Kukla's Korner Hockey
I learned something this morning while glancing at page 4 of the LA Times Sports section: not only is hockey still played professionally but the team from Anaheim is actually in the Stanley Cup Finals. Who knew? And the game is on NBC tonight.
I don’t know a single guy who plays for the Ducks (apparently they dropped the “Mighty” from their official name) but I’m going to watch. Hopefully a lot of other people will too, because hockey really deserves more respect than it’s currently getting….
Why the Times can’t give a (sort of) local team that is 2 wins away from the championship better coverage than page 4 is also a mystery (but just one of many mysteries at the Times). [Note: below the fold on page 1 of the sports page thee is a column about a guy named Pronger who plays for the Ducks, but the actual series coverage is buried on Page 4.]
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
After my rant about getting the runaround from a van driver the other night, it occured to me that I am risking my reputation with the NHL as one of the few rays of sunshine among a sullen media mob that is only too quick to explode into self-righteous anger over such trifles as the chablis not being exactly the right temperature or the wireless Internet connection cutting in and out all night.
So I come here today not to bury anyone but to praise Frank Brown, Gary Meagher, Julie Young, Jamie Horan and the rest of the NHL communications staff. They all did a tremendous job on Sunday, turning what could have been another long, frustrating day for the media into a piece of cake.
Yes, they are doing a great job along with everyone involved with the NHL. I have been able to provide KK readers with numerous updates because of their efforts. It is also a shame some of the MSM is not using the same resources made available, but hey, you do know where to find it if you are reading this!
Q. I just wonder, I understand Dean McAmmond is skating. Will he play?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: I don’t know. I just talked to him briefly. He’s taking a light skate. See how he feels afterwards. Obviously, we have to talk to the doctors
before we let him play, but he’s trying. He’d like to play. But in talking to him, he’s certainly not 100% at this moment.
Q. Is it mental right now with Dany Heatley?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: He’s very physical. If he gets his legs going a little better and does a few things with the puck, things will happen for him. He had kind of a similar start to another series and then got going pretty well. Dany is one of the people that the line plays well. He’ll play real well. And we’ve got to get Spezza getting him the puck more and Alfy getting back to his game.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Niedermayer and Beauchemin will probably both approach 35 minutes in ice-time, about five minutes more than what Niedermayer is accustomed to, while O’Donnell will be well into the 20s. But at this point in the season, Carlyle is not worried about wearing anyone out.
“I would liken it to putting all the bullets in the gun,” Carlyle said. “You can’t put any in the holster at this time. There’s four games left in the series. That’s four games left in the season and you’re going to utilize all the personnel you see fit.
“Are you going to worry about overusing someone? You worry about tonight.”
Tonight marks the debut of Don Cherry on NBC. Famous for his forthrightness, brashness, arrogance, fashion sense, and general volume, Cherry hits the U.S. airwaves tonight to show off his own brand of hockey entertainment for more of the world to see.
Last week, Chris Zelkovich at the Toronto Star asked,
Don Cherry says he’s ready for America. But is America ready for him?
That question will be answered Monday night when the star of Coach’s Corner makes his U.S. network television debut on NBC.
Meanwhile, I thought I prepare the uninitiated for what to expect. There are many looks to Cherry, and while most die-hard American hockey fans know The Don well enough, I figure plenty of casual fans may be in for a surprise. So here’s a photo album of the Many Faces of Cherry...
In case you missed it over at Abel to Yzerman, a couple of BJ bloggers are hosting a draft party.
I sure would love to attend, but it will be a last minute decision for me.
from the Leader-Post,
YELLOW GRASS—Decorating the rink: $50. Buying food and drinks: $500. Big screen TV: $3,000. Watching Peter Schaefer play for the Cup: Priceless!
The gathering is appropriately dubbed “Hockey Night in Yellow Grass”. Game 3 of the series on Saturday night attracted a crowd of about 80 people—or roughly 20 per cent of the town’s population.
This humble farming community came to a virtual halt during the game, which Ottawa won 5-3. The only sign of life outside the rink on this evening was one solemn figure who took advantage of the pleasant weather to cut his grass.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
They call it playing on the edge.
But it’s getting awfully close to slitting their own throats.
The Ducks have now received three suspensions in these playoffs – two to Pronger and one to winger Brad May. They’ve had to defend against 5-on-3 situations on 13 occasions, including three in this series, and have had only one such advantage themselves. They’ve been short-handed 18 times in the Cup final while enjoying 11 power plays.
If the Ducks don’t win the Stanley Cup it won’t be because they weren’t good enough.
It will be because they threw it all away to prove they’re the meanest SOBs on the block.
from the LA Times,
Down by Chinatown, a plump woman dresses her two dogs in miniature Ottawa Senators shirts for their morning walk.
Farther along the boulevard, at an open-air market, a vendor sticks a red-and-gold flag among baskets of fresh strawberries.
Try walking two blocks in this capital without finding some reminder that the home team has reached the Stanley Cup finals. Try ignoring giant banners hung from office buildings near the highway and placards taped in windshields of taxicabs.
continued (reg. req.)
from the Tennessean,
Balsillie’s vow of silence has not immediately affected the number of current season-ticket holders, whose renewal rate of 66.5 percent is near even to the 66 percent last year at this point. But it certainly is having an adverse effect on the mental state of an anxious Predators fan base.
“I always say fear of the unknown is the worst,” said Joy Kimbrell, who has owned two lower-bowl season tickets since the team’s inception in 1998. “If we knew one way or another what to expect, we could deal with it. Not knowing leaves us in limbo.
“It makes most loyal fans feel like we are a tradable asset. I would say we are disenfranchised, worried and bitter.”
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