Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the News & Observer,
There will be no title defense. Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning made sure of it, the Hurricanes blowing a two-goal lead to put themselves on the brink of playoff elimination. Fifteen minutes after they left the ice, their embarrassment was assured when the Montreal Canadiens completed a 2-0 victory over the Boston Bruins.
“It’s a weird feeling, a tough feeling that our year is over,” Hurricanes defenseman Mike Commodore said.
“It’s just really disappointing, I guess, to sum it up. It’s tough to find the words right now. We had a great season last year. I guess it was the best year last year, and we kind of followed it up by the most disappointing.”
from Unnati Gahndi of the Globe and Mail:
The woman behind hockey legend Wayne Gretzky says the intense media coverage of her alleged involvement in a U.S. gambling ring blew things “out of proportion.”
In her first in-depth interview since the coverage of the betting scandal hit the stands last year, Janet Jones tells Chatelaine magazine that the media scrutiny put a strain on the family, including the couple’s five children.
“It’s unfair that Wayne and I have had a great marriage for 20 years and a nice family, and the people in the media could care less if they are trying to cause friction in your marriage, trouble in your family, and make your kids feel a certain way,” she told Chatelaine in a story published in the May issue.
“That was a little hurtful because it was like, ‘Why? What have we ever done to you?’ “
The entire article can be found here, but there’s nothing more to it.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun:
“As far as (Julien’s) on-ice approach, it’s not much different than what we’ve been doing. I never talked to (Lamoriello) about (Julien) at all,” said Devils goalie Martin Brodeur, the longest-serving veteran in Lamoriello’s Army.
“I had lots of different conversations with (Julien) about coaching or whatever. You always turn around to look at yourself when these things happen.“That’s tough to do here because we gave him 102 points. It’s hard for us to feel bad. When coaches are fired, it’s because the players aren’t responding. Well, we’ve done our share, I think.”
The players aren’t just players here. They’re disciples of the system. They live by Lamoriello’s strict rules of no facial hair and mandatory shirt and tie on the road — and the players seem to enjoy it.
from MultiChannel News,
With threats of pulling the networks looming, Charter Communications reached new carriage commitments with Comcast-owned The Golf Channel and Versus.
Sources familiar with the situation indicated that the distribution deals that Golf and Versus (nee OLN) negotiated separately with Charter expired around 15 months ago. And while extensions have kept the services on Charter’s air to date since early 2006, the parties have now evidently ended a stalemate over Charter’s intention to move Golf and Versus to a sports tier from their current basic positioning.
Thanks to a KK reader for the tip and as I said in the KK Forum today and to numerous people who emailed, me, they have been trying to get it settled.
Some people tried to make this a lot bigger deal than it was.\
added 9:33pm, More on this from Ray Slover at the Sporting News,
Good news, puckheads: If you watch Versus on cable TV you won’t miss a second of playoff action. And there was much rejoicing.
Joe Thornton took part in an NHL tele-coference today…
Q. Could you just address the impact that the acquisition of Bill Guerin and Craig Rivet have had on the team?
JOE THORNTON: Well, obviously, we’re pretty young in the back, so Rivet just brings us some more toughness back there. He’s pretty rugged. He plays the power plays, the right?handed shot, which we needed, as well. So he fills so many voids that we didn’t have before. He’s a guy that’s been there, done that, and he’s going to be great going to the playoffs.
Obviously Billy winning the Cup I think in ‘95 or ‘96, he’s a good, veteran guy that works really well with Patty Marleau, and he’s another right?handed shot. He’s physical, he’s big, he’s strong and just two very, very valuable pickups that we definitely needed coming down the stretch here.
Q. I’d like to ask another question. I’ve got to ask you, last season late you just went on an amazing rampage, and you’ve done it again this season. How do you explain the late season surges that you have?
JOE THORNTON: I don’t know, it’s just ?? obviously especially this year, playing with Milan Michalek, he’s been playing great lately, and Cheech has been putting the puck in the back of the net. But I don’t really know the rhyme or reason that it happens. But like you said, it happened last year and again this year, but I don’t know the reason why.
Christy at Behind the Jersey has been keeping track of ticket movement today and tickets were just a topic on one of Detroit’s sports radio stations.
An unusual amount of playoff tickets remain, and as mentioned on the radio, you could buy a block of 12 tickets all together.
I noticed standing room only tickets are going for $68 for the first round.
The economy situation right now is not very good in Detroit and it appears some of the season ticket holders have turned their seats in for the playoffs.
To top it off, the Red Wing organization has done squat to promote the game and does nothing to make it more fan friendly.
NEW YORK (April 3, 2007) – Fueled by a dramatic race to the playoffs, sales of NHL-licensed product on Shop.NHL.com for the month of March increased 51% compared to the same period last year, the National Hockey League (NHL) today announced. The most searched term last month on Shop.NHL.com that yielded results was “Stanley Cup.”
For the seventh consecutive month, the Buffalo Sabres remain the top-selling team on Shop.NHL.com. The Sabres’ March 2007 sales increased 657% compared to last year. Other teams that more than doubled merchandise sales for March were the Pittsburgh Penguins (205%), New York Islanders (155%), Minnesota Wild (154%), Anaheim Ducks (119%) and Nashville Predators (100%). Twenty-four of 30 teams increased their sales for the month of March on Shop.NHL.com.
From OurSports Central,
The American Hockey League announced today the individual team winners of the American Specialty/AHL Man of the Year awards, given to one player from each AHL member team for his outstanding contributions to his local community and charitable organizations during the 2006-07 season.
From this list of 27 finalists, representatives from American Specialty and the AHL will choose the winner of the 2006-07 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award.
The AHL’s annual Man of the Year award is named after the late Yanick Dupre, who died in August 1997 at the age of 24, following a 16-month battle with leukemia. Dupre, an AHL All-Star in 1995, played four seasons with the Hershey Bears, registering 169 points in 207 AHL games. He also skated in 35 NHL games with the Philadelphia Flyers.
continued… a list of the best of the best of the AHL’s good guys
from the McKight Journal,
Some local hockey fans were holding their breath because of the unstable situation of the Pittsburgh Penguins, while others were doing so to get a hearty workout.
Every Tuesday night, some extreme hockey fans gather at the Pine-Richland pool to partake in a friendly, yet exhilarating game of underwater hockey.
The premise of the game is much like its on ice counterpart. Teams of three to six players try to hit a puck made of brass and teflon across the bottom of the deep end (12 feet) of the pool into one of the two of the 1.5 foot goals on either end of the deep part. The goals are made of weighted angle iron, but sometimes get jostled around during the action according to long-time player Deb Rammage.
NEW YORK—The National Hockey League’s exciting countdown to the Stanley Cup Playoffs continues tonight with 13 games featuring 16 of the 20 playoff-eligible clubs. Among the honors still to be determined with just six days remaining in the regular season: all six division titles, both conference titles, the Presidents’ Trophy as the League’s top regular-season club, all 16 playoff seeds and four playoff berths.
Six clubs could clinch division titles and/or playoff berths tonight:
Buffalo can clinch the Northeast Division and Eastern Conference tonight:
* If they beat Pittsburgh.
NY Rangers can clinch an Eastern Conference playoff berth tonight:
* If they beat the Islanders
* They get one point and Carolina gets one or no points against Tampa Bay and Toronto gets no points against Philadelphia.
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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