Kukla's Korner Hockey
Easy question tonight- Who wins?
I’m not a different player. I’m battling hard. I’m playing hard. I’m giving my 100 percent every game. Mistakes, sometimes they do happen. And obviously I believe I’m making more strong plays and good plays than bad plays. I really don’t know how to explain it.
“I realize the responsibility I have, I’m one of the leaders. I’m the captain. I do take it to heart. At the same time, today’s today and tomorrow’s a new day. We have to somehow regroup and find the energy to go into the next game and win it. It’s as simple as that.”
-Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins after losing to the Hurricanes last night. More from Chara by Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald.
from Slava Malamud at NHL.com,
It’s the Stanley Cup Playoffs’ marquee series, and even those members of the Caps’ Russian contingent who are not capable of giving interviews in English are in high demand, forcing Russian hockey writers like myself into moonlighting as interpreters. But my real job this night will involve writing another 3,000-word article on the Capitals, the Penguins and their Russian stars, which will likely make front-page news at home. I can also be quite sure that the next day my editors will be on the phone screaming for more. This at the time the World Championships are being played in Europe – unthinkable!
Yes, Russia has gone certifiably crazy for the Capitals and Alex Ovechkin. The latter’s popularity in particular has eclipsed all conceivable limits and has reached the point where it is actually becoming fashionable to hate Alex, if for no other reason than bucking the national trend.
from Reed Albergotti of the Wall Street Journal (written before last night’s game),
In Washington, where the Capitals have long been the poor stepchild to football’s Redskins, Mike Kardash, an attorney in Gainesville, Va., dumped his Redskins tickets two seasons ago and began attending more Capitals games. “It’s just more fun to watch,” he says, comparing Mr. Ovechkin to longtime Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington, for his bruising hits and speed. Mr. Ovechkin, he says, “he’s why people go.”
more & thanks to a KK member for the WSJ pointer…
from Derek Jory of VancouverCanucks.com,
You know the guys I’m talking about. The ones so into the game they hoot and holler regardless of the score and have some kind of extreme noisemaker with them that keeps things interesting.
In this instance it was a Second World War Chema siren and its alarming sound jolted a whack of energy into the Pacific Coliseum and led the Canucks to a 6-3 win over the visiting Boston Bruins the first time Wideski and Grant tested it out.
The stirring siren, which a buddy of theirs had picked up at a swap meet, also caused a face-to-face meeting with then Canucks owner Arthur Griffiths.
“When we were cranking it at the game security showed up and we thought we were getting kicked out,” recalled Wideski. “Instead we met Arthur and he gave us tickets for that season and for the next couple years to keep coming to the games with the siren.”
from Paul Greenberg of ZDNet,
I have to tell you, the Philadelphia Flyers‘ fan engagement program is by far the single most well thought out and successful CRM strategy and program I’ve seen to date in professional sports. Bar none - including my beloved New York teams. Shame on the Rangers.
What makes this program, which is called “How You Doin’?“ exceptional in any environment is that it begins where CRM strategies and programs should begin - with the culture….
All the staff at the Philadelphia HQ of the Flyers and at the Wachovia Center are trained to greet everyone as they come into the stadium, trained to answer questions for anyone who has them, and trained to go above and beyond for customers. They take a high touch, get involved approach.
Their strategy is two pronged. First, engage the fans generally. Second, know each fan and their individual lifestyle and customize programs according. The third prong is measure, measure, measure; learn, learn, learn.
read on & thanks to a KK reader for the pointer…
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
It’s not that Carlyle is being outcoached. Not that it would be an embarrassment if he were. Babcock, after being on the wrong end of a first-round upset in 2006 and a loss to the Ducks in the 2007 West finals, found his footing and won the Stanley Cup last spring.
And with a few moves that were instrumental in Detroit’s 6-3 victory in Game 4, he put Carlyle in the position of reacting instead of initiating.
Given the Ducks’ lack of offensive depth compared to the roll-four-lines Red Wings, Babcock’s team appears to have gained the upper hand in what is now a best-of-three series with two games on its home ice.
Babcock’s decision to mix his top two lines Thursday might stand out as the turning point.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, sources say, is telling owners they have to stand against Balsillie’s attempt to force his way into their club or he could try and invade their territory next.
One owner, who likes Balsillie, says he will side with Bettman because “I support the process. If you don’t,” he adds, “you have chaos and anarchy.”
Besides, the owner asks, if Balsillie wants a team in Southern Ontario so badly, why doesn’t he buy the Buffalo Sabres? “[Owner] Tom Golisano would sell in a heartbeat,” he says.
And if a team in Southern Ontario is worth $300-million, the owner wonders, why should the co-founder of Research In Motion get that market in a sweetheart deal by buying the league’s worst financial basket case? “Why shouldn’t the NHL sell Southern Ontario as an expansion market and cut every owner a big cheque?”
much more (Shoalts is in Arizona trying to get some answers)
via Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,
Hockey Night In Canada was to get the official freeze out from the Washington Capitals last night at Mellon Arena.
CBC producers were told yesterday that cameras not only weren’t welcome in the team’s dressing room, but the public broadcaster would not be granted between-period interviews during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semi-final between the Caps and Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Caps still are upset that the CBC aired footage prior to Wednesday’s Game 3 that included strategic information on the team’s dressing room white board.
A team official said the ban is “indefinite” and will preclude CBC reporter Elliotte Friedman from interviewing players during intermissions both last night and for tonight’s Game 5.
update 9:32am, It is my understanding the Capitals now will allow intermission interviews.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Based on what has happened with Phoenix, the NHL should have learned three key lessons:
1. There is no benefit to be derived by intentionally shielding public eyes from the economic troubles of individual teams.
Bettman and his lieutenants are by nature either secretive or very protective. But it eats at the credibility of NHL leadership when, after months of blunt denials, the Coyotes prove to be swimming in precisely the overflowing pool of red ink that many reports suggested….
2. Treating the players’ union as a minor irritant rather than a true partner isn’t a productive strategy.
NHLPA head Paul Kelly can deny it all he wants, but the union knew what Balsillie was up to and was supportive. The last straw for Kelly was probably going to the GMs meetings in Naples, Fla., in March and having his presentation summarily dismissed.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
“Obviously, we’re in a deep hole,” said Zdeno Chara. “We all realize that. But you have to win four games to get to the next round. It’s 3-1 and it’s not over yet.”
That said, the Hurricanes made the Bruins look like bantams for most of last night, with little resistance from the Black and Gold. The once-proud Bruins, now looking like paper tigers, have buckled at the exact point where winners strut their best stuff.
“I think our team has probably picked the worst time of the year to play their worst hockey,” said coach Claude Julien. “When you look at the whole team right now, there isn’t anybody that’s played up to their potential. Obviously, out of synch. Our passes are not crisp. We’re not in synch. You can see the frustration on the players right now. It’s certainly getting worse.
“This is something that has to be resolved before the next game. We don’t have much time to do that. You’ve come too far in the season to all of a sudden say, ‘You know what? It’s not working.’ We’ve got to find solutions. That’s got to come from coaches. And it’s got to come from players.”
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.
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