Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

NHL Reaches Quarter Point

from the Delaware County Times,

The new NHL has reached the quarter pole and there have been plenty of surprises in the league, both positive and negative. Like where did the first-place New York Rangers come from? And the first-place Carolina Hurricanes? And how about the nearly unbeatable Nashville Predators? On the flip side, why are the Boston Bruins so bad? Why have the Atlanta Thrashers disappointed when they were the sexy pick to be an up-and-coming playoff team? And how about San Jose and Anaheim? Weren’t they supposed to battle for the Pacific Division crown instead of the cellar?

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How Shanny Sees It

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Detroit Red Wings veteran forward Brendan Shanahan was one of the architects of the relaunched National Hockey League, convening a summit in the darkest days of the player lockout to discuss product-related issues and then serving on the competition committee that emerged from those meetings to tweak and revamp the rulebook. As the NHL's 2005-06 season reaches the one-quarter mark with Saturday's Phoenix-San Jose game, here are 10 thoughts on the “new” NHL from Shanahan, one of its main architects: -On the criticism that there is no hitting any more: -On the waning influence of the neutral-zone trap: -On the inconsistency of the refereeing:
read on for Shanny's response and much more....

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The Game Is Back

from the Rocky Mountain News,

The NHL was in disarray a year ago, in lockout mode because of a financial dispute with the NHL Players' Association that eventually led to the entire 2004-05 season and Stanley Cup playoffs being canceled. It was an embarrassing experience for everyone involved. So even before the NHL and union finally came to grips with reality in July and reached a new six-year collective bargaining agreement with a salary cap that put the sport back on the ice, a committee of league officials and players were compiling a comprehensive package of rules-change recommendations designed to make the game more entertaining.

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Shh Line

from the Edmonton Sun,

The secret is out. The Edmonton Oilers have a No. 1 line. Word hasn't quite reached the far outposts of the NHL just yet, but if other teams are listening, they'll soon hear a buzz about the SHH Line. Of course, you might think head coach Craig MacTavish would want to keep his productive trio under wraps for as long as possible. But in reality, MacTavish is tickled pink to open up about the triumvirate of Ryan Smyth, Shawn Hor-coff and Ales Hemsky that combined for 11 points Thursday night against Detroit.

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Esposito Scores

from the Toronto Star,

It's as though Sidney Crosby walked out one door and Angelo Esposito came in another. Quebec junior hockey barely had the chance to lament the loss of Crosby, a brilliantly talented and lucrative drawing card, before welcoming Esposito, a 16-year-old just as telegenic, dedicated, articulate, bilingual and marvellously skilled as Sid the Kid. In some ways, he's even more accomplished. For instance, Esposito's actually trilingual, with French, English and Italian. In fact, his older sister, Josephine, could speak only Italian when she started school, a problem that had her parents, John and Gianna, summoned to meet the teacher. "They said she couldn't speak English," said John. "I said, `Well, why do you think I'm sending her to your school?'"

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Tanabe Traded To Boston For Scatchard

via the AP,

The Phoenix Coyotes traded defenseman David Tanabe to the Boston Bruins on Friday night for center Dave Scatchard. Scatchard has 111 goals, 121 assists and 861 penalty minutes in 542 regular-season games over eight NHL seasons with Vancouver, Boston and the New York Islanders. He had four goals and six assists in 16 games for the Bruins after signing a four-year deal this summer worth over $2 million per season. Tanabe had just four assists in 21 games for Phoenix this season. He joined the Coyotes in a June 2003 trade with the Carolina Hurricanes, who made Tanabe their first-round pick in the 1999 draft.

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Yzerman Not Happy With Rule Changes

from the Detroit Free Press (Saturday edition) via the Mercury News,

Detroit Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman has played 13 games in the new-rules NHL. He would like to see some of the old NHL back. "Everybody keeps saying this is great. It's not great," Yzerman said. "It's not hockey." "There are penalties all over," he said. "I'll just use Mathieu Schneider's penalty as an example. He steps up and takes his guy out, and his stick gets caught and the crowd cheers so the referee puts his hand up. There has to be some discretion. The referees have to use some judgment on what is a penalty and what is not. They've taken judgment out of it and I think it's somewhat made it easy on the referees just to call anything, because there is no judgment. "Good referees used to have good judgment. Now they've taken that out of the game. I'm not saying I'm blaming the referees for it, I just feel the whole thing has to be adjusted and they have to look at this seriously. They can't continue to call irrelevant things that have no business being called."

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Guess Who

As many of you know, Phil Coffey of NHL.com has a weekly feature highlighting the quotes from the past week in the NHL. Today, I am going to give you the quote only, you may want to try to figure out who said it or of course you can cheat and just read his column.

"When you're not at your best, and you have four of your six defensemen not at their best, how the hell are you going to win when you're under pressure? You turn the puck over, you don't read well ... that's the way it is. You have to wake up and play better. ... We have three of our best forwards out, and you have six not showing up? You're trying to win against a team that is playing great hockey? It's going to be tough." "If we were 15-3-2 and I didn't have a goal, I think it would be a different story. I think I would be playing good solid defense, and things like that. But the bottom line is we're a .500 team, so, as the captain of this team, a lot of people point at me, and say I have to play better. And, in a way, they're right. I still have some room to improve." "People can speak and say whatever they want. So be it. I'll just continue to work hard and hopefully it continues to get better. You know what? I just beat to my own drum. I do what I've got to do to get myself better."
Make sure you check out Phil's answers to many of the emails he receives from fans like us.

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Bad Team- Who Gets The Ziggy First

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

In the old days, the solution was easy enough. A team gets off to a rocky start or goes through a prolonged slump, opens the window and yells "look out, coach coming!" And to steal a line used by almost every GM after defenestrating their bench boss: "You can't fire a whole team even if you might want to." In the new NHL, however, when owners have to look below the fold in their morning papers to find their beloved team, it might not be the coach that comes to mind first, but the general manager.

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Keep An Eye Open

from Kara Yorio of the Sporting News,

Here are storylines to watch as the NHL rolls into high gear. Most shocking -- and misleading -- stat Attendance 'M' is for mediocre Once mighty in their own zone, the Devils now are messy, with no signs of cleaning things up anytime soon.
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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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