Kukla's Korner Hockey
In our “Friday Faceoff,” ESPN.com NHL writer Scott Burnside (based in Atlanta) and Toronto Star columnist and frequent ESPN.com contributor Damien Cox (based in Toronto) duke it out over any given hockey topic. Let the games begin!
This week’s topic: Are we seeing the best the NHL has to offer in this current playoff format?...
Burnside: How would you reward the conference champs? Give them five home games in the first round? Let them choose their opponent? Actually, I think that might have some merit. How do you stand on the whole divisional alignment situation wherein you’re going to have Carolina getting home ice for winning the Southeast Division, but likely ending up with a handful of fewer points than the sixth seed, whom the Canes will face in the first round?
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
But hockey teams are surprisingly consistent in what nourishes them, what pushes them forward. Yes, good coaching, a sense of direction from management and good luck are all important. But all good teams need someone to lead them, to show them that adversity isn’t a wall, but a challenge.
In the Carolina Hurricanes’ dressing room Eric Staal has become that man.
“It’s unfair to say he’s the reason why we’re where we are,” Carolina coach Peter Laviolette told ESPN.com this week. “But if you have a hard-working team, there has to be somebody that you look to. This has been a chance to look into Eric Staal and see what he’s all about. I think everybody likes what they’ve seen.”
from Lightning Strikes,
Kent Hughes, agent for Lightning star Vinny Lecavalier, said Friday his client might needs surgery on his left wrist in the offseason and at the very least almost certainly will not play in this summer’s World Championships.
NEW YORK (March 21, 2008) – National Hockey League (NHL) content is now available on-demand for free through Hulu.com. A partnership between the NHL and the new online video service known as Hulu was announced last week. Under the agreement, the NHL is providing full-length “Games of the Week,” full-length classic games, “Best of the Week” highlights and all-access features focused on NHL players and events.
The Hulu.com (NHL page) website brings together the widest selection of premium video from across 50 content providers with an elegant, easy-to-use interface. With a focus on the video viewing experience, Hulu.com streams videos in high-quality while offering additional tools to enhance the viewing experience, including full-screen view, a pop-out window, a ‘lower lights’ feature and much more.
“NHL fans are early adopters who consume New Media more than fans of other sports,” said Troy Ewanchyna, NHL Director Business Development. “Partnering with Hulu is an important next step in our commitment to delivering NHL content our fans want, when and where they want it.”
In addition to NHL content, U.S. consumers can go to Hulu.com to watch a large selection of hit TV shows, movies, clips and more in high-quality – any time, for free. Hulu’s extensive distribution network includes Hulu’s partner sites (AOL, Comcast’s Fancast.com, MSN, MySpace and Yahoo!) and other Web sites where users have embedded Hulu videos.
I have embedded the recent Capitals/Penguins game and must say the picture quality is very good… Watch it now and play around will all the options you have. Moving to different time areas of the video works well too.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
The Sedins are identical twins: two bodies, seemingly one brain. Henrik has played 556 games, Daniel 552, almost always on the same unit.
This isn’t like playing captain Markus Naslund and Brendan Morrison on different lines as Vigneault has done in the past. This is a much different thought process, hard on the eyes.
“I don’t know which one I’m breaking up, they both look alike,” joked Vigneault.
“As a coach you move people constantly, but what makes it a little different with the twins is this: when one is off (his game), they’re both off, for whatever reason.”
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
The NHL’s regular-season schedule is down to its final 17 days, crunch time for the six teams still in the hunt for the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.
The Globe and Mail enlisted the services of an NHL East pro scout to determine which teams have the best chances of qualifying for the Stanley Cup playoffs based on the current standings, remaining schedule difficulty and recent performance.
Boston Bruins: “They’re in.
Playoff seedings are beginning to take shape and Wings fans have chimed in with what team they would like or not like to meet in the first round.
How about fans of other teams, any team you want to match-up with, how about a team you just don’t want to face in the first round of the playoffs?
Let your feelings be known, it may be good therapy for you!
from ESPN with information from the AP,
The National Hockey League Players’ Association has reached a financial settlement with former executive director Ted Saskin, The Globe and Mail of Toronto reported.
Saskin, who was fired last May after allegedly accessing players’ e-mail accounts, will be paid about $400,000 in a settlement reached with the NHLPA executive board, the newspaper reported, citing unnamed sources.
Current NHLPA executive Paul Kelly said a settlement had been “consummated” but did not comment on the amount, according to report.
added 9:29am, Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail has more on this…
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
There’s just something about Jason Pominville that draws fans near. Whether it’s his personality, his last name or his innocent look, people just feel they can ask him anything. Then they do.
Do you think Britney Spears is crazy? How come you’re French Canadian but don’t have an accent? Do you have any tattoos or piercings?
Most players would say, “Come on, seriously?” Then again, most players wouldn’t get those questions. There’s just something about the Buffalo Sabres captain that makes everybody treat him like the guy next door.
from the Boston Globe,
Chara looked the same. He used his reach to fish loose pucks out of trouble spots and leaned on opponents with his big frame. He was even booed by the large Montreal contingent in attendance.
For the most part, his return went as planned. Until Alex Kovalev hopped over the boards.
The Montreal dynamo ruined Chara’s return - and the Bruins’ night - with two goals and an assist, all against the tandem of Chara and Wideman.
Watch the spin move Kovalev put on Chara…
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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