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Don't look now, but it's already December

Tuesday, 12.01.2009 / 10:08 AM / Columns

By Paul Kukla - NHL.com Correspondent

 
The summer moved so slowly without hockey and now, all of the sudden, it is Dec. 1! The first two months of the season flew by and soon the Olympic break will be upon us.
 
With that in mind, here are some points I've been pondering.

* Why is it that some of the people I follow on Twitter, those that supply me with the latest hockey news, turn into play-by-play people during hockey games? I'm coming close to removing them from my follow list if the constant tweets keep up. If I want updates on the game, I'll either watch or listen to it.
 
* Yesterday on Toronto radio, Leafs GM Brian Burke mentioned hockey rumors are good for the game, it keeps fans interested. But some of the rumors out there are so unbelievable, you have to wonder who actually believes them.
 
* One more thing -- why is that only big name players are involved in these rumors, isn't there an "unnamed source" out there that only follows the average player trade rumor talk?
 
* Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard is making a believer out of me. Howard had a flaw in his game which many opposing teams were aware of, but he has worked on correcting it and looks much more confident in net.
 
* Statistic of the day -- Nicklas Lidstrom has gone without a goal in 23 games.
 
* I don't pay much attention to all of the NHL rankings done by numerous media outlets on a weekly basis. Maybe on June 15 or so I will take a look at them.
 
* Watching a game with a few people who are new to our sport, I've come to realize they have no idea players actually change on the fly. They thought the only time a player could be replaced was during a stoppage of play.
 
* Is it just me or are some of the games broadcast in high definition a little bit on the weak side? Meaning the picture looks more like it has been up-converted than actually being broadcast in HD.
 
* I wonder who decided the blue line should be blue and the goal and center ice line should be red. Would other colors work just as well?
 
* There has been some talk lately of going to a 3-on-3, second overtime if a game has yet to be decided during the first OT. I am not so sure about that idea, chances of player injuries only increases and we don't need more of that, especially this season.
 
* One other point on the OT talk. We always hear the broadcasters telling us "all the fans are standing" during the shootout. So why not keep it the way it is if the fans enjoy it?
 
* A couple of years ago we had a few televised hockey broadcasts that were void of any play-by-play talk. Basically all we heard was the sounds of the game and truthfully, I enjoyed those broadcasts. But I have not seen or heard of any lately and I do hope to see one In the future.
 
* This is not a rumor, repeat, this is not a rumor -- the Atlanta Thrashers and the New York Islanders may soon have too many goalies on their roster, so expect some trade talk soon regarding those two teams.
 
* I wonder if a spouse/girlfriend has ever used a hockey stick to break out the back window of a car to administer first aid to a hockey player?
 
* Every few weeks my top three "Coach of the Year" candidates change. I am now going to wait until early April to decide the finalists.
 
* Have the Pittsburgh Penguins gone through their Stanley Cup hangover yet?
 
* Do you have a hockey question, just want to vent? Feel free to email me at pk@kuklaskorner.com or visit my website, Kukla's Korner to keep abreast of all the latest hockey news.


Quote of the Day

Because of the way they play and their skill set I don't think they're fourth-line players, so in my mind I'm looking at one of those guys I'll have to move over to the wing.

— Capitals coach Barry Trotz on his four-player battle for second-line center