Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
Through the first 119 games played this season, an average of 1.47 fighting majors have been called per game. That’s up from just over one fighting major per game at the same point last season.
So is the NHL concerned? Nope.
“We haven’t really discussed fighting internally for quite some time,” said NHL vice-president Mike Murphy. “When we do talk about it we generally talk about the magnitude of today’s fighters; the size of them and how much power they have. We don’t really worry about the knockout punch; more about the fact a player could hit his head on the ice if he gets punched hard.”
• The Detroit Red Wings have scored 30 goals this season, 27 have come from European players.
• Players have seemed to get the message this season, a lot less hitting from behind and driving the player into the boards.
• Do you like the boarderline hooking calls this season? In my mind, they are being made to get more offense into the game, but some calls need to be overlooked. The call that gets me is the one handed stick on the gloves penalty, players should be able to fight through that.
• The ‘no commercial’ after an icing is good for the game. But I am not sure if it has turned into more goals scored because of it.
• Is there any team(s) out of the playoff race yet?
• Who is your early candidate for MVP?
• Isn’t it about time Gary Bettman had some hockey bloggers on the NHL Hour?
from Gary Loewen of Sun Media,
Empty-net goals are for wimps - at least they are when they come in the waning seconds with the outcome of the game no longer in doubt….
The goal against isn’t charged to the goalie, it’s charged against the team. So why credit goals and assists for scoring into open nets? Simply award a team goal.
On the other hand, the NHL could use a fresh gimmick now that we’ve all become accustomed to the shootout. To challenge the shooter, put a cardboard cutout into the net after the real goalie vacates.
Or hang a cow bell from the crossbar. Ring it off the bell and collect a goal!
from Bud Barth of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette,
The NHL is laboring under the delusion that more goals mean better hockey. The beauty of a close-checking, well-played 1-0 hockey game cannot be appreciated by everyone, to be sure, but if you’re going to replace those with 8-7 games, you’ll maybe add a few new fans, but in the process you’ll also lose a certain segment of your existing fan base. And the net result might not be good for hockey.
Let’s face it: The NHL will never be able to compete with fall Sunday afternoons in the NFL, or lazy summer evenings with the national pastime, or even slam-dunking athletes on the hardwood. Hockey has its little fourth-place niche in the sports world, and it should be content with that.
The idea of bastardizing the sport to try and bring in peripheral fans who don’t even know the definition of icing or boarding is outrageous, especially to hockey purists who are still the backbone of the NHL’s support.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
“I’ve been talking to a few NHL teams who have a serious interest in me and who I feel really good about playing for,” (Claude) Lemieux told Slap Shots by phone from his training base of Prescott Valley, Ariz. “By my thinking, I’ll be signed to an AHL contract in no later than two weeks by the NHL team that wants me.
“They’ll come to watch me, and if they like what they see, I’ll be back.”
It strains credulity, but Lemieux is nothing if not self-assured. He is certain there is room for legs as old as his in this young man’s league. He is certain there is a need for his experience and eagerness to play in the dirty areas of the ice.
from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,
Welcome aboard everyone - Are you ready for some hockey!
I sure am and I’m here at NHL headquarters in Toronto to prove it….
Right now, it feels like I’m at the local sports bar; television monitors all over and grown men anticipating the inevitable.
There is a strong possibility the National Hockey League will move the trade deadline back a day, from Tuesday Mar. 3 to Wednesday Mar. 4, sources tell Sportsnet.
With 12 games scheduled for the Tuesday, the league is concerned that NHL clubs would have a hard time icing full rosters should a significant number of deadline deals result in a large number of players being on the move.
The Inside Hockey Radio Show this week features Dustin Penner (Edmonton Oilers), Jeff Hamilton (Chicago Wolves), Hardy Sauter (Spokane Chiefs), Bruce Garrioch (Ottawa Sun) and Brian Daccord (Stop It Goaltending).
The show broadcasts from 2-4pm on NHL Hockey Ice XM 204, on The Team 990 in Montreal, and 1120 AM WBNW in Boston. It can be heard online at Team 990 or Money Matters Radio. To chime in you can reach them at 1-877-645-6696 or 1-877-NHL-6696 or email email@example.com.
from Lynn Zinser of the New York Times,
Crosby’s life is full of photo shoots and commercials, slipping through back entrances to avoid crowds, and more news conferences than most political candidates. He has endorsement deals with Reebok and Gatorade, although he is used far more heavily in advertisements in his native Canada.
“We’ve seen television ratings increase in games he has been in, increased attendance where he plays,” said Brian Jennings, who is the league’s executive vice president for licensing and marketing. “He’s a powerful force.”
But the question is whether the N.H.L.’s promotion of Crosby is enough, whether one player in a medium-size market can lift the league.
From Scott Cullen at TSN:
This week’s edition of Backchecking is going to examine the newcomers and surprises when it comes to power play ice time. We all know that Datsyuk and Zetterberg are on the Red Wings power play, right? Sure. But, who would have guessed that Radek Bonk is still getting PP time in Nashville?
A team-by-team look..
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