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Broadcasting Balance

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

By George James Malik

According to Ted Kulfan, one defensive game begets an NHL catastrophe:

Why, oh why, does the NBC (and Versus, for what Versus is worth) continue to force the Red Wings vs. Avs on everyone in the nation? WHY!!!! It’s only a heated rivalry worth watching, apparently, in the opinion of NBC. Nobody is left from the rivalry. The Avs aren’t even a playoff team. The Avs aren’t very good. The talent level on both teams isn’t close to what it was during the glory years. But it doesn’t seem to matter, apparently, to NBC. It wants to keep showing the outdated video of the fights and blood and gore of years long gone by. But, the present day games stink. And, it gives would-be fans another excuse to not watch.

With all due respect, it’s one game.  One game that’s less than scintillating does not a disaster make. 
The Avs are a thin team this year.  The Wings played a defensive game—while taking 41 shots on Theodore—because at least five Red Wings played through a vicious flu bug.  The Avs and Wings’ players regularly state that while they don’t want to punch each other’s lights out, they genuinely feel a rivalry still exists between the two teams, fueled by fans and the teams’ historical rivalry. 

 

Continue Reading »

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Hemsky Wants To Be A Star

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

The 23-year-old talent has decided he wants to be a recognized leader and wants to be viewed as a winner at the same time.
“Everybody has been saying ‘You’re going to be a star.’ I want to get to the point where they are saying ‘You are a star,” Hemsky said in a revealing one-on-one interview yesterday.
“I’m in the league for five years now.
“I want people to say that all the time now.
“That’s the challenge I have….”

read on

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It’s Versus Thru 2011

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Multichannel News,

Amid flat national ratings and sliding regional numbers, Comcast will remain in the rink with the National Hockey League into the next decade.
Comcast’s Versus network will televise national NHL games through 2011 after exercising an option to air the 2007-08 season and picking up the rights to three additional campaigns.
“We’ll definitely have the third season, and we’ll have [the NHL] for six years,” said Versus president Gavin Harvey, who declined to discuss deal terms. “We’re looking forward to season three on Versus.”

continued

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Implosion Delayed?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

One of Dwayne’s camp followers, St. Louis’ Andy Strickland, reported back in November that the Wings dressing room would “implode by Christmas.”  That didn’t transpire…a shocking turn of events, considering all the truth and accurate predictions typically displayed on that Den of Swill.

But, now Andy’s got more.  He returns to his “source with the organization” to bring us this.

Sources tell me Babcock and former Selke Trophy winner Kris Draper had a major blowup in Colorado in which the two exchanged one curse word after another.

One player recently said that it’s to the point where players roll their eyes when Babcock enters the dressing room.

Players such as Robert Lang, Chris Chelios, and Mathieu Schneider apparently are leading the charge against their Head Coach.

Again, his source is Legace of course.  It can be no one else.  And that lends little credibility.

But…even tools of Dwayne can’t be stupid enough to fall for the same crap twice can they? 

Unfortunately, no.  Strickland’s stupid for lending his name to the pathological lies of Klessel’s site.  But, he can’t be so dumb that he’d allow himself to be used twice for no reason whatsoever.

So, yeah…there might be something there.  There might be Bowman-like friction.  I don’t doubt that.

But, if there is, it’s the kind that will be forgotten with a Cup over your head. 

Here’s what I’ll do for you.  I’m going to write the DD’s today and ask for their reaction on this “story.”  I’m sure they’re all more than happy to talk to yours truly.  Right?

 

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Fisher on Dryden

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette:

Come back with me to Moscow on a hot July afternoon in 1972. The city was on fire, the worst heat wave in 30 years. Andrei Starovoitov, the No. 2 hockey man in the Soviet Union, looked uncomfortable. So did roughly 20 of his colleagues sitting in their dark suits around the table.
“We would like to ask a few questions about your team,” Starovoitov said to a reporter from the Montreal Star, there to write a series on the Soviet “amateurs” who, for the first time, were to meet the NHL’s professionals in a Summit Series in September. The first four games would be played in Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver, the last four in Moscow.
“Seth Martin, is he on your team?” Starovoitov asked.

