Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bruce Arthur of the National Post,
It has been a long road to this place. Fedorov was the first Russian player to defect to the National Hockey League, in Seattle on a national team trip in 1990; 19 years, one Hart Trophy, three Stanley Cups and one disputed marriage to Anna Kournikova later, he has now lived in the United States for almost as long as he lived in the former Soviet Union. To other Russians, Fedorov is a significant figure.
“I think he is a legend, you know?” Penguins defenceman Sergei Gonchar says.
“People forget,” says Pittsburgh’s Ruslan Fedotenko, “how tough it was to leave.”...
“[Russian players] come to this country and obviously, we took some—I want to put it so people understand it nicely—we took some, let’s say, top positions in every team because of our talent, and coaches want us to perform, and it’s never been easy,” Fedorov says.
For all the superstar talent that envelops their dressing room, when it comes playoff time, one Detroit Red Wing stands above the crowd:
Right-winger Johan Franzen.
The man they call “The Mule” turns into a thoroughbred during the post-season, and he’s a big reason why the Wings find themselves deadlocked 2-2 with the Anaheim Ducks in their Western Conference semifinal series heading into Game 5 Sunday at Joe Louis Arena.
Franzen scored twice in Detroit’s 6-3 Game 4 victory, adding another chapter to his growing Stanley Cup legacy.
He has four goals with two assists in this series, and is fourth in playoff scoring with 12 points.
Eight of his 23 Stanley Cup goals have been game-winners and he’s scored 19 in his last 24 playoff games.
continued and other notes from this series…
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Sources tell TSN Pittsburgh defenceman Sergei Gonchar suffered an apparent knee injury and will miss the next several weeks, perhaps the remainder of the season….
The National Hockey League has ruled out the notion of supplemental discipline which has prompted reaction from Gonchar’s representative, JP Barry.
‘‘We now have Exhibit A of the extreme double-standard that exists in the NHL’s approach to discipline. Alex clearly cuts back with his knee after missing his check with devastating results. But of course, because it’s Alex, its all Sergei’s fault,’’ Barry told TSN.
from Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun,
Goalie Nikolai Khabibulin has hardly been under siege in the Chicago Blackhawks NHL playoff series against the Vancouver Canucks.
Four games into the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal, he’s faced only 83 shots. That’s good news for both him and the Blackhawks because his save percentage is a dismal .867. Imagine if the Canucks actually tested him 35 times in a game. Even 30….
They understand they’ll have to be vastly improved in the shot department if they intend to prevail in tonight’s pivotal Game 5. The series is tied 2-2.
“Chicago is a pretty good group and they play smart defensively,” Canucks winger Alex Burrows said yesterday. “They always have three guys in the neutral zone and they have good backside pressure. Once we get the puck deep, their defencemen are able to skate it and move it.
“I think we have to have that shooting mentality. That’s how you’re successful in playoffs.”
The Ducks participated in an upbeat practice today and James Wisniewski did participate. Wisniewski has not been cleared to play yet but will be seeing a doctor before game time tomorrow.
Ryan Getzlaf did not skate but participated in off-ice workouts at the arena this morning.
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…
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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