Kukla's Korner

Afinogenov Made The Right Decision

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Buffalo News,

Nobody could blame him for having second thoughts. Maxim Afinogenov was coming off the most enjoyable season of his professional career. He played on a championship team in his hometown. He had his friends, his family, his language and his tennis star girlfriend, Elena Dementieva. Why not stay? Afinogenov wrestled with the decision during the lockout last year while playing for the Moscow Dynamo in the Russian Elite League. He's a two-time Olympian, a household name in Moscow. Russian owners are shelling out big money these days, so he could have easily signed a contract and settled into the comforts of home.
continued image

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Jack Adams Candidates

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mai,

There's a common thread that has linked the successful campaigns of four teams during the National Hockey League's return this season. It has to do with coaching skills and the difference that calculating bench bosses have made to the New York Rangers, Carolina Hurricanes, Anaheim Mighty Ducks and Buffalo Sabres. None of those teams was in the last National Hockey League playoffs, two years ago, before an entire season was lost to a labour dispute.
contnued

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Too Late For Oilers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Jones of the Edlmonton Sun,

Murphy, at mission control in Toronto, admitted to Oilers GM Kevin Lowe at the end of the second period that Minnesota video goal judge Sandercock and the league got it wrong. "We got screwed,'' said Lowe. "The video guy here was convinced it wasn't in. The league said 'Go with what you have.' Within seconds Toronto got another view,'' he said of the SportsNet feed. "Then they saw it. It was in the net.'' By that point, referee Don VanMassenhoven had dropped the puck. Once the puck is dropped, there's no reversing a decision.
more

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Praising Sather

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector's blog at Fox Sports,

Here we are in April, and the Rangers, for the first time in 9 years, are not only heading to the Stanley Cup playoffs, they're among the top teams in the East. There are plenty of reasons why, from Tom Renney’s coaching to the rebirth of Jaromir Jagr to the play of rookie sensation Henrik Lundqvist. But credit must go where it’s due, and that’s to GM Glen Sather. Prior to this season, Slats was lambasted by his critics (myself included) for the lousy job he’d done since taking over as the Blueshirts GM back in 2000.
read on

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Ottawa Health Picture

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

While he was engaged in a long chat with Bryan Murray, Chara was motioning to show the coach how hard a time he's having gripping his stick and shooting the puck. And while he has made some progress since injuring his hand in a fight with Pittsburgh's Eric Cairns on March 21, Chara isn't ready to return to the lineup any time soon. The Senators remain confident G Dominik Hasek, troubled by an adductor muscle injury he suffered in the Olympics seven weeks ago, will return in time for the playoffs. Asked if he was going to keep riding Emery -- who started his 20th straight game against the Habs -- Murray indicated Hasek might not be far away.
more added 8:50am, from the Ottawa Sun via Slam,
The 5-3 loss to the Montreal Canadiens was bad enough, but a small cloud may have also formed around goalie Ray Emery. "I had some funny stuff going on with my hip," said Emery, who had trouble getting up after a scramble in the second period and spent the rest of the night favouring his right leg. "Ray looked like he was hurting a bit. He was stretching after every whistle," said Senators coach Bryan Murray. "We'll give him (today) off and see how he is after that."

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Modano Injures Knee

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the AP,

Dallas Stars captain and leading scorer Mike Modano left Thursday night's game against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the second period with an injured left knee. Modano got tangled up with Anaheim forward Jonathan Hedstrom near the Dallas bench while trying to play the puck and crumpled to the ice, grimacing in pain with 7:12 left in the period and the Stars leading 4-2.
I am watching the game with about 2 1/2 minutes to go in the game, Dallas up 4-3 and Center Ice cuts out with the good night screen. Good night??? update 1:01am, Dallas wins 5-3 according to NHL.com, but no update on Modano yet. update 8:03am, from the Dallas Stars,
Head Coach Dave Tippett said after the game that the injury was not as serious as it looked. "Mike tweaked an old injury and it looked worse than it was," said Tippett. "He plans on skating tomorrow so he should be fine. When any player goes down, you get scared but he looked fine walking out of here and seemed fine. I spoke to him afterwards and there's not much to evaluate. We won't take any chances with him."

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Canucks Stars Shoulder The Blame

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via TSN,

The Canucks have managed just two wins in their last five games. During that stretch Naslund, Bertuzzi and centre Brendan Morrison have mustered two goals and seven assists. Not what you want from a combined salary of over $14 million US. Naslund, who will earn $6 million US this season, didn't dodge the issue when asked if the criticism directed at the three is fair. ''It is,'' he said Thursday. ''We're here to perform. Bertuzzi snorted when asked about the criticism aimed at Naslund and the line. ''Same shit every day,'' said the right-winger who is being paid $5.2 million US. ''It's been happening this whole season. ''Is there anything really different today than other days?''
more

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Caps Visit The Pentagon

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the US Department of Defense,

Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England praised the Washington Capitals ice hockey team for its support of U.S. servicemembers during team and management members' Pentagon visit today.... England also presented the Capitals with his deputy secretary of defense coin and introduced Army Staff Sgt. Joe Bowser, 46, who had his right leg amputated below the knee after being wounded in Iraq in 2004. Today, he walks and ice skates with a prosthetic device. "Joe is one of our heroes, ... one of those guys who gave a lot," England said. "What's terrific (is) Joe can still go out there and skate."
read on (a little slow loading for me, maybe they were checking for clearance...)

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Heart Of A Lion

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Kevin mentioned this yesterday and it seems it was a preview of his column today. from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

Gordie Howe is the only basis of comparison for Steve Yzerman in Detroit Red Wings history. These days Yzerman, 40, is performing at a Howe-like level. Instead of being a role player for the Red Wings going into the playoffs, Yzerman now looks like he could be a major contributor. "He's getting scoring chances every night," Holland said. "He's one of our best players." Holland said no one should be surprised, "because Steve has the heart of a lion."
more

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Sneak Preview

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

What the "My Stanley" ads will look like. I am sure the pictures will be interchangeable. image

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