Kukla's Korner

Flyer Fans Respond

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Philadelphia Daily News,

THE QUESTION: 1. A year and a half now since the strike, how has your attitude toward the Flyers and the NHL changed, if at all?
2. What’s your opinion on the current makeup of the schedule, which promotes rivalries and a lot of divisional games (I know how one member of my panel feels about this) and all but eliminates ever seeing half the league. The NHL has been studying the schedule and is expected to make announcement about it in mid-February. So I just want to get out ahead of things.

I don’t watch hockey anymore although I used to be a “huge” fan. It is not enjoyable to me now, but I think a good kernel for a story would be hockey as the first sport that has had to contract salaries, etc., when the fans go south. I wish the fans would go south for all sports and bring these pampered idiots back to reality, as you are well aware, but hockey is the first to experience the contractions, as i see it.

much more

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What Has Happened To The Habs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

When the Wings beat the Canadiens the other day, I wondered what had happened to the team that was so hot about a month ago.
I watched parts of their 4-0 loss to Vancouver in Montreal last night and the boo birds are beginning to appear.
I thought of Spector and what he must be feeling.
from Spector’s blog at Fox Sports,

And given how crappy Samsonov and Rivet have played of late, why would any GM in his right mind wanna trade for them? Sammy’s been an overpaid underachiever all season, while Rivet (an impending UFA this summer)simply hasn’t played up to his usual steady, under-rated standards over the past month.
It remains to be seen if Carbo’s moves will stimulate his charges into playing more spirited hockey, or if this will only send them swooning further.
Yes, I’m harsh in my critiques of the Canadiens because they’re my favourite team, this is my blog and I’ll be as harsh with them as I please.

more

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Coaching Sid Thru The Years

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

They all coached Sid The Kid when he really was Sid The Kid.
Can you imagine being the man who agreed to coach the little guys, who are usually more adorable than talented as they take to the ice for the first time like baby turtles heading to the ocean, and one of the tykes is Sidney Crosby?
Paul Gallagher coached Crosby when he was five years old and wore No. 8 in Tim Bits hockey here. He coached Crosby again when he was in bantam.

continued

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Two Goalies- One Theme

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

They wear masks, but that can’t camouflage the fact they also are the faces of their respective franchises. And when Martin Brodeur stared at the other crease 178 feet away from him at the Meadowlands last night, this is what he saw when he spied Henrik Lundqvist:
“With the way things were really tough for Ricky [Mike Richter] his last couple of years and then the way the Rangers changed goaltenders right and left for a time after that, when I see Lundqvist I see stability, and I see someone who has the chance to be a star in this league, and I think that’s great,”...

continued

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Talking Ratings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,

U.S. regional audiences are down by about 25 per cent. National viewership on Versus, the U.S. cable channel, is up 3 per cent. But the average audience of 195,476 on Versus is about half of what ESPN2 used to pull in.
For the CBC, the numbers tell two stories: one grim, the other worrisome.
The Hockey Night in Canada audience for the first game of its telecast (1.285 million) has dropped 12 per cent from last year. For the second game (723,000), the decrease is 30 per cent.

read on

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A Coach’s Dream

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

“You would have to be with Brad Richards every day to understand what he does for our team,” Tortorella said.
“He works on the all the little things that win games. I look at him, and see everyone is all over him, he’s a bad player, he’s this, he’s that ... but he continues to do all those things that win games. He’s coming on too, and if he (scores more) in the second half, it’s only going to help our team.”
When his leadership and commitment to defence are factored in, he becomes a coach’s dream.

more

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Stay-At-Home Phillips?

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from the inestimable Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun:

[Chris] Phillips can’t help but sometimes wonder what is going to happen next for him. Phillips, set to become an unrestricted free agent in July, is making $1.675 million US in the final year of his contract and there haven’t been any discussions on a new deal, although the NHL ban on teams speaking to their impending free agents was only lifted two weeks ago.

