Kukla's Korner

Savard Using Motivation

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob Foltman of the Chicago Tribune,

Some coaches try to make their mark through intimidation and the force of their personality. Some try to lead by cheerleading and motivating their players through positive energy. Some are tacticians who focus on X's and O's. In his first week as coach of the Blackhawks, Denis Savard hasn't had to drop the hammer. He appears to be trying to make his mark as an NHL coach as a combination motivator and tactician.
continued

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Too Many Ups & Downs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Tampa Tribune,

Watching the Lightning this season has been like witnessing several runs of SheiKra at Busch Gardens. Slow climbs up followed by steep drops almost straight down that sends those along for the ride screaming. What kind of team does Tampa Bay have this season? Are they a playoff contender? A pretender? A conference champion?
continued

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Relax The Zero Tolerance Rule

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of the CBC,

The obstruction crackdown is going too far. It’s a difficult problem, because I’m a zero-tolerance obstruction guy. I worry that if the standards are relaxed, we’ll fall back to where skaters should wear lifejackets because there’s so much waterskiing. But I defer to the players and the coaches. Brett Hull – who loves the way the game is being played – made a comment in The Headliner last week that Tortorella echoed Saturday morning: The referees have to recognize that just because your stick is on a player doesn’t mean you are committing a foul. They – and many others – aren’t asking to ignore the hooks; they just feel that there are cases when checkers use their sticks to legitimately ride attackers out of the play.
more

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The Votes Continue

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

by Greg Wyshynski of The Fourth Period,

Though his name wasn't listed on either ballot for the two major conferences in the 2006-07 NHL All-Star Game, Rory Fitzpatrick has received votes. He's identified as a defenseman, and he's a write-in candidate for an exhibition game that most nominated players would gladly swap for a relaxing four-day weekend on a beach. And amazingly, as of Nov. 29, he has more all-star votes (31,310) than Mathieu Schneider (30,628), who's on the ballot for the Detroit Red Wings.
read on why Greg thinks the fan balloting may change forever...

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Clarkey’s Back

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from the Courier Post:

Bob Clarke is coming back to the Flyers. Six weeks after resigning as Flyers general manager, Clarke will be named to an unspecified position early this week, the Courier-Post has learned. Clarke, 57, sat in the general manager's box with Paul Holmgren at his side Saturday night. It marked the first time Clarke watched a game from the Flyers' general manager's box since he handed in his resignation on Oct. 22.
continued

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A Gamble Or Not

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Wes Goldstein at CBS Sportsline,

Gambling is good for hockey if it pays for an arena that keeps a team from moving. But gambling is bad if it's actually linked to the NHL. Got it? Of course no one from the NHL is actually articulating this mixed message. It's just coming across from the events that were juxtaposed this week.
continued

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Sanford Out For Up To 2 Months

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

vai the AP,

Blues goalie Curtis Sanford will be sidelined six to eight weeks with a pulled groin, the team said Sunday. Jason Bacashihua was recalled from Peoria, Ill., of the AHL. Sanford, the backup goalie behind Manny Legace, had to be helped off the ice early in the first period in Chicago on Friday after a play that led to the game's first goal. After moving to stop a shot that was wide, Sanford crumpled to the ice and Jeff Hamilton had an easy tap-in with the rebound.

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Supsension Not Likely For AO

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals can breathe a sigh of relief, as it appears the star forward will be not attend any hearings nor face a suspension for his hit on Buffalo's Daniel Briere on Saturday night. Sources tell TSN that Ovechkin may be fined for his actions, which earned him a five-minute major and a game misconduct in Washington's 7-4 victory over Buffalo. He was tossed late in the second period, just after scoring his 17th goal of the season. Buffalo's Paul Gaustad pummelled Ovechkin, who didn't throw a punch in retaliation.
continued

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Weekend (lack of) Planning

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Back to a semi-regular rate of posting tomorrow. For now, I'm mystified. I get it. I know the Wings are taking it slowly, that keeping Hasek out of back-to-back games was the plan and they're sticking to it. I know that, and I see it. But playing Hasek against St. Louis last Friday, sitting him against Bubba; then playing him against Minnesota, and sitting against the Sharks? Am I the only one who can't wrap his head around this? I guess I'm slow, or overly critical. The difference between the Wild and Sharks isn't as great as that between St. Louis and Bubba, but a little advance scouting would have told us Minnesota was more likely to get off only 20 shots, while San Jose has an offense a bit tougher to contain. Also, playing the second game in two nights...doesn't it make sense to have your number 1 going to offset tired legs from the rest of the team? Yes, the Hasek situation is a touchy one; best approached with caution. I'm not going to argue with Mike Babcock's refusal, at this point, to use him relatively sparingly. But, it seems to me that in a span of one week the Wings played arguably the two best teams in the West hamstrung from the opening faceoffs.

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Lewis Works On Kessel’s Complete Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

Well, what is Dave Lewis doing with Phil "The Thrill" Kessel? Other than, you know, cutting back his ice time in lockstep with Metro Boston real estate prices? Kessel arrived in September looking like a quick-build McMansion with a huge spoked-B painted on the front door. Nowadays, he's a basement-level studio condo, microwave tastefully mounted in the bathroom, with a one-window view up to the sidewalk. Tricky sell, that. "I want him to be a complete player," Lewis explained Thursday night, after Kessel jumped off the bench for the shootout against the Lightning and spiked the winner to the top right corner on Marc Denis, "in all areas of the arena."
more (reg. req.)...plus much talk on the NHL...

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