Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Richard Sandomir of the New York Times,
This isn’t quaint anymore. The league believes the Classic — a regular-season game played outdoors every New Year’s Day — will be a long-term annual event that separates hockey from other sports; it projects the game as a midseason ritual for its fans to root nationally, not for their local teams. Already, there is demand for future games in Philadelphia, Detroit, Toronto, Montreal and Boston…
“This is part of our new business model and gives people a sense of what we can do,” said John Collins, the league’s chief operating officer. “We introduced our Broadband player, we reintroduced NHL.com. We have 53 million fans who love the game, 22 million in the arenas and a $2.6 billion business. But it doesn’t feel as big as it should.”
from Razor With An Edge,
When a team is surrendering 15-25 scoring chances a game while at the same scoring four times, and their goalie is allowing 5 or 6 goals a night, the coach can usually be heard saying, “If we could have got one or two more saves…” – subtly heaping responsibility for the losses onto the goalers shoulders.
But when the game is one in which the team grossly out chances the opposition yet loses a low scoring contest because guys who get paid to score, don’t, the coach almost always applauds the effort of his charges and then lauds the performance of the other clubs netminder. “We did a lot of good things…” he’ll say.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Wonky knee aside, it was a thrill to hit the ice at Wrigley Field. Sure, I got a few looks for wearing a Finnish national jersey (no reason whatsoever for that, by the way); but all in all, it was a great experience.
The NHL wouldn’t allow us to hold hockey sticks or shoot pucks, understandably, but just taking a whirl around the newly built ice surface was something else. The sun was peering over home plate and the conditions were ideal. The league can only hope for similar conditions Thursday for the Winter Classic (so far, the forecast sounds pretty good).
The sun, however, could prove to be an issue. You really blinked when you made the turn at the third-base end and the sun blinded you somewhat. Some players wore eye black last season in Buffalo, and we suspect much of the same again Thursday. Tinted visors, perhaps?
We all know it’s a long season and I missed the playoffs the last few seasons, so I’m going to do what I can to help the team get into the playoffs. That’s the most important thing, to secure a playoff spot.”
-Mats Sundin after his first practice with the Vancouver Canucks. More at the Vancouver Sun.
Wednesday, December 31st. All times are ET.
11:30 AM- NHL Network Presents: Bridgestone Winter Classic 2009 Practice Coverage
Thursday, January 1st
11:00 AM- NHL Network Presents: Bridgestone Winter Classic 2009 Pre-Game Show
5:00 PM- NHL Network Presents: Bridgestone Winter Classic 2009 Post-Game Show
6:00 PM- Voices: Detroit’s Ken Kal
6:30 PM- Voices: Chicago’s Pat Foley
added 5:00pm, I just received this and as you can the times differ a bit…
Wednesday, Dec. 31
· Practice Coverage at 11:30 a.m. ET
Thursday, Jan. 1
· Pre-Game Show at 11 a.m. ET
· Post-Game Show at 4:30 p.m. ET
from Bob Duff at Duffer’s Dabbles,
Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock believes the National Hockey League has struck gold with its decision to put the Wings against the Chicago Blackhawks in Wednesday’s Winter Classic outdoor hockey game at Chicago’s Wrigley Field.
“The Winter Classic is a fantastic stage in a fantastic city that has a marketing opportunity for our league that is second to none,” said Babcock, whose Wings play host to Chicago Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena. “I’m not trying to take anything away from where it’s been before, but nationally, in the U.S., this has the chance to be a really nice draw and I hope that both teams live up to the opportunity that’s here.”
continued and probably the most thorough Wings side of the story regarding the WC.
The Chicago Blackhawks have activated right wing Adam Burish (6-1, 189) from injured reserve and have placed defenseman Brent Sopel (6-1, 211) on the long term injured reserve list.
Burish, 25, has accrued 49 penalty minutes in 19 contests with the Blackhawks this season. The Madison, Wisconsin, native has missed each of Chicago’s last 14 games (Nov. 26 to Dec. 28).
from Don Brennan of Off The Posts at the Ottawa Sun,
Gerber is supposed to start in Edmonton tonight, and when I heard that I lost any sense that the Senators might snap out of their 12-game road losing streak. The other players will all defend their friend and teammate, but they see Gerber giving up the softies too.
New York – While much about the fan balloting for the Western Conference All-Star starters has come into focus, a wild battle is raging among three former Norris Trophy-winners for the chance line up next to Chicago’s Brian Campbell on the blue line for the face-off of the 57th NHL All-Star Game.
As of 7 a.m. today, Anaheim’s Scott Niedermayer had nudged slightly ahead of Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom for the second-highest vote total among Western Conference defensemen…
continued at NHL.com
New York – Having already received more votes than any goaltenders in the history of NHL All-Star Fan Balloting, neither Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury nor Montreal’s Carey Price have secured the big prize: the starting nod for the Eastern Conference in the 57th NHL All-Star Game.
As of 7 a.m. ET, Fleury held just a 39,363-vote lead over Price in an election in which the two young stars had received an astounding total of more than 2.2 million votes….
continued at NHL.com
I had the pleasure of talking with Eddie Olczyk this morning and discussed Wings/Blackhawks. Eddie will be providiing the color for the Winter Classic on NBC which starts at 1:00pm ET on January 1st.
If you wish to download the audio, just click here.
NEW YORK (December 30, 2008) – The National Hockey League (NHL) announced today that it will honor seven Chicago sports legends during a special on-field ceremony prior to the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on New Year’s Day at Wrigley Field. The salute to the sports legends, all of them Hall of Famers in their respective sports, will open the outdoor game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings (1 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS, NHL Radio, XM Radio).
The Hall of Fame legends scheduled to appear include former Chicago Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg, former Cubs pitcher Ferguson Jenkins, former Cubs outfielder Billy Williams and Blackhawks greats Bobby Hull, Tony Esposito, Stan Mikita and Denis Savard.
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.
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