Kukla's Korner

Are The Refs Relaxing The Rules

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I have been able to watch portions of many of the games in the first week of the NHL season, and have noticed in the last two days some of the referees have relaxed a bit on some of the calls. What were penalties the first couple of games are now "judgment" calls from some of the refs. The recent Leafs/Sens game had some obvious calls that were missed and the NHL is actually reviewing the game. As Colin Campbell said, if the refs don't call the game as we expect, they won't be calling the games for long. Hopefully, Campbell will stick to his word and get this straightened out quickly.

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OLN Ratings Dip

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Reuters,

Monday and Tuesday night games of the first full week of the NHL telecasts on OLN (a.k.a. Outdoor Life Network) scored well, but ratings fell from the opening-night numbers. The Pittsburgh Penguins-Buffalo Sabres game Monday night averaged 278,000 viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. That compared with 111,336 viewers OLN delivered a year ago. Tuesday saw a lower rating for the Phoenix Coyotes-Dallas Stars game, 143,438 viewers, double the 70,554 viewers in the same time period last year. Both ratings are lower than the 353,000 viewers the New York Rangers-Philadelphia Flyers opening-night matchup OLN received October 5. Hockey bowed to tough competition this week, with a highly touted "Monday Night Football" matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Diego Chargers along with the elimination game of the best-of-five playoff series between the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Tuesday's game went up against Game 1 of the American League Championship Series between the Angels and Chicago White Sox.

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Flyers Looking For Leadership

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Philly Burbs,

He's a creature of habit, so when coach Ken Hitchcock moved up the weekly veteran leadership committee meeting from Thursday to Wednesday, the Flyers knew something big was going on. Actually, it didn't take a lot of guesswork. All they had to do was look in the mirror and realize they've lost games in the third period twice in the first three outings. Tuesday night's meltdown in Toronto wasn't quite as bad as the opening night debacle against the Rangers, but it was enough to get Hitchcock to shake things up. The coach blames some of this on the fact the Flyers' roster had so much turnover during and after the lockout.

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Fans Will Come Out To Games- Hopefully

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the San Francisco Chronicle,

The National Hockey League held its 29th "We're Sorry We Shamed the Game With Our Petty Quibbling" party in San Jose on Wednesday night, and it was pretty much like the first 28, and like the last one tonight in Calgary. Giveaway trinkets, cheerful and smiling ushers, a little less of that "You're not spending enough money" look. That is, if you don't mind the comforting juxtaposition of being handed a flute of champagne to the strains of that grand old Anglican hymn, "Highway to Hell."

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View Is Tough At The Top

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the St. Petersburg Times,

Funny, but they looked more graceful in the parade. Not at all like the clumsy, plodding and misguided hockey players we watched against Boston the other night. Strange, but they seemed so much larger in the posters. Not even close to the timid and hesitant bunch that showed up for the first week of a Stanley Cup title defense. Remarkable, but these guys looked nothing like hockey gods. No miracles, no parables, not even a parting of the neutral zone. They looked, almost, human.

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The Bystander

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatshek of the Globe and Mail,

The other shoe dropped on Tuesday and as it usually does in these situations, it landed with a thud on an innocent bystander named Brad Larsen. On the same day that Ilya Kovalchuk finally showed up for work, the Atlanta Thrashers assigned Larsen to their minor-league affiliate, the Chicago Wolves. Kovalchuk, the league's reigning goal-scoring champion, had been involved in a bitter contract dispute with the Thrashers that was finally resolved on Saturday when he agreed to a five-year, $32 million contract that will pay him an average of $6.4 million per season.

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Herb Brooks Selected To Olympic Hall Of Fame

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Pioneer Press via the Mercury News,

Herb Brooks, the St. Paul kid who grew up to orchestrate one of the greatest moments in sports history, was selected Wednesday for induction to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. Brooks was involved in hockey at all levels before his death in an August 2003 car accident, but his signature achievement was leading the U.S. men's hockey team to the gold medal at the 1980 Winter Games in Lake Placid, N.Y.
more

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Thornton Out For Tomorrow

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via the CP,

The Boston Bruins will face the Florida Panthers on Thursday night without the services of their top two centres. Star centre Joe Thornton has joined Alexei Zhamnov (shoulder) on the shelf. The Bruins sent Thornton, who is suffering from back spasms, home to Boston on Wednesday to get examined.

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OLN And Dish Network

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Dallas Stars forum, a fan posted an email response from the Stars regarding OLN and Dish.

Thanks for your e-mail. The VP of Broadcasting from the NHL was here in Dallas tonight at the game and we asked him why certain areas of Dish Network coverage were not getting the Stars game vs. Phoenix on OLN. He informed us that several pockets of Dish Network around the country require that 40% or more of their subscribers sign up for OLN on a tiered format (a premium customers pay to get certain channels) to air their primary content (in this case - the NHL). If the subscriber base is less than 40% do not have OLN, they get "alternate programming." He told us that "OLN is well aware of the problem and they are in negotiations with Dish Network to clear this up so that 100% of their subscribers will get hockey every time it is on OLN." The league is also trying to help push this through so that all households can get OLN without a problem. The league faced a similar problem in 1993 when ESPN2 was launched. It took a couple of weeks to sort things out then and get ESPN2 in more and more homes, and the league tells us that OLN will grow very fast and get in many new households at a rapid pace. The Dallas Stars have expressed our high concern on this matter to the league, OLN and Dish Network. Both OLN and the league have promised us that they will stay on the issue and get it solved ASAP. We will stay on the matter to try and get it solved sooner than later.

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It Begins- Chapter 2

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

"It Begins" the second in the five-chapter "My NHL" film series, moves onto the ice! The second chapter opens with the hero's opponent, in black, eagerly awaiting the hero's arrival onto the ice. The hero emerges, and they lock eyes through a flashback-filled sequence of scenes from their previous battles. The film's climax focuses in on their verbal exchange at center ice as the puck drops and their epic rivalry begins anew. read on and view the viedeo...

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