Kukla's Korner

The Changing NHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

A very in-depth look at the changing NHL. from the Globe and Mail,

National Hockey League players are making longer passes, scoring more goals and trying to adjust to zero tolerance in the calling of hooking, holding and interference infractions, although not everyone's happy about it a week into the season. "It's frustrating at times," said Jamie Langenbrunner, a forward with the New Jersey Devils. "You grow up playing hockey and doing certain things, but now you don't know what you're allowed to do."

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OLN Shuts Down Forum

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

We at OLN would like to thank you all for your spirited and persistant messages on our board. We have provided this forum as a service to those who enjoy our programming and would like to discuss these shows among themselves. But it seems as if the discord felt (either rightfully or otherwise) has become to dominate this forum. This forum has been transformed into something that it was not intended for. It is for this reason that at 12:00 a.m. eastern we will discontinue to offer this forum to the general public. All log-ins will be de-activated and all posts deleted. If you happen to be a Comcast customer you can relog-in by entering your Comcast account number wheen prompted to do so. Thank you all for your cooperation. -OLN
Vulgar and childish remarks have been the norm at the OLN forum for the last few days, but you would think there would be a better way to resolve this issue than basically making it available to Comcast only subscribers. update 1:03pm, Thanks to a reader for pointing out the above post at the OLN forum is indeed a hoax. One thing that is true, though, is that OLN needs to moderate that forum in order to maintain some sort of order.

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Bad Ice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Arizona Republic,

Mike Comrie called the surface "terrible." Brett Hull called it "disgusting." Even coach Wayne Gretzky acknowledged the ice in the state-of-the-art facility needed some extra TLC. "We're checking into it," Gretzky said. "We're trying to figure out the best way to rectify the problem. I do know that the guys here that make the ice are doing the best job they can working with the players and the league, and doing everything possible to get it to the best condition it can be in." Goalie Curtis Joseph echoed recent comments by backup David LeNeveu, who said he thinks the soft ice at Glendale Arena has contributed, at least in part, to the numerous groin injuries among the Coyotes players. Goalie Brian Boucher, like Joseph, injured a groin during a preseason game at Glendale Arena. "I'm no ice expert, but it's an awful coincidence that it's so hard to push around in there," Joseph said.

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Boynton Signs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Boston Bruins have signed defenseman Nick Boynton to a one-year contract, it was announced today by Bruins General Manager Mike O'Connell. "We are very pleased to have Nick signed," said O'Connell. "He is one of the best young defensemen in the game, is a leader in our dressing room and we expect that he will play a big part in our team's success this season." update 10:26am, TSN reporting 1 year deal for $1.75 million.

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Scoring Up 41 Percent

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Yahoo,

Eight days into the first season after the NHL became the first league to lose a whole season in a labor dispute, attendance jumped from an average of 16,643 a game at this stage in 2003 to 17,673, 95 percent of arena capacity. Teams average 6.4 goals a game compared to 4.5 a game two years ago, a 41 percent increase. Total shots are up 6.3 a game to 58.9 a game. And rallies from two goals down to win have leaped 400 percent. "This is the new NHL," Predators left wing Darcy Hordichuk said. "We knew we could come back. It's great to be here with the new rules. We have fast guys. We were built for the new rules. "If you can't skate and move fast, you can't be in the league anymore."

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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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