Kukla's Korner

The Dedicated Hockey Players

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk at NBC Sports,

...here’s something pure and admirable in the dedication that hockey players have for their chosen sport.  After watching the American upset of Canada’s national team, a game for which the players will not receive a dime of salary, we’re now convinced that most if not all of the men who play hockey for money would play the game even if they were being paid nothing.

How many pro football players would do that?

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+olympics

More People In Buffalo Watch Hockey Than Ice Dancing

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Alan Pergament of the Buffalo News,

Locally, the coverage of Team USA’s 5-3 victory over Team Canada Sunday night carried on cable’s MSNBC out-drew NBC’s coverage of the Vancouver Olympics coverage that was on Channel 2.

MSNBC never out-rates its bigger brother NBC, which makes this “victory” almost as astonishing as the 42-save performance by Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller for Team USA.

The US victory, which gave Team USA a bye into the quarterfinals and an extra day of rest, attracted a 14.6 rating locally on MSNBC, representing 14.6 percent of area households. Meanwhile, NBC’s coverage of skiing and figure skating averaged a 13.4 rating during the game on Channel 2.

And the hockey audience undoubtedly was even much higher here because it was simulcast by CFTO, the CTV affiliate in Toronto.

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+olympics

The NHL Welcomes Corporate Sponsors In Vancouver

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tripp Mickle of SportsBusiness Journal at the Sporting News,

The NHL may have ceded control over its players and hockey operations during the Olympics, but it didn’t cede the opportunity to bolster its bottom line at the Vancouver Games.

The league took advantage of Sunday’s historic trio of hockey games to treat key partners to an Olympic hospitality experience. The league hosted a party at Club Bud on Saturday night and then treated 40 existing and potential partners to tickets to Sunday’s Russia vs. Czech Republic, U.S. vs. Canada and Sweden vs. Finland hockey games.

“When the schedule came out and we saw those three games on the same day, we decided it would be great to spend three or four days here,” said Keith Wachtel, the league’s senior vice president, corporate sales and marketing. “It’s a big presence of partners and it’s nice to find them in one place and keep the momentum going until the (NHL) season starts up again.”

The partners in attendance at the games included Pepsi, Budweiser, Scotiabank, Visa, Energizer, Kraft, McDonald’s and Cisco. The league also hosted prospective partners.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

NBC Sends The NHL A Message

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Rosenbloom of RosenBlog at the Chicago Tribune,

First, the NHL in the Olympics mirrors the silliness of the parallel universe that is the whole warped fantasy sports experience, where Blackhawks fans are rooting for Duncan Keith to turn over the puck in the slot.

Then there’s the whole stupid notion of shutting down the league for two weeks. What business does that? What business with good business sense, I mean.

And wise up, the argument ended Sunday when NBC decided the NHL is not good for Olympic coverage, at least not on its big-boy channel, no matter that it was the greatest possible rivalry the NHL could offer network TV.

Nope. Sorry. Ski cross gets the kids and pretty, shiny hobbies like that cockamamie pairs ice dancing get the women. U.S.-Canada hockey, you be good kids and run down to a cable channel without high-def, OK?

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nbc, winter+olympics

Men’s Preliminary Round Olympics

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The preliminary round is complete in the men’s hockey tournament in the Olympics.  Teams were sorted into three groups of four teams each.  They played a round robin tournament in each group.  The winner in each group, plus the best record of the non-winners receive a bye into the quarter-finals.  The eight lower finishers must play a qualifying game to make the quarterfinals.

Here are the preliminary round results:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Questioning Team Canada

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Boone of Habs Inside/Out,

Unless Canada is about to string together four Ws, there are going to be a lot of questions asked about this team’s personnel.

Are Pronger and Scott Niedermayer better than Mike Green?

Are Jarone Iginla and Corey Perry better than Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos?

Is Ryan Getzlaf better than Brad Richards?

Is Joe Thornton the worst money player in the history of hockey?


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+canada

No Mens Hockey Today, But Tomorrow Let’s Play Four

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via NHL.com,

Qualification Playoffs on Tuesday, February 23:

Switzerland (8) vs. Belarus (9), 3:00 pm ET, Canada Hockey Place (winner plays USA on Wednesday)

Canada (6) vs. Germany (11), 7:30 pm ET, Canada Hockey Place (winner plays Russia on Wednesday)

Czech Republic (5) vs. Latvia (12), 10:00 pm ET, UBC Thunderbird Arena (winner plays Sweden on Wednesday)

Slovakia (7) vs. Norway (10), Midnight ET, Canada Hockey Place (winner plays Sweden on Wednesday)

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+oiympics

Can Team USA Handle The Pressure?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Custance of The Sporting News,

The young Americans are doing it exactly the way Burke anticipated when he built the team. Everybody knows his role, and everyone is filling it perfectly.

Chris Drury and Ryan Callahan are providing energy and have been strong on the penalty kill. Ryan Malone and David Backes are throwing their big bodies around and being a nuisance to opposing goalies. Martin Brodeur was irritated enough to take a swipe at Backes for what he thought was goalie interference, and the Americans scored on a distracted Brodeur a moment later.

At some point, scorers like Paul Stastny and Parise will start producing as well. They’re too good not to.

But now comes the pressure and we’ve learned how that can change everything in this tournament. The Canadians are still dealing with the mountain of expectations that accompanied them to Vancouver. When Jonas Hiller and Switzerland took on mighty Canada and the United States, they were outstanding. Against Norway? Not so outstanding—perhaps because they were expected to win.


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+usa, winter+olympics

Report- Joni Pitkanen Suspended One Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Chip Alexander of Canes Now,

Despite a 3-0 loss to Sweden on Sunday, Finland earned one of the byes into the Olympic tournament quarterfinals in Vancouver. But the Finns will play without defenseman Joni Pitkanen, according to The Associated Press.

The Canes’ Pitkanen was ejected with a game-misconduct penalty late in the second period for checking Patric Hornqvist in the head. The AP reported that International Ice Hockey Federation spokesman Szymon Szemberg said Pitkanen had been suspended and would not play Wednesday in the quarterfinals.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joni+pitkanen, team+finland

Team USA Wins With Canadian Style

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Against the U.S., however, Crosby and Brodeur both had games that won’t make it into their home highlight reels, leaving Canada with all kinds of tricky questions heading into the Germany match.

That’s Olympic hockey. Heroes one day, heels the next.

Still, Canada has one ironclad supporter – a surprising one.

“Canada, I personally believe, is the best team, with Russia right behind them,” U.S. head coach Ron Wilson said in his post-game assessment.

What Wilson pointed out, you see, was that Canada “probably out-chanced us two to one” and that it was a classic case of Miller stealing a win that earned the Americans first place in their pool and a very helpful extra day’s rest.

Canadians from coast to coast might be blaming Babcock for his coaching, Brodeur for his goaltending and various Canadian players for their performances, but the fact was that the Americans won a game in the style that Canada used to use repeatedly in international circumstances, riding red-hot goaltending to wins it had no business recording.

more on Team Canada…

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+canada, team+usa

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