Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
The combination of new rules and the shootout have produced not only high-quality hockey but great playoff races," said Mighty Duck General Manager Brian Burke, whose team is a prime beneficiary of the crackdown on hooking and holding. "When you go to the shootout, nobody leaves. Everybody stays. "Overall, the NHL gets an 'A.' " But — and you knew there had to be a "but" — it's unclear whether anyone has noticed beyond the small but passionate cluster of fans who cared before the lockout. Attendance has never been a huge headache for the NHL. It goes up some years in some places and down in others, but that's normal. The old problems plaguing the New NHL are its lack of a lucrative TV package, TV's inability to convey the game's speed and atmosphere to viewers, and the sport's enduring image as a regional pastime. Improving the product doesn't seem to have resolved those problems.read on (reg. req. and an excellent read)
from the Columbus Dispatch,
Only nine clubs, including the Blue Jackets, report a decline in crowd size. The Jackets draw 16,778 per game, 17 th in the NHL. It’s the first time they’ve been in the bottom half of the league. "We’re down for two reasons," president and general manager Doug MacLean said. "Our team performance early wasn’t good enough. "And the Olympic schedule (a 17-day break in February) was tough." MacLean said the seasonticket base, estimated at around 14,000, remains strong, and renewals for 2006-07 are at least as good as for previous seasons.more
from the Montreal Gazette,
These days, you don't have to be a hockey fan to be rooting for the Montreal Canadiens. Local businesses are just as eager to cheer for the home team now that it's landed a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and many have already begun preparing for the windfall that would bring. "The Canadiens in the playoffs makes the whole city go round," said Peter Bitharas, co-owner of Champs sports bar on St. Laurent Blvd.read on
Quick note for Wings fans. Yzerman and Schneider will play in Nashville tomorrow, plus Lebda is being recalled and Filppula sent back to G.R. No Datsyuk yet and Lidstrom and Zetterberg not going to Nashville.
via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Rookie Sidney Crosby rang up his 100th point of the season and his third assist of the game this evening late in the second period when he set up Ryan Malone for a power play goal. He is the youngest player in NHL history to reach the century plateau. The Penguins lead the game 4-1 in the second period.
from Gary Thorne of USA TODAY,
For the next three months, we will hear from and about the teams that made it to the playoffs in the race for the Stanley Cup. But before they fade completely off the charts and out of the papers, let's take a look at the teams whose seasons are over and will watch the 2½-month playoff extravaganza. In the West, St. Louis has its new owner and now they will have to begin the rebuilding process. They are a bad team. The time of recovery will depend on how much money there is to invest in players and the immediate structuring of a solid front office. Chicago has no ownership problems with Bill Wirtz still there. Sorry, Blackhawk fans.more
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from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,
The buzz throughout the Western Conference was that the team that was able to secure fifth place in the standings was suddenly golden in that they would meet the Nashville Predators minus No.1 goalie (and potential Vezina Trophy winner and NHL All-Star) Tomas Vokoun. It was viewed as the hockey equivalent of a walkover. Not to rain on anyone's post-Easter parade, but for the record, Predators backup Chris Mason is 11-5 this season and has been steady in every appearance. More importantly to the Predators, Mason is unbeaten since word came out that Vokoun would not be available to the team because of blood clots in his lower abdomen.continued
from WXYZ TV in Detroit,
Mr. Bettman- My name is Tom Leyden. I worked at the NHL from 1998-2000 as the manager of sales and marketing for NHL.com and since have moved into the television media. I'm a sports reporter for WXYZ-TV in Detroit, a city where hockey has certainly thrived this season. At a time when Motown should be celebrating the Red Wings fantastic regular season, the theme of hockey conversations (when we're not discussing if Manny Legace can carry the Wings through the playoffs) has been an overwhelming disdain for the new regular season schedule. As a media member and hockey fan, the schedule truly upset me this year. Playing eight games against each divisional opponent is ill- advised, even if the league is committed to "developing new rivalries."continued
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
At the beginning of the season, ESPN.com outlined the top stories and issues that were expected to dominate the NHL's first season back from the lockout that wiped out the 2004-05 season. How did it all come to pass? Let's take a look ... The fans Hey, they did remember. In spite of dire predictions to the contrary, fans appeared not to be all that angry the game disappeared for a year. In fact, fans returned in record numbers to NHL arenas.continued...very good read...
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.
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