Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Damien Cox at ESPN,
Now, be aware, these matchups have only a passing relationship to the current NHL standings. I’m putting Washington and Chicago into the Stanley Cup dance not because they’ll make it, but because I like watching Alexander Ovechkin and Alexander Semin and Mike Green and Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane and Brent Seabrook.
The Capitals and Blackhawks are more fun than Minnesota, Boston and Dallas, for sure, but you can’t boot out all the boring teams.
Instead, Carolina and Nashville, two teams that actually aren’t particularly boring at all, have to pay the price to get the Caps and Hawks in….
So here are my most desirable first-round Stanley Cup playoff matchups:
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
This is not Dancing with the Stars, but Dancing for a Chance to Play the Stars ... or the Red Wings ... or the Senators. Lower your gaze, hockey fans. In March, the lower half of the standings, at least for the teams on the playoff bubble, are infinitely more intriguing than the goings-on of those already tucked snugly in their playoff berths.
If a team qualifies for the playoffs - cue the cliché - anything can happen. Well, almost anything. An eighth-seed is probably not going to win the Stanley Cup this year. You still have to go with the chalk.
from On Frozen Pond,
The Panthers have officially suspended Chad Kilger without pay, word is retroactive to March 1. That’s probably a nice chunk of change. Figure he makes $800,000 per season, so during a 28-week season, that’s $28,571 per week on that scale; $15,384 over a 52-game pay period minus taxes, etc.
I now expect Mr. Kilger to clear up those personal issues rather promptly and find an Air Canada flight direct to Fort Lauderdale..
a little more on the Panthers…
via the Pittsburgh Penguins,
The Pittsburgh Penguins’ website, www.pittsburghpenguins.com, ranked No. 1 among NHL clubs in U.S. website traffic during the month of January.
The Penguins’ website moved up from a second-place ranking in U.S. traffic in the month of December.
For both months, www.pittsburghpenguins.com was ranked fourth worldwide among NHL team sites.
The data and rankings were compiled by comScore Networks
via Sabres Edge,
Asked how the Sabres would defend Ovechkin, coach Lindy Ruff couldn’t resist cracking off a couple one-liners and getting another shot in at the whiners in Philadelphia griping about Derek Roy’s goal last night.
“We’re going to put three guys on [Ovechkin],” Ruff said. “Then we’re going to watch [Alexander] Semin and then we’re going to watch [Mike] Green on defense. So obviously we’re going to have too many men on the ice again.”
Bethesda, MD (March 5, 2008) – Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, the leader in local sports television, will unveil its latest innovation, the “OvechKam,” when the Capitals host the Calgary Flames on Wednesday, March 12.
This unique broadcast, which will be available on CSN+ and replayed on Comcast On Demand, will feature a dedicated view that follows Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin throughout the entire game, providing viewers with an unprecedented look at the most prolific player in the NHL
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Columbus has been a bit of an NHL backwater since entering the league in the last wave of expansion, the only team in the league which has yet to make the playoffs. As of Wednesday morning, they are on the outside, looking in, but hovering on the fringes of the playoff race.
Or, as coach Ken Hitchcock puts it, they are like players at a blackjack table — down to their last chip, when they double down and win and suddenly, they’re back in the game.
“There are teams in the playoffs right now, in the top eight, and our feeling is that one or two of them are not going to be there,” said Hitchcock. “We just have to find a way to manufacture points and if we can keep doing it, we’re hoping somebody trips up.”
from Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet,
There are no easy match-ups in the playoffs anymore, but every edge counts. And in the West, despite all the talk of parity, Anaheim, San Jose, Dallas and Detroit are in a group that’s a notch higher than whichever other clubs grab the other four playoff spots among Minnesota, Calgary, Vancouver, Colorado, Nashville, Phoenix and Columbus.
If you’re Anaheim, San Jose or Dallas—the last thing you want is to face one another right off the bat. It’s one of the more compelling races to keep an eye on. And it’s worth noting that the Stars have beat the Ducks five out of six games this season.
In the East, the Northeast Division may go down to the wire between Montreal and Ottawa with at least the No. 2 seed in the conference at stake
from Team 1200’s Dean Brown,
I want to start by saying something I have said over and over on both radio and TV. I have great admiration for the way the Anaheim Ducks play the game. I believe their philosophy is not new but it is brilliant. It plays on the one constant in NHL officiating. That is the official’s internal calculator….
Anaheim is the dirtiest team in the NHL and all the stats prove that. But what fans miss in their anger because their team was the victim of the Ducks “thousand cuts” game plan is the excellence Anaheim has achieved in executing this type of game plan. Getting everyone to play this way. Getting your skill players to play this way. Not an easy thing to do, but they have. It is not the type of hockey you can do half way.
thanks to a KK member and fellow blogger for the pointer…
from Brian Costello of the Hockey News,
The top 10 list this week shows the NHL leaders in positive differential of points on the road versus home. Among the top 50 road scorers this season, here are the 10 that have been more productive in away games compared to the friendly confines of the home arena.
10. Brian Gionta, New Jersey (26 road points, 19 home points) Plus-7.
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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