Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Michael Farber at SI,
You can always talk about the officiating or never talk about the officiating. [Generally,] On the Fly prefers to do the latter. But with the bleating amped up this season, at least to our ears, maybe it is time for the NHL to reconsider how it forms its officiating duos.
If consistency is as much of a problem as players contend, the solution should be obvious: next season, with the influx of new referees having adjusted to the league three full years after the lockout, director of officiating Stephen Walkom should form pairs, based on style and personality, and keep them together for the duration of the schedule.
more… including additional thoughts on the Ovech-kam as well
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
[Montreal Canadiens owner George Gillett Jr.] said that because of a couple of requests from the teams involved, the Canadiens arranged to take and wear their red jerseys—in this era, considered part of the NHL’s home uniform—at all four stops on the trip.
Why? Because the red jerseys more colorfully highlight the tradition of the Bleu, Blanc et Rouge.
That’s the most glaring example of why the NHL should go back to having visiting teams wear their “dark” uniforms at every stop. This is another instance when the post-expansion era had it right: White at home, dark on the road was the system from the early 1970s to 2003, and the league should go back to it.
Read the March issue of IMPACT!, NHL.com’s exclusive magazine
The 26-page issue can be read cover-to-cover on your computer by using your mouse to scroll.
Take advantage of the zoom function and print the magazine to take it on the go. ENJOY!
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
...Perhaps it was that Adams’ offense was committed against a player from a Canadian team.
A News & Observer analysis of NHL discipline since the 2005-06 season found that almost one-third of the suspensions handed down were assessed for offenses committed against Canadian teams, which represent only six of the league’s 30 franchises—but are the six most visible.
“We don’t try to look at a pattern here,” Campbell said. “Maybe we should. It’s not who’s in first and who’s in last. We try to look at it as an independent, individual situation: Is a player wronging another player? We don’t care what team it is. All we care about is, did he cross the line and is he a repeat offender?”
Earlier today, Pierre McGuire of NBC and TSN was good enough to share his hockey observations with Paul and myself. We asked him about the upcoming Philadelphia/Pittsburgh game this Sunday at noon EDT on NBC, got some gossip about what goes on “Between the Glass”, and insights into both the Western and Eastern conferences going into the playoffs.
You can download the interview by this mp3 file here, or listen on the player below.
*Our sincere thanks to Pierre McGuire for taking this time with us, and to NBC for arranging the interview.
from Rory Borlyen at the Hockey News,
Grit, toughness, a fearless attitude, whatever you want to call it; rough-and-tumble pest players are exciting and crucial to not only the game itself, but for attracting people to it.
And in more ways than just what you see on the ice.
The agitator, the annoyance, the grinder; the guy you love to have on your team, but hate to have to face. He’s the worker bee, the proletariat, the supporting cast, and quite often, he’s a fan favorite.
from Jim Boone at the Hockey News,
Most hockey fans have never heard of the National Hockey League Fans’ Association, or NHLFA. Yes, there is such an organization representing the common, fifth-line fan.
Many people are surprised at the stats of this little not-for-profit organization. The NHLFA has been battling much bigger opponents for a respectable 10 seasons.
It all started in 1997, when two Ottawa schmucks vented over the astronomical offer the New York Rangers had made to restricted free agent Joe Sakic ($21M over three years, which the Avalanche matched to retain his rights). Bob Goodenow was five years into his impressive tenure leading the NHL Players’ Association. The schmucks, along with millions of hockey fans, feared rising ticket prices would severely damage the sport we loved. We knew something had to be done to protect the fans.
From Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet,
Call it a dog’s breakfast or a fantastic race, but I can’t remember the last time five teams were neck and neck for the Eastern Conference title with only three and a half weeks remaining in the regular season.
“Isn’t it something?,” agreed New York Rangers head coach Tom Renney.
Oh yeah, in case you haven’t noticed, the Rangers have knocked down the front door to the first-place party and are dancing with New Jersey, Montreal, Ottawa and Pittsburgh in the bid for the No. 1 seed in the weaker Eastern Conference (let’s be honest, Detroit, San Jose, Dallas and Anaheim would walk away with this conference… but I digress…)
from Marty Henwood of Hockey.com,
Call me sentimental, a purist or just plain old, but there are times when I just miss those grand old ladies.
Some of you may remember them, others probably choose to say good riddance in an era of luxury boxes and eight-sided scoreboards.
Maple Leaf Gardens. Montreal Forum. Boston Garden. Chicago Stadium. The Olympia. The Spectrum.
Buildings with character. With memories. With ghosts.
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
Owen Nolan called it “nuts … I’ve never been a part of something this tight.” Alex Tanguay ventured that there were “no easy games” anymore. Jarome Iginla calculated that it would take 96 points to guarantee his Calgary Flames team a playoff spot. Coach Mike Keenan acknowledged once again that he is no fan of the three-point game, in which two teams can — and frequently do - earn a valuable point if a game goes into overtime or a shootout.
All of them were talking about the crazy playoff race in the NHL’s Western Conference which — in the past week or so — sorted itself out into hockey’s version of musical chairs, with nine contenders essentially vying for eight spots. The usual cast of also-rans have fallen far enough off the pace that they retain only the slim, Leaf-like hope for a miracle finish and a spot in post-season play.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org