Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
A couple of old favorites are getting a lot of attention in the playoffs.
No, not the Detroit Red Wings and Dallas Stars — although they appear to be in the process of setting up a titanic struggle for the Western crown.
The two old favorites are interference and crease crashing.
Actually, the latter is a variation of the former, but either way, it’s fairly clear that the recently reconstructed competition committee is going to have to deal with these issues over the summer.
April 28, 1996 • A sold-out crowd at the Winnipeg Arena said good-bye to the Winnipeg Jets following a 4-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings in Game Six of their Western Conference Quarter-final series. It marked the final game for the Jets before moving to Phoenix and becoming the Coyotes.
Here are the final moments of that game, committed to YouTube for posterity.
*historical info via NHL media
From Ken Campbell at The Hockey News,
So I figure I’ve earned the right to complain about a few things I’ve seen during this season’s playoffs. If you agree with me, give me a call and perhaps we can further discuss our issues over a glass of prune juice.
In any case, I remember when…[...]
• The NHL didn’t feel the need to pander to corporate sponsors by endorsing a contest where an NHL legend - in this case Mark Messier - brings the Stanley Cup to your house. The news release for the Bring Home the Stanley Cup promotion reads like this: “Known as ‘the Holy Grail’…the Stanley Cup ™ (sic) is one of the most celebrated sports icons and is the ultimate goal of hockey’s greatest players.”
Then leave the Stanley Cup ™ to them, not to some painted-up slob whose fingers are greasy from eating too many potato chips.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
He (Dan Craig) reads the reports afterwards that blame the ice for blown chances, but Craig would like hockey traditionalists to consider something else….the pucks.
The focal point of the sport.
How many times have you heard a coach or player follow a loss with, “we just didn’t get the bounces.”
Equipment in hockey has changed over the years, sticks have evolved from wood to composite, so the NHL’s ice guru wants a full investigation into how to make a better puck.
from Mark Spector of the National Post,
The learning curve has passed, and you’ll notice the hockey is better and more high scoring this spring. Look at these comparisons between the 48 games played in Round 1 this spring, to the 47 games played in Round 1 back in the ‘04, the final playoff before the lockout:
• Shut outs: 14 in ‘04, eight in ‘08.
• Games in which one team scored four goals: 16 in ‘04, 26 in ‘08.
• Games in which one team scored five goals: six in ‘04, 13 in ‘08.
This spring it has become clear that NHL players have learned how to play the game now without a rodeo breaking out. Officials have found the balance between calling every, single little ticky-tack foul, and maintaining the standard.
from James Duthie at the Ottawa Citizen,
I would like everyone to give referees ... a break.
Why do I suddenly feel like the guy on the All-Bran Cereal Bars commercial, where everyone spits out their water or laughs hysterically when he says they taste good?
It’s true. After spending the past two weeks scrutinizing call after questionable call on our TSN panel (TV factoid: debating referee rulings is a can’t-miss way to kill five minutes), I’m starting to suffer from some warped form of Stockholm Syndrome. I’m feeling sorry for the men in stripes.
Has there been the odd horrendous, brain-cramp, WTF?!? call in these playoffs? Of course. But there have also been countless occasions where we’ve looked at a replay a dozen times in Super-Duper HD Slo-Mo, and still haven’t been able to tell if the right call was made.
In today’s Canadian Business Online, writer Andy Holloway gives a brief rundown on the numerous ways that the NHL seems to have made gains in the U.S. this season, summarizing the positive situation with renewed television contracts, the increasing criticisms of traditional sports networks for non-athletic sports broadcasting, and even mentioning NHL.com’s record-setting online numbers from earlier in the week.
Also included in the article was a link to CBO’s annual assessment of the best values in the NHL:
Canadian Business Online put the NHL to the test to find the players who offer the best mix of high performance and low cost. These are the best value players. They’re not necessarily hockey’s most skilled in absolute terms — nor are they always the cheapest monetarily — but it’s the dream team for fans and cash-strapped owners.
And who are the worst value players?
Includes charts and slideshows. Data current to April 6, 2008.
April 25, 1964 • Toronto goalie Johnny Bower blanked the Detroit Red Wings 4-0 to propel the Maple Leafs to their third straight Stanley Cup title.
*information via NHL media
*photo found in at Legends of Hockey.net
from Greg Wyshynski at Yahoo,
Recently, I spoke with Justin Kubatko, Vice President of Sports Reference LLC and the person in charge of creating Hockey-Reference.com. “I’m a hockey fan. I wouldn’t say I’m a die-hard hockey fan, but I grew up near Pittsburgh. When the Penguins won those back-to-back Cups in the’90s, I remember those well,” said Kubatko, 36, who now lives in Columbus. He said Sports Reference LLC had planned on creating a hockey site for years, but needed “a good data set and a license for the data” before starting up
On today’s NHL conference call for the media, the guests were Buffalo Sabres’ coach, Lindy Ruff, and Nashville Predators’ coach Barry Trotz. The coaches were invited to help preview the semifinal round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Here is the transcript from the Q&A.
Q. I wanted to ask you both, if you were to make a pick here of the final four teams in each conference, why wouldn’t you pick the team that did best against your own team? For instance, Buffalo did well against Montreal and Philly but 0-4 against both Pittsburgh and the Rangers. Nashville did well against Detroit and Colorado but 0-4 against San Jose, and 3-1 against Dallas.
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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