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The Three Stars

NEW YORK (Dec. 11, 2006) -- New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur, Tampa Bay Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier and Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin have been named the NHL's 'Three Stars' for the week ending Dec. 10. Each Monday, the NHL will recognize three players who delivered the League's top performances over the preceding week. FIRST STAR -- MARTIN BRODEUR, G, NEW JERSEY DEVILS Brodeur backstopped the Devils to three victories, posting a 0.65 goals-against average and .970 save percentage. He made 19 saves in a 2-1 overtime victory over the Montreal Canadiens Dec. 6 and stopped 28 shots in a 2-0 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers Dec. 8. Brodeur recorded his 84th career shutout, tying Glenn Hall for third place on the League's all-time list, and his 462nd career victory, moving past Florida's Ed Belfour and into second place all-time. Brodeur closed the week by turning aside 19 of 20 shots in a 5-1 victory at Boston Dec. 9.

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Kessel Treated For Medical Issue

via the Boston Bruins,

The Kessel family has asked the Boston Bruins to release the following statement: Phil Kessel is being treated today for a medical issue not related to hockey. At this time there is no further update on Phil’s condition. When there is an update, and it is appropriate to do so, we will update everyone on Phil’s health. We kindly ask that you respect the Kessel family’s privacy during this time.
thanks to Wicked Bruins Fan for the heads up, I am sure she will be following the story.

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Ovechkin Answers Your Questions

AO took time out to answer some questions many of you had. Thanks goes out to Alexander Ovechkin, Nate Ewell, Director of Media Relations for the Caps, and NHL.com for allowing a hockey blogger to get some what creative.

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Savard Has Faith In Havlat

from the Daily Southtown,

"I just tried to make some moves before I shot," Havlat said, making the impossible sound routine. The goal, Havlat's 10th of the season in nine games, gave the Hawks a 3-1 lead and dazzled the crowd of about 8,000 fans at the United Center. "Those goals, only excellent players can score those," Savard said. "To wait until the last second, then put it where he put it. ... He's a better player than I was."... Savard's changed personnel, moved players to different positions, and still next to nothing has gone in. But in Havlat he trusts. "With Marty on the half-boards (lined up even with a faceoff circle, in a spot to pass or shoot), we'll be able to execute more plays," Savard said.

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More Than Just A Game

With a boatload of stories about tonight's Caps/Pens matchup, I thought I would create one more post for any future stories. I also ask KK readers to submit links in the comment section for others to read. Versus has increased their marketing ad dollar (except for hockey blogs) for this game and hopes to draw a much larger viewing audience. Ted's Take on the Caps... from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post (reg. req.),

While surfing the Web for some sports news recently, Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin was annoyed by some of the hockey headlines he encountered. "It was all, 'Ovechkin and Crosby meet again in D.C.,' " he said after yesterday's practice. "But this year it's 'Capitals and Penguins meet,' not 'Crosby and Ovechkin.' "
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Yes, Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin are rivals. They have been for a while now, and probably will be for the rest of their careers. They have competed mostly for individual honors and trophies so far. Someday -- maybe this season -- the stakes will be raised to a playoff berth. Perhaps to an Olympic gold medal in 2010. And, eventually, to a Stanley Cup.
from the CP via TSN,
The blood pumps a little more quickly when Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin face each other in an NHL game.
added 11:20am, from Evan Grossman of NHL.com,
The two players, known for creativity on the ice and their ability to score goals from any angle and toss passes through the smallest of cracks in the defense, for the first time admitted that games like these get their adrenaline pumping a little more than some other games on their respective schedules

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Breaking Down Sid & AO

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

They are often mentioned in the same sentence, indeed the same breath and thought. Alexander Ovechkin-Sidney Crosby, Sidney Crosby-Alexander Ovechkin. As though they were one entity. And on some levels, like the future of the NHL, the pair may as well be one great force of hockey expected to carry the game forward for years and years. But they are not, of course, one organism split in two nor twins separated at birth. They are as distinct as Rembrandt and Van Gogh, Ali and Frazier.

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The Schedule Is A Tragedy

from Williams Kellengerger of the Rocky Mount Telegram,

Ten Western Conference teams will not see Eric Staal flourish in his third NHL season, marvel at Cam Ward's athletic ability or count the minutes the seemingly ageless Rod Brind'Amour spends on the ice each night. Here in North Carolina, fans will not have the chance to view NHL stars like Joe Sakic, Jarome Iginla, Ryan Smyth, Nicklas Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk and Miikka Kiprusoff up close. Doug Weight will not make a return to Carolina, nor will the Hurricanes make a trip to St. Louis. This is a tragedy. And it's a major hurdle in reestablishing the NHL as one of the four major sports leagues in the United States.
read on... I did a little research on the Wings schedule- 32 of their 41 road games are in a different time zone, including a 3 hour difference numerous times, making for many a late game for those in the Eastern Time Zone. I am sure many other Western Conference teams have the same issues.

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Revolving Around The Leafs

from The Spin, the blog of Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

...In fact, it's interesting to note that for the first five to six weeks of the season - when the Leafs were winning consistently - MacLean and Cherry were able to keep it zipped on the officiating. They were too busy taking credit, for example, for Kyle Wellwood's early success alongside Mats Sundin, although you don't see them doing that or holding up newspapers as proof of their expertise so much these days. But now, with the Leafs now in a deep funk, why, the poor lads just can't contain themselves any longer. Suddenly the game's in crisis. Too many penalties. Not enough fights. Need more hooking, holding and interference.

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Cherry Takes Some Shots

from the Toronto Star,

Hockey Night In Canada's biggest star manages to keep himself under control for months at a time, but you know that under the surface there's a lot of pressure waiting to vent. On Saturday, it blew. As usual, the target was those who fail to share his citizenship: Europeans. ``Those French guys" he often thunders about will have to wait their turn. Honestly, it wouldn't be surprising if Cherry admitted he checks under his bed for Euros and Quebecers before going to sleep.

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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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