Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bill Shea of Crain’s Detroit Business,
Don’t look for Joe Vision this year.
The Detroit Red Wings say they couldn’t reach a deal to air Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals for fans gathered at Joe Louis Arena, as the team has done in the past during road playoff games.
“We will not hold ‘Joe Vision’ for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final as we were unable to secure the broadcast rights to show this game in the arena,” said Karen Cullen in an e-mail to Crain’s today. She’s the vice president of corporate communications for Ilitch Holdings Inc., the central business entity of team owners Mike and Marian Ilitch.
Here is my question, the Wings started promoting JoeVision yesterday on local radio, did someone mess up somewhere?
added 3:28pm, via Terry Foster of the Detroit News,
NBC representative Brian Walker did not immediately return a phone message for comment, but NHL media relations vice president Frank Brown confirmed the situation while expressing sympathy to Red Wings fans.
“We are very much in tune and very sensitive to the great experience that fans have by coming to a great venue and watching a great hockey game,” Brown said. “That said we need to be sensitive to the business end of things and that business is ratings driven.”
“Being afraid to lose is not that bad of a mind set. If you’re afraid, it means you’re going to do everything in your power not to lose.”
-Maxime Talbot of the Pittsburgh Penguins. More on the Penguins from Scott Burnside of ESPN.
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
The Lightning’s flirtation with Jacques Lemaire has come to an end, and apparently on good terms. Tampa Bay wanted to hire the former Wild coach as a senior consultant. But Lemaire said on Monday he has told Lightning GM Brian Lawton he has another offer that has gained his interest and which he is pursuing.
Q. I’m sure you were, when you were looking ahead during the season, you thought of the possibility that Helm and Ericsson would play a role in the playoffs. But one, did you anticipate they would play this big a role? And where is Helm’s game now compared to where it was when he helped you last year in the postseason?
COACH BABCOCK: Well, you’re right, I envisioned that maybe both guys would be here and never really thought about Big E playing so much just because we thought we’d have Lils. And, you know, that wouldn’t have worked out that way, probably, because he wouldn’t have been given the opportunity like he was in the regular season.
Helmer was very comfortable with, I mean, he made our team in training camp. With the salary cap we just thought this was better for him. And I never could have thought that he’d be this good. There’s no way. We brought him up in the regular season. We played him in the three hole on purpose. He was good, but not like this. And he’s been very good for us.
With the way things happened for us with Kopecky getting injured, he’s a physical guy for us. He’s getting six finished checks a game and we needed more of that.
So with Pavel injured, what happens is you move someone else up who normally finishes checks for you. Now you become a different looking hockey club. So Helmer has done a real good job to provide puck pressure, physicality, and give us a good face?off presence in the three hole. He’s been good on the penalty kill. So all in all he’s been excellent. The two of them have been great. When you look at Abby and Leino, they did a good job for us, too.
from Ben Wright at AtlantaThrashers.com,
It’s clear that that the Thrashers have embraced a youth movement, but veterans will still play an important role moving forward. The trick, as Executive Vice President and General Manager Don Waddell stated Monday morning, is to have the right veterans.
And that’s why forward Marty Reasoner, who set a new career high with 14 goals in 2008-09 in his first year as a Thrasher while playing a defensive role was re-signed for two more seasons with Atlanta. The 32-year-old from Honeoye Falls, NY led the Thrashers with six short-handed points (tied for fifth in NHL) and was the leader among Atlanta forwards in short-handed ice-time.
“He’s a very smart player,” explained Waddell. “We can play him in all situations. He’s very smart defensively and he’s an excellent penalty-killer. Even though our penalty-killing as a team wasn’t great, if you look at his stats he’s one guy who did a really good job when he was on the ice.”
Q. I how much do you relish these opportunities under these circumstances of going into an opponent’s arena when you know they’re going to be all over you from the first drop of the puck?
CHRIS OSGOOD: It’s fine. I’m not so sure they’re going to be all over us. But our goal is for them not to be. Our goal is for us to kind of take it to them this time. We learn from our mistakes.
