Kukla's Korner Hockey
The Winter Classic was a hit in Canada as well.
A day after NBC reported the largest hockey viewing audience in more than a decade watched the outdoor game south of the border, CBC announced Thursday it drew its second-largest audience ever for an afternoon NHL game.
from George Johnson at ESPN,
Phaneuf’s renown, however, rides on his ability to sap people of their senses. He currently sits a comfortable second in Western Conference All-Star voting among defenseman, trailing only the inevitable and unavoidable Lidstrom. And Phaneuf isn’t getting that kind of broad-based love at the ballot box for nimble poke-checks, stylish tie-ups or witty repartee.
He will develop over time and become a more well-rounded defenseman. He may even add some curly-cues to his repertoire. But what fans relish, and opposing forwards dread, is Dion Phaneuf, the Terminator.
Adam Proteau of the Hockey News concludes his interview with Paul Kelly. In case you missed the firat part, a link is available on the page….
THN: Improving the marketing of the game has been a common goal of the NHL for decades, yet little progress has been made. What are some of your opinions on ways to finally make some headway in this area?
PK: I’ll make three or four quick points:
One is U.S. television. I commend Versus for their broadcasts, but we need broader reach, broader coverage, reaching a greater number of homes, on more nights, with more highlights. We need something that’s even half of what you have here in Canada, and we don’t have it in the United States.
If I’m in a certain city and I want to watch a hockey game, I go hunting around the TV dial, I go past ESPN – which has a poker game on – and I can’t find a hockey game because many of the places I go to don’t have Versus on the dial. It’s unacceptable.
Washington center Nicklas Backstrom, who led all rookies with 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 13 games as the Capitals posted their best month on a points percentage basis since February 2001, has been named the NHL Rookie of the Month for December.
Backstrom edged Chicago Blackhawks linemates Jonathan Toews (5-7—12 in 12 games) and Patrick Kane (2-7—9 in 12 games), Phoenix Coyotes center Martin Hanzal (1-8—9 in 14 games) and Atlanta Thrashers defenseman Tobias Enstrom (0-9—9 in 16 games) for the award.
The Chicago Blackhawks received some good news Thursday as an MRI revealed that Jonathan Toews’ knee injury is a sprain and no surgery will be required.
Hawks’ General manager Dale Tallon expected the 19-year old Toews to miss the next three to four weeks.
The electrifying rookie suffered the injury in the first period of Tuesday’s Blackhawks’ loss to the Kings. Toews said he felt as though he “changed directions too quickly” after going hard into the boards.
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3 1/2 minutes of the Top 10 hits of the week.
From Tim Wharnsby at the Globe & Mail,
New NHLPA boss Paul Kelly arrived at his first world under-20 championship on Wednesday to mix and mingle with NHL scouts and general managers as well as IIHF officials. One of the causes he has championed since he took over his office on lower Bay St. in Toronto was to better market hockey in the United States.
He should have a chat with the people that run USA Hockey. For the second year in a row, Canada and the U.S. will meet in the semifinals at the world junior and for the second straight year hockey’s governing body down south made available for interviews after practice only three players and coach John Hynes.
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
The philosophical underpinning for the Brodeur Plan, floating around since the early years of the NHL’s Dead Puck era, is unassailable: By being allowed to ice the puck without consequence, the penalized team is inherently rewarded….
“If you ice the puck now, you can’t change,” Brodeur said, “so you’d get tired penalty killers out against a fresh power play. That’s a better advantage [for the team with the extra skater]. It’ll force [penalty killers] to flip the puck like the in old days, land it soft, without icing it. They have to manage the game better, which is also a skill.”
from the Tennessean,
Predators center David Legwand and defenseman Ryan Suter returned to practice Wednesday but might not be back in the lineup for tonight’s game against Edmonton.
Although both are healthy enough to play, Coach Barry Trotz said he was happy with the performance of the players he used in the Predators’ shutout at Dallas on Monday and did not feel particularly compelled to change….
“No team in this league scares me enough to say, ‘We are over our heads here,’ ” Trotz said. “We’re not gifted enough to have passengers. We have to be good as a team, and that’s what we did in Dallas.”
more on the Predators…
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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