Kukla's Korner Hockey
via the Toronto Sun,
He said he never intended to rile the top-seeded Sabres by questioning their status as a legitimate Cup favourite before the series started. Renney’s line “they’re not the cream of the crop” was gobbled up and spat out by media and players alike in these parts.
“You have to be more calculated in what you offer up,” Renney said. “You’d expect the same from your players.
“I’m most disappointed because those weren’t my words. I was asked the question, ‘Do you think Buffalo is the cream of the crop?’ The answer was misconstrued. But (the fallout) is like sticking a tennis ball up a tail pipe.”
from Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press,
Surely you remember the Red Wings. Hockey team ... perennially in the playoffs ... the guys like to skate around with the Stanley Cup every few years ... does any of this ring a bell?
There were thousands of empty seats at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday. The Wings gave the official attendance as 18,712, but I suspect they meant limbs.
We saw this kind of attendance in the first round, too. I really thought that if the Wings made it past Calgary, they would convert some skeptics, and the atmosphere would change by Round 2.
And the atmosphere did change.
It got worse.
Can you say high ticket prices and the complet lack of any marketing plan by the Wings is to blame. The Wings fans have no connection with this team and that is a huge marketing issue.
added 7:48am, from the Mercury News,
Evgeni Nabokov sure knows how to suck the air out of an arena. So do the rest of the Sharks. After scoring two quick goals in the first period Thursday, they performed an amazing magic trick.
They made Hockeytown disappear before our very eyes.
Honestly. They did. Normally, the Detroit Red Wings and a boisterous Joe Louis Arena go together like, well, the NFL draft and overanalysis. But the atmosphere for Game1 of the Sharks’ second-round series wavered somewhere between lethargic and tepid.
from Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,
MacLean was asked whether he’d change anything during his six seasons, all of which ended with the Blue Jackets way out of the playoffs.
“I probably made the mistake of going too young in goal,” he said. “I thought Marc Denis was ready to take the step and be a real good goaltender. And I may have made the mistake of playing too many young guys.
“People have chastised me for the (Sergei) Fedorov trade. But the club is .500 since we made the Fedorov trade.”
Actually, the Blue Jackets are 63-72-11 since the Fedorov trade. But when did .500 become the goal, anyway?
MacLean made the wrong decision thinking Fedorov was the type of player who could lead Columbus to the playoffs. He needed more parts than just Sergei to get them over the playoff hump.
from Neil Best at Newsday,
So no one should be surprised about the current predicament of hockey fans, in which nearly 40 million U.S. households - about 35 percent of the total - can’t watch the many playoff games on Versus.
That includes a couple of million homes in our area, 600,000 of which are Cablevision customers, who won’t see the Rangers play the Sabres Tuesday and will miss any game in the conference or Stanley Cup Finals not televised by NBC.
This is old news in other parts of the nation, where many fans freaked out last spring in the first season of the Versus (then called OLN) deal with the NHL.
At the time Versus was available in only 49 percent of cable homes in the Los Angeles area, angering Ducks fans, to cite one example. That figure is up to 59 percent now.
Versus is in only 61 percent of homes in metro Detroit, the nation’s foremost hockey hotbed.
The HD broadcast is nowhere to be found. on VSGLF, the VS dedicated HD channnel, we have golf. On INHD, which is normally the backup channel, we have an NBA game scheduled for 8pm.
So no HD for Wings fans with Comcast in the Detroit area.
If someone finds it, please pass it on.
added 8:16pm, Versus, you have to do a better job of informing your viewers about your HD broadcasts.
From Josh Peter at Yahoo! Sports,
This just in: Roberto Luongo is mortal.
Casual fans might be asking, “Roberto who?” But the puckheads among us must be asking, “Roberto Luongo is mortal? You can’t be serious, can you?”
We’re serious. Very serious.
The Anaheim Ducks did more than beat the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday in the Stanley Cup playoffs. In a 5-1 victory, they dispelled the myth that Luongo, Vancouver’s splendid goaltender, can single-handedly carry the Canucks into the Western Conference finals. The Ducks did this in astonishing fashion, too.
Note: No disrespect to the Ducks—their goals were well-earned, and Luongo has struggled against them all season—but Mr. Peter’s entire article seems to be prefaced on the idea of The End of Luongo. Well, Luongo got scored on 4 times in regulation in the first game of the Dallas series as well. Just because he didn’t dominate in Game #1 of the 2nd round, doesn’t necessarily mean he’s out of this series. (Just thought I’d point that out. Hmph.)
via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
Originally scheduled to be played on Wednesday night, Jan. 16, Atlanta’s first NHL All-Star Game instead will be played on Sunday, Jan. 27.
That is the Sunday between the NFL’s conference championship games and the Super Bowl.
The game time “has not been formalized,” Brown said.
Preliminary events, which typically include a skills competition and a young stars game, now will be held on Jan. 26.
The NHL played this year’s All-Star Game in Dallas on a Wednesday, the first time since 1989 the game had been played in mid-week.
The Boston Bruins have agreed to a one-year contract extension with goaltender Hannu Toivonen. Per team policy, terms of the deal will not be disclosed.
“We feel that Hannu has shown the dedication and the proper attitude the whole year,” said Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli. “Hannu has the right head, the right heart and all of the tools to be a good NHL goalie for many years. We felt that it was imperative to get him signed at this point.”
Florida Panthers Press Release,
Joe Nieuwendyk will return to the Florida Panthers as the Special Consultant to the General Manager, the team announced on Thursday.
Nieuwendyk will work with the team’s hockey operation personnel in a variety of facets that includes scouting, drafting and signing of potential players, as well as player development.
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