Kukla's Korner Hockey
Lew Serviss at the NYT Slapshot blog has prepared a breakdown of the first round:
Montreal Canadiens vs. Boston Bruins
After the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth Rock, the Pilgrims and the Indians rode into town to watch the Bruins face the Canadiens. Well, it sure seems like this rivalry goes back that far. The Habs and B’s will go at it for the 25th time in the playoffs. This time, it hardly looks like a fair fight.
more… with a brief analysis of every team, including injury reports etc.
NEW YORK – A season of suspenseful races and outstanding performances on the ice was accompanied by historic levels of attendance at National Hockey League arenas in 2007-08. Total attendance of 21,236,255 and the per-game average of 17,265 set records in each category and marked the third consecutive season of growth.
“Our fans have outdone themselves, and everyone at the National Hockey League is extremely appreciative,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “This unprecedented support is only the latest affirmation that our fans are the best fans anywhere.”
from Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
Entering Sunday’s regular-season finale for each team, the Ducks have given up 182 goals, four more than the Detroit Red Wings and one fewer than the San Jose Sharks. The NHL, however, also charges teams with a goal against every time they come out on the losing end of a shootout. The Ducks have dropped seven shootouts, San Jose six and Detroit five. When that math is factored in, the “goals-against” numbers become 183 for Detroit, and 189 each for the Ducks and Sharks….
For all the hype the NHL gives shootouts, and for all the supposed excitement they create, the whole scenario has created nothing but a statistical conundrum that only begins with the difference between a regulation loss and a shootout loss. If nothing else, the NHL needs to rethink its Jennings formula.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Time for bigger nets? Not yet. Not before one last look at the brotherhood of Stay Puft Marshmallow goalies and their arsenal.
In about eight weeks, a nine-member committee, dubbed the Goalie Equipment Working Group, will wrestle with this age-old question: Does size really matter? Comprising four general managers and five players, the group intends to convene for one day (June 11 in Toronto) and settle once and for all what, if anything, can be done about modifying goaltender equipment, in hopes of leading to more goals and more entertaining hockey.
“Maybe some of the equipment can be squeezed smaller, or maybe there’s a way of scaling it specifically to body size,” said Paul Kelly, executive director of the NHL Players Association. “What we know for sure is that everyone wants to resolve this, once and for all.
more and other NHL topics too…
Montreal will host the NHL’s awards show and entry draft in June 2009 as part of the Canadiens’ 100th anniversary festivities, a source has told CBCSports.ca.
The league is expected to announce the events at a media conference Saturday afternoon.
Montreal’s Bell Centre has already been named the site of the 2009 NHL all-star game, which will take place in January in the middle of the Canadiens’ centennial season.
The annual NHL awards show gala has traditionally been held in Toronto.
from the Wall Street Journal,
Face-offs, also known as “draws” or “drops,” open NHL games and restart play after pauses for goals, penalties and TV time-outs. A referee drops the puck between two opponents, and the one able to slide, kick, whack or shovel the puck to a teammate gets credit for winning the draw. NHL games count on average 50 to 60 face-offs, and the top face-off specialists win 55%-65% of the draws they take.
Aces at face-offs are essentially thieves. Some are like pickpockets, with sneaky hands that whisk the puck away before an opponent can react. Others are more like armed robbers who use size and strength to muscle the puck away. They’re secretive about their techniques and constantly seeking an edge, from analyzing film of opponents to studying how different referees drop the puck.
thanks to a KK member for providing the link this morning…
from Mike Brophy of the Hockey News,
The NHL wants YOU!
That is, if you are a graduating college or university hockey player and are interested in trying to climb the ladder to the big leagues – as an official.
Stephen Walkom, the NHL’s senior vice-president and director of officiating, says the league has embarked on a recruiting program aimed at directing players into the world of officiating.
from Risto Pakarinen at NHL.com,
The majority of my time during the NHL season is spent talking hockey. So I thought to myself, why not talk hockey with you? Yes, I do mean talk.
I have always been interested in hearing the views of anyone who loves the game of hockey. It intrigues me what people in Seattle, Washington, or Orillia think of the game. Are they different than a fan in Stockholm? Do the European fans see the game differently than someone in Australia?
Do the players themselves want to talk about the game when they are not playing? How about team and League executives, do they talk hockey 24/7?
On Wednesday, April 2, everyone can let me know how you feel. You can call me crazy, but you can also call me. I am giving out my phone number to talk hockey with you.
from Jeff Marek at Upon Further Review at CBC,
As it’s getting close to trophy time in the NHL as writers fill our their ballots, perhaps it’s time to redefine what “sportsmanship and gentlemanly” conduct is and how the Professional Hockey Writers Association should decide on the Byng. Traditionally, the lazy man’s way to vote for the award was to look at the scoring leaders in the NHL and whomever had the least penalty minutes of the bunch got the nod.
But is there not another way to look at what being a Lady Byng winner should be? Should it always be the highest scorer with the softest touch? Or should we not look at the way players in the NHL talk about playing with respect for the game and respect for one another?
As hockey fans, all we ask for are consistent calls from the refs.
Read my blog at Hockey.com for more on this topic.
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