Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Chuck Gormley at The Sporting News,
The reason the Penguins-Oilers comparisons don’t hold any water is because the days of NHL dynasties are over.
There is simply too much parity in the NHL. As good as the Penguins are right now—and they are good—Crosby and Evgeni Malkin will need to get past players such as Mike Richards and Jeff Carter of the Flyers, Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin of the Capitals and Chris Drury and Scott Gomez of the Rangers every year to have a shot at consecutive Stanley Cups. That won’t be easy in a salary-cap driven NHL, rendering the days of NHL dynasties as a thing of the past.
more plus other NHL talk
From Darren Dreger at TSN,
We saw that in Game two of the Flyers-Penguins game when it appeared that Sidney Crosby had scored to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead late in the first. Most believe that it was a goal, but video review couldn’t conclusively prove it.
The NHL wants to get it right and has experimented in the past with visual aids that have never been adopted. Last year, during the Stanley Cup final the NHL’s hockey operations department tested what it called a “verification line.” The test was conducted in between games and was meant to be highly secretive.
The test was however caught on camera and it uncovered a second line painted on the ice behind the goal line creating a gap a fraction wider than the width of the puck. So, if the puck touched this “verification line” than it would be deemed a good goal.
ESPN’s Page 2 provides a to-do list for the NHL titled “Here’s how the NHL can reclaim its share of the spotlight.” And while I realize it’s meant to be amusing, there might be too much irony to this for ESPN to pull it off…
Anyway, from the list:
• The “glow puck” returns and is joined with “glow sticks,” “glow skates,” “glow beards” and “glow blood!”
• Encourage players to start showing more raw emotion.
• Foster the return of real rivalries.
• Have players get into the public eye more often by hanging out with Hollywood types.
• For the same reason, have Elisha Cuthbert date every North American-born player … and have Anna Kournikova date every Russian-born player.
more ideas that would make ESPN fall in love with hockey…
The number of Europeans playing in the National Hockey League (NHL) is on the decline according to a survey released by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) on Saturday.
There were fewer Europeans than a year ago playing in the just completed NHL regular season but more American-born players, it said.
Canadians continued to dominate rosters, providing more than half the league’s talent.
Europeans accounted for 243 (25.8 percent) of the 941 players appearing in at least one NHL game this season, down from 266 players a year ago.
From Spector at FoxSports,
The Stanley Cup playoffs are the time for the NHL’s best players to shine, and many have stepped up once again.
Veteran stars such as Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg; Dallas’ Marty Turco, Brendan Morrow and Brad Richards; Philadelphia’s Daniel Briere and Pittsburgh’s Marian Hossa continue to prove they’re among the game’s very best in leading their respective clubs to the conference finals.
That’s not to say young and emerging stars haven’t been sharing the stage with those established players.
Sidney Crosby is the most hyped and recognizable of the bunch but several others have earned a share of this year’s spotlight.
from Chilling Out by John Glennon at the Tennessean,
If the first round of the NHL playoffs earned notoriety for the so-called “Sean Avery rule,’’ then this round of the postseason should focus on a “Tomas Holmstrom rule.’’
Specifically, here’s what it should be: Any goal scored by Holmstrom gets automatically reviewed by the NHL.
from Mark Whicker of the OC Register,
And if you live in New Orleans, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, Orlando or Cleveland, you are blissfully unaware of how unlucky you are.
You have the NBA and you never have had the NHL, and so you live under the impression that you’re seeing something urgent and dramatic.
You have no idea that the hockey playoffs are to the basketball playoffs what the William Tell Overture is to Chopsticks.
It’s not that the basketball games lack juice. It’s just that the hockey games overflow with it. Short of war or a home invasion, nothing seems more imperative.
CBC’s Don Cherry will be the guest on the NHL Hour today, hosted by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. The show is on from 4-5 p.m. ET today on XM Satellite Radio (Channel 204) and NHL.com. NHL Hour is an interactive talk radio show that is hosted by a rotation of League executives, and co-hosted by XM sports host and former NHL player Bill Clement.
At show time, you can listen live by going to the NHL Network Online, then on the “NHL Livewire” link in the left column, and the show will then be accessible in the right column.
* While on the air, listeners can call into the show at 1-877-645-6696, or send questions/comments via this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
**Archived shows available for download via a podcast on NHL.com.
from Adam Thompson of the Wall Street Journal,
People are starting to watch again, and they should be. The game is as fast and fun as it’s been in years, and this year’s playoffs have made good use of its young stars. Names like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Ovechkin continue to inch into crossover territory with each impossible deke, thread-the-needle pass and goal….
The NHL still has a laundry list of problems, from its placement on the still-obscure Versus to its continuing inability to penetrate much of the Sun Belt. Its outdoor game in Buffalo between the Penguins and Sabres lived up to the hype – but the burden remains for the league to prove that wasn’t a one-off success.
The league and union ought to swallow their pride, retreat from a few markets that have consistently failed to gain traction – the NHL remains an afterthought in Nashville and South Florida – and, for the love of all things decent, permanently table any talk of further expansion to hockey hinterlands like Kansas City and Las Vegas. A game already taking positive steps would look even better with a more concentrated talent pool free of talent-poor fourth-liners.
All that said, the present game looks great. With Mr. Cherry shouting this to Americans at the top of his lungs, maybe a few more will notice.
From Paul Kukla at Hockey.com,
Do I really need to know, and why should I even care, how many bags of peanuts will be sold, or who has the greatest team-orientated men’s room, complete with flashing goal light? Soon I expect an overhead view from the local news chopper chasing a car on the highway that is displaying the home team’s flag flapping from the window.
There will soon be pictures plastered on the web of five-year-old kids, with their faces painted, a feature of some guy who mowed the team logo into his lawn, even live broadcasts by a radio station giving away free tickets to anyone who can do the stupidest thing involving worms and raw eggs.
Drop the puck. I am ready for hockey and just hockey.
(I dunno, Paul. Personally, I kinda like the idea of U.S. television stations so excited about the NHL playoffs that they’ve got choppers chasing down cars with team flags…!)
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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