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For the 2nd time in 4 months, Kukla’s Korner has upgraded to a faster hosting level. 
As always, let me know if you experience any problems.

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Blowing A Lead

from the Buffalo News,

Are the Sabres nervous? Tentative? Less desperate than the opponent? Victims of tough luck? Unable to shrug things off?
The answer is yes to all of the above.
“We can’t come out on top at the end,” Sabres left wing Jochen Hecht said. “It’s been too many times right now where we’re in that situation. We’ve got to be aggressive. We’ve got to take control of the game in the third.”
The Sabres are tied for the most losses in the NHL when leading after two periods, falling to 26-4-2. (Their winning percentage of .813 ranks 19th, with Boston being the worst at .643 while going 9-1-4.)


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Shanny Vs. The Winged Wheel

from Newsday,

“Obviously, I’d love to win all the games at this point, but it’ll be a special game,” Shanahan said. “It’s gonna be strange out there against them, seeing those jerseys and colors.”
With Detroit, Shanahan won three Stanley Cups and built lasting friendships.
“Nik Lidstrom, I hear from Drapes [Kris Draper] and Chelly [Chris Chelios],” Shanahan said. “You don’t talk a whole lot about hockey. I know how their season’s going, they know how my season’s going, so it’s a quick call or a Christmas card. I did wish Chelly a happy 45th birthday the other day. He’s far older than me.”


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The Coaching Routes

from John Niyo of the Detroit News,

Barely one-third of the league’s 30 head coaches—the number grew from 10 to 11 two months ago—never played a shift in the NHL. And it’s worth noting that while seven of the last nine Stanley Cup-winning coaches were part of that group—led by now-retired Hall of Famer Scotty Bowman—12 of the 18 head coaching hires made since the lockout have been former players. Are team owners and decision-makers reluctant to break with tradition? Maybe so, at least indirectly.


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Buy Or Sell Mode

from the Denver Post,

In the old NHL, with no salary cap, the Avs always were buyers at the deadline, ready to trade young prospects or draft choices for high-priced, star rental players. With the Avs in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since moving to Denver, some fans are screaming to make a big trade that gives hope of putting the team back in the playoff hunt.
Not so fast, say at least two NHL experts.
“I would stand pat,” said Keith Jones, a former Avalanche player and currently hockey analyst with the Versus network. “I really like their progression they’ve made with their young players. I would not mortgage any part of the future if I’m the GM. I’m amazed they’ve been able to hang on as long as they have to compete for a playoff spot, to be honest with you.”

read on

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Cool Under Pressure

from the Pioneer Press,

“I’ve seen a lot of goaltenders,” Wild general manager Doug Risebrough said. “I don’t think I’ve ever quite seen a goalie with his demeanor.”
“You look at him, and he’s not rattled by anything,” said coach Jacques Lemaire. “He’s just a cool guy.”
With Manny Fernandez on the shelf for up to three more weeks with a knee injury, Backstrom becomes a key figure for the Wild. In his first two games as the No. 1 goaltender, he gave a decent performance in beating Colorado, then shut out Phoenix 1-0.


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Aucoin Tough To Move

from the Chicago Sun-Times,

The combination of his health issues and big contract makes Aucoin seemingly difficult for the Hawks to move as general manager Dale Tallon prepares to shed players before the Feb. 27 trade deadline. But Canadian sports network TSN has reported a possible deal that could make sense: Aucoin to the Montreal Canadiens for winger Sergei Samsonov and center Craig Rivet.

read on

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New Life For Thornton

from the Toronto Star,

Thornton is revelling in hockey as pleasure as well as profession. His is very nearly an idyllic life these days – quite content with the team’s rare forays into the Eastern Conference, although friends and family back in St. Thomas, Ont., don’t see much of the Sharks except on a dish – sharing a home with girlfriend Tabea, a Swiss-born model he met while playing overseas during the lockout.
And he’s become, shall we say, a bit more sophisticated in his California mid-20s. Today’s junk food lunch notwithstanding, Thornton’s favourite food is sushi, most particularly the highly poisonous blowfish – a lethal delicacy if not expertly dissected. Takes guts to eat.
“Just like living dangerously, I guess.’‘

more on Joe…

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Time To Lead

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Tom Renney is an ex emplary individual who treats everyone with respect. He’s a professional in the most pure sense. That and $76 will get him a 30-day subway pass. But it won’t get him into the playoffs….
This year, Renney has acted more like a caretaker than a coach. It’s baffling. He and his staff work as hard as ever, but that’s not the point. The point is, dealing with a team with more holes in the lineup than Alex Rodriguez had in his swing against the Tigers last October, Renney has not been proactive. His laissez-faire approach is not working.


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Miami’s Fine By Jokinen

from the Miami Herald:

In his six seasons with the Panthers, Olli Jokinen has seen his share of losing. On Saturday, he was part of the worst home loss in franchise history and is desperate to see some change.
Only, he doesn’t want out.

‘‘There’s a reason I signed a four-year deal,’’ said Jokinen, whose 613 games played without being in the playoffs is the most by an active NHL player.
‘‘I want to be in the playoffs here, wearing this jersey,’’ he said. ``Those reports aren’t true. They’re false. I don’t want to go anywhere, I want to stay here. If I wanted to go somewhere and didn’t believe in this program, I never would have signed that deal. I would have looked at other options in the summer.’‘



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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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