Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Playoff Format To Change?

Ross McKeon of the San Francisco Chronicle says it's being considered,

The way it would work is to have the Nos. 1 versus 8 and 4-5 first-round matchups from each conference in the top half of separate brackets, and the 2-7 and 3-6 finishers make up the bottom half of separate brackets. Thus, in the conference semifinal, the winners of 1-8 and 4-5 meet as do the winners of 2-7 and 3-6. We're a little baffled why the idea even would arise, especially considering the Stanley Cup playoffs are the best thing the attention-starved league has going.
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Aging Well In Carolina

Via Luke DeCock and the Raleigh News and Observer,

With points in eight of the Canes' past 10 games, tied with Ray Whitney for the team scoring lead, Brind'Amour's carrying the Canes again -- all while playing more than 23 minutes per game, second among NHL forwards and most on the team. "He's the heart and soul of this team, and he won us a Stanley Cup last year," Staal said.
Interesting comment from Brind'Amour regarding the ovation he received in Ottawa following his 1000th career assist.
The Senators announced the milestone during the next break in play. That drew a round of applause and an uncharacteristic wave from Brind'Amour on the bench. "I appreciated that," Brind'Amour said. "That's only in Canada, where you could do that. Do it in the States, and they'd be like, 'What's this?'
Woops. Canes bloggers?

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Phones Ring As Bruins Keep Losing

Boston GM Peter Chiarelli has been watching his team lose with a phone glued to his ear. From the Boston Herald,

“The general premise, and I would do the same things if I were in their shoes, is they go to teams that aren’t having success,” Chiarelli said. “There’s a bit of cherry-picking going on, and again, I would do the same thing. Most of it is just probing.”
Read on

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Sundin Leading Resurgent Leafs

Via the Toronto Star,

At the moment in question he took the puck, circled the Philadelphia net, saw his attempt at a centring pass busted up, and dug hard in chase. He recovered the puck and traced a ring around the goal again. And by this point there was a palpable buzz from a mostly buzz-less crowd. What Sundin was doing — his second lap of the Flyers' zone in a few short seconds, literally skating circles around his opponents — was a move you might expect more from a waterbug left-winger, not a 6-foot-5 captain who'll be 36 in February.
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Raycroft’s Happy Return To Boston

From the Globe and Mail,

Andrew Raycroft can be forgiven for the ear-to-ear smile that strained not to turn into a guffaw last night. "I haven't even noticed where they're at all," he said as his grin stretched as long as the truth. "It's not like I know what you're talking about." The subject was his former team, the Boston Bruins, and how he could not possibly be riding any higher into his first meeting with them since they ran him out of town last summer.
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A Preppy Brawler

from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,

The Ivy League is not the traditional route to the NHL. With no athletic scholarships and tuition in the mid-five figures per year, most who exit such hallowed educational institutions do not immediately think of a life in hockey. George Parros is different. Then again, a lot of things are different about the Avalanche's recently acquired enforcer. Parros has a Princeton pedigree and a bare-knuckled, blue-collar approach to his job. He can talk one- or two-syllable trash on the ice to opponents, then solve his teammates' toughest crossword puzzle problems off it.
continued

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Power Play After Power Play

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

Commissioner Gary Bettman says today's general managers meeting in Toronto will "take the temperature" on some controversial issues in the National Hockey League. The Maple Leafs are in favour of some changes in everything from officiating to scheduling, but how much the 30 GMs influence matters down the road remains to be seen. While agreeing the on-ice product generally has improved since last year, many Leafs hope the GMs discuss the plethora of power plays that continue to disrupt the flow of games.
continued

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The Staal Family

from Lynn Zinser of the NY Times,

“Every once in a while that pops into your head, you think about maybe all four of us can make it there one day,” Jared said. “But we’re not there yet, that’s for sure. We’ve got a ways to go. If that would happen, that would be unbelievable.” They see themselves as merely four boys who grew up in a small, remote town, working on their family’s farm in the summers and skating themselves numb during Thunder Bay’s long, frigid winters. Henry Staal admits to a selfish motive for building a rink in the family’s front yard. “That meant I didn’t have to drive them somewhere,” he said.
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Selling Itself Short

By George Malik: When the GM's meet in Toronto later today, they're going to discuss potential rule changes as they canvass the GM's for their opinions as to why both attendance and ratings are down this year. They'll toss around the usual crap that GM's do--bigger nets, letting more penalties go to bring "passion" and "intensity" back, according to some pundits, mandating wood sticks and/or visors, etc; in other words, they'll look at the easy changes, the tweaks that don't require much forethought, any idea what players want, or what fans would like to see changed.

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Spector Breaks Down The Rumors

More than a few trade rumors floating around these days, maybe even more than usual for such an early stage of the season. Naturally, that has the trash-swilling rumor mongers (and the geniuses who pay to read them) firing on all cylinders. Thankfully, we have Spector at our disposal to separate the reasonable from the ludicrous. From his Prince of Pucks column on Fox,

The struggles of the Calgary Flames have caused the rebirth of an old rumor of Gagne being shipped to Calgary for Jarome Iginla, but such a move would make no sense for the Flames. They need a first-line center for Iginla's line, and swapping him for another winger does nothing to resolve the problem.
Much more from Spector. But before you go, speaking of rumor mongers, trash, and Eklund....a line you may have missed from the French-based article on hockey bloggers making its rounds today, courtesy of James Mirtle.
Richardson (Spector) devotes most of his blog to trade rumours. But the rumours he comments on are those that find their origin in newspapers and from specialized websites like tsn.ca — not those that emanate from oft-critiqued blogger eklund. "Anyone can hide behind anonymity and make allegations without base and without citing sources," Richardson says. " I think most hockey fans are smart enough to tell the charlatans from the legit sources.

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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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