Kukla's Korner

New Rules Working

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Denver Post,

In the NHL of the recent past, stoppages in play seemed to occur every few seconds. A pass went across two lines, a puck was touched up for icing, a player didn't tag up on the blue line fast enough before a chip-in or any number of other things brought the game to a halt. Nearly a week into the season, frequent incidents stopping play are - surprise, surprise - goals.

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Slow Start Hurting Flyers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

The Philadelphia Flyers were supposed to be a powerhouse this season. And they may still be. They showed flashes of brilliance at times last night. But the rest of the night, the Maple Leafs were more than a match for them and came away with a 4-2 victory, handing the Flyers their second loss in three games. Once again, the Flyers got off to a sluggish start. Every game so far, they've fallen behind -- and played poorly in the process. "I think that's probably a fair assessment," Flyers captain Keith Primeau said. "And I wish I had an answer. We're just not finding any kind of rhythm right now early in the games.

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It Is Not All Good

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,

All of those magnificent attendance numbers cited by commissioner Gary Bettman of late can't hide crowds in some of the weaker American markets that resemble the familiar gathering of family and friends. The greatly improved esthetics apparently haven't moved the NASCAR crowd, nor were they enough to inspire supporters of the Ottawa Senators to fill the Corel Centre when the archrival Maple Leafs arrived for the first time this season on Monday. n Buffalo the other night, after a massive radio advertising blitz pushing cheap tickets deep into Ontario's hockey-mad Golden Horseshoe, only 12,000 people turned out to see the home team take on the Pittsburgh Penguins, with both Mario Lemieux and the saviour, Sidney Crosby, in their lineup.

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Sharks Expect to Lose Money

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Contra Costa Times,

Despite the NHL's new economic structure and a payroll that's $7 million less than when the team advanced to the third round of the 2004 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Sharks say they expect to lose money once again this season. The current problem, Jamison said, is revenue. Ticket prices were lowered an average of 10 percent, so if attendance drops, "that can be almost a double dip," Jamison said.

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Goalies Claiming Interference

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

On Monday we had Kolzig mentioning goalies were getting interfered with, today Theodore claims the same. from the CP via Canada.com,

Montreal Canadiens star Jose Theodore is wondering when the NHL's crackdown on obstruction will make its way to the goal crease. "A couple of times they were in my crease and the refs didn't call it. They gave them some warnings, but they kept coming back in the crease. I think that's something the refs need to be really strict about." Theodore said that with the NHL telling officials not to allow defencemen to clear the front of their nets the way they used to - usually with a two-handed slash or a cross-check - that his crease has become increasingly popular with forwards he's not used to seeing there. "Before, some of the guys didn't want to go in front of the net and pay the price, but now you're not going to get that cross-check behind the legs or in the back because it's not allowed," Theodore said. "So for sure, there's some guys who didn't used to go in front of the net, but now they go."

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OLN Still Having Issues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Some NHL fans who expected to view the Dallas/Phoenix game tonight are still unable to see the game on their cable/satellite feed. As I mentioned earlier in the day, OLN was trying to resolve the issues, especially with the smaller cable companies. If you are having a problem, you can contact OLN directly at 203.406.2500 and they will attempt to resolve the issue.

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Family & Faith Come First For Halpern

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I am not sure how many NHL players besides Jeff Halpern and Mathieu Schneider are of the Jewish Faith, but family and faith should always come first. from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post,

For his first five seasons in the NHL, the schedule spared Jeff Halpern from having to make a decision. This year, with his team slated to face the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh, N.C., tonight after Yom Kippur begins at sundown, the Washington Capitals' first-year captain had a choice to make. "I don't think there's any question what I should do," said Halpern, who will be at his family's home in Potomac when his teammates take the ice. Yom Kippur is the Jewish faith's holiest day. "I wish we didn't have a game. But it's too important to me, my family and the community that has supported me, not to participate. I'm not the most religious person in the world, but this is something my family has always observed."

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Cold Flames

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP via Canada.com,

Did the Calgary Flames start to believe their press clippings? Chosen by many, including Sports Illustrated, to repeat their surprise appearance in the Stanley Cup final, the Flames stumbled home Tuesday after an abysmal start where they lost three of four road games. It's not the scenario the Flames wanted as they prepare to raise the Western Conference champions banner Thursday at their home opener.

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Recommended Reading- Hockey Play-By-Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

For most hockey fans, that’s as close as they ever get to experience a game in another NHL city. Luckily Hall of Fame broadcaster Jim Robson was there for thirty years to deliver NHL play-by-play over the airwaves back home. Now, here’s your chance to transport yourself back to Jim’s most memorable night in each NHL city. I had a chance to read Jim's book recently and thoroughly enjoyed it.

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More Room, More Chances

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of the CP via Slam,

Four feet. That, in the mind of arguably the top coach in the NHL, is one of the biggest factors in the offensive explosion early this season. While the rest of the hockey world has focused mostly on the league's obstruction crackdown, Philadelphia Flyers head coach Ken Hitchcock says an equally important change has led to more goals. When the league decided to shrink the neutral zone from 54 to 50 feet, it created a bigger offensive zone.

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