Fisher followed Dryden from the very beginning of his NHL career.  His story defines the term “must-read.”

continued

 

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Poutine And Fisticuffs

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from the Toronto Sun:

Think of the worst nightmare you have ever had.
For those selling the Gary Bettman-led vision for top-level pro hockey, it would be the fight-filled, Ligue Nord Americaine de Hockey (LNAH), or the North American Hockey League.
As the NHL spins shootouts, fuzzy-faced teenaged sensations, aero-dynamic new uniforms and corporate talking points, fighting majors continue their steady decline. Fighting has been declining or levelling off at the minor-pro level as well, in leagues such as the 27-team American Hockey League, the 25-team East Coast Hockey League, and the lower-level eight-team Southern Professional Hockey League, according to statistics gathered by websites like hockeyfights.com.
All except in places like Sorel-Tracy, 80 km northeast of Montreal, in a 56-year-old rink called Colisee Cardin. This is a place where bare-knuckle hockey is not only condoned but marketed. As the heavyweights gradually disappear from pro hockey’s landscape, as minor pro leagues adapt to a faster, offence-oriented game in lock-step with the NHL, this is where many come to find their final hockey resting place.

continued

 

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If It Hurts In Denver It’s Gotta Be Good

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Back at the end of December, we discussed the very real possibility that the divisional race could be decided in the subsequent 30 days.

Bubba plays thirteen times.  8 of those games are against St. Louis, Chicago and Columbus.  Now, granted, that’s not the cakewalk it was last year…except St. Louis, which may be even worse.  Three games against legitimate playoff teams: Anaheim, Calgary, Detroit.  You could easily expect a 20 point month from Bubba, particularly with a healthy Vokoun.

The Wings?  A five-game West Coast swing through LA, Anaheim, San Jose, Denver and Phoenix.  Montreal at home, Bubba at home, ‘dique at home.  14 games and asking for 20 points might be greedy.

Due to a wildly inconsistent month from our boys, and a maddeningly strong one for Bubba…that nasty prediction has come to fruition.  Nashville’s had a 20 point month (at least, one game left with the Dive) and the Wings can hope for no better than 17, pending tomorrow’s game against the NYI. 

 

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Old School- A Belly Full Of Laughs

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from the London Free Press:

“[Gump Worsley] was a terrific goaltender,” former North Stars teammate Lou Nanne said. “If I could pick any goalie to win a big game, it would be Gump.
“He was one of the first real characters in the NHL,” Nanne said. “He had a lot of personality and really showed the human side of the game. He didn’t look like an athlete and smoked like a chimney between periods, but he was terrific when he put the pads on.”
He was given the Gump nickname as a child because his hair stuck up like Andy Gump, the comic strip character.
But his sense of humour was legendary. Many think fondly of a between-periods interview with Gump and Eddie Shack, alongside host Ward Cornell, as one of the funniest moments ever on Hockey Night in Canada.

continued

 

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Habs Need To Regroup

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,

“We just haven’t been consistent,” Carbonneau said. “We’ve had good effort, good games, good periods and good production from some players, but not enough production from enough players. Our best players have to be our best players, game in and game out.
“Everybody knows that we are a good team, but not a great team. We need everybody going and not enough players are going right now.”
“We know it’s not something that you turn on and off like a tap,” Montreal defenceman Sheldon Souray said. “This should concern us because the end of the season is near.

more

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Tucker Expects Trade Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Toronto Sun,

Among those teams said to have asked about Tucker are the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames, the two NHL teams that are rooted in Tucker’s native province of Alberta….
He does not want to be traded.
“I think both sides have made their opinions known,” he said. “They want me, and I want to stay. (Leafs general manager) John Ferguson has been very good to me, and I think Paul (Maurice) and I have a very good player-coach relationship.
“Still, the bottom line is, it’s something that has to work.”

more

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