Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
The NHL’s second-class status when it comes to arena dates and television schedules, on U.S. TV anyway, has resulted in a familiar problem in the playoffs. And it will get worse the deeper you go in the playoffs, where fatigue becomes a bigger factor with the players.
I’m talking about the back-to-back games, often in different cities, that are part of almost every playoff series.
The problem is that often NHL teams do not have first call on their arena’s availability, especially when that arena is shared with an NBA team.
from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Calgary Herald,
I know the elimination of the Calgary Flames by the San Jose Sharks has naturally sucked some of the air out of the balloon hereabouts. And with the Toronto Maple Leafs out of the playoffs once again, they might as well not be happening for many east of the Lakehead. That’s understandable (in a pathetic sort of way).
But since when did Mr. Freeze put his glacial hand upon the rest of the post-season, cryogenically rendering the battle to win the Stanley Cup into a bad ice sculpture at some hillbilly wedding? Granted, the playoffs go on four weeks longer than any attention span this side of Stephen Hawking can bear.
But where’s the sizzle? Where’s the steak?
from the CP,
Tretiak says he’s hopeful that the NHL and European hockey federations can come to some sort of agreement on player transfers.
“I think there should be friendship between the NHL and the Russian leagues,” Tretiak said. “That is what I hope.”
Tretiak says his hope is that other Russian-born players are not denied a chance to play in North America as he was.
Sitting in Le Colisee Pepsi, where Tretiak played a handful of games, he says not playing in the NHL was his greatest regret.
May 2, 1967 • With the oldest lineup in Final history, the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 in Game Six to win the 1967 Stanley Cup. The Leafs’ roster included 42-year-old goalie Johnny Bower and 41-year-old defenseman Allan Stanley as well as seven others at least 30 years old.
Toronto center Red Kelly played his 65th game in Final competition, setting a Stanley Cup record later tied by Montreal’s Henri Richard.
*historical info courtesy of the NHL
*photo from Legends of Hockey.net
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
How much of a factor was fatigue in the slight, but discernible decline, in the overall performance of some of the NHL’s leading goaltending lights?
Or to put it another way, do NHL teams play their starting goaltenders too much in the regular season, only to discover there isn’t enough left in the tank to get them through four grueling playoff rounds?
more… *an in-depth look at goalie performance in the playoffs
From Michael Farber at Sports Illustrated,
And that is probably the most miraculous thing about the Cup: It has the unique ability to turn men into little boys.
Like the 6-year-olds they once were, NHLers really are playing for the trophy at the end of the season. Their salaries stop when the regular season does. There is, of course, a monetary prize, a playoff payout, that goes to all teams, but if you break it down per hour for the intense, all-consuming work the finalists will put in over eight weeks, they would probably make out just as well if they had been manning the deep fryer at a burger joint.
The game is distilled to its purest form during the playoffs. Stanley of Preston, whose farsighted vision was as long as his title, really did reward the top amateur team because in the spring, hockey is about the love of the game.
more… about what makes the Stanley Cup Playoffs special
from Allan Hougaard at the Hockey News,
The Czech Ice Hockey Association has decided not to sign the IIHF’s player transfer deal with the NHL after the 14 hockey clubs in the Czech Extraliga voted in favor of ending the current deal immediately. This likely means there will be no regulations surrounding the transfer of players between the European teams and the NHL next season.
The existing NHL-IIHF player transfer agreement was originally supposed to last until 2011, but the Euro nations in the agreement demanded it be reopened in December 2007. In order to gain time to negotiate a new, long-term agreement, the IIHF and NHL have been working to arrive at a one-year extension of the existing agreement.
From Paul Kukla at Hockey.com,
Early favorite to replace Ron MacLean as the HNIC host when or if he ever leaves - Elliotte Friedman
Speaking of TV guys, Ed Olczyk continues to impress with his analytical work. Breaking down a play moments after it has happened is hard to do, but ‘Eddie O’ is always pointing out key plays during the game.
This coming from a Detroit Red Wings fan, but you almost feel sorry for all the injuries the Colorado Avalanche have had in the recent past. OK, that was long enough to sympathize for the Avs!
more stray thoughts from the boss…
from Rich Hammond of the LA Daily News,
The Kings declined to release specific numbers, but said they’re losing more money per year now than before the lockout. At the start of the lockout, the Kings claimed to be losing $8 to $10 million a year.
“We’re building our organization differently, to meet the reality that we’re losing even more than we did before the lockout,” chief marketing officer Chris McGowan said. “We have to run a better business.”
Thus, the ticket-price increases, even coming off a season in which the Kings tied for the fewest points in the NHL. The Kings believe the increases are necessary, in part, to help stabilize their bottom line.
from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,
Video review works. With the HD cameras it has in every building now, the NHL has virtually eliminated those “Was it a goal or not?” controversies. They usually get it right. So why not take it to the final frontier? Allow reviews of early whistles.
Please refrain from eye-rolling. And don’t give me that old line about once the whistle blows, nothing else matters. We’re not talking about things that occur two or three or five seconds after the whistle. All these goals happen within a fraction of a second. It’s simple: if the puck is on its way in when the whistle blows, and the folks in the video review room in Toronto decide the whistle should not have blown, the goal should count.
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