Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Declared dead after the lockout of 2004-05, the league is now being hyped as prime for the mass-market breakthrough it has yearned for since Commissioner Gary Bettman was in short pants.
Its showcase event, the Stanley Cup finals, will begin Saturday in Detroit with Crosby and Fleury’s whiz-kid Pittsburgh Penguins facing Lidstrom’s savvy Red Wings. The games should be entertaining, with clear storylines:
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
A matchup of the two best teams in hockey, something of a rare occurrence in hockey and a series where a great many in the business of sports forecasting would be willing to just throw up their hands and yell “pick’em”.
But not your humble Sportsnet. ca correspondent.
What follows is an expanded Sportsnet.ca breakdown complete with an overview, an explanation of what both teams need to do to win, an analysis of the key players and, as always, an unshakeable prediction in regards to how it will all turn out.
You don’t have to thank me now, but feel free to send a cheque in my name to any charity of your choice including the Kelley’s Kids foundation a group that has had it’s hand in my wallet for decades.
From Puck Daddy at Yahoo! Sports…
The abridged review of the NHL Powered by Reebok Featuring XM with Special Appearance by Starbucks Store: Cool gear, awesome customer service, but I was promised an ice wall “which serves as a backdrop to feature merchandise as well as the Stanley Cup at select times throughout the year,” and I did not get to see an ice wall “which serves as a backdrop to feature merchandise as well as the Stanley Cup at select times throughout the year.”
But Puck Daddy has fun nonetheless, reviewing the NHL store, accompanied by photos. (Including an ever-so-slightly disturbing image of my fine friend copping a feel off a female mannequin wearing a Blues t-shirt…)
from the Good, The Bad And The Duthie,
If Malkin is sensational, I think Pittsburgh wins the cup. If he is just average, or disappears, as he was sometimes prone to do before he blew up in the second half of this season, Detroit wins.
Sure, it’s a lot more complicated than that. But I’m a simpleton. And simply put, Malkin’s play, more than any other single factor, will decide the Stanley Cup Champion.
From Paul Kukla at Hockey.com,
Some people have written the SCF should be starting tonight and I can see where they are coming from. But the hype has not even reached its high point yet—that begins later today and extends into Friday. The national media types will be settling into Detroit today. Media day is scheduled for tomorrow and then the stories really start rolling out.
I have this distinct feeling the SCF will attract the casual sports fan. Call it the Crosby Coming Out Party if you wish, but everything points to a series of skill, speed and great players. Both sides have the ability to turn it on offensively and that translates into “can’t turn away from this game” for that casual fan.
[Note: Original post time was May 21, 3:09pm ET. I’ll be bumping it to the front page periodically. The entries so far are great!]
No amount of personal hockey superstitions have ever helped my Vancouver Canucks, but that’s never stopped me. From idiotic morning routines to game-day-meals, that team gets anywhere near the playoffs and I develop so many tics I’m like a strung out former heroin addict dealing with an OCD problem.
Fortunately I’m not alone. Kukla, for instance, bought this ticket in Nevada last November, betting $20 that the Red Wings take the Stanley Cup this season. Yet cocky as that may be, he’s been too superstitious to make mention of it to anyone. He only decided he’d let me mention it because, well, that doesn’t “jinx” things the same way, apparently.
See where I’m going with this? Well, yes: hockey fans are nuts. But also: We’d like to reward 3 of you with $50 gift certificates to IceJerseys.com or shop.NHL.com for sharing your own special brand of crazy.
What’s your most reliable superstition? Or just share your friend’s.
Winners will be selected by a random draw from the comments of this post. Enter by 5pm ET Saturday, May 24th. Rules are below.
From the Buffalo Sabres:
It was a day that many people will never forget. And now the Buffalo Sabres want to find out why it was so special to you.
As the summer months roll on, the Sabres are producing a DVD to commemorate last January’s Winter Classic. The New Year’s Day match-up featured the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins playing outdoors in front of a capacity crowd of more than 71,000 hearty fans at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, NY.
A featured section of that DVD will be “My Classic Stories,” a collection of fan stories from the day told by the actual individuals who experienced them. The six most compelling entries, as chosen by Sabres staff, will be videotaped by Sabres production crew and used in the Winter Classic DVD that will be released prior to the start of the 2008-09 season.
Enteries must be received by June 20th. More information below.
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
I can’t wait. The Maven foresees a classic series which I expect to end short of the wire. That is, Red Wings in six—in spite of Sid The Kid and his Clan, and whether concussion-bothered Johan Franzen is in the Detroit lineup or not!
Scotty Bowman will be the guest on the NHL Hour today, hosted by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. The show is on from 4-5 p.m. ET today on XM Satellite Radio (Channel 204) and NHL.com. NHL Hour is an interactive talk radio show that is hosted by a rotation of League executives, and co-hosted by XM sports host and former NHL player Bill Clement.
At show time, you can listen live by going to the NHL Network Online, then on the “NHL Livewire” link in the left column, and the show will then be accessible in the right column.
* While on the air, listeners can call into the show at 1-877-645-6696, or send questions/comments via this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
**Archived shows available for download via a podcast on NHL.com.
Retired NHLer David Littman tells some tales from his life in hockey, today at The Hockey News:
People may not believe this, but playing in the minors is just as much fun as playing in the NHL. The only difference is there are fewer zeros on your paycheck. Things happen in the minors that would never happen in the NHL.
I was playing for the Atlanta Knights in the IHL, the farm team for the Tampa Bay Lightning, and we were playing the Salt Lake Golden Eagles, Calgary’s farm team.
In the first period, there was a fight in front of my net and I jumped in to help a teammate. I looked up and Andre Trefilov, the opposing goalie, was coming at me full steam. We fought for a bit, got game misconducts and were kicked out of the game.
By the second period, we were both up in the stands sitting with our respective scratched teammates drinking beers. By the third period, we’d all had a few drinks when the Salt Lake backup goalie was hit and went down hard.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com