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All Eric Staal

from David Amber of ESPN,

Q: With Jared also on the NHL horizon, there will soon be four Staal brothers in the league. How much do you notice when you’re on the ice against one of your brothers?

A: You notice every time. They’re pretty good players, so you need to keep an eye on them or they can do some damage against you. We’re all competitive guys, so every time they’re on the ice I recognize the situation. It makes it fun, but no one wants to lose to their brother.

Q: Would you ever drop the gloves with one of your brothers?

A: [Laughs] I don’t know. I think I would just start laughing if it ever came to that. I remember against Marc at [Madison Square Garden], we were up by a couple of goals with the time running out and we were in the corner, and I got him in a headlock and I was laughing. I couldn’t stop laughing. He got really mad at me, but we didn’t drop the gloves.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: eric+staal

Remembering The Aud

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

It is a grey blustery December day on the frigid shores of Lake Erie and the Aud, the grand ol’ lady of Western New York hockey, looks very much like a rotting building in need of being put out of its misery.

Inside, the longtime home of the Buffalo Sabres—a place where 17,000 screaming hockey fans regularly used to gather—now is a crumbling afterthought where rats congregate to frolic.

Outside, as part of the early stages of demolition, the outer shell of the upper walls already have been peeled, revealing a pattern of decaying beams and girders that have endured the building’s 68-year history.

continued

Watch a video below as some of the all-time Buffalo greats take one last skate at the Aud.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Leafs Now Have Hope With Burke In Charge

from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,

The scene, to be acted out tonight, usually goes like this: Toronto fans, plentiful in number, will file into HSBC Arena. They’ll be loud. For a while, they’ll be boisterous. Then, when their team lets them down, they’ll trudge back across the border.

But even if the Maple Leafs follow form and lose to Buffalo tonight, Sabres fans might see a sly smile spread across the faces of their rivals. It’s because, thanks to Brian Burke, they have hope.

Leafs Nation has been dreaming of Burke for years, and the wish was granted Nov. 29 when he assumed the roles of president and general manager. The highly regarded hockey guru, who built a Stanley Cup winner in Anaheim, was hired to bring the Centre of the Hockey Universe back to the top of the hockey world.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke

Horton Slowed Down By Small Fracture Of Heel

via the Miami Herald, I

njured winger Nathan Horton said the deep cut on his ankle ‘‘looks fine and has healed up nice,’’ but he’s still out of the lineup because he’s having trouble skating.

On Wednesday, he found out why after an MRI revealed a small fracture around his heel that is the source of his discomfort, he said. Horton said he’s day to day, although there is no timeline for his return. Horton missed his sixth consecutive game Thursday.

‘‘I tried to skate a few times, but it’s still sore,’’ Horton said.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nathan+horton

The Life Of A Backup Goalie

from Jim Adams of The Union,

Brian Boucher is a back-up goaltender. He is designed to play the odd game to rest the starter. In all reality, he has become an icon of what has made the San Jose Sharks the best team in the National Hockey League season.

He exemplifies the type of attitude, grit, perseverance, and skill that has made this Northern California’s most successful team.

And although Boucher may be perfectly suited for warm-ups, he is exceptional when it comes time for the real thing.

It is tough to endure a career as a goaltender without a fair share of ups-and-downs, hits-and-misses, victories and defeats.

As the last line of defense, performance is magnified beyond any other player. Errors become more pronounced. Big saves become larger than life. Rarely is it a straight career path for the NHL goaltender. He may last a little longer, but there is no way to describe it other than tough and demanding.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+boucher

Islanders System Is Flawed, Return Of DiPietro Won’t Help Much

from Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat,

(Joey) MacDonald went on to say the Islanders hung backup Yann Danis out to dry in the second period, when they added four more goals on backdoor plays and open shots from the slot. Standing up for his replacement showed MacDonald’s heart is in the right place.

If anyone believes the eventual return of a healthy starting goaltender Rick DiPietro will magically make it all better, they are mistaken. DiPietro might make a few more of the big saves, but he’s not going to enjoy facing the kind of onslaughts MacDonald has seen on a nightly basis recently….

It appears the system is deeply flawed, at least the way the Islanders play it, as DiPietro is destined to discover soon enough.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Anderson Was Good, Oilers Were Inefficient

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

The $575,000-a-year goalie, whose paycheque is 10% of Tomas Vokoun’s, went into the game with the best save percentage in the league at .941 and a 2.09 goals against average and improved on both numbers to go 5-1-2 in his last eight games and 16-4-3 since Jan. 3 last year.

(Craig) Anderson left the building with one of the most fascinating stats you’ll ever find for a goaltender as he stretched his career record to 10-1-4 in games in which he faced 40 or more shots.

But sorry, he wasn’t the story.

Lots of shots. No chances.

That was the sorry story as the Oilers booted yet another home game as they began the stretch of games in which they’re supposed to reboot their season.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Trouble With Rangers Defense

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

“The way the game is now, you’ve got to be able to hit guys in the open and make plays,” the GM said on July 3 after having signed defensemen Michal Rozsival Michal Rozsival , Wade Redden and Dimitri Kalinin to free agent contracts equaling a combined cap hit of $13.6 million for this season. “Hockey’s a moving target all the time; if you’re not willing to move with the trend, you’re going to be left behind.”

The concept was a reasonable one. Too bad the execution by the aforementioned three defensemen has been so lousy. Somehow, the Rangers have been worse moving the puck from the back end this year than they were last season, when Fedor Tyutin Fedor Tyutin and either Christian Backman or Marek Malik (and sometimes both) were in the lineup.

Go figure.

Indeed, the inability of the alleged puck-moving defensemen to move the puck is a major contributing factor to the Rangers’ abysmal output of 2.35 goals per game…

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Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Carter Carrying A Big Stick

from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post via USA TODAY,

It has been 33 years since Reggie “The Rifle” Leach victimized goalies with a lethal slap shot that produced a league-high 61 goals.

No Philadelphia Flyer has led the NHL in scoring since then, but Jeff Carter could become the next. Thanks to a wrist shot that many consider the best in the league, the center has 20 goals, second in the league and two behind the league-leading total of Thomas Vanek of the Buffalo Sabres….

“His shot is the hardest shot I’ve ever seen in my life,” Flyers goalie Antero Niittymaki said. “The reality is that he can score goals from the blue line. He has a long stick, and it’s always tougher when you face a big guy with a long stick.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jeff+carter

Future Financial Adjustments Ahead

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

We can talk about the uncertainty of America’s economic future until the Dow Jones Industrial Average looks like a bowling score, but the Detroit Red Wings are still going to offer Henrik Zetterberg the moon and the stars over the next couple of months to preserve the team’s significance in the hockey universe.

Marian Hossa, Marian Gaborik, Johan Franzen and Mike Komisarek will be paid like rock stars when they are the hot unrestricted free agents in the summer of 2009 and the Atlanta Thrashers will probably offer Ilya Kovalchuk a deal that will pay him more than $100,000 per game.

But after hearing a couple of economic experts discuss the state of America’s financial woes, it’s fair to say that NHL team officials might be thinking that they will have to adjust their business differently moving forward.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | 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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