Kukla's Korner Hockey
NEW YORK (June 9, 2010) –Heading into tonight’s crucial Game 6, the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs and Final have been a success by every measure with landmark TV ratings nationally and locally, huge gains across all digital platforms and growth in non-traditional markets. That success has been mirrored with impressive results for NHL merchandise sales and a new playoff attendance mark being set.
from Jennifer Delgado of Chicago Breaking Sports,
Blackhawks fans are hopping on planes to Philadelphia and snatching up whatever tickets they can find for tonight’s game, hoping to see their team take the Stanley Cup.
On Tuesday, brokers said they received a flurry of calls from Chicago fans wanting to buy Game 6 tickets. Upper level seats at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia are starting at $400, local ticket brokers said. First-row seats on the glass are as much as $3,500.
“Everyone’s flocking down to Midway Airport to catch these flights (to Philadelphia) today,” said Paul Brown, owner of AAA Tickets in Chicago. “We’re hoping it comes down to Game 7, but we’ll see what shakes out.”
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers,
Some of you are sick of (Doug) MacLean. You wish he’d go away—farther away than Toronto. If that’s the case, please carry on to previous posts here on Puck-rakers. Lots of information in the last 24 hours.
For the rest of you who may find amusement, embarrassment or even a kernel of truth in what MacLean says, here’s the rant:
“I’ve talked to lots of people about the interview process in Columbus. You have to keep it in perspective. The president of the team gets all of his hockey information from Google. He Googles everything, and that’s where he gets his hockey knowledge. I mean, Scott Howson … I like Scott Howson, I think he’s a good guy.
NBC spent twenty minutes or so before the opening face-off on inane filler, including, most egregiously, the now regular segment in which three of their commentators (Pierre McGuire, Mike Milbury, and Jeremy Roenick, who may be the three most blustery figures in the game, which is presumably why NBC has them on) don their skates and ostensibly reënact a key play from the previous game. Except they don’t really mimic the original play; they shed very little light on it. It’s just an opportunity for them to make self-congratulatory, jocky wisecracks that play on their personas as (former) pros and (failed) coaches…
-Nick Paumgarten of The New Yorker where you can read more.
from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,
Let’s get right down to brass tacks. Who wins the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2010?
Based on the Final series between the Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks it has become a somewhat surprisingly tough choice.
As often happens in a playoff series, the top scorers have been somewhat negated by the checking presence of the opposition. In 2010, though, secondary scoring has taken hold, producing a two-fold effect, namely a surprising list of candidates and not as much consideration for the goalies, who have been on the receiving end of a high-scoring series.
Keeping that in mind, here are three candidates from each team who could walk off with the Conn Smythe—one of the coolest trophies around, by the way—and also a look at whether Michael Leighton or Antti Niemi could be contenders.
Jarret Stoll helped to enhance the faceoffs in NHL 11. Take a look at the behind the scenes video…
• Teams hosting Game 6 trailing the Stanley Cup Final 3-2 have posted a 10-14 record since the best-of-seven format was introduced in 1939. Of the 10 clubs who forced a seventh and deciding game, three went on to capture the Stanley Cup (Detroit in 1950, Montreal in 1971, Pittsburgh in 2009).
The Flyers enter Game 6 with a seven-game winning streak at Wachovia Center and a League-best 9-1 home record in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs. They went 2-0 against New Jersey in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal, 2-1 vs. Boston in the Conference Semifinal, 3-0 vs. Montreal in the Conference Final and are 2-0 against Chicago in the Stanley Cup Final, outscoring opponents 37-20.
• In six home starts, Flyers goaltender Michael Leighton is 6-0 with two shutouts, a 1.48 goals-against average and .949 save percentage, stopping 169 of 178 shots.
from Gene Principe of Sportsnet,
Let’s start with the Chicago Blackhawks since they are just one win away from having it happen. If the Hawks defeat the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 6 on Wednesday night and Jonathan Toews gets handed the trophy that’s the hardest to win in sports, who should he hand it off to next?
Should it be Marian Hossa? He’s just a first-year Hawk but everyone knows he’s at his third consecutive final and doesn’t have anything but a second-place ribbon to show for it. He might be a sentimental favourite. However, wouldn’t Patrick Kane be a logical choice? He and Toews are the Hawks’ top two players and should be anchors on this team for a long time to come….
For the Flyers, who would be second in command if Mike Richards were to get his hands on the chalice for hockey greatness? Does he go with the teamates who wear the ‘A’ on their jerseys or, again, with the longest-serving player whose never won the Cup? If that were the case, then Ian Laperriere would be hands down the choice at almost 1,100 games. That would be a tough one to pass up….
from Chuck Gormley of Flyer Files,
Danny Briere has one of the biggest games of his life tonight. Preparation includes strict concentration and countless practice hours. But in addition to all the hype and excitement felt by this popular NHL star, Briere couldn’t help but of think of children in need.
“I’ve been extremely lucky,” began Briere, “I am doing what I love to do, and playing in a series every hockey player dreams of. I wanted to share this moment, not only with my friends and family, but with a few kids that are in a need of a reason to smile!”
So, with that in mind, Briere arranged for three children who are being treated for cancer at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, to attend Game 6 tonight in a luxury suite. The children, ages 2, 11 and 17, will be joined by their families and Danny Briere’s parents.
from Bryan Mullen of the Tennessean,
Hamhuis, 27, made $2.5 million in 2009-10 and soon could become an unrestricted free agent. His contract is set to expire June 30, and several teams are expected to show interest and offer more money if Nashville doesn’t sign him before the deadline.
“I think it’s going to be very difficult,” Poile said. “But I’d like to continue having conversations this week and possibly reach out to Dan next week before we take our final position.”
Hamhuis’ agent, Wade Arnott, said discussions have been positive and ongoing.
“The club had always advised Dan and myself that they would address his situation at season’s end, after they had a chance to meet as a group in management and with ownership,” Arnott said. “I believe they’ve met among management and have some ongoing meetings with ownership. I expect to have more positive dialogue leading up to July 1, if it gets that far.”
Should Hamhuis, who just completed his sixth season with Nashville, leave town, there will be more tough calls to make.
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