Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Paul Kukla at his NHL.com blog,
Fans of the Red Wings, Penguins and Stars are laying low, hoping the apple cart is not disturbed and their team continues their winning ways.
Well, I am here to tell you to expect a bump in the road, and maybe, just maybe, a complete turnaround from your opposition. Both Detroit and Pittsburgh are on the road now. The Wings will be dealing with an unhappy group of players in Denver, players who have too much pride not to fight back with all they have.
continued… *plus some words on the officiating
from James Mirtle,
Fifty-seven games into the 2008 playoffs, and goal-scoring hasn’t dried up at all. In fact, it’s right where we left it in the regular season, a 5.44 goals per game pace that, by playoff standards, is pretty darn high.
I’ve only put together figures for the past seven years, but those alone are telling:
from the NHLPA,
The Goalie Equipment Working Group will meet on June 11, 2008 in Toronto to examine the configuration and dimensions of goaltender equipment with respect to safety and performance. If the working group decides alterations to the rules governing goaltender equipment are warranted, and will not jeopardize the safety of the goalies, these recommendations will be forwarded to the Competition Committee for consideration.
As KK readers know, this was pointed out by Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe early in April, and Michael Russo wrote about it in February.
A hockey entertainer is reporting this as breaking news, but that’s the entertainment business…
Joe Pelletier at Greatest Hockey Legends is looking back at every Stanley Cup champion since 1930, offering capsule looks at the playoffs and teams, and of course highlighting all the heroes.
This past weekend he has posted Stanley Cup capsules dating from 1930-1944. He’s added 30 new biographies as well. A lot of great hockey reading.
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
A couple of old favorites are getting a lot of attention in the playoffs.
No, not the Detroit Red Wings and Dallas Stars — although they appear to be in the process of setting up a titanic struggle for the Western crown.
The two old favorites are interference and crease crashing.
Actually, the latter is a variation of the former, but either way, it’s fairly clear that the recently reconstructed competition committee is going to have to deal with these issues over the summer.
April 28, 1996 • A sold-out crowd at the Winnipeg Arena said good-bye to the Winnipeg Jets following a 4-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings in Game Six of their Western Conference Quarter-final series. It marked the final game for the Jets before moving to Phoenix and becoming the Coyotes.
Here are the final moments of that game, committed to YouTube for posterity.
*historical info via NHL media
From Ken Campbell at The Hockey News,
So I figure I’ve earned the right to complain about a few things I’ve seen during this season’s playoffs. If you agree with me, give me a call and perhaps we can further discuss our issues over a glass of prune juice.
In any case, I remember when…[...]
• The NHL didn’t feel the need to pander to corporate sponsors by endorsing a contest where an NHL legend - in this case Mark Messier - brings the Stanley Cup to your house. The news release for the Bring Home the Stanley Cup promotion reads like this: “Known as ‘the Holy Grail’…the Stanley Cup ™ (sic) is one of the most celebrated sports icons and is the ultimate goal of hockey’s greatest players.”
Then leave the Stanley Cup ™ to them, not to some painted-up slob whose fingers are greasy from eating too many potato chips.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
He (Dan Craig) reads the reports afterwards that blame the ice for blown chances, but Craig would like hockey traditionalists to consider something else….the pucks.
The focal point of the sport.
How many times have you heard a coach or player follow a loss with, “we just didn’t get the bounces.”
Equipment in hockey has changed over the years, sticks have evolved from wood to composite, so the NHL’s ice guru wants a full investigation into how to make a better puck.
from Mark Spector of the National Post,
The learning curve has passed, and you’ll notice the hockey is better and more high scoring this spring. Look at these comparisons between the 48 games played in Round 1 this spring, to the 47 games played in Round 1 back in the ‘04, the final playoff before the lockout:
• Shut outs: 14 in ‘04, eight in ‘08.
• Games in which one team scored four goals: 16 in ‘04, 26 in ‘08.
• Games in which one team scored five goals: six in ‘04, 13 in ‘08.
This spring it has become clear that NHL players have learned how to play the game now without a rodeo breaking out. Officials have found the balance between calling every, single little ticky-tack foul, and maintaining the standard.
from James Duthie at the Ottawa Citizen,
I would like everyone to give referees ... a break.
Why do I suddenly feel like the guy on the All-Bran Cereal Bars commercial, where everyone spits out their water or laughs hysterically when he says they taste good?
It’s true. After spending the past two weeks scrutinizing call after questionable call on our TSN panel (TV factoid: debating referee rulings is a can’t-miss way to kill five minutes), I’m starting to suffer from some warped form of Stockholm Syndrome. I’m feeling sorry for the men in stripes.
Has there been the odd horrendous, brain-cramp, WTF?!? call in these playoffs? Of course. But there have also been countless occasions where we’ve looked at a replay a dozen times in Super-Duper HD Slo-Mo, and still haven’t been able to tell if the right call was made.
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