Kukla's Korner

Sharks Goaltender Situation

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei at ESPN,

There have been the inevitable upsets this season, but this is one of the biggest: The San Jose Sharks haven't yet traded Evgeni Nabokov or Vesa Toskala. The Kazakhstani and the Finn are sharing the workload in the net, co-existing and trying to avoid either fanning the flames of controversy or overreacting to rumors. "It's out of my control right now, and I'd prefer not to talk about it," Nabokov said Wednesday night in Denver after he had 40 saves in a 4-3 victory over the Avalanche. "Whatever's going on is going on. I just try to go out and do my best and not think about other stuff."
continued

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Battle Of Music

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Steingberg's D.C Sports Bog,

When I entered the Caps dressing room yesterday morning, 50 Cent's "Just a Little Bit" was on the Magic iPod. Designated team DJ Matt Pettinger immediately took control of the situation, putting "Somebody's Watching Me" on the stereo. And just like that, we were back in a hockey dressing room. "Leave this, leave this," Steve Eminger said, happily. But Pettinger wasn't satisfied and picked up the iPod again. "What are you doing, dude?" Eminger said, unhappily.
continued

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Not Going Anywhere

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Uh oh, the "let's start a rumor" sites are not going to like this. Spector at his Fox Sports blog informs us of players who will NOT be traded.

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You Just Can’t Please Everybody

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Oh, here we go. It was bound to happen and it naturally has. The complaints are filtering in from the early-to-close precincts. And what are those complaints? That the Wings are winning, but winning ugly. I'm going to revise the lead. The "complaint" I'm referring to is not really a gripe, but a statement that the Wings are playing a slowed-down, tight checking game in a new NHL that was supposed to be rid of such tactics. I'm toning it down because I think I'm still a little irritated with Jamie Fitzpatrick of Pro Ice Hockey for his "it's just a game" statements regarding Oiler fans and the McGeough incident. In this case, Fitzpatrick is probably voicing a view we're bound to hear more and more. The Ghost of NHL Past

They aren't the second coming of the old New Jersey Devils. But many Detroit games are methodical, low-scoring affairs lacking in end-to-end action. The Wings allow fewer than two goals per game, and most of those come on the power play. When it’s five-on-five, the opponents are lucky to get a sniff of the net. Edmonton came to town last week and didn’t manage a shot on goal for the entire first period.

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Perreault Give Yotes A Lift

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the East Valley Tribune,

“He’s probably our best forward,” linemate Fredrik Sjostrom said Wednesday. “He makes it look really easy out there. He’s a smart player. He finds you all the time. He’s always in the right place at the right time. That’s a cliché, but that’s the way it is.” “I quite honestly don’t know where we’d be if we didn’t have the opportunity to sign Yanic,” coach Wayne Gretzky said. “We’d be really in a vulnerable position. I’m thankful we got him.”
read on

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The Best NHL Defenseman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,

The Toronto Maple Leafs like to portray themselves as an organization rich in tradition and excellence, but the fact is they have never had a Norris Trophy winner in their history. That may change this year because Tomas Kaberle is, at this moment, the best defenseman in the NHL. Not only does he lead all NHL defensemen in goals with seven and points with 17, he’s playing 28 minutes a game and excelling in all situations, including defensively (where he’s a plus-4).
continued

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Going For 10 In A Row

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Detroit Free Press,

"We say we're a puck-possession team, but we've changed that quite a bit over the past year and a half," defenseman Chris Chelios said. "We play a system where the forwards really have to come back hard. It makes it tough for them to create offense on the rush. We get a lot of help on defense from the forwards and I'm sure it's tough -- our transition game isn't what it was last year." It has all been part of a plan to become a tougher opponent, to become a team that grinds out victories night after night, the sort of team that looks inward and grows strong.
read on...and make sure to check out A2Y for more Wings coverage, he is just around the korner now...

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Dominating Dman In Finland

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

A quick hockey quiz: Who is the pre-eminent defenceman in Finnish elite league hockey? "He never loses a battle in the corner. He never gives a bad pass. He wins all the one-on-ones. He's more physical than everyone else," says respected Finnish hockey reporter Vesa Rantanen. "The most dominant defenceman in the league," continues Rantanen, who has a theory on why the most reviled Leaf defender in the post-Larry Murphy era has blossomed into a star.
more...most hockey fans should know who the player is...

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Do Something About The Head Hits

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John MacKinnon of the Edmonton Journal,

The GMs took in a video, perused a series of 15 'legal' hits under NHL rules, some of which also caused injury, like Raffi Torres's wallop of San Jose's Milan Michalek during the playoffs last spring. The GMs came away unified in their belief that the tough, open-ice hit is too important to their sport to tamper with. And the concussions? Well, the GMs aren't cold, heartless people. They don't dismiss the plight of Michalek, who missed several games of the Edmonton-San Jose series, or Detroit's Justin Williams, who was flattened by Torres last week and carried off the ice on a stretcher, as mere collateral damage. Like anyone, the GMs are concerned about serious injury. But fearful of removing perceived physical toughness from their sport, it's possible they are unable or unwilling to examine the issue in a nuanced fashion. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly voiced the league's concern during a TV show this week, in which he suggested that if the NHL were to overreact in trying to eliminate the knee-on-knee and the head hit, it would leave only the belly button as a safe spot to legally hit an opponent.
more

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Thursday AM Odds and Ends

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

I think I'm the only North American citizen over the age of 9 who doesn't own an iPod, or MP3 player or whatever current technology tells us we should listen to rather than our spouses, parents, teachers, etc. The reason I bring that up is because I like to jog, and when I jog the last song I heard is going through my head. Well, the last song I heard before I ran last night was being piped over the high-tech sound system at the Navy Exchange. It was "Love Machine". I don't know who recorded it, what year it came out, or much else. I just know "Love Machine" has to be the title because nothing else possibly could. It's disco, and it's horrific. And I couldn't get it out of my head as I ran and ran and ran. It was kind of a rhythm, a six step lyrical nightmare. Every stride was a different word of the only lyric that song seems to have "Oh-baby-I'm-a-love-machine", over and over. It was very possibly one of the three worst episodes of my life. And on that note, I guess there's a little Wing news to discuss.

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