Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

The Man-Child

from Larry Wigge of NHL.com,

"He's the future of our league along with guys like Jarome Iginla and Brad Richards and Vinny Lecavalier," said New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur. "He puts himself in good positions to make these moves. A lot of guys can make these moves, but he does it at a high speed. He's the future of our league. "There are a lot of young players in the league who want to be goal-scorers, but some don't want to pay the price. He'll do it. ... and what is so great about Rick Nash is he does is with a flair, with creativity for such a big man."
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Stanley Cup Champs Visit Long Island…

...and a announced crowd of 10,912 shows up? Can it get any worse right now for the Islanders; the fire Stirling chant was heard loud and clear last night and Yashin is invisible. When your higest paid player get only 13 1/2 minutes of ice time, something is very wrong. Yashin is confused and states, "I wish I could help the team and I'm disappointed. I wish something would go right for me, personally, and for my line to give some success. I don't know how many scoring chances we had today. I just wish something would go in." Stirling rises to the top of my list for the next coach fired.

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Cheapshot

from Sportsnet,

A pair of hits Monday afternoon sent another pair of Calgary Flames to an increasingly crowded sick bay. And one hit in particular left GM/head coach Darryl Sutter fuming. Sutter pulled no punches when discussing Jaroslav Spacek's third-period submarine hit on Byron Ritchie in yesterday's 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. "That's a cheapshot," Sutter told the Calgary Sun. "That's the same as running someone from behind. It's a lack of respect, that's what that is."

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Scoring From The Paint

from the Edmonton Journal,

After 708 games with the Edmonton Oilers, hockey fans probably take Ryan Smyth for granted. There's that soggy mullet, the sloppy grin and the veteran forward's innate ability to drive opposing players nuts just to get the puck to the net. What fans are also seeing this season, however, is Smyth on track for 35 goals, which would be his best year since his first full National Hockey League season at age 20. ..."Over the course of a 40-second shift, yeah, I get worn down, but I try to keep it down by the net a lot E to either kill the clock or take it to the net. That's where everything happens,'' Smyth said. ``Either there's a rebound coming high into the slot or one in tight, and then you've got some havoc for the goalie to worry about. Plus, as everybody knows, I don't have a great shot. Ninety per cent of my goals are inside the paint (crease)."
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Around The League

-Winger Sean Avery was held out of the Kings' lineup Monday because of what was described as an upper-body injury, hockey code for anything from a concussion to a separated shoulder. He was to be examined Monday night, and Coach Andy Murray said Avery might return Thursday against Phoenix.- via the LA Times -Roenick said he's targeting a return Jan. 21 against San Jose, which would put him at the early end of a four- to six-week estimate for recovery after he underwent surgery on his left ring finger. "I feel really good," Roenick said Monday. "It's just frustrating when a finger keeps you out."- from the LA Daily News -Center Petr Nedved said he would play Thursday in Los Angeles against the Kings. Nedved has missed the past four-plus games because of a groin injury.- via the Arizona Republic -Esche has been recovering from a tear in the right side of his groin. He was expected to miss 10 to 14 days and has been out of the lineup for nine games, since the third period of the Dec. 15 game against Vancouver. "Jimmy McCrossin [the trainer] told me the other night on the plane ride that Esche is still sore," Clarke said. "We're bringing him back slowly. I don't know when he will start practicing with us. We were hoping [today], but it looks like it's going be a little longer now."- from the Philadelphia Inquirer -There is a growing belief that Lamoriello is biding his time until after the World Junior Championships. Team Canada's coach, Brent Sutter, is considered a leading candidate for the Devils' job.- via the LA Times

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Avs Glad To Be Home

from the Rocky Mountain News,

"Not to say it's an excuse, but we've had a very tough schedule the last month and a half, a lot of road trips and a lot of back-to-backs," defenseman John-Michael Liles said. "It's not easy playing that many games in that short amount of time. "We'll get a few days' rest this month and a lot of home games, and I think everybody is looking at this as a time we really need to put a good stretch together and get a good winning streak going. (Tonight) is hopefully going to be the start of it."
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Elias Returns Tonight

from the Journal News,

Time to dust off the equipment that has not been used in any of the Devils' first 39 games this season. Time to stretch out the ligaments that have not been put through an NHL game in 21 months. Time to lend a hand to this proud franchise that has fallen on hard times in a hurry. With Devils fans clamoring for a savior, Elias is scheduled to make his return from a bout with hepatitis A tonight when the Devils meet the Florida Panthers at Continental Airlines Arena. "I'm not saying I'm going to be helping them the way I'm going to play," Elias said after yesterday's practice at Codey Arena, "but maybe just my presence might help."
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Roof Collapses At German Rink

via Hockey Refs,

According to Germany’s DPA news agency, about 50 locals public skating in Bad Reichenhall – which is located in the Bavarian Alps near the Austrian border – when the roof collapsed at 4 p.m. local time. Responders – some 300 in total – to the small town of about 15,000 residents included German soldiers and firemen from neighbouring Austria communities. “The rescue work is proving very difficult,” said police spokesman Fritz Braun. “It is very difficult to get into the building.”
more update 1:04pm, from Reuters,
German rescuers suspended efforts on Tuesday to reach a woman and three youths still feared trapped under an ice rink roof that caved in and killed at least 11 others, saying it might give way completely. Local officials said they hoped to resume the recovery operation later on Tuesday once heavy lifting gear had arrived and removed what remains of the massive building, whose roof fell in on Monday after heavy snowfall. "Whenever it is possible, we will go in with the dogs and personnel to find those who are still in the wreckage," chief fire officer Rudi Zeif told a news conference.
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Malkin & Crosby- Someday Soon

from the CP via TSN,

Evgeni Malkin anticipates playing alongside Sidney Crosby with the Pittsburgh Penguins some day soon. The 19-year-old Russian star forward has been a standout player at the world junior hockey championship and is talented enough to play in the NHL now. ''Crosby is a very exciting player and I've seen some of his best moments on television,'' Malkin said Monday through an interpreter. ''So far, I haven't been able to see a full game, but there are a lot of highlights on television. ''I think that he's a leader on the team who can eventually lead the team to the Stanley Cup and I'm looking forward to playing with him.''
continued

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WJC- Heads Up USA Fans

Center Ice has added the USA-Czech WJC game tonight. It will be live starting at 11:00pm ET.

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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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