Kukla's Korner Hockey
via the Star Tribune,
For Wild fans, success will have a price.
The NHL team this season advanced to the playoffs for the first time since 2003, falling to Anaheim in five games in the first round. On Friday, the Wild announced its 2007-08 season ticket prices, which will include increases of more than 10 percent in all lower- and upper-level sections. Club-level ticket prices will not change.
Lower-level tickets will range from $82 on the sides (up $8 from 2006-07), $71 in the corners (up $7) and $60 on the ends (up $6).
from the Pioneer Press,
Here’s the upshot of an otherwise disappointing first-round loss: new rivalry, new hero and newfound respect for a couple of Wild players. There also should be the realization that a lot of work remains to be done. The team has to get bigger. The guys were worn to the nub by the end of Game 5.
At least the Wild have found a blood rival for next year. In a season filled with faceless opponents and emotionless games, the Ducks will be an exception.
The Ducks earned the right to become the team Minnesota loves to hate. People will circle their calendars for next season’s quack-ups at the Xcel Energy Center. It will be the biggest thing since Todd Bertuzzi was with the Vancouver Canucks.
from the OC Register,
“People may not read this properly, and I swear it’s from my heart, from who I am,” May said. “I hope Kim Johnsson is OK. I never in one moment wanted to hurt somebody and take an opportunity of them playing away. I hope that I haven’t put him in a terrible or a bad or a tough situation. He wants to play hockey as much as I want to play hockey. He wants to win like I do.
“I respect Kim Johnsson. I respect his teammates. I respect (Minnesota left wing) Derek Boogaard, who said that I have no respect for people. I do have respect for people. We’re playing hard for our teams. So I respect the other team, and I understand their animosity and anger toward me. I accept that.”
From Alan Adams at Sportsnet.ca,
Again, the punishment doesn’t meet the crime.
But then again, this is the NHL we’re talking about.
Anaheim’s Brad May has been suspended for three games for a sucker punch he landed on Minnesota defenceman Kim Johnsson in the dying moments of Minnesota’s 4-1 win over the Ducks on Tuesday.
May received a match penalty for “intent to injure” and a three-game suspension—an absolute joke. Eight or 10 games would have sent the right message and there is precedent. Tie Domi was suspended for eight games in 1995 for sucker-punching Ulf Samuelsson.
continued… (*plus more observations on the Islanders’ saga)
From the LA Times,
No one in the Ducks’ dressing room said, or at least was willing to say, if there was a clear view of Brad May’s punch to Wild defenseman Kim Johnsson late in the third period of Game 3 Tuesday that knocked Johnsson out of Game 4.
May drew a match penalty for intent to injure and could face a suspension by the league. Johnsson, who crumpled to the ice before leaving under his own power, suffered a head injury, according to Wild officials.
From Charley Walters at the Pioneer Press,
Wild star Marian Gaborik, who went without a single shot on goal against the Ducks in Minnesota’s Game 3 playoff loss Sunday in St. Paul, was to employ his mind’s eye before going to sleep Monday evening to prepare for tonight’s game at the Xcel Energy Center.
“I’m going to try to envision goals,” Gaborik said.
from Russo’s Rants,
“They are playing really well and it seems like they are all over the place,” Gaborik said in a very quiet Wild locker room after the loss. “It seems like there were 10 guys with white jerseys out there. It’s hard but we really need to find a way. What we’ve got to do is try to find a way to be a step ahead of them everywhere and be in their face and make it really, really hard on them.”
from the OC Register,
But the Ducks’ checkers kept the Wild’s best line under control for most of the 2-1 and 3-2 victories. They won’t get a clear shot at the Wild-and-crazy Slovaks here.
The other advantage is the ice itself, a chronic problem no matter how low they turn the thermostat in Anaheim. Wild players, for some reason, didn’t seem comfortable on tapioca.
The ice is much kinder to the Wild in their gorgeous arena, the closest thing the NHL has to the Indiana Pacers’ fieldhouse when it comes to making the new look old again.
The NHL quarterfinal series between the Minnesota Wild and Anaheim Ducks has yielded strong ratings for KSTC-TV Channel 45. The station reported a record viewers for Wednesday’s playoff series opener.
The company said that for the last hour of the game, it averaged an 8.0 rating with a 25 household share. The overall average was a 7.9 rating and an 18 household share. A single ratings point represents approximately 16,ooo to 17,ooo viewers.
via the Leafs Chronicle,
Approximately 13,217 homes in the Nashville television market tuned in to watch Game 1, according to WTVF-5 Program Director Mark Binda.
The 1.4 rating was lower than last season’s Game 1 rating between the two teams, which hit 2.4 (approximately 22,000 homes).
from the Star Tribune,
In the NHL, not only is practice open to reporters, it’s open to opposing coaches. On Thursday, Wild coach Jacques Lemaire and goaltending coach Bob Mason watched Anaheim’s entire practice from the stands. Even though Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said it didn’t bother him, he also told reporters of Lemaire’s presence—twice—without being asked as he began his news conference.
Round 1 of the playoffs isn’t even two games old, and already there’s a little gamesmanship going on.
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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