Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

On The Comeback Trail

from the Hartford Courant,

Another drill was about to begin for Jed Ortmeyer. Practices often can be more of a chore than a pleasure, but not for Ortmeyer on Tuesday. Few enjoyed the workout and competitive 3-on-3 at the end of practice more than Ortmeyer, who will play for the Wolf Pack tonight against Philadelphia at the Civic Center, his first game in 71/2 months. Everything about practice beats what transpired in early August while Ortmeyer was taking a routine offseason run with Rangers - and former Pack - teammate Ryan Hollweg.
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Ducks Lead The League

from the San Francisco Chronicle,

Coaches and general managers like to say their teams can win any style of game -- speed and finesse or grind-it-out and physical -- but the Ducks really are an example of that thus far. Anaheim had 33 fighting majors in its 33 games. St. Louis led a batch of bad next-closest teams with 21. Combine five teams with the fewest -- Boston, Detroit, Minnesota, Montreal and the New York Islanders, all with six each -- and the Ducks still had three more.
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Don’t Bury The Flyers Yet

from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Things sure have changed around the ol' Wachovia Center. When the secret lead-lined door at the corner of the press box opened after the first period, who stepped out but (cue suspenseful music) Mr. Bob Clarke. To be fair, the Flyers did say Clarke would be scouting junior hockey after his resignation as general manager. They just didn't mention that the junior-hockey team in question would be the Flyers.
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Don’t Waste The Opportunity

from Ethan J. Skolnick of the Sun-Sentinel,

For a professional sports franchise, few sounds are sweeter than these: "Leave me alone!" "Dad, tell him to stop hitting me!" "Popcorn, popcorn! Cool!" "Hey, Mom, get me this T-shirt!"... Those are the sounds and sights that suggest there really is significant hope for the future of this franchise, even as the below-.500 team struggles to fill all of its seats. Those also are the sounds and sights that underscore what a unique opportunity the Panthers possess, and what a shame it has been to waste it so far. The only greater shame would be wasting it further.
read on

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Put Em All In

from the Globe and Mail,

Not only is Upon Review in favour of the Fitzpatrick movement, we'd like to see several other players make the all-star team. In Nashville, Tenn., it's time for fans of the Columbus Blue Jackets to launch a campaign for the hard-working Jody Shelley, either him or Ohio State Buckeyes' quarterback Troy Smith. In Colorado, Avalanche faithful should get behind Karlis Skrastins, and we would too if we had a clue who the guy is and how to correctly spell his name.
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Maurice Wakes Up Leafs

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

You knew a storm was brewing when the traditionally tardy folks in sushi row hadn't reclaimed their seats and the Maple Leafs had already called a timeout. Indeed, the Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning hadn't even completed a minute of competition in the second period last night before Paul Maurice gave the universal "T" sign to the officiating staff assigned to the game.... Even from a distance, his animated lecture was good entertainment. There was lots of gesticulating and waving of arms, a fine rant that would have made fiery former Leaf coach Pat Burns, symbolically present in the building last night, proud. "None of it was printable," Maurice said with the trace of a smile. "Often, you don't exactly remember what it was you said. It doesn't have to be coherent, just loud enough and profane enough."
read on

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Protecting The Players

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The plodding defenseman (Hatcher) somehow was not penalized on the play the same way he was not penalized when he concussed then-New Jersey's Petr Sykora in Game 6 of the 2000 Finals with a leaping elbow. Jagr was not injured by the blow. "It was a shot to the head," an annoyed Tom Renney said after the Rangers extended their winning streak to four with a 3-1 victory. "It was a head shot to the league's leading scorer. "If the league's not going to protect these players, well, OK, but then we'll all carry hired guns and take care of it that way."
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Refs Aren’t Relaxing

from Kara Yorio of the Sporting News,

So last week, Maurice was asked a question about officiating and he responded, "There's a lot more allowed than there was three, four weeks ago. We'll all continue to adjust." Now it's everywhere. The referees are relaxing, just like everyone expected a year ago. The league is being held back again. I've been reading a lot about it and I'm sure Maurice believes what he is saying and I don't doubt he's seeing it. But I have to say, I haven't seen it in the games I've watched.
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Goalies Appear Normal

from the New York Times,

Goalies no longer talk to their goalposts. Gone are most of the quirks, the bizarre rituals and the unwritten rule that goalies were not to be talked to or joked with. Their corner of the hockey world was considered a sort of mental-health quarantine. “Goalies are much more normal now,” said Darren Pang, a former goalie and now a broadcaster for the Phoenix Coyotes. “Where did all the crazy ones go?” Sanity has overtaken a generation. Today’s goalies have grown up in a sport that figured out that a great goaltender was a requirement for a championship team. Now, they are surrounded by specialized coaches and have access to instant video analysis. Most startling of all, they have actual relationships with their teammates.
read on

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Jovo On Leaving Vancouver

from the CP via TSN,

Defenceman Ed Jovanovski says he had no choice but to leave Vancouver as an unrestricted free agent because the Canucks never made him a real offer. "At the end of the day I wish there had been a little more discussion," Jovanovski said Wednesday prior to the Phoenix Coyotes' game against the Canucks. "As a player you try to give everything to your teammates and your organization. I felt I did that with this team. I understand there is a ceiling in this game, it is a business. I just had to move on. "It was difficult. I had no choice."
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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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