Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Missing the Senators of Yesterday

Wayne Scanlan in the Ottawa Citizen,

In this season of fan unrest, the Senators and their management are being blamed for everything but the rain in the sky and the results on election night. Second-guessing is rampant, revisionist history is the new curriculum. To hear some people tell it, the Senators would have won a couple of Stanley Cups by now if they had just hung onto a few precious pieces of their talent. The reality of a salary cap world is that all teams are losing players to free agency, forced to choose one player over another.

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Budaj Challenging Theodore

from the Rocky Mountain News,

Though Theodore is being paid like a No. 1 goalie, he has not always played like one. In 13 games, he is 5-6-1 with a 3.18 goals-against average and a .898 saves percentage. Budaj is 4-3-1 with a 2.03 GAA and a .929 saves percentage. One of his losses came in relief after Theodore allowed five goals in the first two periods of an eventual 6-5 loss against the Los Angeles Kings. "Every year is different. I don't try to look at the similarities (to 2005-06) or try to see what's going to happen next," said Budaj, whose GAA ranks third in the NHL. "Right now, coach and the staff have trust in me . . . and I'm very happy I could show them I'm worth the trust. Hopefully, they're going to trust me more and I keep playing as many games as possible."

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Behind the Mask

CBC's Kelly Hrudey, in the Calgary Herald:

Looking back, my No. 1 fault as an NHL goaltender was my temper when I played poorly. I remember in my first year of organized hockey, even at 12 years old, I was ruthless in my own self- evaluation. I had set standards for myself that were unapproachable. I wanted to be perfect - which is a quality - but a little leeway might have been nice. Years later in my pro career, I'm sure it took my wife, Donna, some getting used to when, after a bad game, I would be furious at myself in the car on the way home. Granted, I always calmed down about 20 minutes later.

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The Devils System

from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,

Martin Brodeur first noticed the composition of his New Jersey Devils when the idea came up for a pickup game in practice that would have pitted Canadians against Americans. There was a big problem, however. The all-world goaltender realized there were only a handful of Canadians on the Devils' 22-player roster. (Five, if you're scoring at home.) "We tried to make a game [in practice] Canada versus the United States and we didn't have enough Canadians to play," Brodeur said after his team's 2-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. "It's tough for us Canadians who pride ourselves at being the best in the sport. We have only [five] guys and that's it."

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Cherry Suggests Trade

from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,

A couple of hours after Don Cherry told his Hockey Night in Canada audience that a trade out of Ottawa would be in the best interests of the Senators captain, Alfredsson firmly disagreed. "All I can say is I want to be here," Alfredsson told the Sun moments after his contributions to a strong, 4-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres at Scotiabank Place. "Everybody has a right to their opinion, and he's a well known figure on TV, but I'm not going to take anything from what he says. "I definitely don't want to be traded."

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The Canadian Ducks

from the OC Register,

With Brian Burke in charge, the Ducks are becoming as Canadian as curling, smoked meat and The Tragically Hip. They're even more Canadian than the Maple Leafs. Of the 22 players who have skated for the Ducks this season, four are Americans (Todd Marchant, Ryan Shannon, George Parros and Ian Moran) and two are Europeans (Teemu Selanne and Samuel Pahlsson). The other 16 are from north of the border. The only Russian is goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, and there are no Czechs or Slovaks.
read on

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No, Thank You Ted

Ted Montgomery is in the holiday mood, giving thanks...

— The provocative insights of Red Fisher, Stan Fischler and Kevin Allen, among many others in the pantheon of the greatest hockey writers of all time. — The single-minded quest for excellence that Mike Modano has been on since his rookie season. — Most of all, to hockey fans, far and wide. We've endured tough times and came back even stronger than before. Thanks to all of you who take the time to write to me. I really appreciate how you challenge me every day. Please have a safe, healthy and happy holiday season.

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Jagr Gets 600

via Yahoo News,

Jagr beat Tampa Bay goalie Johan Holmqvist with a wrist shot just 1:43 into the game after teammate Michael Nylander tipped Karel Rachunek's slap shot to him in front of the net. It was Jagr's ninth goal of the season and fourth in four games. Jagr is the second Rangers forward to reach 600 goals this season. Brendan Shanahan did it in his debut for New York on Oct. 5 against Washington. The home crowd at Madison Square Garden cheered wildly when the scoreboard flashed the milestone, but Jagr didn't appear to notice as he sat on the bench while waiting for his next shift.

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B’s Hope Chistov’s A Fixer-Upper

from the Worchester Telegram:

All the usual indicators said it was small potatoes, a minor deal hardly worth getting excited about, when the Bruins acquired left wing Stanislav Chistov from the Anaheim Ducks this past week for a third-round draft pick. But the 23-year-old Chistov (pronounced CHEESE-toff) is anything but an ordinary prospect. He could be a sleeper of Rip Van Winklian proportions. For one thing, Chistov’s past in Russia reads like a spy novel. For another, he’s rocket power on skates, a real burner, and unless there’s something terribly wrong with him that the Coyotes aren’t disclosing — aside from his questionable taste in uniform numbers — Chistov could be a real find for the suddenly revitalized Bruins.

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Climate Change Dooming Pond Hockey?

Climate change and Global Warming are front-burner issues in the Canadian media at present. Toronto Star's Leslie Scrivener has written an excellent article discussing the demise of the frozen pond--and the bureaucracies that complicate matters, using warm winter weather to excuse themselves from spending money to maintain outdoor rinks:

For generations, Torontonians have left their houses on moonlit nights or clear cold days to skate on High Park's Grenadier Pond, spurred by the wind and their love of winter. The season is short, but all across the Greater Toronto Area, from Toogood Pond in Unionville to Bronte Marsh in Oakville, skaters have been drawn by the freedom to race on and on unfettered by rink boards and timetables. Skating on a natural pond or a homemade flooded rink: What could be more exhilarating, healthy or fun? And, more recently, doomed? Not one of Toronto's natural ponds, for years maintained by the city for public skating, opened last winter. Centennial Park in Etobicoke closed its natural ice rink in 2000. L'Amoreaux Park in Scarborough, also closed. Toogood Pond didn't open last winter for the first time in five years because it didn't freeze to the 20-centimetre (eight-inch) thickness the town of Markham requires for safety. (Markham, which has no artificial outdoor rinks, has optimistically introduced an ice-rink program for community volunteers to flood rinks in their neighbourhoods.)

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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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