Kukla's Korner Hockey
“The gold would mean a lot. Talk in Sweden began to pick up when they were about to pick the teams. We know Canada’s going to be good, a lot of teams will, but Sweden will have high expectations.”
-Nick Lidstrom on Team Sweden. Luke Fox of Sportsnet has more from Lidstrom, including Wings and Babcock talk.
from John Niyo of the Detroit News,
Detroit now sits seven points behind Montreal for the last Atlantic Division playoff spot, and suddenly among a handful of teams looking up at Toronto and Columbus for the two wild-card berths in the Eastern Conference.
And while this five-game homestand was billed as a chance for the Wings to find some traction before next month’s Olympic break and the stretch run that’ll follow, it may prove to be just the opposite.
Because for a team that has forgotten what home ice is all about in the NHL — the Wings hadn’t played here since Dec. 23 and they’ve won just seven of 25 games in Detroit all season – looks can be deceiving.
Next up are the defending Stanley Cup champs from Chicago – the hope is Jonas Gustavsson will be able to start in net after his own three-week absence — followed by a decent Montreal team they haven’t seen and a bad Florida team they can’t beat.
“Yeah, for sure,” said Justin Abdelkader, when asked if players were starting to notice the shadows looming in the standings. “We’re starting to slip a little bit. We’ve got to get rolling here.”
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
Mike Babcock likes to say that gold-medal preparation yields gold-medal results. The players who were with him at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics can claim that they have their gold medals in part because of that very philosophy.
Canada won gold four years ago and will try to defend it next month with Babcock behind the bench at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
"Everything was laid out there for us when we got to the Olympics," Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith told NHL.com. "We were very well-prepared in what we wanted to accomplish on the ice as far as our systems and the way we wanted to play as a team. It was also communicated to us very clearly about what the other team's tendencies were, how they played their systems and the players on their team. That was one thing that stood out for me was how well prepared we were as players."
That preparation has players like Keith and the 10 others who played for Canada in Vancouver trusting that Babcock again is the ideal coach for them in a short tournament.
While his success in the NHL is well known -- Babcock is a Stanley Cup champion (2008), a three-time Cup Finalist (2003, 2008, 2009) and the third-fastest coach in history to reach 400 wins, behind Scotty Bowman and Glen Sather -- he has had great success in international tournaments.
The goal tied the game up late for the Wings, OT settled nothing and the Wings won in the shootout.
This type of play shoule be reviewable, but it is not. Maybe next year?
added 10:12pm, Kings broadcast version below...
Late in the 3rd period, Detroit down 4-1 to San Jose...
18:07 San Jose Scott Hannan: 2 minutes, instigator
18:07 San Jose Scott Hannan: 5 minutes, fighting
18:07 Detroit Daniel Cleary: 2 minutes, roughing
18:07 Detroit Daniel Cleary: 5 minutes, fighting
18:07 San Jose Scott Hannan: 10 minutes, game misconduct
Dallas defenseman had Tatar lined-up, at least he thought he did...
added 9:48pm, Dallas broadcast of the goal below...
Detroit is really the epicenter of hockey in the United States. It is not Chicago, New York or Boston.
-John Shannon of Sportsnet on Sportsnet 590 a few minutes ago when discussing Winter Classic ratings.
Shannon went on to say if NBC really wanted huge numbers for the Winter Classic, it would be Chicago vs. Detroit.
from Simon Houpt of the Globe and Mail,
The National Hockey League may want to consider including a Canadian team in every Winter Classic, after this year’s New Year’s Day matchup attracted record ratings in Canada and a near record in the United States.
On Friday, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation said 3.57-million viewers tuned in to the Toronto vs. Detroit game in Ann Arbor, Mich., which ended in a shootout win by the Maple Leafs. That is almost 90 per cent higher than the previous record of 1.91-million viewers, set during the Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins game in 2011, which aired in prime time after poor weather forced the postponement of the afternoon-scheduled game.
STAMFORD, Conn. – Jan. 3, 2014 – The 2014 NHL Winter Classic on NBC, in which the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 in a shootout on New Year’s Day, tied as the highest-rated NHL regular-season game in nearly four decades, became the second-most watched such game in 39 years, and is up nearly 20% in both household rating and viewership as compared to the 2012 NHL Winter Classic. The game, which featured only one U.S. team, delivered a 2.5 HH rating and averaged 4.404 million viewers, according to Fast National data from The Nielsen Company.
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
Winter? Sure. The NHL’s game of the year was postcard pretty, with the falling snow clashing brilliantly with the bright red and blue sweaters of the Red Wings and the Maple Leafs.
But a classic? Not quite.
Toronto’s 3-2 shootout win over Detroit at the Big House was heavy on the spectacle that draws in the casual viewer — which, of course, is the primary focus of the event — but it was a miserable display of hockey. For most of the contest, this was two middling teams playing to prevent goals rather than score them. Even the Red Wings’ sublimely gifted Pavel Datsyuk was reduced to playing dump-and-chase rather than showcasing his skills in front of the largest crowd in NHL history and a massive TV audience.
Not even a late game-tying goal by Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader — which sent the contest first to overtime, and then to a shootout — could save this from being arguably the worst Winter Classic in history.
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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