Kukla's Korner

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Disparities In The NHL Schedule

Christy, a KK member, is back with another submission, this time dealing with the NHL schedule. Believe me, no matter what team you follow, it will make you think about the schedule and the isues that surround it. ___________________________________________________________________________ In one week, the Edmonton Oilers, a hockey team in the Western Conference, will play five games in three different time zones (Eastern, Central, and Mountain). That same week, the Philadelphia Flyers, an Eastern Conference team, will play all four games in the Eastern time zone including two away games. After the lockout in 2004-2005 that cancelled the entire season, the schedule was changed to highlight intra-divisional play with each team playing the other teams in their division eight times each per season. Currently, each Western Conference team plays 10 games against the Eastern Conference each season and vice versa. The current NHL schedule has created a large disparity between the two conferences regarding time travel and as a result has caused a great debate.

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Chouinard Trying To Fit In

from the Vancouver Province,

For the fourth time this season, a healthy Chouinard was squeezed out of the Canucks lineup Tuesday and into the press box. This time it was in favour of Jesse Schultz, an undrafted rookie playing his first NHL game after flopping harder at training camp than a hooked 20-pound Steelhead. "When I came to this city I certainly had ideas and plans and I thought of ways it was going to go," Chouinard said. "Sometimes it just doesn't go the way you thought it would. "But that's the thing about being a pro -- you get some ups and some downs and you just have to roll with it."

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Alex Auld: Gets a Shutout But Loses the Game

From the AP (via Globe & Mail),

Alex Auld waited a long time for his second career shutout, and was left with a hollow feeling afterward. Cristobal Huet stopped two of three shots in the shootout and Alex Kovalev and Saku Koivu converted their opportunities against Auld, leading the Montreal Canadiens to a 1-0 win over the Florida Panthers last night. Both goalies kept the game scoreless through regulation as Auld recorded his first shutout in more than three years despite losing the game. "I never thought I'd get a shutout without a win," Auld said. "It's kind of crazy."

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Brothers Square Off

from the Philadelphia Daily News,

They skated together when they could and shared their dreams and goals of playing professional hockey in the NHL. But they never have played against each other. That will change tonight when the Predators visit the Wachovia Center. The Timonen brothers will be on the ice and their parents will be in the stands. "This is very big for me and obviously very big for my brother, too," the Flyers' Timonen said. "I talk to him almost every day. It's going to be nice to play against him and it's going to be big for my parents, too. My mom and dad are here to watch the game."

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Everyone Happy With Nash/Tellqvist Deal

Via the Toronto Sun,

Tyson Nash sounded as though his lottery numbers came up. In fact, Mikael Tellqvist had about the same reaction. The Maple Leafs cleared up their three-headed goaltending picture -- not that it had become a major problem -- by dealing Tellqvist to the Phoenix Coyotes yesterday for Nash, an agitating right winger, and a fourth-round draft pick in 2007. "You can't wipe the smile off my face," said Nash, who has been with the minor-league San Antonio Rampage.
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Overshadowed In Edmonton

From the Edmonton Sun,

The pre-game attention would have normally been reserved for one of the NHL's premier talents reaching one of the NHL's premier milestones - classy, Edmonton-born defenceman Scott Niedermayer playing his 1,000th NHL game. Unfortunately, not-so-classy former Edmonton Oiler defenceman Chris Pronger returned to the scene of his greatest perceived crime on the same night - and with all that venom to hype and advance, there was no time for congratulations or sentimentality.

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Fight Only When Necessary

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

"I have a policy I call a 'common sense' rule that says don't get into useless fights," said Laviolette yesterday. "Are we allowed to stick up for our teammates? Yeah. Am I against the fighting rule in the NHL? No. "But, in the same sense, there are times and points in the game where somebody will come off the bench and try to change the makeup of the game. Our team is not built like that. We don't have that type of personnel on our team. It doesn't play to our strengths, so why would we, as a team, look for that?

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Old Timers Lead The Way

from the National Post,

I nearly spilled my morning coffee on the NHL scoring leaders list the other day, seeing names like Jagr, Brind'Amour, Shanahan, Selanne and Pronger. If you think there's not much of an age gap between the creaking veterans and the new wave of fresh talent in the NHL, consider that Brendan Shanahan was drafted in June of 1987, two months before Crosby was born. Shanahan, who left the Detroit Red Wings to write a new, perhaps final, hockey chapter with the New York Rangers, will be 38 years old in January. A show of hands, please, by those who expected Shanny to be leading all NHL goal scorers before last night's games, with 17
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It Comes Down To Lack Of Respect

from the Windsor Star,

"There is a lack of respect for your opponent and that's sad," said Schneider, who also saw teammate Johan Franzen sidelined for an extended period with a concussion and sprained knee after a late hit by Vancouver's Willie Mit-chell last week. "That's a sad state of the game. "As important as it is for guys to protect themselves, it's been kind of taken away because of the new rules. "In the past, you were able to get your elbow and stick up and that would prevent you from getting run. Now, you get a five-minute penalty.

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Bettman Cranks Up Pressure In The Burgh

from the Canadian Press:

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman warned Tuesday that the Penguins' future in Pittsburgh is uncertain if the Isle of Capri casino chain isn't awarded a license next month to build a slot machines parlour in the city. Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. has promised to build a US$290 million arena to replace 45-year-old Mellon Arena, at no cost to taxpayers or the team, if awarded the license. The other two applicants are expected to provide money toward an arena, but neither would fully fund a new building. "If the Isle of Capri doesn't get the license, we've got a lot of uncertainty to deal with, and it's best for everybody and the franchise that we're not dealing in uncharted and uncertain waters," Bettman said.

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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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