Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Here are my choices for this year’s awards: Hart (most valuable player) -Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals. Runners-up - Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins; Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings. The wording of the Hart is what gives voters so much trouble over the years. The award goes to the players “adjudged to be most valuable to his team.”
In the past, that’s frequently disqualified players on deep, talented teams from competing for the award, such as Datsyuk, for example. In a normal year, it is difficult even to select Detroit’s MVP – is it Nicklas Lidstrom; is it Henrik Zetterberg? This year, however, Lidstrom and Zetterberg had good, but not great seasons. Datsyuk separated himself from the pack – he is 20 points ahead of his nearest scoring competitor, Marian Hossa.
Datsyuk should be a finalist, as will Malkin, who is closing in on his first-ever NHL scoring title. Over the past two years, Malkin has always raised the level of his game during Sidney Crosby’s injury absences, but the fact that he plays on the same team as Crosby will hamper both their candidacies, leaving the dynamic Ovechkin to win the MVP again.
read on for more awards and other NHL topics too…
from Mike Leggo at NHLOfficials.com,
How do you say farewell to a legend? How do you put into words a larger than life character that most hockey fans feel they already know? How do you reveal the private man behind the celebrated Officer Koharski in the movie Wayne’s World, the foil in the famous doughnut episode? That’s the conundrum, trying to describe our friend, Koho.
The hockey world knows about the well publicized larger than life Don Koharski - NHL referee – irrepressible, sometimes awash in hockey headlines, sometimes not, cheerful and always steady. Others know him as the friendly neighbor, the charity minded citizen, the golfer and pal. To us fortunate members of the NHL officiating fraternity he is all of that and more. Our Koho is a mentor, a guide, an example, a teammate, a competitor, an athlete, a father figure, a brother and a friend.
picture via NHL.com
from Jason Kay of The Hockey News,
Perhaps I’m just being wistful, a selective recall kicking in, making a bygone era seem more romantic than it really was, but I’d love to see a return to the divisional playoff format.
Eric Duhatschek weighs in on this in the next issue of The Hockey News and it’s an opinion I’ve shared for a few years: the blood feuds of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s were the products of repeated post-season meetings and geographical proximity and nearly always seemed epic. The Battles of Alberta and Quebec; Rangers-Islanders; St. Louis-Chicago; Boston-Montreal still resonate.
Granted, with more teams in the league, the frequency of re-matches would diminish, but they’d still occur more often than they do today under a revised system….
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
Some reflections on the 2008-09 season.
• There are still a number of old-timers who complain about today’s game.
Bob Clarke, for instance, considers it to be basically unwatchable and a travesty. It’s not real hockey, he says. Mike Milbury decries the increasing “pansification” of the game, even though he’s no longer allowed to use that word on Hockey Night in Canada.
Nevertheless, the vast majority of hockey fans seem to love today’s game. It’s fast, it’s intense, and it still has plenty of heavy hitting. Fighting is up and so is scoring. It’s not perfect and it never will be, but it’s surely a much better product than anything we ever saw in the playing days of Clarke and Milbury, and top to bottom, it’s probably the best fans have ever seen.
from Micah Toub of the Globe and Mail,
With the regular hockey season wrapping up, guys can look forward to having at least one butt cheek glued to a couch or barstool for the two-month televised marathon that is the NHL playoffs, beginning next Wednesday.
According to the TV commercial stereotype of guys watching sports, women are seen either in tight tank tops and serving beer, or as uninterested wives nagging their husbands about undone chores. But times have changed. Women represent a significant demographic among sports fans, so it’s almost as likely that they’ll be the ones worried about getting to the bar in time to see the first puck drop.
from Jeff Paterson of Straight.com,
For a league that has already hired a commissioner away from the National Basketball Association and placed franchises in cities far better suited for hoops than pucks, it’s time to borrow from basketball yet again. The NBA’s developmental league has come up with a novel twist on the playoffs that would be perfect for the National Hockey League: allowing teams to pick their postseason opponents.
Now, it’s not as radical as it sounds. The top finishers in each conference get to select from the lower-ranking qualifiers in the first round only. In the NHL’s case, let the three division winners in each conference pick from the teams that round out the playoff field.
from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Remember all those dire predictions from the NHL lockout four years ago?
This is the last league that can afford a lengthy work stoppage, doomsayers said.
It will permanently alienate its fan base.
It will never attract new fans.
It will die a wretched death.
Well, lookie here: The NHL’s on fire. Partly by luck, partly by design, the league everyone loves to bash (often with good reason) is producing a consistently entertaining product that is attracting increased numbers of paying customers and television viewers.
CapitalsKremlin has a picture from last night’s Rangers game that showed some virtual advertising on the glass.
Now if the hockey networks could use the technology to display those annoying in-game commercials that pop-up on the screen during play, I would be a happy viewer.
thanks to GreatestHockeyLegends for the pointer…
The Thrashers put out this PSA (public service announcement) yesterday.
added 9:40am, Caps coach Bruce Boudreau wasn’t happy the video was shown, he doesn’t like the mocking.
Watch Boudreau’s post game presser below, the topic starts at the 50 second mark.
added 12:50pm, As a commentor just mentioned, the first video is no longer working (it was earlier) but check the comments for a link to the vid.
from Stan Fischler of the Hockey Journal,
Commissioner Gary Bettman should immediately put a stop to one of the most ridiculous off-ice practices, which is spreading across the NHL. That happens to be the issue of dressing room carpets, of all things.
More and more teams have oversized team logos on their rug. That is fine in theory, but the nuttiness, which started in Tampa several years ago, has it that nobodyis allowed to step on the logo.
Violators – usually unknowing media types – face a shouting down from trainers, p.r. people or the players themselves. What’s the fuss all about? Isn’t a rug to be walked on?
“It’s a respect thing,” says Blackhawks forward Adam Burish.
If that’s the case, hang the darn thing on the wall. And by the way, what about all the center-ice logos that players skate over endless times during a game? The commissioner should have the rug hung on the wall or the ceiling or – better still — have the silliness stopped once and for all.
read on for more hockey notes from The Maven…
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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