Kukla's Korner

Stiff Or Not, Datsyuk’s In

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Pavel Datsyuk’s “stiffness” isn’t bothersome enough to keep him off the ice tonite in Chicago.  Johan Franzen’s also in, but no one knows who he’ll replace.  Odds are, it’s Jiri Hudler…he of 5:30 worth of ice time against Ottawa.  Nik Kronwall?  Not yet.

Helene St. James/Detroit Free Press

“I think he’ll play the next game,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said after the morning skate at United Center in Chicago. “They’re just giving him one more day.

Kronwall has missed nine of the past 13 games.

More

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Will Leafs Clean House

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bill Clement at MSNBC,

By January if Toronto is not looking at a playoff spot or something very close to a playoff spot, I would be surprised if Maple Leafs general manager John Ferguson kept his job.
Toronto is a fanatic market when it comes to NHL hockey so there is pressure on Ferguson to win now. If he can’t win now—and that doesn’t end up costing him his job—he has to start laying the foundation for the future because a serious run at a Stanley Cup will not happen with this group.
All those players who are not under long term contracts in Toronto had better not sign the mortgage papers on a new home as the Maple Leafs could start to clean house before the trading deadline.

read on

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LeClair Place On Unconditional Waivers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

The Penguins will formally sever their ties to left winger John LeClair today, and are expected to do it in a fairly creative fashion.
Rather than suspending LeClair, who has declined to accept an assignment to their farm team in Wilkes-Barre, or having him retire, the Penguins apparently will use a fairly obscure portion of the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement called “unconditional waivers.”

continued

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Miracles

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Screen Shots at the Hockey News,

When Blue Jackets owner John McConnell hired Ken Hitchcock to replace Gerard Gallant as head coach in late November, the least he hoped for was for the team to improve on its .263 winning percentage.
The Jackets certainly picked the right portion of the calendar in which to do it. Everyone wants to believe in miracles this time of year. So let’s look at a list of what would constitute minor and major miracles for all 30 NHL teams.
Anaheim
Minor Miracle: Brian Burke responds to reporter’s question with “no comment.”
Major Miracle (a.k.a. Alert The Vatican): Burke acquires Todd Bertuzzi at trade deadline, brings Pavel Bure out of retirement for playoff run.

see the miracle for the rest of the NHL teams…

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Streaks No Matter What

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Morrison of CBC,

In the case of the Maple Leafs, it is a moot point for the moment, but not for Carolina or Philadelphia or St. Louis for instance.
The question before the court of public opinion is, are the Hurricanes and the Flyers, neither of which have won or, of course, tied in their past four games, on a winless streak or a losing streak? Same for the Blues, who haven’t won in eight games and cost a coach his job as a result.
Sounds like a dopey question, but it isn’t.

continued

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Oduya Ended Up In Sweden

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Star-Ledger,

It could have been a drastically different life for Johnny Oduya had things worked out differently in the divorce. Oduya was 2 when his parents split -- but this was no ordinary breakup where Mom lives on one side of town and Dad on the other. In this case, Oduya's father headed home to Kenya to run a taxi company. His mother stayed in Sweden with the kids. And Oduya grew up playing hockey. "A lot of people's lives could've been different," he said. "Growing up in Kenya would've been a long shot. I've never even thought about it like that. I'm happy about the way it worked out."
continued

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Modano Goes On IR

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the AP,

Mike Modano was put on injured reserve Thursday by the Dallas Stars and missed his fifth straight game because of a lower-body injury.
The move was retroactive to Dec. 4, the night Modano got hurt. The soonest he could return is Saturday at Los Angeles, but that is questionable.
Modano got hurt in the second period of the Stars’ 1-0 victory over San Jose after he scored the game’s only goal on a one-timer during a power play in the first period. Modano has 10 goals and 10 assists in 27 games this season.

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Art…You’ll Never Learn

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Ken Daniels is a hockey guy. Art Regner is not. Ken Daniels has credibility with the Wings organization. Art Regner is viewed as a buffoon with a microphone. Both proved it yesterday. Regner, the host of WXYT's "Big Show" and the info-hungry sports reporter he is, watched the Wing/Ottawa game the other night on the tube. Good. He says he became perturbed when, during a timeout with :14 seconds left, FSN Detroit cut to Ken Daniels between the benches.

Continue Reading »

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Hello Buffalo

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kara Yorio of the Sporting News,

A series of little lighted signs greets you in the concourse at Buffalo Niagara International Airport: Enjoy this beautiful season Go Sabres! Is that two thoughts or one? Do Buffalo fans even know the holidays are here amid all the Sabres celebrations since October? They hope the good times run long past New Year's Day. The Sabres are a team with speed, depth and two quality goaltenders. Many of the players developed together within the organization. They know one another's strengths and weaknesses, and they are friends.
continued

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Thursday Deep Digging

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Interesting. Discussion regarding Pavel Datsyuk's "stiffness" is escalating. While our erstwhile Deep Diggers have (a) decided not to ask for any further explanation, (2) are satisfied that "stiffness" is all the clarity they need to write their one-sentence descriptions of his condition or (c) can't stop giggling; I'm getting comments here and reading elsewhere that it may be his wrist. Mike Babcock said he'll know for sure at today's morning skate whether Datsyuk can go tonite against Chicago.

Continue Reading »

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