Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Daily News Journal,
Tomas Vokoun is prepared to play 82 games — if not more — this season. Just don't expect him to be the Nashville Predators' goalie every time they take the ice. The combination of a regular-season schedule altered by a three-week Olympic break and the Predators' playoff aspirations has Vokoun thinking about how and when he will have time to rest. "I guess I'm going to play a lot, but there's a difference between playing a lot and playing too much," he said. "Hurting, getting worn out — it's a tough mental game. Once in a while you need a night off and you need to kind of step away from hockey. We have a great backup goaltender. Everyone has total confidence in (Chris Mason). So we'll see how it goes. It's a matter of how you feel and communicate with the coaches."
from the Chicago Tribune,
Lost in the hand-wringing over the penalties called in exhibition games has been the impact of other changes the NHL is making this season to increase the flow and speed of play. While the zero-tolerance measures lurch along, the Blackhawks seem to approve of removing the red line, touch-up offsides, restrictions on where goalies can play the puck and barring line changes on icing. "It's great," winger Eric Daze said of allowing what formerly were two-line passes. "You have seen a lot of [scoring] chances. Especially on the power play, goalies are moving the puck and you go right back and almost have a breakaway or a two-on-one."
from the Buffalo News
, Sometimes, there's no point in beating around the bush. You see Dominik Hasek, 40 years old, sweat pouring off him after a meaningless gameday skate in late September, and you get right to the question. "Why are you still doing it?" I blurted out Wednesday afternoon at HSBC Arena. "There's still something to prove," Hasek said. "There is always something to prove, especially at my age. I feel there is something I can prove to some other people, and to myself."
from the Buffalo News,
Rob Ray, his back to the rink, craned his neck at the JumboTron before Wednesday night's preseason game between his former teams, the Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators. He had heard his name mentioned during the replay of a 1993 Sabres-Senators game and turned around in time to see a young version of himself pulverize Darcy Loewen into the glass. "I was pretty good then," he cracked. Ray's playing days are done now - officially. The Sabres' all-time tough guy deposited a $70,000 check that settled his lawsuit with the NHL Players Association. He sued the union after it informed him in November he had been classified as retired even though he hadn't filed the required paperwork. The union's stance denied him the $5,000 and $10,000 monthly lockout stipends paid to other players.
from the Cleveland Plain Dealer,
If you don't see the value in high-definition television because you don't watch movies or network dramas, you might be pleased to learn that programmers are gearing up for the fall and winter sports seasons with new HD offerings. The National Hockey League last week announced that 52 games will be shown in high definition on HDNet, a network found mostly on satellite systems. Coverage begins Wednesday with Wayne Gretzky's coaching debut as his Phoenix Coyotes meet the Vancouver Canucks. "No sport benefits as much from HDTV as hockey," HDNet president Mark Cuban said in a statement. That's pretty generous coming from Cuban, who owns the Dallas Mavericks in the National Basketball Association. The Outdoor Life Network, which will carry the NHL season in standard definition, is signing deals with some cable companies to carry NHL games in HD.more..the article goes on to discuss basketball and football in HD.
from the Toronto Sun via Slam,
Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn backs Ottawa Senators coach Bryan Murray's call for the National Hockey League to be more lenient about physical play in front of the goal. "You should still have the battles around the net," Quinn said. "Not the holding, nobody wants that. But you should be able to block a guy off. You are entitled to your area."
from the Toronto Sun,
After six years of complaints about the slow, choppy ice in their home rink, the Maple Leafs hope to get a step ahead with modern science. Practice at the Air Canada Centre was halted yesterday to let building personnel tell the players and coach Pat Quinn about Fast Ice, a new system designed to improve one of the most difficult rinks to maintain in the National Hockey League. Basically, it's chemically treated water that is laid down in a mist as opposed to straight flooding. "It hardens quicker," said Bob Hunter, general manager of the ACC. "We think it's going to make a difference."
from the Toronto Star,
With less than a week before the NHL season opens, the Leafs' grand plan to charge into battle with three behemoth centres — Mats Sundin, Jason Allison and Eric Lindros — is already running out of steam. Allison and Lindros are struggling to stay healthy, so the trio might not even be able to start the season. If they do, it's still not a sure bet they'll all play centre. "Not really," Leafs coach Pat Quinn said yesterday when asked if he's got any firm plans for the three giants. "You can make plans, but we don't know if they'll start the season. Right now they're not in the middle, they're nowhere ... they're in the stands." Allison (hip flexor) has appeared in one pre-season game while Lindros (oblique muscles) has three to his credit. The lack of participation, even though the games are meaningless, has compromised roster decisions and thrown a wrench into preparations for Wednesday's opener at home against Ottawa.
from the News Journal,
Veteran defenseman Derian Hatcher has seen each of the Flyers' two home preseason games and admits he's as confused as anyone when it comes to deciphering what is a penalty and what is not. "Don't ask me what I think," Hatcher said after completing his second full practice since returning from a left knee sprain. "Some of the (calls) I personally think are ridiculous." He said he is in favor of ridding the sport of hold-ups in the neutral zone, but does not want the one-on-one battles completely eliminated from the game. "You can't battle now, give me a break," he said. "The NHL is trying to create the warrior-type image and yet they're taking a lot of that out of the game. I think it's ridiculous and I think most of the players in the league do, too."
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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