Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Talk of the Three-Point Win Returns

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail:

Through the first 54 games of the season, fully 15 have ended tied in regulation — and of those, only four were actually decided in sudden-death overtime, none since the third night of the season. The rest all went to a shootout, which tends to skew the NHL standings, because a shootout victory is counted the same way as a victory in regulation or in overtime. Last year, the Dallas Stars won 12 games via the shootout and it really was the difference in them winning the Pacific Division crown and getting the No. 2 seed in the playoffs (where they were promptly upset by the No. 7 seed, the Colorado Avalanche, who finished 17 points behind them in the standings, largely because they were less proficient in the shootout, winning only three times and losing six). Eliminate the shootout results and the gap between the teams wasn't nearly as significant as it first appeared. With so many games being decided in extra time, it creates a scenario where some games are worth two points in the standings and others three.
continued, and then some, in Duhatschek's notebook...

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Berard May Have Back Surgery

from the Columbus Blue Jackets,

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Bryan Berard will meet with Dr. Robert Watkins in Los Angeles next week to explore potential surgery to repair a recurring back problem, team President and General Manager Doug MacLean announced today. Berard missed the final 31 games of the 2005-06 season and has not played this season. At this time no date has been set for the potential surgery.

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KK- Doubleheader

I am off to Comerica Park for Game 3 of the ALCS, then onto the Joe Louis Arena for the Buffalo/Detroit game. Wind chill in Detroit is around 30 degrees!!! Hot chocolate and gloves, perfect baseball and hockey weather. I will be updating on a limited basis for the rest of the day.

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SI Tour

Sports Illustrated reviews the NHL week...

Perhaps it isn't PC to dis your team's new uniforms, so let's say Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault is just a fan of the Canucks' old threads: the simple blue-and-white with the stick and puck encased within an oval. "I prefer the old colors," Vigneault told the Vancouver Province recently. "That old sweater is what it's all about."
much, much more... A little photoshop work by KK member Tony... image

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Still Available

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

They are the last of the last, that small group of free agents without a home, a group comprised almost exclusively of the aging and injury prone. And yet, for NHL teams desperate to shake off early slumps or to fill gaps caused by early injuries, they are names that cannot be ignored: Brian Leetch, Jason Allison, Peter Bondra, Yanic Perreault.
continued...plus numerous NHL bits...

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Playoffs In Columbus

from Linda Cohn of ESPN,

Now, the Blue Jackets are starting off the new season strong, and relatively healthy. And like the Edmonton Oilers before them, the Jackets have a chance to make the playoffs this season. Don't believe me? Well, I'll tell you why it's more than possible. Grassroots effort One example of the community's dedication to hockey is its effort to promote the sport from the ground up. Hockey is in action at every level: youth leagues, high school, the USHL. Hockey is working in Columbus. Obviously, a playoff berth would help even more. There is an undercurrent of hockey hysteria in Columbus. They are doing it right there. People are ready for an NHL team. You can't just put an NHL team in a town without there being some desire within the community to have a team.

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Hockey’s Most Important Players

Today's "Free Friday" submission is from KK member Joe Pelletier. A great and must read for every hockey fan. Make sure to check out Joe's websites, Hockey's Greatest Legends and the 1972 Summit Series.com. "Free Friday" is open to any KK member and must be hockey related. All you need to do is send me a brief overview of your topic and chances are you will be appearing on KK in the near future.

There is no shortage of great hockey players. But there is a lack of important hockey players. When the Toronto Maple Leafs recently honoured Hall of Fame defenseman Borje Salming, I realized something. He may not have been the greatest player of all time, but his legacy suggests he was arguably the most important. While a handful of Europeans preceded him, Borje Salming was hockey's first great European player. By doing so he quickly diminished stereotypes and blazed the trail for more Swedes and all Europeans to come the NHL. The impact was far reaching, and still being explored today. The influence of the European skill game took hockey from the dark era of 1970s goon hockey to a more skilled game that has evolved into what we have today. The league that was once ruled by hard working, small town Canadian boys was greatly enhanced by influx of European players and their different schools of the sport. The acceptance of the European player has also greatly enhanced hockey's global status, spurring on generations of new players and fans worldwide. Fans and future stars on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean worshipped the likes of Pavel Bure, Jari Kurri, Peter Forsberg and Niklas Lidstrom. While history may remember others as better players, there are only a handful of figures who can claim an equally important legacy:

Continue Reading »

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The Trophy Battle

from Terry Frei at ESPN,

The Heisman Trophy is college football's Hobey Baker Award. Both pieces of hardware are earmarked for the top players in the U.S. college game, meaning it would be futile to try to sneak in votes for star quarterback Benoit Groulx of the top-rated Laval University Rouge et Or.... The head-to-head academic year tally as a harbinger of professional success? Hobey 6, Heisman 8, one push. Though extremely subjective, that's a lot closer than we expected, too. Maybe we should stop looking down on the Hobey. Or somewhere amid all those weekly charts and polls, make fun of the Heisman.
read on

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All Masks

What did you expect on Friday the 13th? Check out Masks from the Past for vintage goalie masks. image

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Who Did That Stat

from Chirs Young at his JABS blog,

A truism from the (pardon the expression) New NHL™: Special teams are important. A key stat, the PP and its PK flipside. But what I'd like to see: stats kept on fouls committed, and who they've been committed against. The NBA (at least on fouls in the act of shooting) and soccer keep track in their play-by-plays of both ends of the candle, but the NHL, as far as I can see, does not.

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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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