Kukla's Korner

Following The Playoffs In Non-NHL Markets

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK – May 6, 2010—The NHL is coming off of the most-watched Stanley Cup Conference Quarterfinals in the U.S. in 10 years with both VERSUS and NBC showing increases overall for the playoffs. That success has been mirrored on the NHL’s digital platforms with unique visitors to NHL.com up 33 percent over last year and video starts up 146 percent.

The increased demand for NHL content has led to growth in fan engagement across all platforms, highlighted by especially impressive growth among non-NHL U.S. markets and U.S. markets of teams not qualifying for the postseason.

Below is a summary of the U.S. markets experiencing the biggest increases for the first round on VERSUS, NBC and VERSUS/NBC combined (metered market ratings, according to Nielsen Media Research):

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Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Problem In Montreal

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

There’s not much doubt what the Montreal Canadiens - and that includes management, coaching staff and players - would like to do with Sergei Kostitsyn right about now.

Kick his butt down Rue Ste. Catherine on the way out of town would appear to sum it up.

But it’s in no one’s best interest at this moment to make a spectacle of the Sergei Kostistyn situation.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sergei+kostitsyn

Would You Play Jordan Staal Tonight?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,

There are regular humans, there are quick healers, and then there is Jordan Staal.

The hulking centre suffered torn ligaments in his foot this past Friday in a collision with Montreal’s P.K. Subban, but barely six days later, the 21-year-old is a possibility for Thursday night’s Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semi-final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Canadiens.

Staal said he feels as if he could play – Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said he would be “a game-time decision” – and was blunt about the stakes of this game, where a victory would give the defending Stanley Cup Champions a 3-1 stranglehold on the series.

“This is definitely a breaking point game,” he said.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jordan+staal

Ted Lindsay Award Finalists

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the NHLPA,

TORONTO (May 6, 2010) – The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) announced today that Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals and Henrik Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks have been selected as finalists for the 2009-10 Ted Lindsay Award. The Ted Lindsay Award will be presented annually to the “Most Outstanding Player” in the NHL, as voted by fellow members of the NHLPA.

On April 29, 2010, the Ted Lindsay Award was introduced, and it remains the only award voted on by the players themselves, carrying on the tradition established by the Lester B. Pearson Award. The Award honours Ted Lindsay, an All-Star forward known for his skill, tenacity, leadership and his role in establishing the original Players’ Association.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

May As Well Address This Now Since It Won’t Go Away

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

There is a distinct possibility that Nik Lidstrom is playing his last game in the NHL.

The gallant, classy 40-year-old captain and his Red Wings face elimination Thursday night at the hands of the San Jose Sharks, who lead their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal three games to none.

The thought of “lose and go home” is motivating the Wings.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nick+lidstrom

Too Early To Talk Conn Smythe?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Tuukka Rask didn’t even make it onto the rookie of the year ballot (Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard, Colorado’s Matt Duchene and Buffalo’s Tyler Myers are this year’s finalists), but the Bruins netminder has his eye on another piece of hardware, the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

more and other observations from last night…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tuukka+rask

GM Of The Year Finalists

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

Phoenix GM Don Maloney kept a steady-on-the-rudder approach for the first five months of the season, managing a League-imposed budget while watching his team remain in playoff contention.

When opportunity knocked at the trade deadline, however, the mild-mannered Maloney pounced with several moves that solidified the Coyotes down the stretch and turned them into a serious threat to the supposed big dogs in the Western Conference.

Maloney took on one of the hardest tasks any general manager ever has been asked to do and he made it work. Along with Washington’s George McPhee and Nashville’s David Poile, he is a finalist for the first NHL General Manager of the Year Award, which will be presented at the Stanley Cup Final.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

East Beats Itself Up

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The West Conference has a far better record than the East Conference this season and over the last several seasons.  It is a case where increased travel has forced the west teams to improve, while east teams have been able to be complacent with weaker squads still making and competing for playoffs.  The NHL CBA makes the inequity worse as the east players who have an easier run will outscore what they would have done in the west and thus get a bigger salary cap hit than they would otherwise have.  Thus east teams effectively pay more for their players than west teams do.  A west team will lose about 6 points relative to an east team due to increased travel and this gives west teams earlier draft picks and east teams later ones to increase the inequity.  Further, the east teams have an increased number of games against each other, which somebody must win, thus inflating their point totals to give them higher draft picks than they would have if they played the west schedule.  This has systematically made the West Conference the stronger conference and its lead appears to be increasing.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Friedman Thoughts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

• Really thought Daniel Sedin nailed it when he said Wednesday night, “We worry too much about [the Blackhawks].” Sedin was probably criticizing himself for being overly preoccupied with David Bolland.

• I loved how, in the first round, referees refused to call penalties when Jarkko Ruutu and Patrick Kaleta took mild hits from behind and sprawled out on the ice. Cry wolf and eventually you get burned. So, someone tell me why Daniel Carcillo gets anything close to a call right now.

much more...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

GDT - WC Semifinals, Game 4: Red Wings (0-3) host Sharks (3-0)  (7:30)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

What do you say?  What is there to say?  Here is my two cents (but not an original thought as one of you other Bitches mentioned it previously):  The Wings have been “out-Red Winged” by their former coach.  DET has lost every game 4-3.  The difference has been that SJS control the puck just that much more than DET; so DET end up chasing the game and taking more penalties instead of vice versa. Yes, as noted by almost everyone, including many in the hockey MSM, DET was hosed on more than a few calls.  But if DET would win more freaking faceoffs (DET were schooled in SJS and managed just 50% faceoff wins at home), they aren’t in that position to begin with; and that Setoguchi goal at 19:56 was just inexcusable, unacceptable - gawd-awful.  SJS have played DET’s game better than DET have, I give them credit for that.

Of course, if SJS become only the third team in NHL history to lose a series after leading 3 games to none - - choke would be too mild an adjective to describe that team.  The odds are incredibly long (DET are 1-4 in their last five games), but it starts with one damn win.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

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