Kukla's Korner

Setting The Standard

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sports Illustrated, Aaron Ward on Bo Schembechler,

"Bo set a standard by which the coaches of every varsity program or the people in the athletic department held themselves to,'' said Ward, who attended every Michigan football game during the NHL lockout. "You do it as a team. Team, team, team. You hold yourself to a certain level, and you do it the right way. "Once you've left the university, and even though you weren't part of the football program, you're still a member of that university and a member of that athletic department and you have deep ties.''
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Join The Club

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

And NHL fans thought they had it bad...

Of the 95 millions homes with cable TV in this country, only 40 million received Thursday night’s game between the Broncos and Chiefs, the first broadcast on the NFL Network. More homes are getting NHL hockey – you know, the sport played on ice deemed as non-newsworthy by some media – on Versus.
more from the San Antonio Express... all about the problem with the NFL Network.

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Woods: Expect Hasek In Net At Bubba

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Interesting conversation tonite between the second and third periods. Ken Kal asked Paul Woods who he expects in net tomorrow night at Nashville. Woods, wthout hesitation, said it would be Hasek, "no matter what happens tonite."

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Confusion Abounds:  Franzen MRI May Have Been Incorrect, MacDonald To Face Bubba

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Weird afternoon in the Town of Hockey. First we hear that the original MRI done on Johan Franzen's knee may not have revealed the true extent of the damage...

The concern with Johan Franzen isn't so much about his concussion, it's about his banged up left knee. Mike Babcock said Friday that an examination of Franzen's knee did not match up with the MRI, which revealed no damage. "Now we have to wait for our people to come in and redo (the MRI),'' Babcock said. "It’s real unfortunate. He’s a big part of our team.’’
...then we come to find the Wings have decided to start Hasek tonite against St. Louis and MacDonald tomorrow against Bubba.
Dominik Hasek will start in goal tonight and Joey MacDonald will start Saturday in Nashville. Why? Because the Wings badly want to end this three-game winless streak tonight and, obviously, Hasek gives them the best opportunity. They'll take their chances with MacDonald in Nashville because they don't want to play Hasek on consecutive nights until the second half of the season, if at all.
Both items came from Khan(!)'s weblog at MLive. I understand wanting to halt a three-game skid. Great. But, at some point you have to think Babcock would have enough confidence that his team would do so against the Blues, no matter the goaltender. I'd consider tomorrow's game at The Gay a natural scenario for a rested Hasek. Hasek vs the Blues, MacDonald vs Bubba. Makes no sense to me.

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Sykora Was A Great Pick-up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Pierre McGuire at NBC Sports touches on numerous teams and subjects, including this one...

The Edmonton Oilers coaching staff made a great move by playing forward Peter Sykora on the point on the power play. He opens up so many options for all the Oilers and he can really rip the puck...
much more and I wonder how many GMs are kicking themselves for not picking up Sykora when he was available...

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Forsberg Options

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

He is, after all, their captain and during the team's struggles — this is the worst club Forsberg has played for since joining the NHL as a rookie in the 1994-95 season — he considers his relatively meager contributions as part of the reason they're bringing up the rear in the Eastern Conference. Hence, his priority is to work through their many and varied issues and be part of the Flyers' solution. No matter how it evolves, though, there is little indication that Forsberg wants to abandon ship now, or for that matter, leave as a player rental closer to the Feb. 27 trade deadline. The only way that might change is if the Flyers were hopelessly out of the playoff race by then and they came to him and asked him to waive his no-trade clause as a favor to them — so they could then swap him for one or more young assets, and give him a chance to play the final six weeks of the regular season, plus playoffs, for a contender.
read on...plus a piece on Jagr and others...

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It Could Have Been Different

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Dump and Chase breaks down the altercation that lead to fines and suspensions during the Caps/Thrashers game a few night's ago.

Thrashers coach Bob Hartley feigns innocence and astonishment at this sort of thing, but the Freedom of Information Act (well, the availability of box scores and games on television, anyway) exposes that charade.
read on... and I tend to agree...

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Around The ‘sphere

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Up first: Kudos to Ken Holland. Local Detroit news stations are showing footage of the Wing GM serving meals at a Salvation Army Soup Kitchen yesterday morning. Not sure how much pub that will get. I'd actually be even more impressed if it doesn't receive any, which would give an idea of the motivation behind the act. Either way: good on ya Kenny. Having been pre-occupied with domestimerica the last two days, I offer you nuggets from my fellow hockey bloggers. I really wish Columbus was better. For if Columbus was better, they'd be our rivals. If they were our rivals I'd dislike them intensely, and maybe even generate a glossary entry; undoubtedly tied to the acronym that they claim. Oh, that would be witty. If I disliked them intensely, I'd be happy, happy, happy today. Why? Because I really detest their new large coach.

Continue Reading »

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Black Friday Shopping

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

I'm going out on a limb and saying right now I was the only U.S. hockey blogger out of bed at 4:30 this morning, on the road by 4:45 and knee deep in the trenches by 5. Yes, I did. I waded into Black Friday battle. Am I proud? No. I'm humilitated and, frankly, more than a little shaken. Nothing in my military career prepared me for the violence, the viciousness and game-day intensity brought to the table by the housewives today. They elbowed me, glowered, cursed me and intimidated me. It was horrifying. But I wasn't the only Wing fan shopping today. Ken Holland was too, and he was much better prepared than I.

Continue Reading »

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Backup Woes In Vancouver

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Sun,

The Canucks were handed more than just an ugly 6-0 loss here Thursday night. They also have another one of those seemingly never-ending backup goalie controversies on their hands.... "It's too bad," Sabourin said. "I played good the last game I went down with Manitoba. I felt ready but a couple of tips and it's a different game. Maybe if they don't tip those in it's a tight game and you never know what is going to happen." His NHL record as a starter is now 0-6 and his goals-against average is well above the 4.0 mark. Now Sabourin must wait and wonder when, or if, he will get another start with the Canucks.
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