Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Ice Time Cut

from the Daily News,

Nothing speaks to players more clearly than a reduction in ice time, and in Thursday's loss to Carolina, coach Andy Murray swung that hammer and directed it toward the Kings' supposed top players. Pavol Demitra was benched for the first 14 minutes of the third period. Jeremy Roenick played 11:50, five minutes under his season average, and Luc Robitaille, for a third consecutive game, played 12 minutes. Those three players are earning a combined total of almost $10.5 million this season, just under one-third of the team's total payroll, but the Kings mounted a stirring comeback Thursday with less-heralded players such as Sean Avery, Eric Belanger and Jeff Cowan logging major minutes.
more

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Aggression Is Gone

from the Edmonton Sun,

There's no question the new NHL is infinitely more entertaining than the clutch and grab garbage they used to peddle, but there is growing concern that hockey is losing one of its greatest qualities - aggression. You don't have to be tough to play the game anymore. Sure, hockey players shake off pain, from accidental high sticks, shots off the ankle and the occasional open ice hit, faster than any other athletes, but having to pay a price to make a play is all but gone. "There's not as many battles, obviously, or as many scrums,'' said Oilers defenceman Steve Staios, who hasn't had trouble adjusting to the new rules (plus-5), but misses the contact.
read on

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Mr. Grim Reaper

from Commercial Appeal,

He has a legion of fans across North America who still call him "The Grim Reaper." Obviously Grimson, who will graduate a week from today, isn't your average law student. The 40-year-old Canadian spent more than a decade in the National Hockey League, skating for eight different teams as an "enforcer" -- or, using the more infamous hockey term, a "goon." With his career earnings, Grimson said he could have stayed retired. Instead, he's spent more than two years working hard, side-by-side with students half his age. "I'm just not wired that way. I just don't think I'd find it challenging, living the rest of my life that way," he said. "I love the sport of hockey and this gives me the opportunity to stay in the sport."
read on

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This Is How It Is Done

The Detroit media should take note of this- A complete recap of the hockey game which finished an hour or so ago! Wings fans have complained for years about the poor coverage the Wings receive in the local papers, and this is a great example on how it should be done. from Tank El-Bashir of the Washington Post,

The building buzzed with excitement and the opponent ranked among the league's premier teams. In other words, it was just the type of situation that has brought out the best in the Washington Capitals and their high-octane rookie Alex Ovechkin. The announced crowd of 18,277 was the biggest and loudest gathering at MCI Center for a Capitals' game this season. It seemed to inspire the home team, even if the majority of the fans seemed to be wearing Detroit's red and white, and the "Let's Go Red Wings" chant often drowned out the home team's supporters. One Detroit fan held up a sign that read, "Fire Millen," referring to Matt Millen, president of the NFL's Lions.
more (reg. req.)

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Pens Acquire Boguniecki

via the Pittsburgh Penguins,

The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired right wing Eric Boguniecki from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for defenseman Steve Poapst, it was announced Friday by General Manager Craig Patrick.

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Gagne Out With Groin Tear

via the AP,

Philadelphia Flyers forward Simon Gagne, the NHL goal leader with 23, is expected to be sidelined two weeks because of a groin tear. An MRI revealed the tear Friday.

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Taking A Look At The BOG Meeting

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

There will be discussions about revenue projections for the current season; a report on the new substance abuse program; on possible scheduling and playoff format changes; a report on discussions with the Professional Hockey Players' Association over the controversial re-entry waiver rule; and a review of possible rule changes necessitated by the shootout format. Specifically, they'll want to tweak the rule book so that videotape can be used to review controversial goals; and they'll also want to reword the penalty-shot rule so that a player that moves the puck backwards on his stick in making a move on a goalie is allowed to do that.
continued...very insightful

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Roenick Responds

Transcript of the chat with J.R. today at NHL.com.

kashkropsntokes JR, who's the most "Roenick-esque" young player in the league? Jeremy Roenick Hmmm, that's a tough question. I'd say Eric Staal. He's strong, he's fast and has good hands. He's not afraid out there and he's got good passion. vaness_habs What do you do before a game? Do you have some rituals ?? Jeremy Roenick Way way too long to go into. It's a daily process from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep.
read on

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The Flow Is Back

from the AP via Fox Sports,

Defensemen have a choice: Let him go in alone, or hold him up and spend two minutes in the penalty box. Obstruction is gone from the new NHL, and the art of hockey is back on the ice. "Whatever they learned all their life goes straight out the window," New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur said. "You can't do the pin and hold, you can't do the old can opener, you can't do anything anymore. It's definitely hard for the D, especially if mobility is not one of your assets." The big, burly defenseman still has a role in the game, but his effectiveness has been severely compromised in this new world of free-flowing hockey. Not only can't he hold up an onrushing forward, he can't clear players out from in front of the net, either.
more

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Nashville Depth Will Help

A few days ago, Nashville Owner Craig Leipold answered a few questions from Pred fans. One of the questions was:

Q: Injuries to key personnel could be debilitating to the Predators, but not this season. Why? Is Milwaukee the secret weapon that other teams do not have? A: Easy answer: because we've drafted so well that the players in our system now are ready to move up to the Predators.
I guess that depth will come in handy now, Vokoun out 2 weeks and Legwand out about a month after artho knee surgery.

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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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