gary Roberts, who missed his fifth consecutive game Thursday night due to a groin injury, believes his ongoing ailment could be because of his skates. After skating in the morning at the BankAtlantic Center, Roberts said his skate manufacturer is "fiddling around right now to try and find a reason why I keep injuring my left groin." "The most important part of your trade is your skates," Roberts said. "If you're skates don't feel good then you're in absolute trouble."

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Best Defense Is Offense For Flyers

from the Morning Call,

"You got to go through all 60 minutes, and it's more important now than ever before in the NHL," Flyers goalie Robert Esche said. "As soon as you ease back or let them attack the zone and they enter with control, they're going to get a quality scoring chance." In other words, the best defense is a good offense, because in the new NHL — get used to hearing that phrase — no lead is safe. Here's why: One thing leads to another and, in this case, protecting a lead means playing defensive hockey, which leads to more time in the defensive zone, where the new rules (no clutching, hooking or interfering) lead to more scoring opportunities and, subsequently, more threats for defenders to stifle. The next thing you know, a defender hooks an opponent, draws a penalty, putting the opponent on a two-minute power play.

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Bettman Star Rising

from the London Free Press,

National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman's had been falling faster than George W. Bush's popularity. It was Bettman who locked out the players. It was he, a non-hockey guy recruited from the National Basketball Association, who had taken the NHL to the precipice of an abyss too frightening to contemplate. He was seen as the neatly groomed little fellow whose carefully crafted lawyerly words seemed at odds with the gravity of the longest and most passionate labour stoppage in professional sports history. The league appeared intransigent, the players the aggrieved parties. "He's gonna kill the game" was a familiar comment from fans. Flash forward 15 months and the role reversals of the disputants has been breath-taking. Bettman -- dare we say it -- is now wearing the white hat. The black hat sits on the shelf. Nobody is around to don it since Players' Association chief Bob Goodenow was ousted by his membership. Bettman, the guy who seemingly put the game on a death-watch, is looking almost heroic. A workable salary model and exciting rules changes have brought the game storming back with no discernable villain anymore.

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Emotions Lacking

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Gary Bettman made an interesting observation in a stump speech he delivered at a sports business conference in Toronto on Tuesday. Talking about the new NHL, the commissioner cited increased scoring, greater flow, elimination of obstruction, and, not by the way, the dramatically diminished number of fights in the league. "The elimination of stickwork has removed many previous flashpoints in the game," Bettman said. As usual, the commissioner is confused. Hooking, interference and obstruction fouls never created flashpoints, but rather dismay on the part of players and fans alike. And while the elimination of that brand of stickwork is to be cheered, the elimination of flashpoints is not.

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Thriving Goaltenders

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

No one has more sympathy for Detroit Lions quarterback Joey Harrington than Red Wings goalie Manny Legace because Legace understands that if he weren't playing sharply, it easily could have been him being skewered and roasted daily on the local sports talk radio shows. In late summer, the two major sports questions in Detroit were whether Harrington was a legitimate No. 1 NFL quarterback and whether Legace could evolve from revered backup to No. 1 goalie on one of the league's best teams.

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EchoStar (DISH) Drops OLN

from Business Wire,

EchoStar Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) confirmed today that it is no longer carrying Outdoor Life Network. The Comcast-owned programmer recently demanded that EchoStar force millions of additional DISH Network customers to pay for its outdoor programming as a condition to continued availability. EchoStar was unwilling to impose those additional costs on consumers. "We work hard to provide choice for our customers and to keep prices low," said Eric Sahl, senior vice president of Programming for EchoStar. "Most of our customers have made the decision they do not want to pay the additional cost of watching that channel." For customers impacted by the loss of OLN, DISH Network recently added College Sports TV (CSTV), NFL Network and ESPNU at no additional cost. DISH Network offers other channels that provide similar programming to OLN, such as The Outdoor Channel and the Men's Channel. For hockey fans, hundreds of hockey games are available through regional sports networks offered by DISH Network, or customers can subscribe to the NHL Center Ice Package, which offers a variety of hockey games much broader than those offered on OLN.
update Friday 10:11am, Welcome to the hockey fans who are being directed to Kukla's Korner for the first time. You can read some updated information about this topic in this post.

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The NHL Dress Code

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Don't look for an NBA-style dress code flap in the NHL. That's because most hockey players have been told what to wear for years, long before they reach the NHL. Most junior and minor-pro teams have some form of dress code covering what is and isn't to be worn to games and around the rink. Dress codes for minor hockey teams are also common and are seen as a way of fostering team unity and cohesion. "Ten years old we had to wear a shirt and tie," Tampa Bay Lightning star Vincent Lecavalier said, recalling his days growing up in the Montreal suburb of Ile-Bizard, Quebec. "I had the leather zip-up tie.

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Over The Boards

from NHL.com,

More goals, shots, excitement mark first two weeks of NHL season All offensive categories 'up.' Schedule hits 100-game mark tonight! Goal-Scoring - Teams have scored a total of 602 goals, an average of 6.2 per game. The figure represents a 32% increase over the average of 4.7 goals scored in the first 97 games of the 2003-04 season. Shots On Goal - Clubs have combined for an average of 58.8 shots per game, 11% above the corresponding 2003-04 figure of 52.9. Late-Game Dramatics - There have been 15 go-ahead goals within the last five minutes of regulation time, more than double the 2003-04 figure of seven.

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Frozen Tundra Game

from the AP via the Duluth News Tribune,

About 22,000 tickets were sold for an outdoor college hockey game at Lambeau Field in the first day the tickets were available to the public. Tickets went on sale Wednesday for the Feb. 11 game between Wisconsin and Ohio State, dubbed the "Frozen Tundra Game." It's the first hockey game at Lambeau Field. Portable bleachers and football seating will allow around 40,000 fans to attend.

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Touring Hockey Art

from the CP via the edmonton Journal,

As the NHL celebrates the return of more elegant, wide-open hockey, a new art show travelling across the country makes the case that there's nothing more Canadian than the punched-out teeth, blackened eyes and bruised knuckles of hockey's best brawlers. Billing itself as "honouring the true characters of the greatest sport in the world," Slapshot is in Calgary this weekend after stops in New York, Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa. The cast of those characters transformed into art includes Dave "Cement Head" Semenko, Ken Daneyko and Toronto's Tie Domi along with Hockey Night in Canada's Don Cherry and Ron McLean.
read on

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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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