Kukla's Korner

Yashin Must Step Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Newsday,

Yashin said "no" last night when asked if he got any assurances from Islanders owner Charles Wang that the team wouldn't buy out his contract and join the post-lockout scramble across the NHL for free-agent talent. "And because I had no control over that, I just didn't worry about it," Yashin said. Still, this should be the year Yashin - a favorite of Wang - either has to come up big for the Islanders or he's told to move on when the second buyout rolls around. For the five years he's been here, Yashin hasn't been a bust. He says all the right things. But he's maddeningly inconsistent, even tepid. They don't know what to expect from him game to game. Yet Islanders management keeps heaping more responsibility on him anyway.

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Dish Network & OLN Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Boston Globe,

Even though OLN is on Dish's 180 tier, the network is withholding NHL games to the system. OLN is negotiating to get a spot on Dish's less-expensive 120 tier. OLN spokeswomen Amy Phillips said, ''Traditionally the NHL, like all major professional sports, has been broadly distributed on a basic tier. We believe that hockey fans deserve the right to watch the hockey the way they watch all other major professional sports, and we are actively working with Dish to do that."
The article also discloses issues some Bruins fans had trying to find a recent B's game on OLN.

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Bettman Elated

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

Sweeping changes have reinvigorated the NHL, the commissioner said in a speech during the annual Sports Media Canada luncheon Wednesday. "For the first time in a long time, the NHL has momentum," he said. "I'm determined to see us build on that."

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Did They Miss Anyone

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

In case you missed it, Team Canada has submitted a list of 81 potential Olympians for the upcoming tournament. The only Canadian missing is Larry Murphy!!!

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Computer Update

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

As you can see, the amount of daily posts today were less than a normal day. My issues with the motherboard are fixed and posting should be back to normal tomorrow. I have never experienced anything like this before and don't wish it upon anyone.

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Sundin Suffering From Blurred Vision

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sportsnet,

As a precautionary measure, Maple Leafs' captain Mats Sundin is seeking a second-opinion south of the border concerning his injured eye. Sources tell Sportsnet Leafs captain Mats Sundin travelled to the US to seek a second opinion on the best way to treat the lingering affects of an eye injury he sustained on October 5th. Sundin was struck in the face by a puck during a shoot-in, and immediately left the game.

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The NHL- Good, Bad And Ugly

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Barry Melrose of ESPN,

It's great to have the game back and the new product has been fun to watch. There has been a ton of offensive chances, and the game has speed. The sport hasn't lost that physical edge, either. Some forget that hockey is a physical sport. Fans love to see that great crash into the boards. My hope, going forward, is that the league doesn't take all of that physicality out of the game. It would be a mistake.

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Scoring Good, Shootout Bad

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Golden Star (British Columbia),

Two weeks into the new NHL season, it is obvious the rule changes are having the desired effect on league scoring. The average goals-per-game is up over two and there have been some dramatic comebacks and more than a few lopsided results. (Hey, if Toronto pots 9 against Atlanta, too bad for Atlanta). Count on things to level off at some point. Players will figure out what they can and can't do and there will be fewer power plays. Coaches will start to design new traps to slow down some of the offense and goaltenders will get accustomed to their new equipment. Still, we are hopefully done with the low soccer-like results that dominated NHL games over the last dozen or so seasons. Now, for the downside of what have been otherwise positive adjustments:

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Iginla Driven To The Cup

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Wigge of NHL.com,

Down through the years, some incredible athletes have watched, listened and learned how to win it all. I'll never forget Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier describing how a young group of Edmonton Oilers watched the New York Islanders hold them to just six goals in four games in 1983 to become only the second team to ever win four consecutive Stanley Cups. Gretzky and Messier recalled every minute of the Islanders' celebration that year, and then made a few changes and came back to win it all themselves for the first of five times in seven years by beating those same Islanders in the Finals one year later. That reminded me of a similar story that Jarome Iginla, the Calgary Flames' incredible power forward, told me in Chicago recently. The same kind of celebration memories have lingered long since that steamy night filled with electricity in Tampa back in June of 2004, when the Lightning beat the Flames in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals and then partied all night.

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Ranger Goalie Issues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NY Post,

A day after backup goaltender Henrik Lundqvist posted a shutout against the Panthers, Kevin Weekes spoke about the scrutiny of his injury. Asked if he was surprised to be Tom Renney's unrestrained choice as the Rangers' starting goaltender once his strained groin is healthy, Weekes, who is black, had this to say: "To be honest with you, I think I get asked these questions more than any other goalie in the league, and I don't know why. If Jose Theodore was injured, I don't think you'd be asking him the same thing. If [Nikolai] Khabibulin were injured, I don't think you'd be asking him the same thing, and I could go on and on down the line.

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