Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/23/05 at 08:41 AM ET
The players are aggravated. The coaches are unhappy. Even the general manager thinks this might be a bit overzealous. The new rules in the NHL are creating quite a fervor across the league, and nowhere is it more beguiling than in the Flyers locker room. A day after a preseason game against the New York Islanders that saw 26 power-play opportunities between the two teams, it was all anyone cared to talk about.
John Tortorella has it right! from the St. Petersburg Times,
“What they (have done) is what they told us they would do,” Lightning coach John Tortorella said. “The league is serious about this.”
The rules have always been in the books, but just like jay-walking laws, they’ve been rarely enforced. According to Tortorella, it has seeped into the culture of the game. The referees allowed it, the coaches taught it, the players practiced it.
“The whole culture of our game has gone to rewarding the below-average player,” Tortorella said. “The mediocre player who can’t skate with the best player is allowed to cheat by impeding. And that has just become commonplace in our game. The cheating has to come out of the game.”
Damien Cox of the Toronto Star thinks Bettman should tell Sinden to shut up, I agree.
Well, the NHL almost made it through the first week.
The newly reopened league almost managed seven days before one of its most respected, best known figures decided to rip the new style of rule enforcement.
On the sixth day, after just 33 exhibition matches including two for his team, Boston Bruins president Harry Sinden had his say in the Boston Herald, and it wasn’t complimentary about how penalties are being called in the pre-season.
“There’s a degree or level of interference that, in my own personal opinion, has to be allowed, or else you’re going to get a totally different game,” opined Sinden.
“If you ever try for zero tolerance, you’re going to get one of two things. You’re going to get constant penalties. Or you’re going to get players abiding by that zero tolerance and you’re going to see a game of hockey you’ve never seen before.”
Uh, I think that’s the idea, Harry.
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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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