Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Andrew Podnieks at the New York Times’ Slapshot:
In truth, comparing the Stanley Cup playoffs and the Olympics tournament is like comparing apples and oranges, but it’s worth a shot anyway.
Time. The playoffs are two months of hell. Vancouver or Boston could play 25 games in the postseason before it wins the Cup, and this after 82 regular-season games and more in the preseason. These are the most intense, physical games a player can subject himself to. The Olympics lasts about two weeks and features, at most, seven games these days. Indeed, this is one of the defining differences between the events.
Skill. Let’s face it: the Olympics blows the Cup out of the water for quality of content. Any chance Aaron Rome, Tanner Glass or Johnny Boychuk will be in Sochi? Sorry, boys, but no. To get to the Olympics, you have to be one of the 20 best players in your country, and that is a quality that takes 20 years of training to accomplish. You can win a Cup simply by being a trade deadline acquisition, a summer free agent signing or a postseason call-up from the minors.
read on for more comparisons
P.S. More on this topic from Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy today, as well
Video from today’s Q&A’s with the media.
Paul was on NHL Home Ice‘s The War Room today, chatting with Mick Kern and Peter Berce about the Stanley Cup playoffs and more.
Here’s the audio of their conversation. If the player gives you problems, you can download it from here.
With the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins set to face-off in the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday, CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA is interacting with and tracking fan response like never before—with some surprising results.
Through a unique partnership with Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft and CBCSports.ca has been using Hockey Night Pulse at hockeynightpulse.cbc.ca to track fan reaction on Twitter throughout every playoff series, while a partnership with GetGlue.com allows fans to “check in” to CBC’s HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA while they watch and chat with other fans.
Inspired by modern browser standards like those built into Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft’s Hockey Night Pulse allows users to track Twitter reaction to every goal, save and penalty in real time using HTML5. Looking back at the data collected gives a unique perspective on the playoffs.
To date, Hockey Night Pulse has crunched more than 1.2 million tweets on the playoffs. Some results:
All the odds from Bodog, if you’re wagering any of your pocket change on the Bruins/Canucks series.
Vancouver Canucks -235
Boston Bruins +195
Exact Series Result
Boston Bruins 4-0 25/1
Boston Bruins 4-1 12/1
Boston Bruins 4-2 13/2
Boston Bruins 4-3 15/2
Vancouver Canucks 4-0 15/2
Vancouver Canucks 4-1 13/4
Vancouver Canucks 4-2 4/1
Vancouver Canucks 4-3 15/4
From Matthew Sekeres at the Globe & Mail:
“Boston is maybe the best defensive team in the league,” winger Daniel Sedin said. “A great goalie [Tim Thomas] when he is hot, and good defencemen. It’s a solid matchup.”
Some might say Boston poses a difficult matchup for the Canucks, who had 117 points in the regular season, 14 more than their opponent.
The Bruins were the best five-on-five team in the league this season, scoring 1.4 goals for every one they allowed. Vancouver was second at 1.32. Boston also ranked second in goals against average (2.30) during the campaign, trailing only the Canucks (2.20).
Against the 10 best teams in goals-against average, the Canucks were 9-8-2 this season. Against the 10 best teams at even strength, they were 10-8-3.
Those are reasonable records for any other club, but when you consider the Canucks went 54-19-9, it suggests Vancouver struggled most against teams like the Bruins. Indeed, Boston won the only meeting of the regular season, 3-1 on Feb. 26.
New York—The National Hockey League announced today the schedule for the 2011 Stanley Cup Final between the Western Conference champion Vancouver Canucks and the eventual Eastern Conference champion. The Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning are tied 3-3 in the Eastern Conference Final. Game 7 is Friday at 8 p.m. (VERSUS, CBC, RDS) at TD Garden in Boston to determine which team will face the Canucks for the Stanley Cup.
Based on their superior regular-season performance, the Canucks will host Games One and Two of the Stanley Cup Final, as well as Games Five and Seven, if necessary. Games Three and Four will be hosted by the Eastern Conference champion, as well as game Six, if necessary.
NBC will telecast Games One and Two and, if necessary, Games Five through Seven of the best-of-seven series in the U.S., while VERSUS will broadcast Games Three and Four. In Canada, CBC and RDS will provide coverage for the entire series. All games also will be carried on Sirius XM Satellite Radio.
From Rory Boylen at The Hockey News:
How valuable a tactic is line matching? In theory, this kind of chess game is supposed to give the home team an advantage since they have the last change and the opportunity to put their shutdown players up against the other team’s top line or their top line against the other team’s fourth unit.
But can you become too committed to this game plan and, in turn, start unintentionally taking ice time away from the players you should be living and dying with?
“Bang on, coaches can over-think things,” one NHL coach said. “At some point your best players have to go out and deal with what’s thrown at them.”
continued... plus, be sure to scroll to the bottom of the Boylen’s piece for a great little story about “Black Jack” Stewart
Patrick Marleau with the game winner. Video:
*boxscore graphic via Yahoo! Sports
Update 11:59pm ET: From TSN—
San Jose avoided becoming the fourth NHL team to lose a series after winning the first three games. A franchise known for its playoff flops avoided a colossal one and now heads into its second straight Western Conference final. That series begins Sunday in Vancouver.
More video, etc:
From Kevin Clark at the Wall Street Journal:
In the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, which is known for Cinderella stories, the higher seed has won 71% of the games in the last decade. In this year’s NHL playoffs, the higher seeds have won just 52% of the time. Other sports constants have been zapped, too: home teams have won 45% of their games, compared with 70% in this year’s NBA playoffs. And no lead, no matter how large, seems safe: In the first 71 years of the modern NHL playoffs, only five teams managed to erase a 3-0 series deficit to force a Game 7. Thursday night, when the surging Detroit Red Wings take on the San Jose Sharks, it will be the second such comeback this year.
Highly paid stars have given up the stage to an expanding gallery of regular Joes. Among the NHL’s top 15 players in jersey sales, just six made it to the second round. That’s a smaller number than the NBA has in the current series between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat.
Asked to sum up the action so far, former Bruins and Islanders coach and executive Mike Milbury settled on “wacky” and “out of control.”
“There’s a frenzy and a passion that defies all logical planning,” he says.
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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