Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Blues Are Bad- But Don’t Blame The Players

from Jeff gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

It’s over. The Blues’ playoff streak is finished. There is no way this stripped-down team can battle into the Western Conference playoff bracket. But don’t blame the players or coaches. All the blame goes to the management team -– owner Bill Laurie, president Mark Sauer and general manager Larry Pleau.

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Last Chance For Daigle

from Larry Wigge of NHL.com,

Where once Alexandre Daigle would have been jabbering away about the pass he made to help set up the winning goal by teammate Marc Chouinard, now, however, he was excited about something very different. "Did you see that?" Daigle asked, with a wink. "Jacques (Wild Coach Jacques Lemaire) had me out there in the final minute. That's really something, eh?" Daigle was thrilled that Lemaire chose him to be on the ice, when his team was trying to eek out a victory and needed discipline and dedication to play solid defense to win. Not a great revelation unless you've followed the whole, wild story of Alexandre Daigle.

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Over the Boards

-Calgary Flames are getting healthier; Darren McCarty who was on the shelve with a sore neck is expected back in the lineup tonight and Robyn Regehr is expected to play in his first regular season game on Saturday. -Phoenix center Petr Nedved will miss at least two weeks with a dislocated elbow. -Wild left wing Marion Gaborik will miss the team's four game road trip with a groin injury. -Mark Parrish of the Islanders will be a game time decision tonight.

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Top Loyalties And Branding

from Brand Week,

In this year's survey findings, five of the top six brands with the most loyal consumers are technology related. Only Avis (which ranked No. 1 from 1997 to 2003) remains a traditional holdout among the hot, and comparatively, newer brands. Google's first-place finish, its second in a row, won't surprise many. “The ability to search the Internet is vital to the way people work, play and function. To take it away would be disruptive to my life,” said Nitin Gupta, an analyst with the Yankee Group, Boston. Among all brands, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League fared the worst. After locking out for a season, hockey ranked dead last. “The NHL didn't bother showing up last year. You can't disappoint fans any more than that,' said Passikoff. The second biggest loyalty loser was Major League Baseball. With the steroid scandal putting a cloud over the season, loyalty plummeted and MLB careened to No. 221, falling 152 spaces.
I guess NHL fans can look at it this way, the only direction for the league is up!

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Olczyk On The Hot Seat

from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

He has received public votes of confidence from his general manager and his team owner the past several days, but Penguins coach Eddie Olczyk isn't naive enough to think his job is dead-bolt safe. Or maybe even screen-door secure. Not when the team is 1-5-5, last in the Atlantic Division with seven points, and one point off the bottom of the NHL standings heading into a five-game road trip that begins tonight at New Jersey.

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Fans Power Rankings

from ESPN,

From sea to shining sea, without regard for the world's longest undefended border, parity is skating amok on NHL rinks. Entering play on Tuesday, fully one-third of the league's teams had six wins, and only the Detroit Red Wings had more than eight wins. It's hardly more clear on the other end of the spectrum, where only the Penguins, Blues, Blackhawks and Thrashers have fewer than four wins.

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Havlet Set To Return

from the Ottawa Sun,

Martin Havlat has served his sentence for kicking Boston Bruins defenceman Hal Gill in the groin. Now the Senators winger is getting a figurative kick in the butt from Senators GM John Muckler. "Having sat out five games now, I think it has taught him a lesson in responsibility," Muckler said yesterday on the Team 1200. "He's got to think a little more about his teammates. He's a very, very important part of our hockey club. We need him on the ice. When he takes a penalty like he did the other night and gets suspended for five games, he not only hurts himself but his team and his teammates.

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Minutes Cut For Laraque

from the Edmonton Sun via Slam,

Georges Laraque has averaged 3:22 of ice time in the last three games he's played, or about as long as it takes to sing the U.S. and Canadian anthems, give or take a patriotic bar or two. That's a fact, but if the Edmonton Oilers tough guy is frustrated with his lot in life and upset with his lack of playing time, he isn't singing an unhappy tune -- at least not yet. "With three minutes a game, obviously it's hard, but you still have to be positive," said Laraque, one of many fourth-liners in the NHL who has had his backside stapled to the pine by a glut of special teams play. "Hopefully, the more the year goes along and players adjust to it, there won't be as many penalties."

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Sabres Short A Pair

from the Buffalo News,

Short-handed by a couple of indefinite injuries, the Buffalo Sabres have decided to keep their roster as is for the time being. The Sabres were without defenseman Toni Lydman and left wing Taylor Pyatt at Monday morning's practice in HSBC Arena, and 72 hours after they were hurt coach Lindy Ruff still wasn't sure how long they would be missing from his lineup. Lydman strained his groin and Pyatt might have sustained a concussion in Friday's 3-2 road loss to the New Jersey Devils.

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Habs/Rangers Game Last Night On OLN

My understanding is some Cablevision viewers had issues last night and were not able to see the game until the 2nd period, plus the audio was an issue all night long. But it does seem the OLN production side is improving. Other than some sound problems via INHD2, this game was their best production to date. They are getting the bugs out and hopefully this will continue throughout the season.

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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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