Kipper protests proposal

TODD SAELHOF -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 4:41 PM ET


 Miikka Kiprusoff has bigger fish to fry these days.

 Er ... Sharks, to be exact.

 But it didn't stop the Calgary Flames goaltender from reacting favourably to the NHL Players Association filing a grievance against a league proposal to further reduce the size of goalie pads for the 2004-05 season.

 "That's good," said Kiprusoff with a smile.

 "But actually, I don't think about that too much lately. I don't know, I don't think it's going to make any big difference to take a couple of inches away."

 In an effort to increase offence, the NHL wants to reduce the width of goalie pads from 12 in. to 10 in. To begin the 2003-04 season, the league restricted the height of leg pads to 38 in.

 "As soon as they're looking for solutions, it always seems to be the easiest one to say: 'The goalie equipment is too big,' " said Flames goaltending coach David Marcoux. "Let's focus on the skill of the players and quit trying to put restrictions on goaltending equipment."

 Or maybe the league should just focus on the playoffs and how much scoring there is.

 The Philadelphia Flyers scored a 6-2 victory in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference final series with the Tampa Bay Lightning, while the Flames, known mostly for their defence, netted eight goals over the two opening games in the Western Conference final series with the San Jose Sharks.

 "We had a 4-3 hockey game and a 4-1 hockey game, so there are a lot of goals being scored," Marcoux said.

 "But whatever the solutions that they do find, as long as everybody's on the same page and plays by the same rules, we'll have to deal with it. Maybe that will just prove to what extent the goalies are athletes and not just big, bulky things in the net."


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