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The gift of free publicity for your favorite site

Tuesday, 12.15.2009 / 10:03 AM / Columns

By Paul Kukla - NHL.com Correspondent

I spend most of my waking hours searching for hockey news and in the past have pointed out many of the Web sites I visit on a regular basis.

Since we are in the midst of Holiday Season, I thought this would be a great time for all of us to share -- that is, share our links with hockey fans worldwide.

Therefore, today I invite you to list your favorite hockey sites and explain why you visit them. I also invite the hockey bloggers to list their blog and entice us with a little background about your blog.

When I first started blogging, there were no more than 20 sites that I considered "must visits;" now there are probably hundreds of such sites and I get numerous requests on a daily basis to point out these sites and blogs.

Instead of me listing all of those sites, here is your chance to spread the word about your "must visit" hockey-related sites.  Take advantage of this opportunity -- I am in a giving mode today, so hurry up and list your favorites here.

Also, don't forget some of the bigger sites/blogs. You may think people are aware of the "big boys," but you'd be surprised by the number of people that have not heard of some of the bigger sites or blogs. So make sure you cover all the bases when listing them.

Taking a look at the standings -- Yes, it's early, but my feelings are teams want to be in the top eight of each conference when the Olympic break rolls around in February. We are not that far away from that time period, and looking at the standings today, I am surprised to see Atlanta and Ottawa in the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference and Colorado, Nashville and Phoenix in the same picture in the Western Conference.

What that means right now is five teams I thought would be playoff bound are not in the mix right now. Some of those teams, especially Anaheim, St. Louis and Carolina, have to start winning games right now in order to get into serious playoff contention.

Only one team has the right to brag -- Unless a season passed me by, the Pittsburgh Penguins still hold the Stanley Cup. Only they have earned the right to sit at the top of bragging list. But lately -- and this includes media and fans alike of a few teams -- have started talking and writing like their team won the Stanley Cup.

Now I don't take issue with this kind of talk -- everyone is entitled to their opinion -- but I do want to warn you that until your team actually is presented the Stanley Cup at center ice by the Commissioner, the Cup is not yours. 

Talking about winning the Cup is great; talking like the Cup is yours is not. So be careful with that attitude, because it may come back to bite you come sometime in the late spring.

I am afraid of ...

* Getting a haircut: I know I will be bombarded with questions like, "What is wrong with the Wings?", and, "Can they make the playoffs?"

* Going to bed early: I don't want to wake up early in the morning and read about a great goal, save or a come-from-behind victory. I want to witness it live.

* Slipping on black ice: If hockey players can stay on their feet while going 30 miles an hour, why can't I walk on black ice without the fear of falling on my rear?

* Opening my eyes: When watching a game on TV, you can see a big hit coming before the player about to be hit sees it. I cringe, close my eyes and hope for the best, knowing what is about to happen may not be good.

* Red and white: I expect to see Santa in different colors this year, maybe teal, or wearing an Indian head on his chest.

* Ending this blog: I could write all day, but then again, I wouldn't get any work done.

Have a great week, and feel free to e-mail me at pk@kuklaskorner.com with any questions or concerns or follow me on Twitter.


Quote of the Day

It's really exciting. I'm pretty sure that when I play my first game I'm going to be emotional. To be back on the ice playing a game, being in game situations, with all the routines and rituals I do before games and during the game, I feel like I'm going to be emotional. I'm going to be really happy.

— Montreal Canadiens forward Tim Bozon on playing for the first time since his life-threaning illness