Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
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 the Detroit Free Press,
This morning, Wings coach Mike Babcock said Holmstrom was day-to-day, and that he hoped Holmstrom would play at some point during the series.
As relayed Wednesday by Expressen’s Gunnar Nordstrom, Holmstrom said doctors have told him he had to be inactive for several days after Sunday in order to avoid further damage to his eye. Holmstrom was told that if there is any re-bleeding, it would affect his eyesight permanently.
From NHL.com’s Larry Wigge,
Mystery or secret weapon?
Some will say the silky-smooth Pavel Datsyuk is an enigma wrapped in a riddle and, well, a mystery because he came into the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season with zero goals in his last 26 games in the postseason.
By contrast, the numbers he’s put up in the regular season have solidified Datsyuk as a star…
From Helene St. James at the Free Press,
The Wings drew admirers headed into the playoffs because of their depth—but six games in, that has dwindled. Holmstrom is nursing a cut left eyelid, and while he’s officially day-to-day, that can mean anything from a Game 2 return to missing two weeks. Brett Lebda is dealing with a sore right ankle, though he should return during the series. His injury further depletes a defense that saw Niklas Kronwall suffer a fractured sacrum in his pelvis March 30, which will keep him out through mid-May. [...]
The Wings need all four lines to generate offense, but two of those lines aren’t in top shape. Henrik Zetterberg missed practice Wednesday, meaning he won’t have practiced since Sunday’s end of the Calgary series.
Update 11:28am ET:
John Niyo at the Detroit News,
I’ve already gotten a half-dozen emails about the CBC mention on “Ater 40 Minutes” where they just casually threw out that Calder and Samuelsson have broken hands. Wings have denied it up till now. And I don’t expect that to change—this being the playoffs, you’re not going to get a straight answer out of anybody. But everybody saw Calder shaking hands with his left hand after the Calgary series.
*thanks to KK reader Millsz for the pointer!
From John Niyo at The Detroit News,
Nick Lidstrom , with a little backchecking help from his friends, held Calgary’s star forward, Jarome Iginla , largely in check in the first round. But this stacked San Jose lineup presents a more daunting challenge for the Wings defense.
“This is a little different, because Calgary is a one-trick pony, and we’re not,” Sharks coach Ron Wilson said Tuesday. “We’ve got a lot of weapons. Our third and fourth lines can be just as dangerous.
“They’ll pick a matchup that they think can help them. But we’ve got four lines we’ll be rolling, and it’ll be hard for them to check all those guys.”
more… *a full scouting report of the series
From Michael Rosenberg at the Free Press,
Is Dominik Hasek the best goalie ever?
There is no clear answer. But Hasek has to be in the conversation, right? He has won six Vezina Trophies as the best goalie in the league. Only Jacques Plante, with seven, has won more.
“Right now is not the time to think about a legacy,” Hasek said. “Right now, at this point of the season, you think about the next round, the next game. Maybe I can think of it when the season is over.” At 42, Hasek looks suspiciously like he did when he was 37 and 32 and 27. He looks like one of the top three goalies in the world.
from Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle,
Head coach Ron Wilson refines the search by pointing out that Guerin isn’t in charge of breaking down video but of whispering sweet somethings into the ears of the players next to him on the bench during the game, and his expertise in that context is invaluable.
“Take Mathieu Schneider or Chris Chelios or Nicklas Lidstrom,” Wilson said. “Billy knows what makes those guys tick, what they like to do and don’t like to do. He can tell one of the young guys what don’t they want to do in a certain situation. To say that this is why we got him is putting it a little too simply, but this is one of the ways he helps us. I mean, if you saw all the little things he did against Nashville that made things easier for the other guys, you’d get it.”
vai the AP,
“He’s out for Game 1 because he still has blood on his eye,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Wednesday. “The doctors want no blood on his eye before he plays.
“It’s a blow because he scored 30 goals this season, and he’s one of our key players. But we expect to get him back at some point in the series, and that’s good news for us and him.”
from the Toronto Sun,
“He doesn’t like traffic, but, then again, what goalie does?“Thornton said yesterday. “Either way, we have a lot of big forwards and plan to use our size to our advantage.
“It’s unlikely you are going to score many pretty goals in the post-season.
“It’s going to be hack and whack. Most of the goals will come from within four feet of the net.
“The trouble is, Hasek has such an unorthodox style, you can’t really scout him.”
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.
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