Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Wayne Scanlan at CanWest News,
The Pittsburgh Penguins have an unusual pre-game theme song for a Stanley Cup hopeful -Mission Impossible.
The mission is starting to look just that, impossible, after a 2-1, seat-of-the-pants victory by the Ottawa Senators gave Ottawa a 3-1 lead Tuesday in their NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with the Penguins.
This is usually the point when hockey types start invoking the “stranglehold” word into a playoff series, sometimes carelessly.
I have a few early appointments this morning and will be unable to update.
However, the Krew will put in an extra effort sometime this morning to make your morning reading pleasurable.
from Mark Herrmann of Newsday,
Here’s the plan: Everybody immediately starts praising Alexei Yashin. Writers opine about how much he means to the Islanders, fans chant his name during long stretches when he is off the ice and shriek uncontrollably when he takes a rare shift.
Anyone who goes to Game 4 Wednesday night against the Sabres must reminisce about the good times and mention he is just inches from turning it all around. Finally, and pay careful attention because this is the most important part, shamelessly beg that the Islanders keep Yashin.
from Richard Sandomir of the New York Times,
The N.H.L. remains a league in recovery from the 2004-5 lockout and the miscalculations that led to the labor strife. So it is not surprising that it continues to struggle to rebuild its United States viewership. Nationally, for example, NBC’s regular-season average viewership of 1.34 million is but 45 percent of the 2.9 million in more glorious days on Fox 11 years ago.
“Is there a prospect for monumental growth in ratings? No,” Bill Daly, the league’s deputy commissioner, said yesterday in a telephone interview. “Do we have what we consider good growth prospects in this environment? Yes.”
from Karen Crouse of the New York Times,
Lecavalier, who usually plays alongside Martin St. Louis, another scary scoring threat, has four of the Lightning’s nine goals and 15 of its 70 shots. He is hard to knock off the puck and even harder to read when he has the room to pass or shoot.
“I think he’s getting different looks that I’m not really used to,” Brodeur said. “I think he comes in and he’s looking at you, picking corners. That makes it a little harder for me to be aggressive. I don’t know what he’s doing.”
“Vinny’s one of the best,” Brodeur said, “so I’ve got to stay back and be patient.”
from the Forechecker at Fox Sports,
...and now it’s time to hand out this season’s awards, and since we’re not too far removed from the film industry’s Academy Awards, we’ll hand them out Oscar-style.
OUTSTANDING ACTING ENSEMBLE (aka DIVING by team): The nominees are…
Atlanta Thrashers (8)
Nashville Predators (11)
And the winner is… the Nashville Predators! Coincidentally, they took a diving call in each of their first two playoff games against San Jose
from the AP via the Akron Beacon Journal,
“In order to keep the team intact with the key players, we’re going to have to go up $3 or $4 million dollars,” Karmanos said. “We already took Step 1 with Whitney on that.
“The second thing is, and we’ll make the decision depending on what players are available, whether or not we’re going to step up from there and try to get the players that we think put us over the top. That’s always a real tough call.”
Carolina, which had a payroll of about $39 million this season, failed to make the playoffs a year after winning its first Stanley Cup.
from The Spin, the blog of Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
He’s always sensitive to being called an American trying to redesign Canada’s game, so when it comes to certain issues Bettman loves to trot out the “always been part of the game” argument. Forget the fact one of his greatest unilateral calls as commissioner was to force-feed four-on-four overtime upon the league, a scheme that had never been widely used previously but has been a great success.
He can lean towards the innovative. But he can also be the champion of the so-called purist, depending on the winds.
Bettman even employed the silliest argument of all on head shots, that of taller players playing against smaller ones, and cited the challenge that 6-foot-9 Zdeno Chara would face under enhanced head shot legislation.
from the St. Peterburg Times,
A $540-million proposal to help Florida’s professional sports teams is being scaled back to include only the Tampa Bay Lightning and two other franchises.
Instead of a $2-million annual sales tax rebate good for 30 years, the Lightning, Orlando Magic and Florida Marlins would each get a one-time payment of $32.6-million.
continued... if you are into the $$$ side of the NHL…
thanks to a KK member for the pointer…
From Charley Walters at the Pioneer Press,
Wild star Marian Gaborik, who went without a single shot on goal against the Ducks in Minnesota’s Game 3 playoff loss Sunday in St. Paul, was to employ his mind’s eye before going to sleep Monday evening to prepare for tonight’s game at the Xcel Energy Center.
“I’m going to try to envision goals,” Gaborik said.
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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