Kukla's Korner

Step In The Right Direction

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Simcoe.com,

Seven minutes into the third period, the puck was fired in past the opposition netminder, rebounding off the backboards on an awkward angle, right on Thamwongsin’s blade. Like any great goal scorer, he released the puck quickly.
It found the back of the net and the crowd erupted in jubilant celebration of the play.
The final score of the game was Kazakhstan 52 Thailand 1.
The match (or ‘out-match,’ if you wanted to be accurate) was part of the hockey portion of the Asian Winter Games, and must remind hockey historians of the early days of international hockey in the first couple of decades of the 20th century, when Canada would run up scores in the 20s, 30s and sometimes more.

continued

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Who Goes Where

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Spector has all of the trade talk, and talk, and talk…

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Looking For Defensemen

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Mercury News,

The odds aren’t much better for a top-notch veteran defenseman to change teams before the Feb. 27 deadline—unless it’s star-for-star swap.
There are plenty of attractive talents who will be unrestricted free agents after the season such as Sheldon Souray, Mathieu Schneider, Brian Rafalski, Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hannan. But their clubs are all contenders who need those guys to stay competitive.
With so many teams hanging in the playoff race, there aren’t many declared sellers yet.

read on

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Fans Supporting Pens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

The Penguins, in the thick of a playoff race after finishing with the league’s second-worst record last year, played before their 17th sellout of this season Saturday at Mellon Arena. The Penguins have sold out all but 10 home games this season.
The capacity crowd that watched the showdown between the Penguins’ Sidney Crosby and Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin, the league’s top two scorers, represented the team’s 10th sellout in the past 11 home games.

more

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Interview With “The Cobra”

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Spector recently interviewed Gary “Cobra” Simmons who played for the California Golden Seals and the Los Angeles Kings during the 1970s following a lengthy minor-pro career.
A great, two part interview and a must read for hockey fans.
Part 1 & Part 2.

My favorite part of the interview…

You played in the NHL during a time when fighting, especially bench-clearing brawls, were more prevalent than in today’s games. Do you recall getting involved in any such brawls, and do you think fighting still has a place in today’s game?
We had a bench emptier against Philly one time and everyone was involved. It was a real donnybrook. I had Wayne Stephenson as an opponent.
One time in Long Island, one of our players, Mike Christie, was being manhandled by 2 guys behind our net. I had a choice of Bob Nystrom or J.P. Parise, who never fought. Living up to a goalies reputation as not too intelligent, I grabbed Nystrom and he rapped about 5 punches on the side of my head
.

image

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Ed Snider Wants Forsberg Back

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Philly Burbs,

Snider says the blueprint for a turnaround starts with Forsberg. It doesn’t sound like Snider wants anything to do with one of those “rental’’ arrangements, where a player is sent to a contender and then re-signed in the summer, either.
“Absolutely I want him back, he’s one of the greatest players to ever play the game,’’ Snider said. “I don’t want to lose him. We’ve been trying to sign him to an extension and we’ve been unsuccessful because he wants to know that he’s healthy and maybe he’s not happy with the performance of the team.
“But the bottom line is, we really want him back.’‘

more

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Talented Flames

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

Somewhere along the way, the Calgary Flames became a team of skill.
Somehow, someway they went from being a gritty hard-hat crew that won games with pure sweat and heart to a team of playmakers scoring highlight-reel gems with style.
No longer are forwards banging away while in close, crashing the net in desperation and scoring almost exclusively off rebounds.

continued

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Wings Goaltending Situation

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Detroit Free Press,

(Jimmy) Howard’s progress—or lack of it—over the coming months is intriguing because so much is uncertain about Detroit’s goaltending future. Current starter Dominik Hasek was signed to a one-year deal last summer, and while Holland said it’s conceivable Hasek’s deal might be renewed this summer, it’ll depend on Hasek’s health, how the Wings do in the playoffs—and whether Hasek, who just turned 42, even wants to play another season.
Chris Osgood has another year on his contract, but at this point in his career, he’s a backup, not a starter. So maybe Hasek comes back again, or Howard takes the reins—or a fresh face enters the picture. As Howard readies himself to carry a struggling team, the Wings will be watching, closely.

more on Howard…

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The Right Coach In Dallas

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Star-Telegram,

This has been Tippett’s best, the season we are finally able to step back and say the Stars have the right coach.
This is slightly ironic because there is a definite chance that this will go down as the lowest-seeded Stars team to enter the playoffs in the Tippett Era. There is an almost definite chance another Pacific Division banner will not hang from the rafters at American Airlines Center in April. And there is a definitely definite chance none of his players is accused of carrying this team during this season of crisis after crisis after crisis.
Not that crisis does justice to what Tippett’s team has endured this season.

more

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He Didn’t See It Coming

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Usually the player getting hit doesn’t see the punch.  This time, Travis Moen delivers a right (YouTube) to Shea Weber, while Travis has his jersey pulled over his head.

image

update 9:49am, from the Tennessean,

In the course of the fight, during which each delivered a series of punches, Weber pulled Moen’s jersey up over his head. Blinded, Moen took several hard swings before landing a solid right hook directly to Weber’s jaw.
The hit sent Weber to his knees and, wobbling, he was helped off the ice.
Weber entered the locker room after the game, his face bruised and puffy. Asked about the severity of the blow Weber said, “Yeah, I am alright.”

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