Kukla's Korner

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Hasek Worried

from the CP via TSN,

Goaltender Dominik Hasek said there's "very little chance" he'll suit up for the Ottawa Senators when NHL action returns March 1 and can't put a timeline on his comeback from a groin injury that forced his withdrawal from the Olympics. "Of course I'm worried, I'll be honest," the 41-year-old said as he met with reporters for the first time since returning from the Turin Games, where he strained a groin-area muscle in the first period of the Czech Republic's opening game last week.

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Wednesday Quarterfinal Games

All times are EST. 10:30a Swiss vs. Sweden USA & CBC 11:30a Finland vs. USA MSNBC & USA 2:30p Russia vs. Canada MSNBC & CBC 3:30p Slovakia vs. Czech USA & CBC added 5:10pm, -In case of a tie at the conclusion of regulation time in a QuarterFinal, Semi-final and Bronze Medal Game, there will be a 10-minute sudden-death overtime period played, following a three-minute intermission. The teams will defend the same goals as in the third period. The team, which scores a goal during this period is the winner. -In the Gold Medal game there will be a 20-minute sudden-death overtime period, following a 15-minute intermission during which the ice will be resurfaced. The teams will change ends. The team which scores a goal during this period is declared winner. -All sudden death overtime periods are played with four skaters on four.Women play five-on-five. -If no goal is scored during the sudden-death overtime, there will be Game Winning Shot (GWS) competition (shootout). Each team must select five shooters to compete in the GWS competition. If the score is still tied after the teams have had five attempts each, the teams continue to shoot in pairings until the shooter of one team misses and the shooter of the other team scores.

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So Many Views From ‘The Mouth’

from Ted Montgomery of USA TODAY,

News: Trade activity is expected to be significantly light during this first season under the salary cap. Views: I wouldn't bet on it. Despite all the lip service owners and GMs paid to the supposed necessity for a salary cap during the lock-out, those same individuals, if they get a whiff of a potential championship, will get very creative with their bottom lines come trade deadline. Yes, fiscal restraint was a driving force behind the new CBA, but the motivation that moves owners is to win a championship. Frankly, there is more money in it for them. I'm not saying that player movement will be fast and furious; it's unlikely that it will.
many more 'views' from Ted, including Gretzky, the Blue Jackets and Chicago...

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Watching Sweden

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

The International Ice Hockey Federation will be monitoring Tuesday's game between Sweden and Slovakia after Swedish coach Bengt Ake Gustafsson suggested he wouldn't mind if his team lost or tied its last preliminary-round game so they could face Switzerland and avoid Canada or the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals Wednesday. "This is the biggest stage that hockey has. We are being watched by a potential 3.2 billion people in 200 countries," IIHF spokesman Szymon Szemberg said Tuesday. We don't want game previews to be about tanked games. This is not our objective. So this is definitely not the exposure we want."

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Marek Zidlicky Out With Knee Injury

During the Czech/Canada game today, Doc Emrick mentioned Zidlicky is not playing today due to a knee injury. Doc mentioned he has not been replaced on the roster, in case he can come back for future games.

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Americans Need Another ‘Miracle’

from the LA Times,

The United States is facing Russia in a hockey game, and the buildup is about as loud as a snowflake landing. You could say that's a statement about international relations. Sadly, it's also a reflection on the state of American hockey. The "Miracle on Ice" effect has passed. The generation that was inspired to grab a stick and head for the ice after the 1980 team's gold medal now makes up the older demographic of the NHL. Today's kids need their own inspirational moment. But until that happens, what's supposed to draw kids to hockey and feed the national program when the NHL keeps sliding off the sports landscape?
more (reg. req.)

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Playing At A Higher Level

from the Toronto Star,

"There's a big difference between playing against a Finnish player in the National Hockey League and playing against a Finnish player who's got his flag on the front of his sweater," Ken Hitchcock, an assistant coach on Team Canada, was explaining yesterday. "There are players, you never see them play like this in North America. You see them play like this when they play for their country. The Olympics is at a whole other level."
read on

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Will Canadian Dinosaurs Rule

from the IIHF,

The crackdown on obstruction has changed the game, perhaps forever, and closed Jurassic Park. International hockey has never been so exciting as here in the Olympic Preliminary Round. There is no more time or room for the slower defensemen to rest or breathe. They can't hook and hold the forechecking forwards. The game is now so fast that you have to move your feet every second of every shift in every game. A Petteri Nummelin can have the same impact on the result of a game as a Chris Pronger. Most of all, Team Canada needs better, faster, smarter play from their defensemen. Someone needs to step up like a new Bobby Orr or a new Paul Coffey.

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The NHL Is Better

from the Philadelphia Daily News,

The NHL is better than the Olympics. No one would argue with that now, not after watching the first half of this NHL season and the first half of this Olympic tournament. There is more talent per roster spot at the Olympics. There is more at stake, too, at least theoretically. But the NHL was better under the old rules and it is far, far superior under the new rules. The cry came up, from Nagano and Salt Lake City, from people (for the most part) who don't even like hockey in the first place. The cry came up, that this Olympic version was the best. It ignored the history ingrained in the NHL game. It ignored the certainty that nothing - not even the gold-medal game in this tournament - can touch the brutal, primal, 2-month drama of Stanley Cup playoff hockey.

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Bettman Must Come Down Hard

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

Now that the media lynch mob has scattered for the Olympic break, the National Hockey League should use the time to figure out how to emerge from the gambling cesspool smelling like a rose. The best way is not for commissioner Gary Bettman to wade in with a fistful of suspensions and fines. What he needs to do is take the lead among the major North American professional sports leagues and associations and establish a clear-cut policy on gambling.

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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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