Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Put Em All In

from the Globe and Mail,

Not only is Upon Review in favour of the Fitzpatrick movement, we'd like to see several other players make the all-star team. In Nashville, Tenn., it's time for fans of the Columbus Blue Jackets to launch a campaign for the hard-working Jody Shelley, either him or Ohio State Buckeyes' quarterback Troy Smith. In Colorado, Avalanche faithful should get behind Karlis Skrastins, and we would too if we had a clue who the guy is and how to correctly spell his name.
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Maurice Wakes Up Leafs

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

You knew a storm was brewing when the traditionally tardy folks in sushi row hadn't reclaimed their seats and the Maple Leafs had already called a timeout. Indeed, the Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning hadn't even completed a minute of competition in the second period last night before Paul Maurice gave the universal "T" sign to the officiating staff assigned to the game.... Even from a distance, his animated lecture was good entertainment. There was lots of gesticulating and waving of arms, a fine rant that would have made fiery former Leaf coach Pat Burns, symbolically present in the building last night, proud. "None of it was printable," Maurice said with the trace of a smile. "Often, you don't exactly remember what it was you said. It doesn't have to be coherent, just loud enough and profane enough."
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Protecting The Players

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The plodding defenseman (Hatcher) somehow was not penalized on the play the same way he was not penalized when he concussed then-New Jersey's Petr Sykora in Game 6 of the 2000 Finals with a leaping elbow. Jagr was not injured by the blow. "It was a shot to the head," an annoyed Tom Renney said after the Rangers extended their winning streak to four with a 3-1 victory. "It was a head shot to the league's leading scorer. "If the league's not going to protect these players, well, OK, but then we'll all carry hired guns and take care of it that way."
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Refs Aren’t Relaxing

from Kara Yorio of the Sporting News,

So last week, Maurice was asked a question about officiating and he responded, "There's a lot more allowed than there was three, four weeks ago. We'll all continue to adjust." Now it's everywhere. The referees are relaxing, just like everyone expected a year ago. The league is being held back again. I've been reading a lot about it and I'm sure Maurice believes what he is saying and I don't doubt he's seeing it. But I have to say, I haven't seen it in the games I've watched.
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Goalies Appear Normal

from the New York Times,

Goalies no longer talk to their goalposts. Gone are most of the quirks, the bizarre rituals and the unwritten rule that goalies were not to be talked to or joked with. Their corner of the hockey world was considered a sort of mental-health quarantine. “Goalies are much more normal now,” said Darren Pang, a former goalie and now a broadcaster for the Phoenix Coyotes. “Where did all the crazy ones go?” Sanity has overtaken a generation. Today’s goalies have grown up in a sport that figured out that a great goaltender was a requirement for a championship team. Now, they are surrounded by specialized coaches and have access to instant video analysis. Most startling of all, they have actual relationships with their teammates.
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Jovo On Leaving Vancouver

from the CP via TSN,

Defenceman Ed Jovanovski says he had no choice but to leave Vancouver as an unrestricted free agent because the Canucks never made him a real offer. "At the end of the day I wish there had been a little more discussion," Jovanovski said Wednesday prior to the Phoenix Coyotes' game against the Canucks. "As a player you try to give everything to your teammates and your organization. I felt I did that with this team. I understand there is a ceiling in this game, it is a business. I just had to move on. "It was difficult. I had no choice."
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Andy Murray Fits The Role

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

...Murray is, above all else, an organized, demanding, details-oriented teacher, perfect in other words, for what ails the Blues in their current sad state. "From where we are and as we look forward, we're going to become an awfully young team," said Blues' president John Davidson. "I think Andy will set the foundation to develop the proper professional attitudes that you need for a young team. "Teaching is strength. He stressed that in our interview. He's a perfect fit for where we are going to be and where we're trying to get too."
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Grading Luongo

from George Johnson at ESPN,

In Florida, Luongo had been riddled by more bullets than Bonnie and Clyde's final getaway car. Now, shifted to a more stable situation in a hockey-mad market for the first time in his NHL career, the moment seemed to arrive for Luongo. So, how have the prodigy's reviews been after the opening two months? Good. Not great. One avid Canucks-watcher's report card for Luongo reads like this: a 9 out of 10 in October, a 5 in November and a 7 so far in December. Good marks, yes, but hardly otherworldly.
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No Shakeups- Just Firings

from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,

Losing teams talk all the time about making changes, about a major shakeup, but history shows it's little more than sabre rattling. The Philadelphia Flyers promised change earlier this season, they even demoted a few players that didn't matter, but in the end they made no moves of consequence and instead fired coach Ken Hitchcock. They made a show of partially rebuking general manager Bob Clarke with a poorly concocted "resignation" before bringing him back as a vice-president. The Columbus Blue Jackets did pretty much the same thing in firing Gerard Gallant and replacing him with Hitchcock; while the Chicago Blackhawks did the same when bagging Trent Yawney and replacing him with Denis Savard. No major player move beforehand, no big trades or real team "shake ups", just a lot of hustle and blather and then a quick execution of the old coach in favour of a new coach who will likely be fired down the road.
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Targeting The Leafs

from TBM at NBC Sports,

Like Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown just as he's about to kick it, Toronto has specialized in teasing its fans, all the while selling out everything from season tickets to luxury boxes to condos next to the arena ("Welcome to Maple Leaf Condos, where you don't have to fight traffic in the spring"). Why do the fans keep buying? Because hope always springs eternal in Canada's largest city, even though the Leaf fortunes have usually taken a tumble before fall is over. The latest edition of the team is surrounded by question marks, starting with "does the General Manager have teeth?" An excellent question, since no one has seen John Ferguson open his mouth, much less smile, since he took the job.
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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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