Kukla's Korner

Hockey Night In Toronto

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Star,

It was more than a little ironic that on the same day the CBC trumpeted its Canada-wide celebration of hockey it provided some hard evidence for those who insist the regular Saturday affair should be called Hockey Night In Toronto. With the Toronto Maple Leafs hosting the Ottawa Senators, who at last check were still located in Canada, the CBC was presented with a perfect opportunity to highlight one of the best teams in hockey. That's Ottawa, if you were wondering. Instead, what viewers got was the usual Saturday night broadcast that told us far more about the boys in blue than it did about the team that won 8-0. The game started off fine with both teams being given equal notice. Bob Cole even took time to praise the Senators ("These guys are dynamite,") though it sounded more as if he was surprised by their power. The fact that he has seen much more of the Leafs may explain that. If there was any doubt where the CBC stood, Don Cherry put it to rest in the first intermission. After apologizing for calling Toronto "we," the man who has worn Leaf ties on air noted that his favourite team was no longer intimidating the guys from Ottawa. "It's sad to see," he moaned.

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Cloutier Out With Concussion

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Vancouver Sun (reg. req.),

It will be at least a week, and possibly longer, before Cloutier takes off again in an NHL game. The league protocol for concussions requires a minimum one-week layoff. "The doctor told me the symptoms could last one or two days or a long time," Cloutier, also suffering from whiplash, said Sunday. "He checked me out this morning and said I was okay to fly. Doctors are saying the first one [concussion] is usually not as bad. It becomes a problem with certain players the more they have them. I can see why."

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Olympic Decision Up to Yzerman

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

It's going to be up to Steve Yzerman to decide if he wants to suit up for Team Canada at the Olympics. While there's no hurry to make a decision, Team Canada associate coach Ken Hitchcock told the Sun yesterday the ball will be in the 41-year-old Yzerman's court to determine if he wants to play in Turin. Troubled by a nagging groin injury early this season, there has been speculation Yzerman might back out of playing for Canada to save himself for the playoffs for the Detroit Red Wings. Everybody on the Team Canada staff knows that Yzerman will do what's right for his country. "I think (executive director) Wayne (Gretzky) said it best: 'That's going to be up to Steve Yzerman to decide.' He's the only one who can make that decision," said Hitchcock prior to the Philadelphia Flyers' game against Ottawa last night.
continued

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Primeau Out With Concussion Symptoms

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Alexander Perezhogin's elbow to the head of Keith Primeau apparently did more damage than the Flyers center initially realized. Primeau missed last night's game against the Ottawa Senators with concussion symptoms. He is out indefinitely. On Tuesday in Montreal, the Canadiens' Perezhogin elbowed Primeau, but no penalty was called. A day later, Primeau said he was relieved to be feeling pretty good. However, Primeau said he began fighting concussion symptoms before Friday's loss in Carolina, in which he was an uncustomary minus-3.

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Player Of The Month

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Who is your selection for offensive and defensive player of the month? To help you out, I recently added a 'Who's Hot/Not' link on the left sidebar of the 'Hockey Section' under 'Hockey Links'. My pick for offensive player is Eric Staal and the defensive award should go to Manny Legace.

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Hockey Day In Canada Awarded to Stephenville

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CBC,

The beleaguered town of Stephenville got some good news this weekend, with its selection as host of the Hockey Day in Canada special in January. Stephenville was chosen as host for the CBC's sixth annual full-day hockey extravaganza, which this season will be held Jan. 7. Ron McLean and Don Cherry will be in Stephenville for all the festivities, which begin at noon ET, while CBC personalities will be on location at various sites around the country, providing a snapshot of Canada's arenas on any given Saturday. Hockey Day has become somewhat of an unofficial holiday for Canadian hockey fans. The 13.5-hour broadcast will take viewers on a journey across Canada to commemorate hockey's special place in all parts of the country.
more

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Rucinsky Out With Sprained MCL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Asbury Park Press,

The obvious candidates in the early race for Rangers' MVP are right wing Jaromir Jagr and rookie goalie Henrik Lundqvist. But left wing Martin Rucinsky has been just as good. Now Rucinsky's value to the team will be apparent through his absence. He will be sidelined two to four weeks after suffering a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee in the third period of the Rangers 5-2 win at Montreal on Saturday.

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The Waltin System

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Long Beach Press-Telegram,

"I tell the team we need to play Mats Waltin hockey," Andy Murray said. What's that again? "I was a rookie coach in Switzerland and Mats Waltin was one of my players," Murray explained. "We would have a lead and I would be on the bench yelling, 'Get it in, shoot it in (the zone), don't let them get it." Finally Mats Waltin turned to me and said, 'Coach, just relax. Isn't it better if we just keep the puck and don't give it to them?" "So that's the key, is to have the puck and continue attacking."

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Is Saskin The Man

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Larry Brooks of the NY Post (reg. req.),

At this moment in time, is the NHLPA better served by anointing Saskin, with whom the league clearly has a close working relationship and whose candidacy Sixth Avenue clearly endorses, or is the union better served under the leadership of an independent counsel who will adopt a more traditionally adversarial approach with the overseers? If, as it now appears, the primary responsibility of the NHLPA is to prod the league into more aggressive and effective revenue-generating marketing campaigns, is it or is it not beneficial for the union to be led by an individual who's less likely to be a critical outside agitator? This, rather than simply the final escrow number — which a growing number of people on the union side now believe the league will find a way to tweak in order to keep to a single digit, thus aiding Saskin — is the underlying critical area for the players to consider.

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Rules Need To Be Tweaked

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,

So far, both the new rules and the new officiating approach are a roaring success. But like any radical departure from the norm, there are still a few rough edges to be worked out. Here are some suggestions, either for next season or sooner. Goalies are still too eager to freeze the puck. Fans want action. They didn't pay to see faceoffs. So, extend the anti-tedium crackdown to goalies who stop play when no attacker is within range. Furthermore, in cases where the puck is shot in from outside the blue line and the goalie is the first to touch it, he should be assessed a two-minute minor if he freezes it, whether the attacker is nearby or not. If the attacker is close to the crease by the time the goalie decides to fall on the puck, there was plenty of time to make a play.

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