Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Brodeur Can’t Just React

from the Toronto Star,

Martin Brodeur is not accustomed to applying mind over reflex. That's one explanation for the uncharacteristic troubles this all-star netminder has experienced in a season of discomfit for the New Jersey Devils. "Every time there's a dump-in, every time I make a save and the puck squirts out, I always have to stop and think,'' Brodeur was saying yesterday, as his club prepared for a rematch with the Maple Leafs, less than a week removed from their 2-1 loss in Toronto. "To a certain extent, hockey should be a reaction game. For a goalie, it's tougher now to just react, especially when you want to play the puck.''
read on update 9:19am, In another Marty story from the Toronto Sun, Brodeur says he has a no-trade clause in his contract and has no plans to play for any other team.
Wanting to squash recent rumours that he might be moved to a stronger team by the struggling Devils in the next couple of months, Brodeur said yesterday that he is going no where. A recent report out of nearby New York suggested the Detroit Red Wings might be willing to ship flashy forward Henrik Zetterberg and goalie Manny Legace to Jersey in exchange for Brodeur, the two-time Vezina Trophy winner who has backstopped the Devils to three Stanley Cup championships.

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Maintaining The Integrity Of The New Rules

from the Philadelphia Inquirer via the Mercury News,

Based on public opinion and the players themselves, Shanahan is convinced the ideas weren't as outlandish as believed, but they could use some minor adjustment. "Just some of the things that occurred on the penalty shot - in the shoot-outs, the double hit, and the ability to review penalty shots quickly," he said during a recent conference call. "Things will pop up. I don't think we're going to sit down now and not do anything for the next 25 years. I think that when things pop up, like, for instance, the goaltenders were getting hurt, maybe (they were) interfered with a little too much."
read on For Wings fans, from the same article,
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock is playing Kris Draper at center during home games and at wing on the road. It's all about last-line changes for matchups. "I just feel this is a way for him to help our team any way," Babcock told Detroit reporters
He may have told Detroit reporters, but I have yet to read about that, but could have missed it. I did miss it, thanks to IwoCPO for the heads up. By the way, if you are a Wings fan, you need to check out his blog. Just starting out but he is doing a great job with all the Wings information you would want.

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New Year’s Eve Wins

from STATS blog via NHL.com,

Most Victories on New Year’s Eve, Since 1917 Detroit Red Wings 30 New York Rangers 21 Toronto Maple Leafs 18 Montreal Canadiens 16

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Womens Hockey Growing

from the AP via the Globe and Mail,

Statistics and tournament attendance show that women's ice hockey is taking off in the United States. In Connecticut, more than 220 girls hockey teams skated this week in what is billed as the largest youth ice hockey tournament in the U.S. The four-day tournament drew more than 3,700 girls from across the United States and Canada. USA Hockey statistics show the number of registered female players around the country has risen from 6,336 to 51,275 since 1990. “It's big,” said Rae Briggle, senior director of member services at USA Hockey. “Female hockey has just gotten huge in the last 10 to 12 years. It's our largest growing segment today.”
read on

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Shootout- Goalies Point Of View

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

While shooters get to hang out at the bench while awaiting the call for the shootout, goalies, as is often the case, are left to their own devices. "You just try and catch your breath, relax a little bit, calm down. It's an exciting time and the crowd's usually going pretty crazy," DiPietro said. "The spotlight's on you as a goaltender. It's a big spot, and at the end of the year, you're going to look back and those extra points you get in the shootout could be big in making the playoffs and not making the playoffs, so it's definitely a huge part of the game. "You just try and refocus yourself. Picture yourself making some saves and winning the game and just a lot of positive stuff and hopefully it carries over to the shootout."
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Flyers Get Life Lesson

from the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Yesterday, instead of preparing them for this afternoon's New Year's Eve matinee against the Capitals, Hitchcock accepted an invitation from Brig. Gen. Jeff Hammond and Col. Christopher Hughes to visit the Pentagon. The Flyers and their staff were briefed on the war in Iraq at the Army Operations Command Center and later visited the wing where American Airlines Flight 77 crashed on Sept. 11, 2001. The players also mingled with soldiers and employees and signed autographs at the command center. The purpose of the visit was summed up by Hammond. Sometime in the future, he said, he hoped the players might want to reflect on how lucky they were because every soldier in Iraq right now wishes he or she led their kind of life.
read on

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The Kessel File

from the NY Times,

Phil Kessel has blossomed into one of hockey's top prospects. He is blessed with the kind of speed that has prompted several professional scouts to compare him to Pavel Bure, who starred for the Vancouver Canucks and the Florida Panthers before finishing his career with the Rangers in 2002-3. Kessel, an 18-year-old forward from Madison, Wis., is projected to be the No. 1 pick in next summer's National Hockey League draft. "This guy has got a great shot and great speed like Bure or a young Teemu Selanne when he came into the league," said Jim Nill, whose duties as the assistant general manager for the Detroit Red Wings includes overseeing the team's scouting. "He goes 100 miles an hour but looks like he's just gliding out there. His shot's fantastic, too. The puck hits his stick, and it's gone."
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The Americans Are Coming

from the Ottawa Sun,

The thought of giving Americans their due when it comes to hockey isn't new, but when talk begins to surface of them excelling in important international tournaments, Canadians get a look on their faces like they've just kissed Darcy Tucker while sporting lemon-flavoured lip gloss. And while the Americans may not be a threat on every international stage yet, their presence has been felt at other tournaments, including this year's world juniors -- a competition in which Canada is perpetually expected to dominate.

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Luongo Situation

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Roberto Luongo won't have to wait much longer to find out where he stands with the Florida Panthers. It's expected Luongo will learn his fate shortly after the NHL rings in the New Year. And while there has been speculation the Panthers are going to deal the 26-year-old goaltender, Florida GM Mike Keenan hasn't had any serious trade talks with any other team about Luongo.
read on

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NHL Notes

-The holidays had some NHL fans in crazy moods. In Pittsburgh Tuesday night, with the Maple Leafs and Hockey Night in Canada visiting, there were well over 1,000 Leaf fans at Mellon Arena to watch their heroes go up against Sidney Crosby. Don Cherry, a noted Crosby critic, went out onto the ice with host Ron MacLean prior to the game for the intro into HNIC's broadcast. It was a gutsy move, given Cherry's recent licks on Crosby. The Leaf Nation in attendance rallied around the end boards entrance where Cherry emerged and gave him a big welcome. But Cherry's anti-Crosby comments rankled some in Pittsburgh and one local was mad enough to toss a beer at him. He hit the mark, but Cherry took it like a sport and laughed it off.- via the Toronto Star -"Joe is virtually impossible to contain down low unless you're committing a penalty," Wilson said. "He's being pinned to the boards and that's a penalty. If they can do that kind of stuff to Joe, then we're going to have to teach our defensemen how to commit a penalty without committing a penalty."- San Jose coach Ron Wilson on Joe Thornton -Red Wing goalie Manny Legace faced 22 shots Friday night in his rehab start with Grand Rapids. Manny gave up two goals, said he was getting the rust out and was promptly returned to the Wings after the game.

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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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