“Being here since I was drafted and putting on the jersey then, it would be tough to put on a different jersey.
In saying that, there aren’t a lot of guys that are staying with one team their whole career. If there’s a possibility of that happening (finishing his career with Ottawa), that would be great.”

continued

 

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Ales Kotalik’s Negative Success

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from the Associated Press:

Give Ales Kotalik bonus marks for effort — and semantics.
The Buffalo Sabres forward creatively categorized his team’s current rough patch as anything but what most — even his coach, Lindy Ruff — are referring to as a bona fide slump.
“You guys always like to call it a slump. It’s your job,” Kotalik said, referring to reporters after practice Tuesday. “I would call it a stretch of results we are not used to.”

Those of us who’re passionate about the English language would call that “brilliantly-crafted BS.”

continued

 

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Bubba Wants My Cheddar

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

I've decided the BJ's can no longer be OUR NEW RIVAL. I tried. For three weeks I tried. I worked up the hate, rallied the troops, lit the torches. But despite my best efforts, I just can't do it. I can no longer hate the BJ. But Bubba? Bubba offers something you can't deny. Bubba brings us players we hate: Steve Sullivan, Little Paulie Kariya, Tomas Vokoun. And he also brings an intangible that, as a blogger, I just can't avoid: the opportunity to tastelessly rip their fan base. But more than that, Bubba's good. Bubba's a threat to our happiness. Bubba wants to steal my cheddar cheese. He wants to take the whole block of it. I don't like people who try to take my Central cheese. In fact, and this may surprise you, but it harkens a Rocky III quote from the greatest Stallion opponent ever, Mr. Clubber Lang. "I pity the fool who tries to take what I got." Clubber Lang said that. Mike Babcock? Well, he's just a liar. George Sipple/Detroit Free Press

"We know we play Nashville, don't get me wrong," Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "But I don't think we concern ourselves with the standings. We concern ourselves with our team. Not their team."
You don't concern yourselves with the standings? Well, you'd damn well better buddy. Because that 4 spot looks bad. The 5 spot looks worse. The only spot we want is the 2 or the 1. So in rides Bubba high atop his donkey, swigging his shine, taunting you. He's looking right at you in that baby-poop colored sombrero. Bubba says the cheese is his, that he's waited long enough. Bubba says he not be big on the whole Phonics thing, but he's better than you. And Vokoun just irritates me. Pauk Kuharsky/Daily Tennessean
"They are right behind us, obviously a good offensive team and now good defensively too, so it's going to be a good test for us," Vokoun said. " … It's strange, you would think by now we would have played them more times. It's going to be a battle to the end I think."
Yeah. I think. Let me reiterate (that means repeat, Bubba) something: we can't have the 4. We can't have the 5. The 4 or the 5 means San Jose and San Jose means despair. The 2? Today the 2 means AlanaH's Canucks and the very idea of that makes me giddy (happy, Bubba). So, I've jettisoned the idea of the "hate the BJ" campaign. It was fun. It may return as early as this weekend. But today, at the beginning of the six-gamer that will decide the Central and absolutely determine our playoff fate? Gotta hate Bubba.

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Worldly Player

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Asahi.com,

Since 1990, Jarrod Skalde has been the ultimate hockey nomad. The 35-year-old Canadian has suited up for no fewer than 27 professional hockey teams on three continents since then, including eight National Hockey League clubs.
The Niagara Falls, Ontario, native’s career has taken him everywhere from Atlanta to Leksand, Sweden, where he spent last season. He has been a Flame and he has skated for the Ice; he’s worn Gulls, Mighty Ducks, Blackhawks and Falcons on his jersey as well as Grizzlies, Solar Bears, Wolves and Sharks. He’s been both a Bandit and a Devil, and he’s weathered stints with the Cyclones and Thunder.
The latest stop on his global glide across the world’s hockey ponds has brought him to Japan, where he is leading the Asia League’s Oji Paper club in scoring.

continued

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