Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Trap 2.0

from the Newark Star-Ledger:

The poor commish. He eliminated the red line, widened the offensive zone, chained Martin Brodeur to the crease and made certain the referees would burn their lungs blowing their whistles over every little hook or grab. He said earnest things like, “It’s time our fans had some fun again, and our aim is to give them all they can handle,” and he really, really meant it.
He did this with one goal in mind: eradicating the Devils, or any team that dared to copy the blueprint they used to win three Stanley Cups. But like a deadly virus, they adapted. Good teams adjust to changes in their sport. Great teams force their will upon the game.
That’s what the Devils are doing.
And, as usual, everyone loathes them for it.

continued

 

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Shark Goalies Should Be In Dallas

from the Mercury News,

Vesa Toskala has plans for next week’s All-Star break. He and his wife might drive to Sausalito or Lake Tahoe.
“We will get away somewhere, maybe,” Toskala says. “Maybe to a spa. I need a facial.”
Evgeni Nabokov has plans for the break, too. His wife is eight months pregnant. They also have a 3-year-old daughter who keeps them busy.
“I think I will be spending time at home,” Nabokov says. “That will be good.”
Yes. Good for their families. Bad for the concept of fairness. Both deserve to be at the game in Dallas.

continued

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Too Early

from Asahi.com,

A goals against average of 5.85, a .714 save percentage and two losses in two attempts.
To anyone familiar with ice hockey, stats like these are a clear indication that the goalie who amassed them is in serious trouble—as in start-looking-for-another-day-job kind of trouble.
In this case, the numbers belong to Yutaka Fukufuji, who made history Saturday when he became the first Japanese player to appear in a regular season NHL game….
“I think Yutaka’s pro debut came a little too soon,” TV sportscaster and Japanese hockey authority Jiro Kato told The Asahi Shimbun. “Even he thinks so. When he was visiting Japan last summer he told me his next goal was to play regularly in the AHL. When he got called up to the Kings in December he was as surprised as anyone, so it’s safe to say that even he thinks the move is premature.”

more

below is a picture a KK member took- the opening faceoff in Fukufuji’s first start. (click pic to enlarge)

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Ruff- Game Not Being Called As Tight…

from the AP via Metro News,

Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff fears the bad old days of clutching and grabbing are creeping back into the new NHL - and referees are letting players get away with it.
“I don’t think the game is being called as tight as it was,” Ruff said Thursday. “Before, as soon as you put a stick on somebody it was a penalty.
“Now, you’re getting a free tug at times. You’re getting a free paw at times . . . I think there’s games where the whistle has been put away.”

continued... and Stephen Walkom responds…

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Where Are The Leafs Fans

from On Frozen Pond by George Richards of the Miami Herald,

What’s happened to all the Leaf fans in South Florida? Are the Ontario-based snow birds staying home due to global warming and /or the high cost of renting a one-bedroom efficiency in Broward County these days?
Used to be a time when the Panthers could count on the Blue-and-White to help fill the CorporateSponsorship Arena in the swampland. Those days aren’t over just yet, but they ain’t happy either.
The Leafs—Team Canada in some circles—was another attendance bust at CSA Thursday. Despite the team giving away ticket vouchers in bars/restaurants and selling choice tickets for $7 online, seats were available en masse.

continued

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Snuffing Out Hockey Flu

from NHL.com’s Bill Meltzer:

Read a very interesting article in the current edition of the SIF’s “Hockey” Magazine. After seeing a study in a Swedish medical journal about the positive connection between the use of a saline nasal spray with reducing the risk of the flu, the team doctor for the Lulea HF team in Elitserien (the Swedish Elite League) began to proactively use the nasal spray with the team’s players while they still felt healthy. So far, the results have been promising, although there’s no long-term proof yet that it prevents flu outbreaks on the hockey team.
Nevertheless, if this technique proves successful (in a team based near the arctic circle, no less) it could be a major breakthrough in the way hockey team’s reduce the risk of losing players to the flu and having the bug spread around the lockerroom.

Otolaryngologists (Ear-Nose-Throat doctors) recommend nasal irrigation for most of their patients.  It’s not pleasant, but as someone who’s had significant corrective sinus surgery, I can tell you firsthand that it works.

continued

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Chelios With The Truth

Chris Chelios was just on Detroit radio and was asked if the players are noticing the lack of buzz in Detroit.
Chris said he looks around the Joe Louis Arena and sees empty seats.  He said “they tell us they are sold out”, but he said that is not true.  He bought 40 tickets on the day of a game for a youth hockey group.
Chris said he is concerned about league wide attendance and ratings, even in Canada ratings are down.

Chelios also mentioned the new uni’s are great, fans will love them.

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Best Of The Rest

Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com has picked his could have been all-star team…

So the forwards would line up like this:
Kovalchuk-Datsyuk-Afinogenov
Kariya-McDonald-Alfredsson
Cole-Brind’Amour-Lehtinen
Brylin-Madden-Pandolfo

read on for the rest of the team and what do you think; could they beat the All-Stars?

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Murray Has Blues On The Right Track

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

When St. Louis Blues President John Davidson started to investigate the possibility of hiring Andy Murray as his coach, he was impressed to discover that Murray, fired by the Los Angeles Kings last season, still had an 87.5% approval rating.
Davidson called 16 people who had knowledge of Murray’s performance as an NHL coach, and 14 “were off the chart positive” about Murray, one was non-committal and one said he wouldn’t hire Murray. “And the one who said no called back later, and said, “You know, I think it is the right choice,” Davidson recalls.

continued

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Beware Of The Sharks PP

from the San Francisco Chronicle,

San Jose is racking up mind-boggling numbers with its continued and consistent success skating with at least one more player than the opposition. The Sharks lead the league with a 26.5 percent conversation rate on the power play, a figure that is better than any since Calgary posted a 27.7-percent mark in 1989-90.
“Our power play is phenomenal, the best I’ve ever had,” said Ron Wilson, who is in his 13th season as an NHL coach.

more... and as a Wings fan, It feels like 50% of Sharks pp goals have been scored against the Wings…

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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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