Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet,
Can’t help but cheer for a guy like Chris Mason, named the third star by the NHL on Monday after the Nashville goalie stopped 63 of 64 shots in leading the Predators to a pair of opening wins. With Tomas Vokoun traded to Florida, Mason finally gets a chance to become a No. 1 goalie in this league, something I know he’s craved for a long time. He could be one of the best stories of the season.
more NHL bits plus some Forseberg talk…
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
There is no doubt that the NHL would like to get into Europe, but there’s also no doubt that at the moment, it’s just not feasible.
There is, however, faint hope on the horizon. Aeronautical engineers say that we’re not that far away from flights that escape the earth’s atmosphere.
In other words, the plane would go so high that it would escape most of the earth’s gravitational pull. While it’s up, the earth would turn and then the plane would come down on the other side of the ocean. In theory, this would reduce the length of a transcontinental flight to two hours.
Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny, New York Islanders center Mike Comrie and Nashville Predators goaltender Chris Mason have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending October 7.
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
So, now that the games are counting, here are some conclusions (or should we call them mini-conclusions) that can be drawn….
Yes, it’s painfully early, but the play of netminding “savior” Tomas Vokoun in Florida has been just that—painful—as the Panthers are off to a 0-2 start. Vokoun has allowed nine goals on 49 shots. For those keeping score at home, it translates to a 4.54 goals-against average and .816 save percentage.
from SportsBusiness Journal (paid reg.),
MSG Chairman James Dolan is often viewed as an industry pariah, a notion no doubt burnished by his defeat last week in the Anucha Browne Sanders sexual harassment lawsuit.
But surprisingly, the argument of Dolan, MSG and the New York Rangers — if not the methods — are garnering support from other NHL clubs and regional sports networks in their legal fight against the NHL for control over digital rights….
“There’s some feeling around the league that says, ‘Good for them,’” a team executive said. “There’s some downside to the league saying, ‘Boom. Here’s your (Web site) format.’ Teams have been hurt by that and aren’t getting satisfaction.”
“We think digital rights can be best exploited on a team-by-team basis locally through the team and its local media partners,” said an executive at an RSN with NHL rights after asking for anonymity because of the ongoing lawsuit.
update 1:22pm, Thanks to the folks at SportsBusiness Journal for providing KK readers with a link to read the full article…
from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,
In a long interview Friday that focused mostly on his father, John Ferguson Jr. touched only briefly on his job as general manager of the Maple Leafs, but Ferguson agreed that fans probably don’t understand that it’s no longer possible to put together a team like those legendary Canadiens dynasties of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, with a team dominating over a period of decades.
“To be honest,” Ferguson said, “I think the fans can be a bit unrealistic. But that’s what gives the game its passion here. They want to win all the time. That’s not going to happen any more. That era, those players all together on one team for years, I don’t think we’ll see that again.”
From Jim Gintonio at the Arizona Republic,
Boogaard, the Minnesota Wild’s 6-foot-7, 258-pound enforcer, can rule through intimidation. It’s one reason that penalty minutes for players of his type usually decrease in the NHL from the staggering figures they compiled in the minors while trying to make names for themselves.
“The role is important,” said Shawn Thornton of the Boston Bruins. “I think it keeps people a little more honest. It’s just our job, and we know that, and it has to be done. It’s not that we have any disdain for each other.”
It can be a cat-and-mouse - make that a lion-and-rhino - game when two enforcers are on the ice.
From Desmond Bieler at the Washington Post,
We could go on about how nobody noticed the season starting for what’s supposed to be a major sports league, and how hockey gets lower TV ratings than mah-jongg tournaments, but that wouldn’t be kind. We wanted to go in a different direction and find out what people actually like about the NHL, eh?
1. Let’s start with the fact that the NHL easily has the coolest championship trophy going. The Stanley Cup looks the part, while the NFL has a football on a stick and the NBA has a basketball perched on the lid of a Big Gulp. The Cup actually has held its share of beverages and, thanks to the NHL’s excellent policy of letting each winning player spend quality time with it, has also found itself onstage at a gentlemen’s club and at the bottom of Mario Lemieux’s swimming pool. Of course, before the Cup makes its annual appearance, you have to wait out a regular season that goes on for longer than the presidential campaign, but it all makes sense once the stakes are raised. The checks just seem harder, the passes crisper and, impossibly enough, Barry Melrose’s hair more lacquered.
continued… (*link may require free registration)
From Jamie Fitzpatrick at About.com,
Does Patrick Kane belong in the NHL? He’ll be 19 in November, and is listed at a miniscule 5’-10” and 163 pounds. He has played one season of junior hockey. How well might he hold up over 82 big-league games with a less than stellar team?
These days, top-drawer prospects arrive more NHL-ready than ever before. In the last two years, Crosby, Malkin, Kessel, Kopitar, Vlasic and Jordan Staal have all stepped into the league and flourished as teenagers. On the other hand, Gilbert Brule was a bust in his rookie season, and Nikolai Zherdev has achieved little since arriving from Russia as a 19-year-old in 2003.
From the Edmonton Sun,
Don Cherry thinks Steve Downie got off easy.
The outspoken commentator said Downie should have been suspended 30 games for his preseason hit on Dean McAmmond during Saturday night’s segment of Coach’s Corner on CBC’s Hockey Night In Canada.
Cherry called the hit by the Philadelphia Flyers forward on the Senators defenceman a “cheap shot” and added that players shouldn’t hit like that in the preseason.
Video of Cherry’s comments can be viewed on the CBC video player. There is no direct link, but just click on the “Hockey Night in Canada” link on the left, then the sub-menu will provide a link to the October 6th edition of Coach’s Corner.
note: unfortunately, U.S. viewers may not be able to access the video, unless you have a way of accessing the page using a Canadian proxy IP.
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