Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Sabres Off To A Fast Start

from MSG Network,

Well, the Sabres couldn't have asked for a better start, their best in what seems like 20 years. To get out of the hopper as quick as they have, and to at least let the fans know that they were off to a good start -- as opposed to the last several years, in which they didn't make the playoffs -- is a breath of fresh air. The last three postseason-less seasons before the lockout can be attributed to the fact that they got off to a horrible beginning to the season each time. The fact that they got off very well this time with a 6-2 mark bodes well for the near future..

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NHL Attendance Dwindling For Some Teams

from the Toronto Sun,

Full houses in Toronto, Minnesota and Philadelphia (the Flyers attendance has gone up) have contrasted with some half-empty buildings. As the Nashville Predators' winning streak goes up, their crowds have dipped from 17,000 to 16,279, to two games of just above 12,000. The New York Islanders have begin to lag, unable to sell out against the New York Rangers, their traditional rival, while crowds in Chicago and Raleigh, N.C., have looked sparse as well. The Colorado Avalanche continue to announce a full house, thus preserving an 18,007-seat sellout streak that dates back to November 1995. But the club is now hawking season and single-game tickets on TV and on the Internet, which could spell the end of their sellout run fairly soon.

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Nashville Creating A Buzz In Music City

from the Globe and Mail,

Whenever talk gets around to the next phase of the National Hockey League's restructuring -- the eventual withdrawal from unprofitable markets where the sport has little hope of long-term success -- Nashville is usually marked as one of the franchises destined to move or fail. But based on the early returns, those of us who have derided the NHL's Sunbelt strategy may soon have to take the Predators off the endangered species list.

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Goalie Stats Rise

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

A deep-rooted National Hockey League scout in the goaltending fraternity likes to compare netminders to baseball pitchers. "The good goalies find a way to win, just like a good pitcher, who may not have the zip on his fastball one game or the break on his curve for another, will find a way to win without his best stuff," the old-timer said yesterday. He believes that although save percentages have dipped, goals-against averages have swelled and shutouts have been rare in the first three weeks of the season, reliable goaltenders will adapt to the open style of play and reduced goaltender equipment, and find a way to keep their most important statistic, wins.

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McCabe On Record Pace

from the Toronto Star,

It would be a stretch to suggest that Bryan McCabe will become the first defenceman in 30 years and just the second ever to win the NHL scoring title, but it's most certainly not to suggest that McCabe will make a serious dent on the Maple Leafs record book. It would be absurd to expect McCabe to keep up the pace that had him tied with Jaromir Jagr for the scoring lead going into last night's games. If McCabe were to keep this up, he'd finish the season with 27 goals and 109 assists for 136 points. That's just three fewer points than Bobby Orr posted in 1970-71 and two fewer than Paul Coffey's career high in 1985-86.

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Flames Hard Hat Goes Soft

from the Calgary Sun,

The Calgary Flames' hard hat has morphed from a scratched-up green lid to a shiny, golden prize. Maybe, then, it's fitting the helmet has been awarded to game stars rather than the unsung hero a couple of times this season -- albeit to the dismay of former Flame Craig Conroy.
read on

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Dealing With Paralysis

from the CP via the Edmonton Sun,

It was the kind of accident that hockey players, their families and their coaches have nightmares about - a high-speed, head-first crash into the boards that leaves a strong, young player broken and paralyzed. Players with the University of Moncton's Blue Eagles hockey team were struggling to cope yesterday with the news that their teammate, 24-year-old Sebastien Savage of St. Albert, Ont., is paralyzed from the chest down as the result of an accident during a weekend CIS game in the New Brunswick city. "We all know an accident like this can happen, we just always hope it doesn't happen," head coach Bob Mongrain said in an interview.

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Lowe Overestimated Oilers

from the Edmonton Sun,

Hindsight, the staple and sustenance of know-it-alls, I-told-you-so guys and talk radio, is a piece of cake. Obviously, Edmonton Oilers’ GM Kevin Lowe overestimated Michael Peca, thinking he’d be able to shed the shackles of his primarily defensive gig on Long Island and become the 70-point centre the Oilers needed. Clearly, Lowe was mistaken in thinking Ty Conklin and Jussi Markkanen, neither of whom had established a record as an NHL starter, could carry the mail when the season began.

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Sharks Need To Win Ugly

from the Mercury News,

A hockey player named Ray Ferraro, who played for six NHL teams over 18 seasons, was once asked why he was in a slump. Summoning all of his experience and insight, Ferraro sighed and answered: ``I'm doing too much of not enough.'' Welcome to the San Jose Sharks of 2005. As they begin the second leg of their six-game trip tonight in Dallas, the mission for our beloved Los Tiburones is not complicated. They need to put more pucks in the net. And they need to do it by not worrying about style points.

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No Panic For Bolts- Yet

from the St. Petersburg Times,

The mud is thick. The wheels are spinning. The more they rev the engines, the more they don't seem to go anywhere. Win one, lose one, win one, lose one. The Lightning lurches forward one day, then drifts back to the same spot the next day. It all seems to be missing, including the big stars. In fact, if you're looking for a reason why this version of the Lightning looks nothing like the old edition that ended up on a Stanley Cup, look down the stats sheet: Brad Richards: two goals. Marty St. Louis: three points. Dan Boyle: minus-4. Fredrik Modin: zero assists. Pavel Kubina: no goals. Dave Andreychuk: no goals. Ruslan Fedotenko: two goals.

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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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