Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Marcia C. Smith of the OC Register,
Hockey – follow us closely – is generally played in the less tanned regions of the world where people drink Molson, hunt moose and survive inhumane sub-70-degree winters that make roads, sidewalks and the surfaces of frozen-over ponds dangerously slippery and cold.
Ottawa, the capital of Canada, has embraced hockey, along with Celine Dion worship, even though the Senators have been an NHL franchise since only 1992….
Since 1993, the Anaheim Ducks have forsaken the Southern California beach culture to convert Orange County into parka-wearing fans of this boxing-on-blades sport.
They play atop a 1¼-inch sheet of man-made ice cooled to 18 degrees, inside a giant marble and glass icebox formerly named The Pond.
Despite their webbed feet, the Ducks skate on blades of steel sharp enough to cut a ripe tomato. They wield long, slender sticks made of graphite and wood.
from the Buffalo News,
“Would it be considered a success,” Sabres owner B. Thomas Golisano asked, “when you have a team that sells out every game and sells out all the suites but would lose money unless they were in the playoffs? That’s a thing an organization like the Buffalo Sabres must be aware of.
“If they move the salary cap up and we go with it, there’s a good possibility we would lose money unless we reached the second round of the playoffs. That’s an unhealthy situation.”
from the Dallas Morning News,
Walkom is well-respected and well-liked by his colleagues, and he has indeed run a tight ship. He has consistently rewarded officials who call the most penalties, and he has supported them steadfastly when they’ve made tough calls near the end of games or in overtime. His decision to sit veteran Kerry Fraser for the playoffs this season sent a clear message.
The problem is that many of these referees have taken the message to mean that every call is a good call, and that’s just not true.
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
The captain of the plane has heard of them, too. His name is Nate. He’s from California.
“Who do you like in the Senators-Ducks series?” we ask upon disembarking.
“The Senators,” he says, guessing we’re from Ottawa and that’s what we wanted to hear.
“In what?” I demand. “Five? Seven?”
“In nine,” he replies.
Wouldn’t be funny if he was joking.
As hard as it may be to believe, the whole world actually has not stopped to watch the battle for Lord Stanley’s coveted mug. Not even the whole of Anaheim.
added 9:40am, from the Edmonton Journal,
And he, like Michael Russell, has a hard time naming one Ducks player.
“Oh, wait—there’s what’s-his name—Muselanney.”
“You mean Teemu Selanne?”
Larry Brooks of the NY Post does a great job with a Brian Leetch column and then submits this…
Let the debates begin. Slap Shots’ post-Bobby Orr first-and-second All-Star defense squads. First team: Larry Robinson, Chelios, Denis Potvin, Ray Bourque, Stevens, Paul Coffey. Second Team: Leetch, Niedermayer, Brad Park, Al MacInnis, Nicklas Lidstrom, Mark Howe.
from the LA Times,
So far, the Ducks are heading into the NHL’s Stanley Cup finals against the Ottawa Senators on Monday with far less buzz than would accompany a team from a traditional hockey town or, for that matter, a championship run by the Angels, Dodgers or Lakers.
No preponderance of flags waving from cars or wall-to-wall jabber on sports talk radio. No fans naming their first-born Teemu in a desperate attempt to win tickets.
On a recent evening at various sports bars around the Honda Center in Anaheim, patrons wore baseball caps and basketball jerseys. There wasn’t a Ducks hat or shirt in sight.
read on (reg. req.)
Tickets for the Anaheim Ducks’ home games in the Stanley Cup Finals sold out in less than 10 minutes after going on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday, a team official said.
There was a four-ticket limit per customer for the series. Random numbered wristbands were distributed for purchasing tickets at the box office, said Ducks’ director of communications Alex Gilchrist.
Fans hoping to catch the Ducks facing off with the Ottawa Senators at the Honda Center can turn to various Web sites and ticket brokers where tickets were being resold.
Bidding for a pair of tickets 13 rows off the ice for Monday’s Game 1 reached $999 on eBay Saturday, while a suite that seats 14 persons, along with three tickets elsewhere in the arena and preferred parking, were sold for a reported $21,246 on RazorGator.com.
from Kevin Dupont at MSNBC,
Like I say, pretty country, full of nice folks, and there’s a lot to like about the Ottawa Senators, this year’s Canadian entry in the Stanley Cup finals.
I just happen to like the Ducks more — like 4 games to 2 more. That’s right, Ducks in six games, leaving the USA with a somewhat unholy trinity of Lightning, Hurricanes and Ducks as the NHL’s last three Cup champions.
You know, if the Panthers finish off with a grand slam in the spring of ‘08, it might be time to consider selling one of the six remaining Canadian franchises and shipping it south.
from the New York Times,
While clean and skillful play has become the prevailing style among most of the N.H.L.’s best teams, the Ducks, who will start the Stanley Cup finals against Ottawa tomorrow night, earned more penalty minutes (1,457) and engaged in far more fights (71) than any other club this season. And if the opinions available on fan-generated Web sites and blogs are any indication, Anaheim has become the team fans love to hate.
The Ducks have not toned down their act, and have been responsible for some of the postseason’s most unpleasant incidents. There have been 13 fights in the first three playoff rounds, and Anaheim has been involved in four.
more on the NHL and the NYT needs to take a better look at the UFAs they have mentioned…
from Mark Sutcliffe of the Ottawa Citizen,
This week’s events should cause the NHL to take stock and review its long-term goals. Evidence is mounting that the dream of a lucrative U.S. TV contract will never be realized. The league should abandon its singular focus on that unachievable goal and reposition itself in pursuit of a better opportunity: To thrive in markets where there is demand for hockey.
Hockey will never be a national game in the United States. There are too many regions where hockey ranks behind not just the big three American sports, but a dozen others as well. But that doesn’t mean the NHL doesn’t have an opportunity to grow.
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.
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