Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
Given the climate within the game that has evolved over the past number of seasons there is heightened awareness and sensitivity to player safety issues. Ongoing studies conducted by both NHL and independent medical experts provide scientific evidence and newfound knowledge that is slowly changing attitudes and redefining acceptable practices and behavior.
This is being addressed in part, with the addition of new rules relative to protective equipment. Last season visors became mandatory for any player with fewer than 25 games of NHL experience (rule 9.7). In addition, no player is allowed to remove his helmet prior to engaging in a fight. If he does so, a minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct will be assessed under rule 46.6.
You witnessed a continuation of the player safety theme on Tuesday night when Linesmen Scott Driscoll and Greg Devorski demonstrated their good judgment and quick response to intervene in an altercation before it escalated to full-blown fisticuffs.
more and you can watch the incident below...
from Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star,
Phil Kessel might have done something more than score the winning goal for the Leafs in the club’s overtime win against Colorado Tuesday night.
He might have just helped make his case for being the best player on a Canadian-based NHL team.
Kessel, ever since he came to Toronto five years ago an in much debated trade with Boston, has arguably not been portrayed as an “elite” level player, parallel with the likes of the Sedins, Erik Karlsson, Evander Kane, and P.K. Subban, who are superstars with other Canadian teams in the NHL.
continued and according to Toronto Star readers, Kessel is by far the best...
Here is the head contact on James Reimer by Dominic Moore from last night.
Postgame, Reimer said he is fine and the Leafs were following league protocol.
My thumb is down to Phil Kessel, and I know—that means I have to stand in line. But really, shouldn’t Kessel think for half a second and realize that his best reaction to his part in Toronto’s season-opening loss against Montreal was not “you guys need to relax”? Nobody’s relaxing, Phil, except, perhaps, you in the Leafs’ Saturday night clunker against Pittsburgh. It doesn’t match Kessel’s chart-topping tweet from April that declared “Night fishing with friends—doesn’t get much better”. The sting of missing the playoffs had worn off, apparently. What Toronto fans need to hear from Kessel is that losses bother him. Even if they don’t.
-Dave Hodge of TSN.
from the CP at Sportsnet,
One fan, unable to throw in the towel, opted to give up his jersey instead.
"When a fan does that, they’re frustrated — as are we," said Toronto captain Dion Phaneuf. "We do not like to put forth the effort we did (tonight) on any night, especially in front of our fans. We take responsibility for not giving them what they want. They wants to see wins, as do we.
"We want to win hockey games but tonight we didn’t display enough and do enough little things to win a game. We got beat all over the ice."
from Cathal Kelly of the Globe and Mail,
Though Carlyle is not really his guy, Nonis knows he’s the next man on the plank if the coach gets the sack. No one in this organization wants Carlyle to thrive more.
The new wonks in assistant GM roles have begun to assert themselves, after the early clipping of enforcers Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren.
It’d suit them in the short term if the Leafs do well, since they’ll naturally be connected to a combination of fresh thinking and positive results. If things go sideways early – and Toronto is looking at a very tough month of October – they’ll take the heat from traditionalists. They also need Carlyle to succeed, for now.
Above them all sits the real power – Shanahan. His position is simple. Whatever happens to the Leafs or Carlyle this year, Shanahan wins.
If the Leafs make the playoffs, Shanahan takes the credit. That’s natural. Between last year and this one, he’s the most visible thing that changed. All of his options are still open if that happens. He can stick with things as they are, and reference continuity. He can make huge changes, and reference improvement.
from Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star,
Brendan Shanahan is comfortable with words, but he can’t figure out how to describe how he feels, one day before the season begins. It’s not nervous, precisely. Interested? No, much stronger than that. He hits one. “Alive,” he says in his office at the MasterCard practice facility, which overlooks the ice. “I’m struggling to find it, but it’s like the feeling I used to have before a season. It’s a mixture of excitement, fear, adrenaline.” Alive.
It took a long time for Shanahan to circle back to the beginning, but here he is. When he was a boy in the Toronto suburb of Mimico, the youngest of four brothers, he would run with his older siblings through the same streets he drives now when he comes to practice. He left at 16 to play junior in London; he was, to his great surprise, in the NHL at age 18. He played his second ever NHL game here, a Leafs home opener. He returned to his high school’s dance the night before.
“It was completely natural to go,” Shanahan says. “My friends were still in high school. It wasn’t dumb to go. What was dumb was to tell one of my teammates where I was going.”
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
The Star got an exclusive sneak peek Monday at what’s new at the ACC, changes that treat fans like the sophisticated hockey watchers they are — less intrusive during the action, and less commercial. It should definitely make the place louder, like most other rinks.
“We were just looking to change the philosophy,” said Shannon Hosford, vice-president of marketing and communications for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. “It was time.”
Hokey is one word to describe the in-game experience of the past decade, despite many fan-friendly advances in technology that have livened things up elsewhere....
Gone are some of the more sophomoric events such as slingshot hockey and goalie races during intermissions. Instead, the between-periods focus will be on the game itself, with more — and better — replays on the over-the-ice screen. Also out are many of the corporate promotions that often interrupted the excitement as it was building.
“Anything that’s a little gimmicky, we’re getting away from that,” said Hosford. “They’re sophisticated fans. They’re here to watch the game, enjoy the game.”
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
The Maple Leafs are being penalized for their own popularity.
So says coach Randy Carlyle, who admits to being “flabbergasted and frustrated” by the Leafs’ schedule, especially pertaining to their appearances on Hockey Night In Canada.
What bothers Carlyle most is “they want us playing on Saturday nights because it’s good business for them. But what frustrates me is how often we’re playing on Friday night before and the team we’re playing on Saturday night is resting and waiting to play us. That’s not right.”
The Leafs play seven back-to-back Friday-Saturday games this season. In six of those games, their opponent isn’t playing the night before.
continued plus more hockey topics...
from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun,
Try out this scenario: The Leafs have banished fighters Frazer McLaren and Colton Orr and are embroiled in a match where they lead by a goal or two. The opposing coach sends out his tough guys in an effort to physically manhandle one of the Leafs’ skilled guys (like a Phil Kessel) or spark a fight to give his team a boost, which still happens in the NHL on a regular basis.
Instead of having McLaren or Orr to counter this move, the Leafs have to depend on one of their more skilled players to step up and face the other team’s enforcer and answer the bell.
Until the NHL bands physical contact altogether, teams simply can’t turn the other cheek. If Kessel gets pushed around, somebody has to step up in his defence. Team toughness? Okay, but do you want Kessel fighting back? Without Orr or McLaren, who steps up? David Clarkson (who fought nine times last season)? Joffrey Lupul (who fought four times)? Neither are heavyweights and could easily get hurt fighting a bonafide enforcer. Besides, does Carlyle want Lupul, one of the Leafs’ best goal scorers, serving a fighting major?
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.
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