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Capitals Taking Washington By Storm

from Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post,

All over Washington, just when few thought it would ever happen, Caps craziness, Rock-the-Red fever, a region-wide Great Eight debate, has exploded.

Just one year ago, the Caps had only one sellout crowd halfway through their season and wouldn’t get their second full house until Feb. 24. The sport was still dormant, kept viable by the adoration of a devoted fan base but a whisper to casual fans. Now the Capitals are storming the city.

So far this season, Verizon Center has been 98 percent sold out, an increase of 31.5 percent in attendance.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Mike Haynes Talks

NHL Network profiles one of the NHL’s signature voices, play-by-play man Mike Haynes of the Colorado Avalanche tonight at 7:30 ET.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+haynes

When Fighting Is Roughing

from Jean Lefebvre of the Calgary Herald,

Oh, how Andre Roy tried his darnedest to collect a fighting major Tuesday….

After emerging from the sin bin 120 seconds later, the antagonists quickly found each other again, once more rid themselves of the mittens and gave it another go. In Round 2, punches were thrown and punches were landed, with the last two shots being Roy lefts that stung Semenov.

“They’ll get five minutes for this one,” said Sportsnet analyst John Garrett with confidence.

Ah, but no, roughing minors were again assessed.

“When I saw the two minutes,” said Roy. “I started laughing. Is he kidding me? I don’t know, man. If that’s a roughing, I’ll take a lot more of that. I’ve seen some way (less violent) fights than that were called for five minutes.”

read on and watch the roughing penalty call below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexei+semenov, andre+roy

Flyers Need To Make Room For Briere

from Anthony SanFilippo of the Delaware County Times,

Danny Briere is close to returning for the Flyers. For the benefit of the team, that’s a positive. For the makeup of the team, it might be a negative.

That sounds confusing, and in the world of the NHL salary cap there’s plenty of confusion.

Briere is a top-tier talent and undoubtedly will add a dynamic dimension to the Flyers by returning, which could come as soon as Saturday against Toronto. Adding a top-line center who racks up points in bunches will give the Flyers one of the best trios in the league in Briere, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.

Then there’s the salary cap. Briere counts for $6.5 million against it. Since he’s on the long-term injured list, his salary doesn’t count until he returns — and the Flyers don’t have enough room under the cap to fit that salary.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+briere

Willie Mitchell Hit On Tom Gilbert Last Night

Emails streamed in overnight, claiming Mitchell should be suspended for his hit on Gilbert last night.

Watch and listen to what Gilbert thinks of the hit.  End of story!

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tom+gilbert, willie+mitchell

Leafs Don’t Have Many Building Blocks

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

When Paul Holmgren took over the down and out Philadelphia Flyers at least he had Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne to build around.

When George McPhee began the process of starting over with the Washington Capitals, he could point to the drafting of Alexander Ovechkin as the starting point toward success.

When the Pittsburgh Penguins began to blossom, the future came primarily from the selections of Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby in the drafts of 2004 and 2005.

This is Brian Burke’s problem. There are no Ryan Getzlafs and Corey Perrys awaiting him as there were in Anaheim. There are no Carters, Richards, Malkins or Crosbys on the way.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Reading Between The Lines

from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,

Though I’m not a professional mind reader, I’ve taken Melnyk’s actual statement and added what I believe he is really thinking (in brackets).

A Statement from Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk:

“Contrary to what is being reported today by the (evil) media, I have made no decisions with respect to any personnel changes within the Senators organization (though Pat Quinn and I did buy ‘best friends forever’ bracelets today, and he has moved into my guest house).  Winning remains our #1 priority (though if we lost the next 41, Tavares would be mine!  All mine!  Haha…evil laugh…Hahahaha!) and there is a collective focus by our management (get me some freakin’ players!), our coaching staff (get more out of my freakin’ players!) and our players (I’ll bring back Emery if you guys don’t smarten up!) to deliver this to our fans.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Lundqvist Must Be Better

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

...And, most damaging, the goaltending was sub par. Coming off one of his sharpest efforts of the season, Henrik Lundqvist was pedestrian in nets, if that. He was shaky from the start when he committed a stick-handling gaffe that gave the Canadiens a freebie just 3:05 in.

“I thought I battled back after that bad first goal but giving up five obviously is not good enough,” said Lundqvist, who watched Montreal’s final goal, Robert Lang’s hat-trick score, sail into an empty net. “I thought the team played really well, but we can’t expect to win if I give up five goals.

“I have to play better than that. I was definitely not good enough.”

Lundqvist has allowed four goals or more in six of his last 11 starts after having surrendered that many in two of his first 24. He has yielded five or more goals in five of his last 17 starts after allowing that many in four of his previous 61. It’s a troubling trend, to say the least.

more on the Rangers loss to the Canadiens last night…

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: henrik+lundqvist

How About A Probert Night In Chicago?

via Tim Sassone of Between the Circles,

Yes, the Hawks are going to honor Tony Amonte and Bob Probert with a “Heritage Night,” which pretty much consists of them dropping the puck like Larmer did.

I can see saluting Amonte, but Probert? Why? Ya, he was popular and all, but that’s about it. His best years were in Detroit and he’ll always be a Red Wing.

I’m all for a Dave Manson night. Nobody loved Charlie more than me, one of my favorite Hawks ever, and a great guy.

But how about Dirk Graham? He’s one of the greatest captains and leaders in Hawks history, playing on one leg on most nights later in his career.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bob+probert

Fighting Has Risks

from Sean Gordon and Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

It was the sort of thing an NHL club owner or general manager watches through his fingers: Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby shedding his gloves and throwing wild haymakers at Brett McLean of the Florida Panthers.

Happily for the Penguins’ brain trust, Crosby emerged unscathed from his weekend skirmish.

But the same can’t be said of highly touted Columbus Blue Jackets centre Derick Brassard, who was posting some pretty spiffy scoring statistics until he encountered James Neal of the Dallas Stars on Dec. 18.

Brassard dislocated his shoulder in a first-period fight, derailing a breakout season that had vaulted him to the top of the list for rookie of the year.

Professional hockey is a risky enterprise at the best times, but with fighting on the upswing — even among finesse players such as Alexander Semin of the Washington Capitals and Vincent Lecavalier of the Tampa Bay Lightning — the mounting toll of injuries from fisticuffs is a source of quiet concern in some NHL front offices and among many players.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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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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