Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Media Life,
Last fall, it looked like the NHL had indeed bounced back from a hurtful lockout. Ratings were up, attendance was up and goals per game were up too, as people generally applauded hockey management’s contrite approach to wooing back fans. But now, these six months later, it looks like that judgment was premature. Hockey is not in fact back, and it may be worse off than ever on TV.continued
from the London Free Press,
But the "new" rules don't prevent tough hockey or physical hockey. The rewards are magnified for those who can play with swiftness and skill, but the "new" rules don't penalize players who are willing to battle along the boards for a puck, take a hit, deliver a hit, check hard . . . as long as they do it within the rules. Game 6 of the Buffalo-Philadelphia Eastern Conference quarter-final provided a perfect example.read on
Both Calgary and Edmonton can advance to the second round with victories tonight. No OLN-HD tonight and for the first time in a long time, no Center Ice games either.
from the Buffalo News,
The Buffalo Sabres' matchup against the Philadelphia Flyers was a case study for what worked best in the NHL. You looked at the Sabres and saw bullet-train Maxim Afinogenov steaming down the wing. On the other end, it was beefy tortoise Derian Hatcher trying to keep up in a different game. And then there was Tim Connolly. Who better than Connolly to score the only goal the Sabres needed in a 3-0 victory over the Flyers on Sunday in HSBC Arena? And what better time for Connolly to showcase his talent than in a playoff game before a national television audience? It's everything the NHL wanted, everything Connolly and the Sabres needed.more
from the Detroit Free Press,
The enduring image of Saturday's 3-2 loss to Edmonton was of Manny Legace lying on his stomach for a good 10-count after giving up a goal. This happened on at least two of the goals. And Legace's teammates didn't come over to help him up or console him, probably because they have seen this many times before. Legace is a drama king. He has been for years. Publicly, Legace's teammates defend him. It would be nice if Legace defended his teammates, but he didn't really do it after Game 5. When asked if Edmonton goalie Dwayne Roloson was "phenomenal," here is what Legace said: "Uh ... yeah, he was pretty good tonight. He's seeing all the shots. You're not going to beat him when you don't have traffic. It's as simple as that. He's seeing everything. His defensemen are letting him see everything. You're not going to beat him just by shooting. You're not."more
from the Halifax Daily News,
Don Koharski is doing what he loves to do this time of year - refereeing in the National Hockey League playoffs. We spoke with Koharski last Thursday, and talked to him about his feat, the new officiating standards and their impact on the playoffs. DN: Are too many penalties being called in the playoffs? DK: It's being called the same way it was for 82 regular season games. It's probably the most consistent we've been as a group, and we're not there yet. We never will be, because it's the hardest thing to do, but with the new standard, it's the most consistent I think we've been. And everybody knows going in it's the same way it was in the regular season. We're not treating it any differently. We've been instructed to stay within the standards and those that are not within the standards, they won't be asked to do any more games. It's just the product has been so good and so positive in general, (the league) doesn't want to lose it and they're putting a lot of emphasis on our shoulders to continue to do the same standards.read on
"I've already made up my mind for next season -- I'll be leaving for the NHL. I'm 100 percent sure of that," Malkin, who has a contract with Metallurg through 2008, was quoted as saying by Sport-Express newspaper. His move across the Atlantic, however, could be delayed because Russia remains the only major hockey power not to sign a transfer agreement with the NHL. Under the agreement, approved by the International Ice Hockey Federation last year, Metallurg would have received $900,000 for Malkin. But Magnitogorsk general director Gennady Velichkin threatened to go to court if Pittsburgh do not buy out Malkin's contract. "We're not asking for ($900,000) compensation from Penguins. Such a sum is a handout and we're not interested in handouts," Velichkin told Russian media. "Put simply, they must buy his contract from us." Asked how much money Metallurg were looking to receive for Malkin, Velichkin said his transfer would be worth millions of dollars, similar to what soccer clubs pay for top players.more
from Martin Brodeur via the Calgary Sun,
Refereeing is better than ever before in the NHL but interference in the goalies' crease remains a problem. As soon as a goalie is successful, as is the case with Montreal Canadiens 'tender Cristobal Huet this season, the word goes out on the opposing teams to use every means to destroy his concentration. The best way to deal with it is to speak calmly with the officials. From the start of the game, I would tell them to watch a certain player because he will definitely invade the restricted zone. There are players who specialize in blocking the movements of an opposing goalie. They touch you, jostle you or knock you out of position.more
from Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press,
Edgy? Of course you're edgy. You're a hockey fan, you've waited two years for the playoffs to return, you were sure the Red Wings had the best team in the NHL -- the records said so -- yet tonight, you could be watching their last game of the season. Or not. Who isn't edgy? "Honey, haven't we been through this before?" your wife asks. "DON'T FREAK ME OUT!" you scream.more from the Detroit News,
Goose Loonies is haunting the Wings again. Ironically, it is the model MacTavish is using in the Oilers' bid to upset the Red Wings. "The one thing I brought out of the last Detroit-Edmonton playoff series is the underdog never, ever knows how close they are," MacTavish said. "I thought Detroit was close to us back then, but they didn't believe it. If you don't believe, you never have the opportunity (for an upset)." The Oilers are one victory away from proving that they do believe and that they can win.read on
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun via the Toronto Sun,
The Dominator has not given up hope of making a return as the Ottawa Senators make a run for the Stanley Cup this spring. While Senators goaltender Dominik Hasek is aware he's facing long odds coming back from an adductor muscle injury, he's expecting a visit from a trusted personal trainer. Josef Bruk, a one-time Czech goalkeeper who works with Hasek in the summer, told Daily Sport newspaper in Prague last week he is hoping to travel to Ottawa later this week to try to help Hasek come back. Bruk, 71, who has been a well-respected goalie coach and trainer in the Czech Republic, said Hasek is facing an uphill battle in returning to the Senators. "But, we won't give it up," Bruk said in an interview Thursday.continued
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org