Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Daily Times,
Friends are enemies and enemies are friends this morning. The NHL players have traded in their organizational uniforms for those with their country’s flag on the front, and sentiments turn from loyalty to national pride. The 2006 Olympics have started, and the men’s hockey tournament begins in the next few days. “It’s the biggest tournament,” said Karlis Skrastins, a member of the Latvian team, which faces the United States on Wednesday. “It happens once in four years. For our country, it’s big. It’s exciting.”continued
If it isn't broken, don't fix it. That's the conclusion the Team Canada coaching staff came to yesterday after haggling over potential line combinations for the Olympic men's hockey tournament in Turin. A look at the forward lines Team Canada men's hockey coach Pat Quinn and his staff put together for the opening game against Italy on Wednesday. DRAPER-SAKIC-IGINLA GAGNE-THORNTON-NASH HEATLEY-LECAVALIER-ST. LOUIS SMYTH-RICHARDS-BERTUZZI *STAAL-*SPEZZA-DOAN *taxi squad
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Maybe someone from the NHL office will be able to explain why Gary Bettman isn't pressing for an immediate amendment to the league by-laws and constitution that would prohibit players, coaches and front-office personnel from associating with gamblers. ...It's time for the commissioner to exercise all of his massive authority to lead, and to do so before, inevitably, maybe sooner, maybe later, but inevitably nevertheless, a leak springs somewhere else. Because once that occurs it will be proven that a two-goal lead is not the hardest advantage to protect in hockey, but rather that the integrity of the game is.read on (reg. req.) alternate link via Yahoo...
-"The people who decided the (Olympic) schedule made a crazy one," Koivu said, shaking his head. "I think it's just insane." "We fly to Italy, then play six games in eight days. If they expect us to play at top level for those medal games, well, I think it's impossible, especially for guys who have been playing a lot for their NHL teams. "They weren't thinking ahead when they made the schedule. I understand this is a business for the NHL and team owners, but there are teams battling for playoff spots. A lot of key players are in the Olympics, and they'll be tired and mentally drained when they get back. Maybe they should have thought a little more carefully about this."- Montreal Gazette -When Nashville coach Barry Trotz called Ilya Kovalchuk for an illegal stick earlier in the season, Kovalchuk chucked it to a training staffer in the Atlanta bench before it could be measured and it was never seen again. So Trotz had a good chuckle when Kovalchuk got dinged for the bad blade twice recently. "Gee, that's strange. I guess the guy who ran down the hallway wasn't around.''- Edmonton Sun -So, as the first part of the season concludes, what is the reaction to the "new" NHL? I will give you my brief summary. Goal scoring has to be up. I don't know the breakdown but if it is a result of more power-play goals, I don't like it. Do I think more goals are going in because of the reduction in the size of goalie equipment? No, I don't. I actually like the shootouts, but I would award a team three points for a win in overtime to give more reward for winning before the shootout. Imagine the shakeup it could cause in playoff races.- Eric Weinrich via Maine Today
from the Detroit Free Press,
Jamie Rivers got the last laugh -- and the most laughter -- when he made fun of fellow Red Wings defenseman Mathieu Schneider. Rivers drew hearty laughs from teammates because he replaced Schneider's name on the back of the jersey with the name Tortelli. "One night, Schneids was out and he had a shirt on," Rivers said. "His chest hair was just oozing out of his shirt. I made reference to him looking like Nick Tortelli from 'Cheers.' So now it's evolved from there."more
from the CBC,
What would Don Cherry do? If he was coach of the women's hockey team in Turin and his players mounted a 7-0 lead in the first period, would he tell them to coast or would he encourage them to score more goals? Judging by his past comments, he would have his players ease up. But Melody Davidson, not Grapes, is the team's coach, and she had no qualms about her team scoring 12 goals more than the beleaguered Russians Sunday. ..."Later on, you don't want to look back and think, 'If we had scored one more goal it would have made a difference,'" Davidson said.more
from the State News,
"You dream about getting that call, hearing you made it," (John-Michael) Liles said in a phone interview with The State News. "It feels like it hasn't really set in just yet. I'm just excited to get over there and represent my country." Liles had to keep the news to himself — other than telling his family and a few friends — until the United States officially announced the Olympic roster. "You always hope you're going to get that call and you're going to be chosen," he said. "There's always that doubt in your mind that you never know exactly what's going to happen. "There's so many directions that they could take. I'm very fortunate that I was one of the ones that was selected."more...and his bio via NBC Olympics...
from USA Hockey,
Most hockey players will run through a brick wall for a gold medal. That doesn�t mean they want to be checked into one during the Olympic hockey tournament. When Don Moffatt arrived in Torino for a four-nation women's tune-up tournament in November, he was shocked by what he found. The board system in place at the Palasport Olympico, one of two sites for the men's and women's hockey tournaments, was a mass of solid steel, unforgiving fiberglass and Plexiglas. There was no give in the boards whatsoever.read on
from the Saginaw News,
Former Detroit Red Wings great Ted Lindsay is a small man at 5-foot-8, weighed down further by 80 years of a life that included 14 seasons of banging bodies with much-larger men in the National Hockey League. When you meet him today, you are immediately struck by his size -- and by the many scars crisscrossing his grizzled face. You wonder how this soft-spoken man could have the nickname "Terrible" Ted. ...He admitted he's not a good fan, especially when at home watching with his wife. "She'll call out to me from the other room: 'Who are you talking to?' I'm talking to the referees," he said with a laugh.more The history behind the picture is Gordie Howe had received a death threat during a playoff game against the Leafs. The threat was if he stepped onto the ice, he would be shot. After the game, which the Wings won, Ted decided to have some fun with the Toronto fans and turned the threat around by taking a few 'imaginary' shots at them.
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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.
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