Kukla's Korner

Maurice Not Happy With Refs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail,

Neither Maurice nor any of his players was happy about the way the game was officiated. "I was not looking for an explanation," Maurice said, explaining his heated words at the referees after the game. "I don't think there is an explanation." Was there another memo sent to the referees from their National Hockey League bosses to tighten the standard of officiating once again? "I don't know what standards were out there," Maurice said. "I know all you guys see a gazillion games, I don't need to tell you, so speak your mind. You know what you saw. I lost five pounds barking."
read on

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Smart, Skate & Cap Savvy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gary Thorne at USA TODAY,

Talking with an NHL ref recently only highlighted the fact that the changes are here to stay. "We are graded on every game and the biggest part of that grading is maintaining the calls that keep the game moving," he said. "It is very clear that we had better not let up on enforcement, or we will pay the price." The league wanted the skills of the players to be on display, and that is happening. Speed matters. In an interview with USA TODAY on Nov. 6, Brian Burke, the GM of the Ducks, said that his definition of the new NHL team is one with "good foot speed and a high hockey IQ." That is just the kind of team Burke has put together in Anaheim. The construction of NHL teams is the second part of the new NHL, and that goes hand in hand with the salary cap.
more

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Hitch About To Make His Mark

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Columbus Dispatch,

Hitchcock, hired by the Blue Jackets yesterday, is legendary for his demanding style behind the bench, his my-way-or-thehighway approach, and, of course, his winning ways. The Blue Jackets will practice for Hitchcock for the first time this morning and play their first game under him Friday in Philadelphia. Brace yourselves, boys. "I’m sure some guys are nervous," Blue Jackets left winger Rick Nash said. "But I’m sure more guys will be excited than nervous. "We need a change here, and I don’t think there’s a better guy than him to come here and make it happen."
read on

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Gordie Welcome’s You

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob Duff via the Vancouver Sun,

Gordie Howe was thrilled to be made an entrance. "It's a lot better than an exit," joked the 78-year-old Detroit Red Wings' legend. It could be said that the path to Hockeytown was cemented with Howe's elbows. Wednesday, they made it official. Thirty-three years after previous ownership essentially shoved Howe out the door, the Wings named one after him. The west entrance to Joe Louis Arena was officially christened the Gordie Howe Entrance prior to Detroit's game with the Vancouver Canucks. The move recognizes Howe's contribution to the establishment of Detroit as one of top National Hockey League teams and also honours the 60th anniversary of his debut as a Red Wing. Still, there was plenty of irony in the announcement.
continued

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Homer Back Where He Belongs

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

And that would be planted in front of (and often in) the crease. He'll return tonite, according to Helene St. James' Wing blog.

The Red Wings will have their best net-front guy back in the lineup tonight when they play the Canucks. Tomas Holmstrom has been out since Nov. 10 because of a groin injury, but he had a good morning skate and is ready to return. Given his penchant for parking in front of an opponent's net during power plays, the Wings are hoping Holmstrom can help boost a power play that's the absolute worst in the NHL - the Wings' success rate stands at 10.1%; the next worst is Phoenix at 12.4.
Side note: St. James is gaining grass-roots support from A2Y staffers who feel she should supplant Ansar Khan(!) as Deep Digger Captain. Her advocates point to the consistent blog updates as ammunition for a fleet up to the C. On the other hand, twice removed captain Ted Kulfan hasn't updated in three days. Khan(!), while largely consistent this year, hasn't updated since yesterday afternoon.

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A Bowman Tale

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Caught a glimpse of an article on Paul Maurice this evening, and found this Bowman anecdote.

Scotty Bowman once had an inventive way of catching players breaking curfew. Realizing some of his Detroit Red Wings players might break his midnight curfew, he ventured down to the hotel lobby five minutes before the deadline and handed a goalie stick to an attendant. Get some autographs, Bowman said, knowing those who signed would be doing so after curfew. The next morning, the attendant thanked Bowman and showed him all the autographs. At practice, several players couldn't figure out how the coach caught them in the act without actually witnessing it.
Too bad Jacques Demers never thought of that, eh?

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Talking Turkey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox at ESPN,

So far, the NHL season has been relatively low-key with precious little controversy, but that doesn't mean there haven't already been more than a few missteps and goof-ups worthy of mention. Some teams that started off as turkeys have already managed to evolve into higher forms of life. The defending champion Carolina Hurricanes, for example, began the season last month with four straight defeats. Since then, however, the Canes have been a solid 12-5-2, so they escaped the tag of early-season turkey. Ditto for the New York Islanders.
more

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Hitchcock In Columbus

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

Sources close to the Columbus Blue Jackets tell TSN Ken Hitchcock has agreed to a three-year contract to coach the Blue Jackets. The two sides agreed to terms today and Hitchcock is expected to be on the ice to lead Columbus through practice tomorrow.

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Next Move For Phoenix

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

"Absolutely we'd love to make a deal. The problem is in making deals, it's the same old thing. The guys you want to trade, they don't want, and the guys you don't want to trade, they want," Gretzky said. "We're not trading [Keith] Ballard, we're not trading [Zbynek] Michalek. It's not going to happen." Still, something has to give. "We're trying to turn over every rock we can right now. We definitely need someone to go in there and give Curtis some time. Curtis can't play every game," Gretzky said.
read on

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KK- The Next Day Or So

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Thought I would get this out before those of you celebrating the Thanksgiving Holiday say good-bye to KK for a few days. Major updates will continue, maybe not as often but if anything breaks, it will be posted. KK members can continue to post in the Forum area too. Please enjoy the holiday weekend and be safe. If you drink, make sure to hand the keys over or find alternate transportation.

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