Kukla's Korner

Holmqvist Has Arrived

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Tampa Tribune,

Johan Holmqvist flashed his glove above his head and snared Jason Spezza's wrist shot from 25 feet out in midflight. With the puck secured in his glove, Holmqvist held his arm in the air just long enough to get noticed. Though there was only 8.5 seconds left on the clock when the Lightning goaltender snagged the puck out of the air with Tampa Bay ahead by a pair of goals, the dramatic pause certainly put an exclamation point on a 3-1 victory against Ottawa. At that instant, maybe more so than at any other time since Holmqvist wore a Lightning jersey this season, he announced his arrival on the NHL stage following a two-year absence from North America.
continued

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Boston Goalie Admits Trip To AHL Was Good For Him

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Boston Globe,

For the last three weeks, Hannu Toivonen has forsaken his $532,000 NHL salary and all its perks -- charter planes, first-class hotels -- for the smaller paychecks and weary bus travel of the AHL.... "It was the right thing to do," said Toivonen, recalled to Boston Sunday, after his first practice back with the big club yesterday. "I wasn't playing well. It's as simple as that. No excuses -- I just wasn't good enough. That's the bottom line. I had to get better.
more

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Flyers Thinking Playoffs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Courier Post,

With six teams to climb to get into playoff position, logic tells you the Flyers are staring at their first playoff no-show in 13 years. The players aren't listening to that logic, saying they have 58 games to prove they belong in the postseason. "As a team I think we thought that all along," said Flyers captain Peter Forsberg, who has found at least a temporary answer to his skate problems with additional foam padding. "Everybody else wrote us off. We knew we could play better than we did in the beginning and we've shown that lately. "But it is a long way to go. We have a lot of points to catch up, but I don't think anybody in this dressing room wrote the season off. We're 10 points behind first place in the division (actually 11), so it's not that far."
more

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I Watched The Bachelor Instead Of The Wings Game

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

No. That's a lie. But my wife did. And the fact that I'm even bringing this up underscores just how seriously I took this most recent five-game skid. Minutes before faceoff she broke the news. The Bachelor would take precedence. All of a sudden, it hit me. She hadn't watched any of the previous five games. She was the reason. My wife was the cause of significant Wing fan sorrow. I told her if the Wings lost to Dallas....well, I'd have to let the world know of her disloyalty. She said, "Ok. You go ahead and tell the six people who read your blog that I'm the reason Detroit can't score on the power play." Ouch.

Continue Reading »

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The Windtalker Hockey News

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Winnipeg Sun,

A new national newspaper based in Winnipeg is out to prove that there's more to Aboriginal hockey in Canada than Jonathan Cheechoo and Jordin Tootoo. While the new Windtalker Hockey News certainly won't ignore the stories of Cheechoo, a Cree sniper who led the NHL in goals last year, and Tootoo, the first Inuit to play in The Show, the paper will go well beyond the pros to report on up-and-coming junior stars, as well as telling real-life stories of what the spotlight and life on the road can do to young players.
continued

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Another Big Hit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Colin White of the Devils layed out Sean Avery last night. The Kings won the game in a shootout. image

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Guess Who’s Back In Town

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Helene Elliott & Chris Foster of the LA Times,

Two security guards, earpieces in place, alertly scanned the area. Two lines of photographers and TV camera crews pointed their lenses toward the doorway of the posh ballroom at the city's swankiest hotel. A local TV reporter gave live updates. "They're here. He's in the building," the reporter informed a waiting audience. With the fuss usually reserved for a head of state, Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger returned to Edmonton for the first time since he stunned fans by asking to be traded two days after he had carried the Oilers to within a victory of a Stanley Cup championship.
continued (reg. req.) added 5:43am, Pronger Q & A with the Edmonton Sun,
Q. What do you expect - in the sense of how negative the fans' response could be? A: Negative? Really? No, I'm sure it's going to be loud and boisterous, much like I know they are. There will be signs, there will be booing and all the rest of that. They are a passionate group of fans that love their team and love their city and certainly, I understand where they're coming from. But at the same time, I'm on the other team now, the opposition team, and I've got to go out and do my job. It's not the first building I've been booed in and it certainly won't be the last."
read on

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Chicago Gets Offensive

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

It's Chicago, an NHL burg that's about as out of step as you can be. So it may be a stretch to take anything that happens with the Blackhawks as indicative of anything else in the league. But the fact that Denis Savard was brought in yesterday to replace Trent Yawney as head coach with the mandate to make the Blackhawks score a lot more than they've been scoring may also be part of a growing trend. One that could yet make the league even more creative and wide open.
continued

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Bring Back Wood Sticks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

This league badly needs a return to wooden sticks. In its usual laissez-faire manner, the league years ago allowed aluminum sticks to creep on to the scene, thereby saving a whole lot of defencemen the bother of having to head to the bench every time they broke a wooden stick over someone's arm. There are those who say that the NHL injury rate rose considerably when aluminum sticks were introduced, but no one really knows. Surely, you wouldn't expect the NHL to track meaningless statistics like that. It's only the health of hockey players that's at stake, after all.
more

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Interesting Look At Wings First Period

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Anyone find anything unusual about this shot chart of Detroit's first period against Dallas? image More analysis of shot opportunities and selection tomorrow morning.

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