Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Avs Best Move Is To Lose Sakic & Blake

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,

Colorado GM Pierre Lacroix didn't need to watch his team blow a three-goal lead at home -- for the second time in less than a week, no less -- to realize a window was closing. The team he has constructed -- or more accurately, the team he has left after being squeezed by the newly imposed salary-cap restrictions -- is simply not good enough to win in its current form. With sub-par goaltending and a patchwork defense bleeding points away, the Avs face an uphill struggle just to grab a playoff berth.

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Sens-Panthers Game Rescheduled

The National Hockey League today announced the rescheduling of Saturday's scheduled game between the Ottawa Senators and Florida Panthers at BankAtlantic Center. The game will be played Monday, December 5, at 7 p.m., ET. The game was rescheduled due to unpredictable weather conditions associated with Hurricane Wilma.

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Sharks Need Better Goaltending

from the San Francisco Chronicle,

Evgeni Nabokov and Vesa Toskala make up one of the more formidable goaltending tandems in the NHL. While no one argues Nabokov's status as the Sharks' No. 1 goalie, a consensus suggests Toskala has the tools to be a starter in the league some day, too. And for certain, the Sharks are expecting big numbers from their goalies this year. The only big numbers produced so far, however, appear in the goals-against category.

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OLN Responds To DISH

"We are surprised and disappointed that Dish has unilaterally chosen to stop providing OLN to its customers -- and denied fans the opportunity to watch sports coverage on OLN. We are also disappointed that EchoStar cut off the ongoing discussions with OLN that were designed to bring OLN's great programming to Dish customers. Fortunately, those customers do have the ability to explore other cable and satellite options that carry OLN." update 10:53am, via mediaweek,

Thus far, the NHL hasn’t stepped in to help negoiate an accord between OLN and its distribution partners, saying that it is confident that Comcast will be able to broker a truce.
update 1:32pm, via the Denver Post,
A resolution should be forthcoming, a spokeswoman for OLN said.
update 6:40pm, via Dow Jones Newswire,
"Comcast is acting like the 800-pound gorilla here," said EchoStar spokesman Marc Lumpkin. NHL spokeswoman Bernadette Mansur, in a prepared statement Friday, said the league is "confident that Comcast will successfully resolve any OLN distribution issues."

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Who in your opinion, has been the biggest surprise player this year. Give me both sides, both good and bad. My biggest bust so far is Nikolai Khabibulin, 3.83 gaa and .849 sv%. My pick for biggest surprise is Eric Staal of the Hurricanes, 6 goals, 5 assists and a +3.

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More On OLN, DISH and Cablevision

from the Hollywood Reporter via avsforums,

A three-way brawl over National Hockey League games has broken out among Comcast, Cablevision and EchoStar, which on Thursday ejected the Comcast-owned OLN channel from its Dish Network lineup. Earlier this month, Comcast began replacing NHL games scheduled on the channel with other OLN programing on systems run by Cablevision and EchoStar. The two distributors were put in Comcast's penalty box because they put OLN on channel tiers available to fewer than 40 percent of their subscribers, according to a Comcast spokesman. Sources said EchoStar stunned Comcast brass by yanking the channel without warning. Company executives flew to the satellite service's Denver headquarters Thursday to negotiate a truce, but after 10 minutes of discussion, EchoStar ended the meeting, citing an unspecified crisis. By the time the Comcast delegation's plane touched down at its home base in Philadelphia, EchoStar had issued a statement signaling its intent to pull the plug. Cablevision has no plans to pull OLN, according to a spokesman. But the operator isn't giving up the fight, either. "We continue to carry OLN, and we continue to call upon them to cease their illegal electronic blocking of hockey games in New York," the spokesman said.

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Colin Campbell, Where Are You

It is time Mr. Campbell steps up and puts a gag order on all of the coaches who are yapping about the rules, or lack thereof. We all know why they are doing it, to get a call in the upcoming game(s). Soon we will have every coach in the NHL complaining about calls if "Soupy" doesn't step in. On the other hand, the players themselves have kept the complaining down and it is now time for the coaches to do the same. The constant whining does nothing for the game, so lets get rid of it Colin Campbell, let the fines begin!!!

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The Object Of The Game


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Hitchcock Says Players Are Diving

from the Asbury Park Press,

Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock is tired of seeing players wear a path to and from the penalty box, but his beef is not with the NHL's referees. It's with players who are dropping to the ice like flies in hopes of drawing penalties. "You were taught at an early age that you don't just fall down as soon as someone puts a stick on you," Hitchcock said Thursday at the Flyers Skate Zone. "You play the game." Hitchcock said that before the new enforcement of obstruction penalties, players did not fall easily when tapped on the side of the pants or on the shin pads.

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Tortorella Hot

from the Miami Herald,

Atlanta has lost four straight games by a combined score of 22-2, but the angriest coach after the game was Tampa Bay's John Tortorella. He directed an expletive-filled tirade at Eric Boulton, who took out Paul Ranger of the Lightning with a cheap shot just 2 ½ minutes from the end of the rout. ''The . . . guy should be playing in the . . . East Coast Hockey League, but instead he takes out a . . . NHLer,'' Tortorella said. ``He'll be suspended, but who . . . cares? No one wants to see him on the ice anyway.'' Atlanta's Bob Hartley was seen going into Tortorella's office after the game, but the Tampa Bay coach wouldn't say what they discussed. ''None of your business,'' Tortorella said, before storming away to the team bus.

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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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