Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Like millions of others in the know, I see the NHL playoffs for exactly what it is: the greatest sports tournament on the planet. But there’s one aspect of the Stanley Cup chase that grows more embarrassing with every year.
I refer to the “Bring the Cup back to Canada because it’s our game and nobody else, especially the soft Europeans and frigid Russians and easily-pleased Swedes and largely-disinterested Americans” routine. That’s right – the same act that has the preposterous “No team with a European captain will ever win the Cup” corollary.
OFFICIALS FOR TONIGHT’S GAME
The referees for tonight’s game are Paul Devorski (#10) and Dan O’Halloran (#13). The linesmen are Shane Heyer (#55) and Jay Sharrers (#57).
TEAMS WINNING GAMES 1 AND 2 IN THE STANLEY CUP FINAL
Of the 31 home clubs who won the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final since the best-of-seven format was introduced in 1939, 30 went on to win the series. The only club to win the Stanley Cup after dropping the first two Final games on the road was the 1971 Montreal Canadiens, who defeated the Chicago Blackhawks in seven games.
Overall, clubs winning Games 1 and 2 of the Final have won 40 of 43 series.
Maxim’s got an interview with Mike Bolt, the official keeper of The Cup,
Ever had to deck a drunk fan?
Again, we’re around bars and alcohol, and you do get the odd jerk who’ll mouth off to you. But big deal, I can take it. As long as this thing stays safe, I don’t care how much this guy’s chirping in my ear. I’d like to smack them, but I can’t. I had to push a fan away once because I thought he was going to urinate in it, but that’s about it.
From Paul Kukla at NHL.com,
I have made some observations while covering all the action from games 1 and 2 in Detroit.
Chris Simpson, the NHL reporter for Versus is as down to earth as they come. Her work continues to improve and I enjoyed speaking with her yesterday about the game of hockey.
I can’t tell you how impressed I was with the folks from CBC. In the past I have communicated with them from time to time, but they went out of their way to make me feel comfortable when around them. Now if only I could get my hands on one of those CBC towels!
And if you’re not familiar with the exclusivity of those CBC HNIC towels, here is the reason why Paul will never get his hands on one…
A refresher course from Jamie Fitzpatrick at About.com, on how to get one’s name on the Stanley Cup:
The Stanley Cup is the only trophy in pro sport that bears the names of players, coaches, management and staff from the winning teams.
Prior to 1977 only players who had completed the Stanley Cup playoffs were eligible. Today, players appearing in 41 regular-season games or one Stanley Cup Final game for the championship team have their names engraved on the Cup. The NHL makes exceptions for players who do not meet the standard because of injury or other extenuating circumstances.
That’s why Jiri Slegr was the luckiest guy in the NHL in the spring of 2002.
read on for more trivia
From Dan Barnes at Canwest News via the National Post,
But Medvedev is not Russian hockey, merely a player in it. For now. The fact that he is trying to convince Igor Larionov to put a familiar, moderate face on the CHL as its first commissioner is a signal of his savvy. He is not the NHL’s worst nightmare, just a friendly competitor. For now.
“Mr. Medvedev obviously has a strong interest in hockey and we thought it might make sense to sit down and get a better understanding of his interest and what he is trying to accomplish,” said Daly.
The answer to that question will be different in a year or two than it is today. The assumption that he wants to hurt the NHL is a pretty easy one to make, but he resents it.
“It’s a very stupid assumption,” said Medvedev. “We don’t want to weaken the NHL. We want to enrich European hockey and the NHL.”
from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Calgary Herald,
The next time the NHL wants to send a message, try dialing 1-800-FLOWERS instead of disallowing goals. Since when did Tomas Holmstrom’s play in front of the net become a threat to competition in the NHL? Is scoring so rampant that the NHL can nit-pick like a PGA Tour official over some arcane rule? The way the league is hounding him—Saturday’s disallowed goal was absurd—you’d think Holmstrom, not Chris Pronger, was the one suspended eight separate times.
from Dave Stubbs of Habs Inside/Out,
Detroit Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood was impressive in his 4-0 blanking of the Pittsburgh Penguins in Saturday’s Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.
But Osgood wasn’t forced into overtime, obviously, quite unlike his late Detroit goaltending colleague Normie Smith on March 24/25, 1936.
Smith would make 90 saves to shut out the Montreal Maroons in the sixth overtime period at the Montreal Forum, outlasting Maroons goalie Lorne Chabot (66 saves) in what remains the longest game in NHL history.
From Mike Householder of the AP via Yahoo!
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said every team in the league will play all the others at least once next season.
The announcement came Saturday before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals between Pittsburgh and Detroit, two teams that did not meet this regular season.
Bettman also used his annual pre-Cup news conference to say the size of goaltenders’ equipment will be analyzed in the offseason.
A complete transcript of Bettman’s remarks should be made available on this post shortly.
Update 8:27pm ET: Complete transcript now available below, of the commissioner’s opening remarks as well as the question & answer session which followed.
From the hockey bloggers of The New York Times,
Despite the five-day wait for them to start, this year’s Stanley Cup finals have fans more excited than they have been in a long time: a dream matchup between two electrifying, star-studded teams from cities steeped in hockey culture.
No matter what happens, the Detroit-Pittsburgh Cup series stands as perhaps the biggest success for the N.H.L. in a season with many positive developments.
Below, the writers and editors of The Times’s Slap Shot blog look back at 10 key issues, good and bad, that defined the 2007-8 hockey season:
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 email@example.com