Kukla's Korner

The Return Of Mogilny

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from MSG Network,

He turns 37 in February, his closed cropped hair is more salt than pepper these days and he's coming off of two recent operations on his left hip. The New Jersey Devils hope that Alexander Mogilny and can turn back the clock five years and recreate the magic he had with the Devils during his first stint. Mogilny signed a two-year contract with the team last month, returning to New Jersey where he played with the 2000 Stanley Cup champions and the 2001 Stanley Cup finalists. While Devils fans are concerned about the retirement of Scott Stevens and the departure of Scott Niedermayer to Anaheim via free agency, the addition of Mogilny to the lineup could give the Devils a fearless top notch scorer. No small matter based on how offensively challenged theteam was during the 20003 season and playoffs.

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Blackhawks Gaining Confidence

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Daily Herald via Yahoo,

There's something about playing behind an elite goaltender that gives a hockey team added confidence. ust ask Blackhawks forwards Curtis Brown and Matthew Barnaby. They know this from firsthand experience, having played for the Buffalo Sabres when Dominik Hasek was in his prime and dominating the NHL. Brown and Barnaby think Nikolai Khabibulin will have a similar impact with the Hawks. "To have a goalie that you know is proven and is going to do as good a job as anyone in the league doesn't just help keep pucks out of the net, it changes the attitude of the team," Brown said. "You can go out and be more aggressive and not be concerned about leaving him in positions that you would be concerned leaving other goalies in.

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Room For The Gladiator

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Sun via Slam

, The Hockey News, as it often does, asks the question again in its latest edition: "Enforcer role endangered?" THN has been trying to KO fighting in the game since Bob Probert was a pup. The mag heralds the failure of that Hockey Gladiators pay-per-view debacle to attract fans as another reason why fisticuffs should be banned from the NHL. Never mind that Hockey Gladiators had as much to do with the NHL and its fighting issue as your mom playing in her mixed slo-pitch league does with major league baseball. If fighting is on its way out in the NHL, somebody should really tell the league's general managers.

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Lidstrom Wants To Be More Offensive

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Traverse City Record-Eagle,

Not everybody likes the new rules designed to promote more scoring. Especially defensemen. Nicklas Lidstrom may be one of those who doesn't mind the changes. NHL fantasy league fans take note: Already one of the better scorers among defensemen, Lidstrom thinks the rules will help him rack up points even more this year. "They want me to try to join the rush a little more, get up in the play, especially with the new rules where you can get up in the play," Lidstrom said. "Nobody can hook you from behind to slow you down, so I think you'll see that a lot more." The changes in hooking and holding will make blueliners have to play better fundamentally, rather than physically - one of Lidstrom's best assets.

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The Real Recap

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Exhibition hockey games allow teams to test line combinations, evaluate talent and get players into game shape. So the important stats from last night's Flames-Oilers game are 22 power play opportunities, Edmonton went 1-12 and Calgary 0-10. The shots on goal were in the normal range and Edmonton player Jarret Stoll drove Calgary defenceman Andrew Ference into the boards from behind and got a major and a game misconduct. Stoll went on to say. "With all the penalties, the flow of the game was up and down". "It was a good start to see how they're going to call the game. There were some penalties we couldn't believe they called, but we have to adjust." Edmonton did win the game 2-1 on a shoot-out goal scored by Ryan Smyth. Overall, a type of game we expected, except for the lack of scoring. Hopefully Stoll will soon realize those unbelievable penalty calls will become the norm, not the exception, meaning the players must adjust, not the refs.

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Lindros Opens Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

Lindros grasps that the tremendous potential he brought into the NHL has not been entirely realized and now, at age 32, the apogee of his career may have passed. "You have to be healthy. Health is the biggest single asset once you have your skill and your drive. If you can keep your health, you can keep on playing. "But it's the hand I was dealt. I have to play those cards accordingly. I'm not bitter. I'm sour at moments. Who wouldn't be? But what can you do?" There is poignancy in what might have been and dismay over some of the complications that have marred his professional existence: The end-game rancour in Philadelphia, being stripped by GM Bob Clarke — "Bobby," Lindros emphasizes, snidely — of his captaincy after complaining about alleged failures of the training staff there, and a dull term in New York, where it was expected that he'd thrive as a Ranger. The Clarke follies don't merit revisiting, says Lindros. "He's not worth my time or yours." But he clearly holds his nemesis responsible for the cock-up four years ago where Lindros twice came close to becoming a Leaf, a situation that tried the patience of then-Leaf general manager Pat Quinn. "I don't think Bobby ever wanted me coming to Toronto. There was no way he was going to make that trade." As for New York, that was ... weird. "That team never felt like a team. It never had that group feeling, that come-together feel. Guys would get together at team functions but it didn't feel like they really wanted to be there."

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A Possible Bargain For The Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mlive,

Andreas Lilja is a Detroit Red Wing mainly because he's big and came cheap. It's not exactly a ringing endorsement, but coach Mike Babcock thought highly enough of Lilja to pair him with Nicklas Lidstrom during training camp scrimmages this week at Centre ICE Arena. The Red Wings needed more size on defense after buying out Derian Hatcher's hefty contract in July. They didn't have much room under the salary cap, so they signed the 6-foot-4, 222-pound Lilja to a two-year deal for $650,000 a season.

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Tkachuk Flunks Physical

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Blues forward Keith Tkachuk will not be with the team when players report today for training camp. Tkachuk failed the Blues' physical Friday, general manager Larry Pleau said. "He failed his physical and he's been suspended," Pleau said. "That's all I'll say."

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What Is This?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Hurricanes Crush Capitals image Soemone want to refresh my memory!

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NHL Carnival News

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I am proud to announce the NHL Carnival- 10th Edition, will be appearing at Kuklas's Korner in about two weeks. More information will be available in the near future. Some of you may be asking, "What is this Carnival?" It originated at Off Wing Opinion in early June and has grown in popularity ever since. John at BoltsMag will be hosting version #9 next week and there is still time to submit your article.

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