Kukla's Korner

More Than Just A Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

With a boatload of stories about tonight's Caps/Pens matchup, I thought I would create one more post for any future stories. I also ask KK readers to submit links in the comment section for others to read. Versus has increased their marketing ad dollar (except for hockey blogs) for this game and hopes to draw a much larger viewing audience. Ted's Take on the Caps... from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post (reg. req.),

While surfing the Web for some sports news recently, Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin was annoyed by some of the hockey headlines he encountered. "It was all, 'Ovechkin and Crosby meet again in D.C.,' " he said after yesterday's practice. "But this year it's 'Capitals and Penguins meet,' not 'Crosby and Ovechkin.' "
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Yes, Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin are rivals. They have been for a while now, and probably will be for the rest of their careers. They have competed mostly for individual honors and trophies so far. Someday -- maybe this season -- the stakes will be raised to a playoff berth. Perhaps to an Olympic gold medal in 2010. And, eventually, to a Stanley Cup.
from the CP via TSN,
The blood pumps a little more quickly when Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin face each other in an NHL game.
added 11:20am, from Evan Grossman of NHL.com,
The two players, known for creativity on the ice and their ability to score goals from any angle and toss passes through the smallest of cracks in the defense, for the first time admitted that games like these get their adrenaline pumping a little more than some other games on their respective schedules

Continue Reading »

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Breaking Down Sid & AO

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

They are often mentioned in the same sentence, indeed the same breath and thought. Alexander Ovechkin-Sidney Crosby, Sidney Crosby-Alexander Ovechkin. As though they were one entity. And on some levels, like the future of the NHL, the pair may as well be one great force of hockey expected to carry the game forward for years and years. But they are not, of course, one organism split in two nor twins separated at birth. They are as distinct as Rembrandt and Van Gogh, Ali and Frazier.
continued

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The Schedule Is A Tragedy

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Williams Kellengerger of the Rocky Mount Telegram,

Ten Western Conference teams will not see Eric Staal flourish in his third NHL season, marvel at Cam Ward's athletic ability or count the minutes the seemingly ageless Rod Brind'Amour spends on the ice each night. Here in North Carolina, fans will not have the chance to view NHL stars like Joe Sakic, Jarome Iginla, Ryan Smyth, Nicklas Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk and Miikka Kiprusoff up close. Doug Weight will not make a return to Carolina, nor will the Hurricanes make a trip to St. Louis. This is a tragedy. And it's a major hurdle in reestablishing the NHL as one of the four major sports leagues in the United States.
read on... I did a little research on the Wings schedule- 32 of their 41 road games are in a different time zone, including a 3 hour difference numerous times, making for many a late game for those in the Eastern Time Zone. I am sure many other Western Conference teams have the same issues.

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Revolving Around The Leafs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from The Spin, the blog of Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

...In fact, it's interesting to note that for the first five to six weeks of the season - when the Leafs were winning consistently - MacLean and Cherry were able to keep it zipped on the officiating. They were too busy taking credit, for example, for Kyle Wellwood's early success alongside Mats Sundin, although you don't see them doing that or holding up newspapers as proof of their expertise so much these days. But now, with the Leafs now in a deep funk, why, the poor lads just can't contain themselves any longer. Suddenly the game's in crisis. Too many penalties. Not enough fights. Need more hooking, holding and interference.
more

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Cherry Takes Some Shots

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

Hockey Night In Canada's biggest star manages to keep himself under control for months at a time, but you know that under the surface there's a lot of pressure waiting to vent. On Saturday, it blew. As usual, the target was those who fail to share his citizenship: Europeans. ``Those French guys" he often thunders about will have to wait their turn. Honestly, it wouldn't be surprising if Cherry admitted he checks under his bed for Euros and Quebecers before going to sleep.
more

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Will Briere & Drury Stay In Buffalo

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Buffalo News,

One year ago the Buffalo Sabres adopted the policy of not negotiating contract extensions during the season. Now they might be inclined to disregard it because they face a different set of circumstances involving the soul of the roster. In three weeks, NHL teams will be allowed to start hammering out deals with players who are on one-year contracts and headed into free agency. What transpires between Jan. 1 and the end of the season, particularly whether leading scorer Daniel Briere can be locked up before he hits the open market, will have a significant impact on what the Sabres will look like next season.
continued

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The Versus Blogger

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Hi. Hola. Ciao. Hast du irgendwelche Waffeln? Whatever the language, I just wanted to introduce myself, and say “hello”. (Actually, that last line is German for “Do you have any waffles?” I’m a little excited, and when I get that way, I get hungry!) I prefer to remain anonymous, but what I can tell you is that I am part of VERSUS’ NHL production team and I’ve been producing hockey for a LONG time (more on that below). Since Blog-o-mania seems to have overtaken our fine land, I thought: “Why not join the fun?” -- particularly when it comes to talking about the best sport on the planet: the NHL.
continued at Versus... One note from me about the game tonight on Versus between the Caps and Pens. If you don't get INHD2, many of us will not see the HD version of the game until 11pm, since INHD will be showing an NBA game live.

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Blue Jackets Trying To Get In The Race

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,

This is no parlor trick. This makeover is more than a little makeup, a girdle and a pouffy wig. The names are the same, but since Hitchcock became coach eight games ago, the Jackets have become a different team. "We are," Anson Carter said. "We have a little better focus right now. We have a lot more poise, a lot more patience. We’re playing with better hockey sense. Guys in this room always worked hard, but now, we’re combining that work ethic that was here before with working smart, and we’re getting results."
read on

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Feeling The Pain

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,

Only the mothers and fathers among us can even begin to imagine the horror, the torture, the grief that Bob Gainey is going through now. Parents aren't supposed to lose a child. There is no pain greater than this, and nobody, not Gainey, not anyone, should be confronted with it.
continued

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Canucks Won’t Force A Trade

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Province,

"I could make a trade and making a trade isn't hard," said Nonis. "But at this point, I can't make our team better -- even now or long term -- and that's how you have to look at it. "Ultimately, there may be a deal out there, but I'm not going to force one. And until those deals are available, we're going to push forward with this group." With so many teams near or at the salary-cap ceiling of $44 million US, only dollar-for-dollar swaps make sense now.
more

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