Kukla's Korner

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Category: NHL-Talk

Afternoon Line- Colin Campbell

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It’s All About The Game For Gary Bettman

from Sportsnet,

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said he doesn't anticipate stepping down from the job he's held for three decades anytime soon.

"If I wake up in the morning and I'm not excited about what I've got to do and what lays ahead of me for that day, I shouldn't be doing this anymore," Bettman said during an appearance Tuesday on the Marchand and Ourand sports media podcast.

Bettman, who turns 70 on June 2, has been commissioner of the NHL since Feb. 1, 1993. When asked on the podcast what criteria would have to be met for him to want to step down, he said he needs two things to be successful: the continued support of the league's owners and good health to foster the "energy and the desire and the passion" for the game.

He cited his recent week as an indication he still has that energy and passion: He went from Carolina to Montreal for Guy Lafleur's funeral, to Calgary to Edmonton to South Florida to Tampa, finishing up on Tuesday in New York for meetings after getting back at 4 a.m.

"Even when I was in my 20s, that would be a pretty good trek," he said. "When I can't do that anymore because I don't feel physically or mentally up to it, (if) it doesn't excite me to be at games...

"(I)t's about the game, it's about how I feel about the game and my connection to it that will determine how long I do it. Obviously, I can't do it forever. But I'm enjoying the run."

continued

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Can They Still Coach?

from Damien Cox at the Toronto Star,

So, has the disgrace associated with Babcock and Quenneville worn off? Can two men who at one time were considered the best coaches in hockey come in from the cold? If they can — with 24 teams that either missed the playoffs entirely or were beaten in the first round examining their options moving forward — the veterans would join what could be the deepest and most talented coaching free-agent class in league history.

Remember, Barry Trotz is also out there. Peter DeBoer was fired by Las Vegas on Monday. Paul Maurice seems almost a certainly to get another head-coaching position after stepping down from that role with the Winnipeg Jets last season.

Three or four years ago, that group — Babcock, Quenneville, Trotz, DeBoer and Maurice — would have been considered the cream of the crop. Today? Well, Lou Lamoriello made his thoughts known on the available choices by promoting Lane Lambert to replace Trotz on Long Island next season.

more

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Video- Ron MacLean On The Officiating In The Playoffs

via Sportsnet's YouTube channel,

With the Stanley Cup Playoffs averaging over 4 more penalties per game than the regular season, Hockey Central’s Ron MacLean argues more line brawls and tighter series have caused more penalties, not poor officiating.

 

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New Broadcast Networks Growing Women Viewership

from Mollie Cahillane of AdWeek,

In the first year of the NHL’s new TV rights deal with Turner Sports and Disney, the networks are not only seeing total audience gains over former rights holder NBC Sports, but an increasingly young and diverse audience—one that has considerably more women than last season.

As playoffs get under way, Turner Sports is averaging 361,000 viewers across 51 telecasts on TNT, up 26% over now-shuttered NBC Sports Network.

But female viewership for NHL on TNT’s regular season live game coverage has increased 56% vs. 2020-21 NHL regular games on cable. At ESPN, across 18 games, the number of women watching is up 73% versus NBC Sports Network, and 11% on ABC versus NBC.

“We are so blessed to have our partnership with the networks, especially with TNT who is drawing this younger and more female audience, it’s right in line with our objectives as a brand,” Heidi Browning, CMO of the NHL, told Adweek. “ESPN has phenomenal female talent on air, on ice level and in leadership positions.”

read on

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Morning Line- Damien Cox

Surprisingly, in the first week of the Stanley Cup playoffs, scoring has continued to go up.

In the first 27 games over seven nights, the 16 playoff clubs combined for 179 goals, including another 24 in the first three games Sunday. That’s 6.62 goals per game, a remarkable total given the playoffs have traditionally produced a lower-scoring brand of hockey.

Combined with a consistently bone-crunching style of hockey in which the hits come at a dizzying pace in most games, the entertainment value has been extremely high.

Just don’t expect the NHL to be happy about it.

-Damien Cox at the Toronto Star where you can read more on this topic.

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Change The OT Format For Rounds 1 & 2 Of The Stanley Cup Playoffs

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

...begin OT games in Rounds 1 and 2 with the sides skating four on four. If it remains tied at the 70-minute mark mark (midway through the first OT), drop down another gear to three on three.

There remains the prospect games will still go to double and triple OT, but it’s not a very realistic prospect. All that open ice should lead to quick, and no less dramatic, endings. Shootouts are a gimmick. But play at four on four and three on three remains part of the game, and usually generates more fun and scoring chances.

In fact, it’s possible the tension and entertainment factor will be even greater, with skaters afforded more room to create plays as the ice opens up because of the change in manpower. Like the regular season, the team awarded a power play will be allowed to add a skater. All of it has to be better than exhausted five-on-five play.

Also in the final two rounds, including the conference finals and the Cup Final, the return to the old format in series-clinching games would bring back just enough touch of the old world to satisfy the traditionalists.

It isn’t the prospect of a midnight or 1 a.m. finish that separates the quality of Stanley Cup play from all the rest. Longer is not more. In fact, it is typically less.

more and other topics too...

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Video- Another Reason Not To Bang On The Glass

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Dates When NHL Awards Finalists Will Be Announced

NEW YORK (May 6, 2022) – The National Hockey League will announce finalists for the 2022 NHL Awards beginning Monday, May 9. The complete schedule, which is subject to change, is listed below:

Continue Reading »

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Technology And The NHL

from Greg Wyshynski of ESPN,

While the Buffalo Sabres were playing the New Jersey Devils, their digital avatars were mimicking each move in virtual reality.

Strap on the VR goggles. Touch a button, and you're watching the game through the eyes of a skater heading in for a shot. Touch it again, and your point of view switches to that of the goaltender attempting to make the save.

Thanks to the NHL's puck-and-player-tracking technology, it's in real time and it's immersive. It's also delightfully goofy, depending on how the user chooses to view the game. For this one, the Sabres and Devils had the blocky design of characters from Roblox, the globally popular virtual universe.

That's by design. The tracking technology -- called NHL Edge -- has multitudes of practical applications, from player assessment to coaching strategy.

continued

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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