Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Watchdog at Newsday,
For their eight games on FSNY, the Islanders are up spectacularly, from 0.07 percent of area homes last season at this point to 0.32.
The Rangers are up 102 percent on MSG compared to last year.
from David Amber at ESPN,
In this week’s Facing Off, the All-Star goalie tells us why he’s sick of talking about the departures of Chris Drury and Daniel Briere, what it was like watching his brother win the Stanley Cup last season and how he’s trying to make life better for cancer victims in his community.
Q: Is it hard to deal with (losing Drury & Briere)?
A: As a team, I’ve been trying to get rid of this built-in excuse that is kind of lingering over us. It can be a crutch to explain why we are losing. What it really comes down to is the guys in the locker room. We as a group need to step up and play. When I talk about those guys leaving, I think we need to move on. I still have a lot of respect for both of them. I learned a lot from them, even little things in practice. They are great leaders and have competitive spirits. I think having played with them will help me out in my career.
from the Christian Science Monitor,
Many sports fans have long believed that anyone could be a sportswriter – that anyone could sit up on press row, forgo cheering, and type up a few deep thoughts and pithy observations about the games professional athletes play.
These days in Washington, D.C., that widespread belief is being put to a test. To many sportswriters, it’s a scandal. To the owner of the Washington Capitals, it’s the future….
“Because of the way blogs are produced they can provide instant information and reactions that papers won’t publish until the following day,” Henschel says. “People want their information fast and, until recently, the bloggers were the only ones providing that service. I think it’s extremely telling that the Caps’ beat writers for the two major papers in D.C. have recently created their own blogs that can be updated as needed.”
In an unprecedented move, Minnesota Wild forward Marian Gaborik has apologized to fantasy hockey owners for playing in a defensive system.
“When developing this team it is obvious that management paid no attention to fantasy owners, but instead selfishly decided that winning games was more important,” Gaborik said in a “prepared statement.”
The Slovak scorer has 13 points in 12 games this season, including a game-winning goal against the Calgary Flames. For his efforts the Wild are off to a 9-6-2 start, but fantasy owners are frustrated that Gaborik is not a Top 5 in every offensive category.
“I will continue to help you out when I can,” Gaborik explained. “But I am afraid management is obsessed with giving Minnesota fans a Stanley Cup.”
from John Ondrasik at Sports Illustrated,
Over a pre-game beer in the Grand Reserve Room at Staples Center, I recently had the chance to talk to Hall of Fame-bound and current L.A. Kings President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille….
John: I actually went to Game One of [last season’s] Stanley Cup Final and I sat next to Mr. Bettman. It was all I could do to restrain myself [laughs] about some of the marketing choices the NHL’s made in the last few years. What specifically do you think the NHL could really do for outreach?
Luc: The biggest thing is you gotta find a way for people to see the game. It doesn’t matter what channel it’s on, it’s how you market and promote it. You gotta tell people to go to a certain station, but I think we need to work harder at it. Look at the NFL. The NHL’s never really done a good job of marketing players. People on the inside say that hockey players are the nicest guys, but then nobody talks about them….
from Rand Simon of the Hockey News,
Hockey fans everywhere had to be nervous about what the future holds for the game after Montreal Canadiens’ owner George Gillett was recently quoted as saying: “But it is still a very difficult business when you have your player payroll at 54 or 55 percent of your total revenue.”
If Gillett’s comments are an accurate reflection of what other owners think, then it is hard to be optimistic that a work stoppage can be avoided when the current CBA expires on Sept. 15, 2011 (the players have the right to extend the agreement by one year or terminate it two years early).
from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
Thrashers general manager Don Waddell told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Thursday morning that the Thrashers won’t be going outside the organization for a new coach this season. He spoke with the Atlanta Spirit ownership and they supported his plan to keep any replacement at coach within the organization during the season.
For now, Waddell will stay behind the bench and continue to lean on the services of assistants Brad McCrimmon and Steve Weeks. He said the search will reconvene after the season.
Yesterday I posted about the unique TV broadcast of the Kings/Ducks game on Tuesday.
You can get a bit of the feel of the game by watching the video, but do remember, the HD broadcast really enhanced the overall feel of the game.
via the St. Peterburg Times,
Pat Burns considers it fortunate that, living in Port Charlotte, he regularly attends Lightning games at the St. Pete Times Forum.
Watching Vinny Lecavalier turn into a superstar hasn’t been bad either, the former Devils coach said, and Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over the Hurricanes confirmed what he long has believed.
“If I was to start a hockey franchise and I had the first pick overall, I’d take Vinny,” Burns said. “I’ve said he is the top player in the NHL.”
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
“It was Cup or bust last year. Every practice, everything we did, that was our focus,” defenseman Sean O’Donnell said.
“And this year we haven’t been able to… call it human nature, call it whatever you want to call it, we haven’t been able to get that focus for extended periods of time. We’ve done it at times. We’ve been really good sometimes and looked like our old team. More often than not we haven’t.”
more (may req. reg.) on the Ducks…
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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