Kukla's Korner

Olympic Hockey Facility Near Completion

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the AP via Canada.com,

The ice hockey arenas for next year's Winter Olympics in Turin are almost complete. Now, they just need to stop the ice from melting. NHL ice expert Dan Craig called the main Palasport Olimpico arena, with its excellent sight lines and huge entry hall, "state of the art," citing instruments that measure ice temperatures in eight different locations of the playing surface. However, a power outage three weeks ago at the secondary Torino Esposizioni arena caused paint to seep up through the ice, nearly causing the entire ice sheet to melt.

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‘Battleship’ Kelly Teaches Teamwork

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the News Journal,

In his role of ambassador of hockey for the Philadelphia Flyers, Bob Kelly handles large gatherings of schoolchildren as deftly as he used to deal with opposing defenses in his 10 years as a left wing. "Basically, it's about teaching teamwork and what it takes to succeed as a team, having respect for each other, working together, and staying in school and getting an education," Kelly said. "We're just trying to send the overall message to the young kids."
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All Speed, All The Time

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun via Slam,

The days of teams like the New Jersey Devils clutching and grabbing their way to the Stanley Cup are gone. The teams which utilize speed are likely to be the ones to earn championship rings. "Speed is going make you successful," said John Ferguson Sr., special assistant to the general manager of the San Jose Sharks. "Geez, I watch some of these games at night and teams are just flying. It's great. "Everybody is moving around and players are getting a chance to show their skills. There's a lot of good, close games and it's great to see the guys being able to move."

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Twenty Years Ago

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Philly Burbs,

That was the early hours of Nov. 10, 1985. Twenty years ago. Pelle Lindbergh drove away in his Porsche. He was 26. He was the best goaltender in the National Hockey League. And he was drunk. Twenty years ago. How different might things have been? Lindbergh crashed his Porsche into a retaining wall near a Somerdale elementary school that night, injuring the two friends who had squeezed into the car with him, leaving himself on life support, brain-dead. It was the most stunning tragedy in the history of Philadelphia professional sports. How different might things have been? Lindbergh might have married his girlfriend, Kerstin Pietzsh. They might have children together. And the entire course of a franchise might have changed.

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Every Dollar Counts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Sun,

The Leafs demoted Carlo Colaiacovo to the Marlies yesterday, a day after the Toronto native scored his first NHL goal. But far from being a callous move, it was designed as a cheaper parking space for the young defencemen until the weekend. "We had a day off and it didn't make fiscal sense to have him here," general manager John Ferguson told The Fan 590 last night. "We'll see how things look after practice (today)."

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Breaking Down The Yotes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevein DuPont of MSNBC,

.500 is a decent start for a team that has struggled in recent seasons. The Coyotes haven't been to the playoffs since the spring of '02 — predating the opening of their new arena, the start of the lockout, the signing of the new CBA, and even the brief appearance of Brett Hull in southwestern sweats. But coach of the year stuff? I don't think so. Not yet. Through those first 18 games, they were ranked ninth overall in the conference, which is just a hair out of the playoffs. If Gretz can nudge them, say, into a spot among the bottom 2-3 seeds in the West, then he'll at least have his name in the running. But just as it was in his playing days, No. 99 knows that everything is measured by playoff success, and there really is no success until the Coyotes at least qualify for games beyond mid-April. No doubt, there are some encouraging signs in the desert. A few that come to mind:

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Heatley Happy In Ottawa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Citizen,

For his part, Heatley couldn't have written a better first chapter for his new start in Ottawa. So far, it has been a fairy tale. "I didn't feel like the world was being lifted off my shoulders when I got traded, but it felt good to be back in Canada, and to be (in Ottawa)," he said yesterday. "And, with the lockout last year, I was champing at the bit. I wanted to get going. I was excited. So I guess it has been a combination of all that. "Obviously, any time you come to a new team, you want to get off to a fast start, and, with the lockout, with the things that were said, I just wanted to get back to playing the way I can play."

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Leafs Benefit From Obstrcution Calls

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

The Leafs, meanwhile, have been one of the biggest benefactors of the crackdown on obstruction and stick fouls so far. Of the 58 non-shootout goals the Leafs have scored so far this season, 26 have come on the power play. That accounts for 44.8 per cent of their goals this season, which puts them fourth in the NHL in that department behind the Atlanta Thrashers (52.4) Phoenix Coyotes (46.9) and Montreal Canadiens (47.0). Which makes it all the more perplexing why Leaf coach Pat Quinn railed against the new NHL earlier this season, a rant that earned him a $1,000 fine from the league. "It's a different game," Sundin said. "You can't take as many penalties the way we have been doing and we have to be better in our own end."

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Shuffling The Deck

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

If there's a trend emerging in the early going of the NHL season, you have to look no further than New Jersey or Tampa Bay to see it. It's called tough love and NHL head coaches are demonstrating they're not afraid to employ it. Veteran star Alexander Mogilny, who's pulling down $3.5 million for the New Jersey Devils, was a healthy scratch against the New York Islanders Tuesday night.

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Alabama Writer Hates Hockey- Surprised?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Clanton Advertiser (Alabama),

In the midst of this football cornucopia, we actually have basketball and hockey games going on, too. That's right, hockey's back. By now you've probably seen one of the NHL's commercials broadcasting, as I said, that hockey is back. If you're anything like me, you just changed the channel. There were no (zero!) hockey games last year, and I never even noticed. I understand that there are NHL fans out there who scoff at me for being such a fool to avoid the "wonderful" sport of hockey, but I've got a couple of football games to watch, so you'll forgive me if I just don't listen. Has any league ever started (or in this case, started back) with less hoopla? Not having hockey highlights last year just made Sportscenter feel like a fresher, shorter, more analysis-based show. And I already miss that. I'd still rather listen to a 15-minute rant by Stephen A. Smith or Sean Salisbury than watch a hockey highlight.

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