Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
But if you’re a general manager who can’t count upon goalie stability, you’re in for some interesting times. Eventually, you might win, but you probably won’t. And even if you do, you’re sure to have a rocky road along the way.
Consider, for example, the current plight of the Ottawa Senators. For most of this season, the Senators have cruised along, rolling over opponents with ease. But their few shaky moments coincided with goalie problems — a goalie controversy during a losing streak and on other occasions, Ray Emery problems.
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
Imagine the international buzz the NHL would generate staging an outdoor game in New York.
The NHL’s U.S. broadcaster NBC seemed to have had this figured out. When it raised the idea of an outdoor game with the league last summer, one idea kicked around was playing a game – the Rangers against the cross-town rival Islanders, perhaps – at Yankee Stadium. But pipes under the field posed some kind of a problem and the prospect was shelved.
Yet even if that obstacle can’t be navigated, surely there are other venues in New York that could host an outdoor game. A football stadium like Giants Stadium could easily host an NHL game outdoors.
Central Park, meantime, would provide stunning TV pictures, even if the league had to drastically pare the number of temporary rink-side seats to satisfy the park’s operator, the Central Park Conservancy.
May you and yours have the best hockey year!!!
from the CP,
The Buffalo Sabres were halfway through their practice on the rink in Ralph Wilson Stadium on Monday afternoon when coach Lindy Ruff canned the monotonous drills and let his players play shinny.
“I wanted them to get back the feeling of playing pond hockey,” Ruff explained. “It felt like the right thing to do, and they had a great time.” Millionaire pros were acting like kids.
“That was awesome, it really was,” Ruff said of the unique outdoor experience. “It kind of gets you back to your roots.”
NEW YORK (December 31, 2007) – Washington Capitals forward Alexander Ovechkin, New York Rangers forward Jaromir Jagr and San Jose Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov have been named the NHL’s Three Stars for the week ending December 30.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
On Sunday, the Ducks became the first NHL team to reach the mid-point of the season — and while they were technically in eighth spot in the Western Conference, most of the teams chasing them held three-to-five games in hand. Prorated over the course of a full season, their 43 points in 41 games is unlikely to be enough to get them into the playoffs. So they need to make a surge, and with five of their next six games at home, and with checking centre Sami Pahlsson scheduled to return to the line-up, this would be a good time to start the turnaround.
The identity of the team is still evolving, but it is clear they will be playing in a lot of low-scoring games from here on in, barring the return of Teemu Selanne or a deal at the deadline to add a goal-scorer - given the strength of their defensive corps, from Niedermayer and Chris Pronger to Schneider and Francois Beauchemin and their comparatively limited offensive personnel.
read on... and remember that internet rumor junk that was floating around, “if you knew the real reason why Niedermayer wants to retire, you would understand”?, well, in the article from Eric, Scott says he just wanted to make sure he wanted to play again, no conspiracy theories…
from Jeff Z. Klein of Slap Shot at the NYT,
But there is a way for the NHL to make all games meaningful again: more competitions, beyond just the Stanley Cup. It’s not a new idea — soccer was going through a similar crisis of fan and media interest 25 years ago. But after it developed this concept, interest in soccer boomed, clubs became enormously wealthy and the sport prospered as it never had before.
Here’s how the NHL can invest the hockey season with meaning for fans and media, not just at playoff time, but throughout the entire calendar.
1. Commit fully to the Victoria Cup.
2. Make the Presidents’ Trophy a one-off championship game.
3. Create a new season-long cup competition, open to all pro clubs in North America.
from In the Room at the Washington Times,
The latest batch of voting results was released Thursday. With upwards of 445,000 votes, Sidney Crosby has about 2 1/2 times as many as Vinny Lecavalier and Daniel Alfredsson, who are in a tight battle for second. Ovechkin was more than 46,000 votes behind those two with Daniel Briere in between and Ilya Kovalchuk nipping at his heels.
This might not seem like a big deal to some, and it is not like Ovechkin won’t be in Atlanta as a reserve. But I don’t think I am making a bold or inaccurate statement by saying Alex is the second-most popular player in the NHL (and this voting stuff is really just a glorified popularity contest).
from Stan Fischler at the Daily Freeman,
WHY ISN’T big league hockey more accepted by the average fan than it is today?
Or, to put it another way, will it forever be known as a “niche sport” to sports editors and TV producers who decide which sports get the big play and which do not?
These questions have bedeviled National Hockey League honchos as the circuit expanded from six to 12 and on to the 30 teams now spread across the continent.
ONE WOULD think that any league with footprints in such diverse metropoli as Tampa Bay, Phoenix, Nashville, Boston, Vancouver, and Montreal - just to name a few - would develop admirable TV ratings.
from the Detroit Free Press,
“When Mac came back into town, probably about a month ago, he gave me a call and expressed interest that he wanted some help and wanted to get back to the NHL,” Draper said Sunday by phone. “The last three weeks before Christmas, he spent at CORE training every day.”
Draper was convinced after their hourlong lunch last month that McCarty was serious about returning to the NHL.
“I hadn’t talked to him, really talked to him, in like three years,” Draper said. “Last couple years have been frustrating and disappointing for him. I don’t know if it was coming back to the city ... maybe he got that passion again.”
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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