Kukla's Korner

The Trophy Battle

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei at ESPN,

The Heisman Trophy is college football's Hobey Baker Award. Both pieces of hardware are earmarked for the top players in the U.S. college game, meaning it would be futile to try to sneak in votes for star quarterback Benoit Groulx of the top-rated Laval University Rouge et Or.... The head-to-head academic year tally as a harbinger of professional success? Hobey 6, Heisman 8, one push. Though extremely subjective, that's a lot closer than we expected, too. Maybe we should stop looking down on the Hobey. Or somewhere amid all those weekly charts and polls, make fun of the Heisman.
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All Masks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

What did you expect on Friday the 13th? Check out Masks from the Past for vintage goalie masks. image

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Who Did That Stat

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chirs Young at his JABS blog,

A truism from the (pardon the expression) New NHL™: Special teams are important. A key stat, the PP and its PK flipside. But what I'd like to see: stats kept on fouls committed, and who they've been committed against. The NBA (at least on fouls in the act of shooting) and soccer keep track in their play-by-plays of both ends of the candle, but the NHL, as far as I can see, does not.
continued

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Federko Keeps The Faith

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the St. Louis Review,

In his National Hockey League playing days, Bernie Federko often turned to other Catholic players when he needed support. "You knew that support was there. You knew who they were, and if you needed something they were the first people you would go talk with," said the former member of the St. Louis Blues and now a Hockey Hall of Famer. Some people might not think that a person who takes his faith seriously would play a physical sport such as hockey, but Federko said the perception that the game and its players are violent is a false one. "It’s totally the opposite. There is some intimidation involved, but when you play against somebody it’s just competition," he said.
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Yotes Need Help

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

For this season, Phoenix Coyotes are wearing large patches on the right shoulders of their jerseys with the slogan "Decade in the Desert" to commemorate the passage of time since they made the move south from Winnipeg. Well, the Coyotes might want to pick it up a bit, or it's not hard to see that slogan being mocked and twisted around a bit. How about "Disaster in the Desert," or perhaps, "Doomed in the Desert?"
continued

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Miller Wants A Win

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Buffalo News,

Thing is, Miller insists he's not concerned with The Dominator's aura. Rather than chasing ghosts, he is more interested in tracking down something that has proven just as ethereal in Buffalo: a world championship. And at least for tonight, when the Sabres play Hasek's Detroit Red Wings in Joe Louis Arena, Miller will be preoccupied with attaining another elusive feat. For once in the NHL the former Michigan State star would like to beat his hometown team. "I've had two cracks at it and they smacked me around," said Miller, who is 0-2 with a 5.64 goals-against average and .766 save percentage against Detroit. "I want to go in there and get a victory against these guys and keep this team going where we need to go."
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It’s Early

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Spector of the National Post,

Of 15 offensive categories on the NHL stats package, nine of the early leaders are Europeans. They've even infiltrated the rookie ranks, where you can't tie your dog [Lasse Kukkonen] to a Pole [Wojtek Wolski] without finding some guy named Alexander Suglobov or Loui [Satchmo] Eriksson. This deep into the season, it's obvious: The Calder Trophy will go to Anze Kopitar, the Los Angeles Kings draft pick who hails from Slovenia. There, hockey is so scarcely played that one in four registered players makes Slovenia's national team. (And still they wouldn't pick Rob Zamuner). But it's early, right? The Kopitar kid can't keep on averaging 21 minutes and scoring two points per game, can he?
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Go Kolnik

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

SUNRISE, Fla. - The Florida Panthers announced today a pair of special in-game promotions for their upcoming game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday, October 13. The Cats have partnered with Hooters to give fans 13 free chicken wings if RW Juraj Kolnik (#13) scores a goal in tomorrow nights game versus Tampa Bay. In addition, one lucky fan seated in one of the BankAtlantic Center’s seat 13’s will receive two tickets to attend the Guns N’ Roses concert at the BankAtlantic Center on Oct. 24.

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Early Trade Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

While the NHL schedule is less than 10 days old, the heat is already being turned up with some teams off to slow starts. You can bet trade talks are going to heat up in the next week. "I would say by the end of next week you're going to have teams calling around trying to see what's available because they're not where they should be," said an NHL executive yesterday. "You can't afford to wait until you've played 20 games before you make changes. It's all about making the playoffs now and if teams want to stay in the race they're going to have to decide pretty quickly what they're going to do." Most eyes are on the Phoenix Coyotes. The club is coming off a 9-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings with goalie Curtis Joseph taking the brunt of the shellacking.
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Boring

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Province,

Yes, the Canucks should celebrate their status as the most boring team in the NHL because, Lord knows, the national pundits couldn't get this wrong. So for the next game, all fans should wear grey flannel suits and go nuts when the Canucks ice the puck. Or cheer like madmen every time they retreat into the neutral zone. Maybe the old Canucks were more entertaining to watch, but this team opens up all kinds of new and exciting opportunities under Alain Vigneault. "People who are saying that don't have any idea of what the trap is or how the game is played," said Canucks GM Dave Nonis. "Not being able to put the puck in the net is a lot different from trapping."
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