I think the last time we went in there, I don’t think we were physically fatigued in Game 3, just mentally we weren’t as sharp as we usually are. So this time we’re going in fully rested and ready to go. So I expect us to play our best game. I really do.
Q. How good was it to have the day off? What did you do, and what was it like to get out there and get a spirited little workout in?
CHRIS OSGOOD: Yesterday just took a huge rest. Watched some TV. Watched the Tigers play. Took a two and a half hour nap. Haven’t gotten a lot. I’m banking some sleep here. I’ve been pretty busy. Just watched the basketball game. Just pretty much rested all day. Today felt a little stiff when I first got out there, obviously. But got loosened up as we went along. So it was good to get the kinks out today and feel sharp for tomorrow.
Q. What do you think it is about home ice advantage in the series that’s allowed every team to win the home game? Is it that important a match-up series in your mind?
SIDNEY CROSBY: No, I mean, it’s the way things have played out. But I think every game has been close up to the last game. So, you know, why, I don’t really know. But I think all the games have been fairly close.
Q. Safe to say based on that though, if you’re going to be facing elimination game to be doing it for the first time in this series on home ice is a lot more favorable?
SIDNEY CROSBY: Yeah, either way you’re going to be desperate whether you’re at home or on the road. And they’re going to want to finish things off. It’s the same for them, too. So I don’t think it has any bearing at this point. Both teams have had to win both at home and on the road to get to this point anyway. So I don’t think anybody really reads into it too much at this point.
Q. Can you address just the advantage that the home team has had winning every game in this series? Are the match-ups that critical in this series? Does that have anything to do with it? Or what is your estimation of why the home team’s got everything?
COACH BYLSMA: I don’t believe it’s the match-ups. You know, that does help out, does maybe - easier to get into your rhythm with your team and what your players are expecting because you get to make the final change.
But I think you’re talking about two teams that are playing pretty hard with skilled players, and it’s even enough that the home ice is an advantage for you.
I mean, playoffs it’s not always the case that home ice is a strict advantage or much easier to play at, but we played two pretty good games in Game 1 and Game 2, they were better. They were better in and around their net. They got those wins. We came home and played two pretty good games. And we got the advantage with two victories. And Game 5, they obviously were much better than us, and it’s that close.
Now we have the task of having to come back here and use the home ice advantage, use the energy of our fans, and use our surroundings to draw even in the series and prove that we’re that close.
from the News & Observer,
An announcement on the Hurricanes’ coaching staff could be made in the next few days, general manager Jim Rutherford said today, and it is expected the staff will remain intact.
Rutherford met last week with team owner Pater Karmanos, Jr., in Detroit.
“We’d like to keep everything together and the way it was at the end,” Rutherford said of the staff.
from Andrew Potter at MACLEANS,
Not all beards are created equal. Players like Detroit’s Dan Cleary or Maxime Talbot from Pittsburgh seem more like dispossessed men on skates than professional athletes. Sidney Crosby still looks like a prepubescent with alopecia. But there’s a naturalness to facial hair, in all its forms, that speaks to the fundamental authenticity of the display.
From the peacock’s tail to the Porsche, masculine status display throughout the animal kingdom tends to be a bit of a bluff. But NHLers stand apart from showy birds, middle-aged men, and recession-era rappers, who have lately started substituting cubic zirconia for real diamonds in their increasingly ostentatious bling. There’s no faking the playoff beard. In an era where technology too often seems to have triumphed over athleticism, with the players’ unique physicality constrained by the smooth, hard contours of lycra stretched over armoured plastic, the NHL playoffs signal an atavistic return to the sport’s battle-torn origins, archetypal wild men fighting it out on a frozen wasteland….
All of which leaves regular guys in a particularly sad and lonely condition. It also might help explain why growing a beard is becoming increasingly popular for hockey fans once their team enters the playoffs: it allows them to participate in one of the last symbols of male solidarity.
Not every man can shoot, skate, or throw a bodycheck a tenth as well as the players on the ice, but the one thing they all have in common is that they are men. But where there’s solidarity there is competition, and some men may find a minor satisfaction in knowing that even if they can’t play like their heroes, for a few weeks every spring, they can look like them.
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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