Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Blackhawks Gaining Confidence

from the Daily Herald via Yahoo,

There's something about playing behind an elite goaltender that gives a hockey team added confidence. ust ask Blackhawks forwards Curtis Brown and Matthew Barnaby. They know this from firsthand experience, having played for the Buffalo Sabres when Dominik Hasek was in his prime and dominating the NHL. Brown and Barnaby think Nikolai Khabibulin will have a similar impact with the Hawks. "To have a goalie that you know is proven and is going to do as good a job as anyone in the league doesn't just help keep pucks out of the net, it changes the attitude of the team," Brown said. "You can go out and be more aggressive and not be concerned about leaving him in positions that you would be concerned leaving other goalies in.

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Room For The Gladiator

from the Ottawa Sun via Slam

, The Hockey News, as it often does, asks the question again in its latest edition: "Enforcer role endangered?" THN has been trying to KO fighting in the game since Bob Probert was a pup. The mag heralds the failure of that Hockey Gladiators pay-per-view debacle to attract fans as another reason why fisticuffs should be banned from the NHL. Never mind that Hockey Gladiators had as much to do with the NHL and its fighting issue as your mom playing in her mixed slo-pitch league does with major league baseball. If fighting is on its way out in the NHL, somebody should really tell the league's general managers.

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Lidstrom Wants To Be More Offensive

from the Traverse City Record-Eagle,

Not everybody likes the new rules designed to promote more scoring. Especially defensemen. Nicklas Lidstrom may be one of those who doesn't mind the changes. NHL fantasy league fans take note: Already one of the better scorers among defensemen, Lidstrom thinks the rules will help him rack up points even more this year. "They want me to try to join the rush a little more, get up in the play, especially with the new rules where you can get up in the play," Lidstrom said. "Nobody can hook you from behind to slow you down, so I think you'll see that a lot more." The changes in hooking and holding will make blueliners have to play better fundamentally, rather than physically - one of Lidstrom's best assets.

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The Real Recap

Exhibition hockey games allow teams to test line combinations, evaluate talent and get players into game shape. So the important stats from last night's Flames-Oilers game are 22 power play opportunities, Edmonton went 1-12 and Calgary 0-10. The shots on goal were in the normal range and Edmonton player Jarret Stoll drove Calgary defenceman Andrew Ference into the boards from behind and got a major and a game misconduct. Stoll went on to say. "With all the penalties, the flow of the game was up and down". "It was a good start to see how they're going to call the game. There were some penalties we couldn't believe they called, but we have to adjust." Edmonton did win the game 2-1 on a shoot-out goal scored by Ryan Smyth. Overall, a type of game we expected, except for the lack of scoring. Hopefully Stoll will soon realize those unbelievable penalty calls will become the norm, not the exception, meaning the players must adjust, not the refs.

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Lindros Opens Up

from the Toronto Star,

Lindros grasps that the tremendous potential he brought into the NHL has not been entirely realized and now, at age 32, the apogee of his career may have passed. "You have to be healthy. Health is the biggest single asset once you have your skill and your drive. If you can keep your health, you can keep on playing. "But it's the hand I was dealt. I have to play those cards accordingly. I'm not bitter. I'm sour at moments. Who wouldn't be? But what can you do?" There is poignancy in what might have been and dismay over some of the complications that have marred his professional existence: The end-game rancour in Philadelphia, being stripped by GM Bob Clarke — "Bobby," Lindros emphasizes, snidely — of his captaincy after complaining about alleged failures of the training staff there, and a dull term in New York, where it was expected that he'd thrive as a Ranger. The Clarke follies don't merit revisiting, says Lindros. "He's not worth my time or yours." But he clearly holds his nemesis responsible for the cock-up four years ago where Lindros twice came close to becoming a Leaf, a situation that tried the patience of then-Leaf general manager Pat Quinn. "I don't think Bobby ever wanted me coming to Toronto. There was no way he was going to make that trade." As for New York, that was ... weird. "That team never felt like a team. It never had that group feeling, that come-together feel. Guys would get together at team functions but it didn't feel like they really wanted to be there."

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A Possible Bargain For The Wings

from Mlive,

Andreas Lilja is a Detroit Red Wing mainly because he's big and came cheap. It's not exactly a ringing endorsement, but coach Mike Babcock thought highly enough of Lilja to pair him with Nicklas Lidstrom during training camp scrimmages this week at Centre ICE Arena. The Red Wings needed more size on defense after buying out Derian Hatcher's hefty contract in July. They didn't have much room under the salary cap, so they signed the 6-foot-4, 222-pound Lilja to a two-year deal for $650,000 a season.

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Tkachuk Flunks Physical

from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Blues forward Keith Tkachuk will not be with the team when players report today for training camp. Tkachuk failed the Blues' physical Friday, general manager Larry Pleau said. "He failed his physical and he's been suspended," Pleau said. "That's all I'll say."

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What Is This?

Hurricanes Crush Capitals image Soemone want to refresh my memory!

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NHL Carnival News

I am proud to announce the NHL Carnival- 10th Edition, will be appearing at Kuklas's Korner in about two weeks. More information will be available in the near future. Some of you may be asking, "What is this Carnival?" It originated at Off Wing Opinion in early June and has grown in popularity ever since. John at BoltsMag will be hosting version #9 next week and there is still time to submit your article.

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No Contact With Kovalchuk

from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

lya Kovalchuk missed the first full week of Thrashers training camp and contract talks are going nowhere. The two parties have not spoken since last Thursday. On his Friday morning "Breakfast with Bernie" appearance on 680 The Fan, the Thrashers' corporate broadcast partner, Atlanta Spirit CEO Bernie Mullin spoke about the two sides' differences. Kovalchuk, the league's co-leader in goals in 2003-04, is currently playing in Russia and, if the dispute is not settled by Oct. 5, plans to play a full season there. Mullin said he did not think Kovalchuk could make an equivalent sum in Russia, saying on the radio, "I don't think the economics are there compared to whatever he could average here, $5.5 or $6 [million]." Agents and players say while salaries in Russia might be half of what they are in the NHL, players secretively take home the entire sum tax-free — which makes the true knowledge of those salaries such a shadowy business. In the NHL, with taxes and other deductions, players take home roughly half of their gross.

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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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