Blast from past for new-look NHL

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:44 AM ET

John Muckler likes the new-look NHL.

It's already resembling a blast from the past for the Senators GM, who didn't mind that there were 19 penalties in Sunday's 5-2 win over the Maple Leafs.

For Muckler, who coached the free-wheeling Edmonton Oilers in the 1980s, it's a breath of fresh air.

"I thought it was great," said Muckler. "I really believe that with the rules being called the way they are, that's really going to help this team because we're a team that is all about speed and skill. If we can use our speed and our skill, we're going to be able to have a lot of success."

Under the crackdown, players are going to be called frequently for stick infractions.

The NHL wants players like Martin Havlat to be able to use their speed. Defencemen will not be allowed to slow them down, at least not illegally.

"There is going to be an adjustment period for everybody involved," said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson. "But, I thought for a first time it was great and both teams were able to adjust as the game went on.

"They have to stick with it and they have to keep making the calls. The first couple of months -- October and November -- might be tough, but I would think you are going to see the penalties go down over the course of the year because guys are getting called they're not going to keep doing it."

There'll be plenty of things for players to think about.

Players shooting the puck over the glass in the defensive zone are also being called for delay of game.

"I thought it went pretty well," said Senators coach Bryan Murray. "The players had to adjust and I thought we did a much better job after the first period. I would think the fans are going to be happy because the skilled players are going to be allowed to use their speed to play."

AN EARLY START: Murray said G Dominik Hasek has been taking lots of shots in practice and he could start as early as Friday against the Penguins in Binghamton. "He could be ready to play half a game on the trip with us," said Murray.


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