Kukla's Korner

Avery Is Now A Target

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Slam,

Many NHLers in the east already were snoozing in the wee hours yesterday morning when Kirk Maltby slammed his fist into the schnozz of NHL bad boy Sean Avery out in Los Angeles. Thank heaven for replays. You can bet there was a collective cheer later in the day from Maltby's peers around the league when they finally had the opportunity to watch the video of the roundhouse left hook that pancaked Avery's nose in the waning moments of the Red Wings' 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center. His schtick obviously having worn thin throughout the league, Avery has become the most targeted man in hockey.

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Get Used to Games Like This

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Well, it might not be hockey, but whatever they're playing out there on the ice, it sure is different. "This is some weird stuff," Keith Primeau said after the long night of whatever-it-is was over. He and the Flyers had built, then lost, a 5-1 lead before finally outlasting the Penguins, 6-5, in overtime. The referees were enforcing the new laws of the game down to the very letter in this one - and then some. If an attacking player fell down in the offensive end, whistle two minutes on the closest defender and let's have us a power play. There were 14 power plays in the game, and more than 25 of the 63 minutes were skated with some kind of man advantage. This made for some wide-open, entertaining play, but it also meant that the value of working hard and building a four-goal lead wasn't what it once was. "I'm at a loss for words. I don't know what transpired," Primeau said. Fine for him, but some of us have to try to explain it anyway. "It's the new NHL. Get used to it," coach Ken Hitchcock said, and that might have to serve as the motto for the evening and maybe for the season.

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Hull Waiting For More Minutes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Arizona Republic,

With Brett Hull's ice time dwindling, coach Wayne Gretzky reiterated that patience is the best approach for the star, yet aging, right wing to take. Hull, the NHL's third all-time leading goal scorer, played only 12 shifts on Thursday night against Nashville, logging eight minutes, 46 seconds of ice time. "He's one of the elite players ever to play the game," Gretzky said. "As I told him two weeks ago, he just has to be patient. He missed a full year. He's 41 years old.
On a sidenote to Yotes/Wings game tonight, Curtis Joseph has recovered from his injury and will start tonight.

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No Parity In This NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Citizen,

When it comes to adapting to rules, the hockey coach is a creative creature. Give him time, and he will find a way to manipulate myriad advantages out of the changes introduced to the NHL this season. But will coaches be able to manipulate parity back into hockey? Not likely. It looks like another job for the salary cap, and it might be a few years before that animal brings about something close to balance. In the short term, the cap itself has cut the legs out from under teams that used to be money-rich, but are now relatively talent-poor because they weren't paying attention to the looming changes. In the short term, the gap between the best teams and the worst could be wider this season than it has been in years.

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Attendance Woes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Globe and Mail, Even though the National Hockey League is offering a new, exciting version of the game, the same cities that yawned at it two years ago are still yawning now. While that is bad news for the league office and the people who own teams in places such as Carolina, Atlanta, Nashville, Phoenix and Washington, it is not for a couple of cities in Canada where covetous eyes are cast on the franchises in undeserving markets.

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“My NHL’ Spoofed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the Toronto Star,

Any hockey fan with a sense of mischief could have guessed the NHL's reaction to a video satirizing their new "My NHL" commercials. Yup, it wasn't favourable. What remains to be seen is whether the league can shut down the website floating the loop. "We believe it's an improper use of the NHL's marks and other intellectual property," Bill Daly, deputy commissioner of the NHL, said. Daly and the rest of the NHL executives were tipped off this week about the video, which comes from the folks at Frank magazine, who have shredded political and media types for several years and now have their own website, efrank.ca, but be warned it's a subscription site. What's all the fuss? The "My NHL" commercials, already the target of critics for its macho images, have been spliced with some clips of infamous hockey incidents (Todd Bertuzzi-Steve Moore, Marty McSorley-Donald Brashear). A message, inserted with bold lettering, suggests homosexuals are not welcome amidst all this gladiator imagery. The video ends with the image of a schoolboy in tears and then the words "give me your lunch money" and then "Our NHL." The NHL won't divulge how it intends to flex its muscle in this case. But you can bet it won't nominate the Frank video for an ESPY Awards any time soon.

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Highlight Save

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Sebastien Caron of the Pittsburgh Penguins fooled the goal judge and just about everyone else in the building with a fantastic glove save (will open wmp video) last night.

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Dish Network and OLN

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Mercury News,

This can't be what the NHL had in mind when it found a loving TV home: getting caught in the middle of a spat between the Outdoor Life Network and two competitors. OLN is owned by Comcast, which is using the NHL's national TV contract as leverage to move up the priority list on the Dish Network and, in the New York area, Cablevision. OLN showed the season-opening package last week, but Dish and Cablevision customers who tuned in Monday got a fishing show instead, and they're going to continue to get the switcheroo. Dish subscribers receive OLN if they buy the ``top 180 channels'' package, but OLN wants to move into the top 120 or even the top 60. ``They did this without giving any advance notice whatsoever to our customers,'' said Marc Lumpkin, spokesman for EchoStar, which owns Dish Network. ``. . . We're disappointed that they failed to adhere to this contract. We hope to resolve this issue, but we refuse to let our customers be bullied.''

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A War Of Words Too

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Leafs GM John Feguson and Atlanta Head Coach Bob Hartley exchange words during post game conference. from the CP via TSN,

Jeff O'Neill scored three of Toronto's goals in a 9-1 rout of Atlanta on Friday night, but it was some questionable hits by the Thrashers late in the game that had everyone talking afterwards. O'Neill's third career hat trick was the first by a Leafs player since 2002, but it was completely overshadowed by a game that featured 109 penalty minutes. "They obviously didn't know how to handle it," Toronto coach Pat Quinn said of the officials. Quinn also accused the Thrashers of "cowardice" and said Atlanta coach Bob Hartley "has a reputation of sending his guys out head hunting."
http://tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=139770&hubname=

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Quick Hits

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

-Steve Thomas, who was unsuccessful in a tryout in training camp, has been contacted by the Chicago Blackhawks. But Thomas' goal remains to sign with Toronto. (toronto sun) -26 years ago today, Wayne Gretzky scored his first NHL goal. -NHL refs called umpire Doug Eddings to offer their support for the controversial third strike call. (toronto sun)

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