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All Numbers & Facts

from the Elias Sports Bureau at ESPN,

Fredrik Norrena stopped all 21 Edmonton shots on goal to record his first NHL shutout as the Blue Jackets beat the Oilers 4-0. Norrena, who turned 33 years old on Wednesday, was playing in only his eighth NHL game, having spent his entire pro career in Europe prior to this season. No goaltender in Norrena's lifetime has recorded his first shutout at age 33 (or older). The last to do so was the Bruins' Ross Brooks (35) on Feb. 11, 1973.
more of these types of facts from last night's action...

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Jagr Avoiding Shootouts

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

"I have to be honest with myself and with Tom [Renney] and admit that my shot just isn't where it needs to be for me to think I give my team the best chance in a shootout," Jagr told The Post yesterday. "It's not just the shot, either; the power is not there in my shoulder for me to be able to stickhandle and make a strong move without losing the puck. "The goalies in this league are just too good to try and beat without being able to deke. Even if I'm healthy, though, maybe breakaways aren't the best part of my game."
more

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Some Teams Are Beginning To Get It

from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,

Watching highlights of TSN's new initiative to get closer to the action, one can't help but think the NHL and its franchises -- some of them, anyway -- are finally starting to get it. They understand the fans want to be let in: More access, more interviews, more insight, more personality. Watching play-by-play broadcaster Chris Cuthbert interview Buffalo Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff Friday from between the benches, where Cuthbert was allowed to call a game for the first time, was spectacularly similar to the sideline talks NFL followers have enjoyed for years.
read on

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Bad Ice- In One End

from the Globe and Mail,

Not only are the hockey gods conspiring against the Toronto Maple Leafs these days, but so are the Zamboni drivers. According to Leafs coach Paul Maurice, his club was at a disadvantage after the Zambonis scraped the Bell Centre ice prior to the shootout in the Montreal Canadiens' 4-3 victory on Saturday evening.... "The ice wasn't great and it was nice of them to leave a little bit more on our shooting end than on their shooting end in the shootout — for the second time," said Maurice, meaning that the scrape in the Toronto zone was wider and better for the Montreal shooters.
read on

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BOG Discussion

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Sources told the Sun not only will the schedule be a major topic of discussion during the two-day board of governors meeting, NHL owners are also considering a major change to the playoff format. While NHL GMs decided to put off any discussion about the schedule a couple of weeks ago , it's believed more than 15 owners called commissioner Gary Bettman and demanded he put it on the agenda.... And, for the playoffs, the NHL is looking at a bracketed format -- using the NBA and the NCAA March Madness tournament as examples.
more

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Ovechkin Gets A “Gamer”

from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post,

Ovechkin, a player as likable as he is talented, was sent off 4 minutes 52 seconds into the second period after he checked Daniel Briere, the Sabres' high-scoring captain, into the side boards from behind. Briere, who had dumped the puck and was heading for the bench for a line change, hit the boards headfirst, sending his helmet flying. "He just turn around, and I don't have time to stop," said Ovechkin, who scored the Capitals' third goal of the opening eight minutes. "I'm not trying to give not clean kind of hit. It's a game; that happens." Ovechkin received five minutes for fighting, five for boarding and a game misconduct. Briere, meantime, returned for his next shift.
more (reg. req.)

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ESPN Won’t Air NHL Spots

from Larry Brooks at the NY Post,

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHL Enterprises president Ed Horne each told Slap Shots this week that ESPN has refused to accept commercial advertising from the league. It's always interesting when bullies - we're not referring to individuals, but rather entities - collide, isn't it?
more topics from Larry...

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Shocker- Cherry Supports Fighting

from the CP via the CBC,

Hockey commentator Don Cherry says fighting is a part of hockey and has a place in today's NHL. "(Fighting) has been going on for 50 years . . . 100 years," Cherry said on CBC's Coaches Corner segment during Saturday's Hockey Night in Canada broadcast. Cherry was supporting comments made last week by Phoenix Coyotes tough guy Georges Laraque, who said that the post-lockout NHL's emphasis on speed is phasing out the role of the traditional enforcer.
continued

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Ryan Smyth Fractures Thumb

via TSN,

Edmonton Oilers winger Ryan Smyth fractured his right thumb in the first period of Saturday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Smyth's thumb was fractured when he was chasing after a loose puck and crashed into the boards. He plzayed just two shifts before the injury. It is unknown how much tim

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The Travels Of Tim Thomas

from the New York Times,

Goalies who have starred at the top level of Finnish hockey, the SM-liiga, are the soup du jour in the N.H.L. One who belongs in that category but has largely escaped notice is Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins.... “When I first went over,” Thomas, 32, said from Boston, “what helped was my experience with USA Hockey — I’d been on three tours during the summers, so I was used to the bigger ice. It wasn’t as big an adjustment as it might’ve been. They’re all good passing the puck, and there was no hook-and-hold. But I’d already seen it.”
read on

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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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