Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Biron’s The Sabres’ Go-To Guy—For Now

from the Niagra Gazette:

Unlike his early years, when Biron would stand on his head through the first 58 minutes, only to surrender the game-losing goal in the final moments, Marty’s recent work has been marked by timely saves, even if they come after a few sloppy goals. “I’ve been giving up a lot of goals lately, but we won,” Biron said. “The big thing is at the end of the day, you want to finish plus one. Teams are winning 7-6 and other teams are winning 2-1. “It doesn’t matter. Sometimes as a goalie, you go home and think ‘what was that all about?’ But you won.” There’s never a sense that the Sabres are pressing to help Biron, even though he’s clearly the second goaltender in the franchise. With their top defensive pairing still out, Buffalo didn’t change the plan one iota, worrying first about offensive transition. “It’s the same as last year, we didn’t really care who was playing back there, we were comfortable and confident,” Teppo Numminen said. “I don’t think anybody notices a difference.”

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JR’s Gambit Was Ill-Conceived

from the LA Times:

Kings fans get a chance to welcome the Coyotes' Jeremy Roenick back to Staples Center today. Last season, Roenick became the poster boy for the Kings' collapse. He was acquired in a trade, showed up to training camp out of shape and finished with nine goals In a TV interview last month, Roenick said that he intentionally showed up out of shape to spite the NHL for the lockout. Tim Leiweke, the Kings' governor, declined to speculate whether Roenick should return some of the $4.94 million the Kings paid him to show up in shape. "The Roenick experiment was bad for him and worse for us," Leiweke said. "The risk we took, and the money we paid, he did not take on the responsibilities we needed him to take on. It was a major disappointment. We've learned our lesson and moved on."
Roenick replies:
"I loved playing here; unfortunately, I didn't do anything or perform the way I wanted to, and I'm sure that I disappointed a lot of fans here and that disappointed me," Roenick said. "And by no means do I just say 'whatever' about the whole situation. I really feel bad that I didn't perform for those fans, but I'm past that and if they want to boo me and all that stuff because of my poor performance, that's fine. That's understandable." Asked if he would boo him if he were one of the Kings fans, Roenick smiled and said: "Yeah, I probably would."

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Fontinato Recalls Howe Bust-Up

from the Guelph Mercury:

Lou Fontinato makes no bones about it. He wanted to fight Gordie Howe that night. "If he's going to start anything, I'm going after him," Fontinato said he told teammate Eddie Shack prior to the fateful Feb. 1, 1959 encounter between Fontinato's New York Rangers and Howe's Detroit Red Wings, a New York home game. What Fontinato didn't know is the fight he went looking for would follow him for the rest of his playing days and beyond. It was a fight that some feel destroyed Fontinato's reputation as the league's toughest player and helped cement Howe's reputation as a player as tough as he was skilled.

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You Were Loosening My Grip On Bobby Orr

from Lawrence Martin of the Globe and Mail:

No. 4! Bobby Orr! Whatever happened? How did he become our lost legend, a loner, a distant relative to his home country? Our three greatest hockey players of the past few decades have all made their homes outside Canada. Mario Lemieux settled in Pittsburgh. Wayne Gretzky commutes between Phoenix and Los Angeles. And while these two have stayed connected, the inscrutable Bobby Orr, save for the odd happy-faced TV commercial, has remained off limits, in Boston, estranged of his own volition. His boys, Darren and Brent Orr, have never even played the game. The legend never gave them the opportunity. As sports writer Stephen Brunt tells us, "Bobby Orr's sons didn't even learn to skate."

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KK- Game Time Nearing

I am headed to Columbus, Ohio to attend a college football game that is barely on the national radar. Updates today will be supplied by IwoCPO, Alanah and George.

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Adapting To The North American Game

from the LA Times,

Shoot the puck. Get to the net. Grind it out around the crease. The chatter in Frolov's ear reached talk-radio proportions. Now it appears Frolov has tuned in rather than tuned out. Frolov has seven goals and 12 points in the last eight games, including two goals in each of the last two games. But it's not only that he's scoring goals — Frolov has averaged 20 a season in his short career — it's where he's scoring them. "People have always talked to me about going to the net," Frolov said. "It's been hard because you learn the game differently in Russia. I'm trying to change because it can only help me. Good things happen around the net."
more (reg. req.)

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They Said It

from Terry Koshan at the Toronto Sun,

• Blue Jackets enforcer Jody Shelley happened to hear the name of the Predators' Jordin Tootoo mentioned in the dressing room recently. "Tootoo?" Shelley said. "Who wants to talk about that midget?" When asked if that was on the record, Shelley said: "Sure. Why not? Let's get it rolling a little bit." • Message to all NHL personnel: Listen to what your colleague, Blues GM Larry Pleau, has to say about hiding injuries. "What do you think of the two-tiered league now? You know, the upper and lower bodies," Pleau said. "If a guy misses even one game in regular season, we should be telling people why. What's the big deal? I don't get it."

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A Game For Gentlemen

Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette wonders if a fine is headed Tortorella's way for the following comment,

"You have to be a gentleman," Tortorella said. "It's a game for gentlemen. And it's frustrating, because that's not the essence of what this game is supposed to be about. "I can't do a thing about it, except teach my players that they can't even lift their stick off the ice. You have to tie it onto the ice. That's the only way that you can play this game right. Because there's not supposed to be any type of rubbing or physicality in this game, or it gets called."

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Who Are These Sharks

from the San Francisco Chronicle,

With 20 games and one quarter of the NHL season complete -- traditionally a time teams take a hard look at themselves -- the Sharks have accomplished their goal of getting off to a good start. Deceiving, however, is the way in which San Jose has gone about winning 14 of its first 20. The Sharks of late have been as lucky as they have been good. And they're still searching for an identity while posing as one of the league's biggest, fastest and most talented groups. "It's too hard the way we're winning, we're making it pretty hard on ourselves," goalie Evgeni Nabokov said.

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Hall Worthy

from the Sun Sentinel,

Already, Panthers players speak of Belfour, Nieuwendyk and Roberts as "future Hall of Famers," though it's hard to predict if all three will get in, said Hall of Fame defenseman Denis Potvin, who was inducted in 1991. "I think Belfour's going to be a no-brainer," said Potvin, a Panthers broadcaster. "Nieuwendyk with three [Stanley] Cups, and having done it time and time again at different places is probably also a lock. There are going to be different opinions about whether Gary is a Hall of Fame guy. I've always felt longevity in this sport is a real plus."
read on

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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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