Kukla's Korner

Goalies Talk Shootout

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

Of all the new rules, the one that seems to be creating the most controversy is the shootout. Although it is highly popular among American hockey fans, a lot of Canadians still don't like it. Strangely enough though, a highly unscientific survey -- a series of chats with the players themselves -- would indicate that the players enjoy it. The goalies? Reviews are mixed. They tend to say that they like the shootouts when they win, but for the most part, they accept it as a form of entertainment that is necessary to help the game recapture its fan base.

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“We Will Make Changes”- Kevin Lowe

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Sun,

Kevin Lowe has some "mad money.'' But as mad as he is right now and as infuriated as Edmonton Oiler fans may be, Lowe isn't ready to kick his dog and go out and spend it yet. "Last August we knew we'd want to add something,'' said the GM of the money he left himself under the Oilers' budget with the new collective bargaining agreement and the new NHL salary cap. "We knew we'd be able to add something during the season. We didn't know if it would be defence or to add goal scoring.'' The idea, he admits, was to wait a while longer, let the hockey team settle to get a complete and accurate reading, and make the right decisions. "You don't want to make moves based on a game like we just watched,'' he said of the 7-1 debacle against the Colorado Avalanche. "We will make changes,'' said Lowe.

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Old Time Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Don Cherry on HNIC says the new NHL is just like old-time hockey, then said yea, it is old-timer hockey. Cherry thinks the fans will grow tired of all the scoring, said the players all rush the net now without any fear of being knocked out of the way. Ron MacLean state Ken Hitchcock told him off the record that he wished the Toronto-Philly game tonight could have been played the way ti was two years ago. I have a feeling we are going to hear more and more complaining from coaches and again, the NHL must step in to stop the complaining.

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Coaches Complaining

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

"I don't understand how they called that many power plays against us," he said. "I don't understand how we're that bad. I guess the Detroit Red Wings get those calls in their building."

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Living A Dream In Montreal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Fox Sports,

It certainly wasn't an easy road Higgins traveled to make his way to the Montreal Canadiens. But it was one well worth the trip. Despite being told time and time again when he was growing up that he was too small to play in the NHL, Higgins soldiered on and battled his way through the hockey ranks to get the right people to notice his abilities. When he was in the eighth-grade a coach tried to discourage him from thinking about playing hockey at the high school varsity level, but the then-5-foot-5 frontliner didn't listen.

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Flyers & Devils Meet The Cap

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Asbury Park Press,

We saw the NHL's new salary cap system at work over the summer when the Flyers bought out the contracts of John LeClair and Tony Amonte and traded Jeremy Roenick to fit Peter Forsberg, Derian Hatcher and Mike Rathje under the $39 million threshold. We're seeing more effects of the cap now that the season is under way. Earlier this month the New Jersey Devils traded Jeff Friesen, a talented left winger who scored the game-winning goal in the seventh game of the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals, to the Washington Capitals for a conditional draft pick. Why? Because Friesen's $2.28 million salary did not fit under the NHL's $39 million cap. "His salary was certainly at a level that was, quite frankly, too high,'' Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said.

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OLN Pushing DIRECTV

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

OLN is advising visitors to their website to get the DIRECTV Total Choice Package for $41.99 a month.

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Protecting The Crease

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei of ESPN,

Rob Blake, in fact, has liked the way the rules and anti-obstruction standards are working. For the most part. He said discussions on conference calls have centered on "the same thing, 'Keep to the mandate on the calls.' The battles in front of the net, the battles going into the corner, that's fine, there's going to be contact. But if you're in the corner, and you're in the lesser position, you can't hook and hold. That's the way we want it played throughout. I think you'll see the refs adjust, and there will be a little more contact in front of the net, because that's where the battle is." Yet so far, the battle is drawing in the goalie. The Canadiens' Jose Theodore and the Devils' Martin Brodeur, among others, have spoken out. It should be pointed out that they haven't been whining, and their position is understandable. But Joseph hasn't been as outspoken.

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Bad Start For Flames

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Edmonton Sun via Slam,

Tough couple of weeks for Sports Illustrated. The magazine's consensus pick to finish first overall in the NHL, the Calgary Flames, are struggling to keep their heads above the playoff cutline (they'd be next to last if they didn't own the Oilers). "There can be pre-season polls or whatever, that means nothing to us,'' Steve Reinprecht said of expectations that aren't being met. "It's a long season, you can't get too high and you can't get too low. It's an old cliche but there's no truer saying than that.''

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A New Chapter For Scott Stevens

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from MSG Network,

In his first interview since he announced his retirement, Stevens discussed the reason behind his decision, what he is doing now, and his thoughts on rule changes in the NHL. From 1982 to 2004, Stevens prowled the ice in a manner rarely seen. His baby blue eyes burned with unparalleled passion. He unleashed his 6'2", 215-pound frame with such fury that every player made sure to know when Stevens was on the ice. Yet, especially early in his career, he was among the leagues best offensive defensemen. He was the complete package. He played in 1,635 games, the fourth highest total in league history. He scored 196 goals, played on three Stanley Cup championship teams, and was awarded the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP in 2000.
continued

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