Kukla's Korner Hockey
We need more of this in the NHL.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
The World Cup isn’t and can’t be the Olympics. No one in the hockey industry ever was confused about that. But the recently concluded Toronto-based tournament provided little clarity in defining what exactly this supposedly scheduled quadrennial event actually is or can become.
This was a small-scale event in which intensity and emotion seemed lacking from the get-go. If Team North America wasn’t playing, the hockey was not compelling.
What should it tell the leaders of the industry that essentially everyone was taken by the magnetism and charisma of the one team that played the game the way literally everyone agrees it cannot be played in the NHL?
It should tell these leaders the product being presented during the regular season (and let’s not kid ourselves, through much of the playoffs, too) is defective. It is up to the leaders on both sides of the management/labor aisle to give the masses what they want. And that’s entertaining, creative hockey that rewards talent. That’s the critical takeaway from the tournament that was filled with uninteresting games.
Make a commitment to the next World Cup, and hockey fans will respond with their hearts and wallets, more than they did this time. They want to see the best. But they need to feel that it’s about the hockey and making history, not just another way to wring a buck out of those who love the game.
-Damien Cox of the Toronto Star where you can read more on this topic.
TORONTO (September 30, 2016) O Canada! Hockey continues to reign supreme across the country, both on and off the ice, as 15.5 million people – more than 1 in 3 Canadians – watched some part of the World Cup of Hockey 2016 tournament, which ended last night in spectacular fashion with Team Canada being crowned World Cup champion.
Last night’s hard-fought Game 2 Final delivered an average audience of 2.27 million viewers (2+), with more than 7.5 million Canadians tuning in to some part of the broadcast to see Team Canada come from behind with two goals late in the third period to defeat Team Europe, 2-1.
It’s tough to come down hard on hockey fans in Toronto given all they’ve gone through, but surely it wasn’t lost on NHL brass how disappointing the World Cup crowds were.
Despite millions of dollars in marketing and promotions around downtown Toronto that included an expansive and pricey fan zone, endless advertising and six-foot high pucks at hundreds of street corners, the rare chance to see hockey’s best-on-best featured thousands of empty seats most games.
Yes, the tickets were pricey and, yes, it’s hard to get too jacked about a Finland/Sweden matchup, but in a supposedly hockey-starved city with money and a population base like that, every game should have been sold out.
Clearly, the next incarnation of the world Cup needs to move to a place like Edmonton, where its fans will once again demonstrate what it’s like to be a real fan of the game.
Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun at Canoe. Francis has more on the World Cup.
“The best thing I saw, other than the kids, was (Sidney) Crosby’s first goal the other night. It reminded me of ’72 when Espo knocked the puck to Henderson. That and the three minutes of overtime between North America and Sweden. That was it for me.
“A lot of hockey this time. Not much that anyone will remember.”
-Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun where you can read more, mostly on the 1972 Summit Series.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Greatest hockey team ever?
Let the argument begin.
With apologies to the great Soviet national teams of yesteryear that were simply outstanding but didn't get to regularly test themselves against NHL players, Team Canada circa 2014-16 might go down as the most dominating squad to ever hit the ice in the modern era.
A perfect 12-0-0 between the 2014 Sochi Olympics and the World Cup of Hockey -- with Thursday night's thrilling 2-1 victory over Europe at Air Canada Centre as the finishing touch -- is a stretch of hockey we won't soon forget.
"It's pretty special," said World Cup MVP Sidney Crosby. "It's not easy to do, and for a good chunk of us, a lot of us were together there in Russia.
"Everyone understands playing for Team Canada, you're willing to do anything to win."
Home Team in Caps
Team Canada 2, TEAM EUROPE 1
LATE RALLY PROPELS TEAM CANADA TO WORLD CUP CHAMPIONSHIP
Down 1-0 late in the third period, Patrice Bergeron tied the game at 17:07 of the frame and Brad Marchand scored a shorthanded goal with 43.1 seconds remaining in regulationto power Team Canada to the World Cup of Hockey 2016 championship.
* Team Canada captured its sixth victory in the World Cup of Hockey/Canada Cup, adding to its championships in 1976, 1984, 1987, 1991 and 2004. It also finished the tournament with a perfect 6-0-0 record; the only other time Team Canada won all of its games at such an event was the most recent iteration, the 2004 World Cup of Hockey (also 6-0-0).
Brad Marchand with a very late shorty gets the game winner.
Team Canada can hoist the World Cup tonight with a win over Team Europe. It Team Europe wins, the final game will be on Saturday night.
Puck drops just after 8:00pm ET on ESPN2, CBC and TVAS.
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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