Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeff DiNunzio at Sports Central,
Last week, some dude most of us have never met wrote an obituary about the National Hockey League. Here’s the thing about writers: we all think our opinion is important. Sometimes it is; but usually it’s not. In this case, Sean Crowe — who, for whatever reason, refers to himself as SeanMC (are you a DJ?) — offered his take on the NHL’s demise, and argued that something must be done to resuscitate this mortal game. It’s true; the NHL has assassinated the last of its remaining prominence.
Although many readers’ comments boast the obvious — like one observed, “This story would’ve been more credible if it was written in 2006” — the truth is that Crowe’s “opinion piece” is shaky.
Original post regarding Sean…
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
And the performance of the duo of veteran referees Don Koharski and Paul Devorski in Philadelphia’s 3-2 overtime win over Washington Tuesday has to be noted, because it was simply abhorrent.
If there were a way to get a police sketch artist to encapsulate Koharski and Devorski’s wildly varying in-game assessments – featured by a stretch in which no penalties were called from the 13:27 mark of the second period to Tom Poti’s chintzy tripping minor 4:15 into OT that led to Joffrey Lupul’s game-winner at 6:06 – I’d transfer that image to thousands of Wanted: Dead Or Alive posters and start fundraising immediately to raise as much money as possible for a reward.
Making matters worse, if it weren’t for another blown call in the second period, the Caps might’ve won their Eastern Conference first-round series in regulation time.
Update 3:35pm ET: Jamie Fitzpatrick writes a response to Proteau’s comments at About.com
The National Hockey League today announced the dates, starting times and national broadcast coverage for the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoff Conference Semifinal round, which begins Thursday, April 24 when the Montreal Canadiens host the Philadelphia Flyers and the Detroit Red Wings host the Colorado Avalanche. On Friday, April 25 the Pittsburgh Penguins host the New York Rangers and the San Jose Sharks host the Dallas Stars.
Complete, detailed schedule is below:
Flashbacks To: 1945, 1962, 1976, 1988
April 22, 1945 • At 12:14 of the third period, Maple Leafs defenseman Walter “Babe” Pratt scored the Cup-winning goal to give Toronto a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in Game Seven of the Final.
Leafs rookie goaltender Frank McCool, who allowed only nine goals in seven starts, limited the Wings to one goal or less for the fifth time in the series.
The casual sports fan is beginning to take notice of the NHL.
Read about it at my NHL.com blog.
Anything on your mind during the games tonight? Feel free to get it off your chest by leaving a comment.
Interesting to see the latest KK Poll is almost 50-50 when given the choice to predict the winner of the Boston/Montreal game.
From the Canadian Press,
Game 7s were a hot topic this week, and a player who was in a truly memorable do-or-die contest was Boston Bruins backup goaltender Alex Auld.
Auld played for a very good Vancouver Canucks team that lost to Calgary in overtime in Game 7 of their first-round NHL playoff series in 2004. The Flames went on to lose the Stanley Cup final in seven games to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
continued… with more tales of guys back for another shot at game #7s
April 21, 1951 • Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Bill Barilko scored the Cup-winning goal at 2:53 of overtime to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 in Game Five of the 1951 Final. It was the only Stanley Cup series in which every game had ended in overtime. Toronto’s Sid Smith, Ted Kennedy, Harry Watson, Barilko and Montreal’s Maurice “Rocket” Richard each netted overtime winners during the five-game matchup.
Barilko died in an off-season plane crash in the summer of 1951, though his remains would not be discovered until 1962.
*information courtesy of NHL media
*Photo found at mikeboon.com, where he also provides a tribute to Barilko
From Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
For the most part, the teams that remain alive are the ones the league can seriously promote on television, and in the process, draw fans to the sport. The Rangers, of course, are the best of that group.
They bring in the huge New York market. They boast established stars like Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan. Just as important, they have home-grown American stars like Scott Gomez and Chris Drury. And of course, they have Sean Avery who, like him or hate him, does get noticed. For the NHL, it doesn’t get much better than that.
As of this writing, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington are all alive. The first two command attention, just by the reputation of their cities. And Washington has Alexander Ovechkin.
Again, this is a pure treat for the NHL.
more… on the potential matchups in the 2nd round
From Paul Kukla at Hockey.com,
My life may be a bit different than yours since I do hockey for a living. 24/7, that’s me and although you may not have the schedule I do, you probably have been following the conference quarter-finals and have been impressed by the pace and action of the games.
We have hard hard hits, battles along the boards, grit and determination is the norm and most games have kept us tuned-in until the final horn. The officiating on a whole has been great, letting the boys play is much better than calling every little infraction. As long as the pattern continues, we cannot ask for anything more from the on-ice officials.
more… from the boss
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