Kukla's Korner Hockey
note: make sure to read the whole release for Canadian broadcast figures and other interesting tidbits.
NEW YORK (April 20, 2010) – The 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs are off to a record-breaking start on VERSUS, becoming the highest-rated and most-watched on cable since the 2002 Stanley Cup Playoffs on ESPN/ESPN2. Growth on national telecasts across North America and on regional sports networks in the U.S., along with triple-digit increases to video starts on NHL.com and page views on NHL Mobile, highlight the NHL’s business momentum, further validating of the NHL’s strategy of engaging its fans through the creation of an ever-expanding hockey marketplace with multiple touch points.
I’ve stayed away from this topic except when it became news last year, but it looks as if it will be news again.
from William Houston of Truth & Rumours,
This is not really a surprise given the NHL’s irresponsible don’t-ask policy regarding performance enhancing drugs, but good for Sports Illustrated for producing a story that will appear in the April 26 edition.
Here is today’s SI release, under the headline: Did the NHL and Washington Capitals attempt to cover up an investigation related to steroids?
read the release from Sports Illustrated….
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
To be fair, Luongo hasn’t been uniformly horrendous in this series. And the team in front of him hasn’t helped him atone for his mistakes the way the Canadian Olympic team did at the 2010 Winter Games.
But let’s face reality for a second: Luongo is arguably the biggest reason the Canucks’ penalty killing has been so abysmal – 41.7 percent efficiency, by far the worst of any current playoff team – against the Kings.
Moreover, the 31-year-old has been thoroughly outplayed by 24-year-old Kings goalie (and playoff rookie) Jonathan Quick in the series and richly deserved to get pulled by Canucks coach Alain Vigneault after surrendering the fourth goal to L.A. on Monday (on just 16 shots against him).
It doesn’t matter what your excuse is – when you’re promoted as ‘The Guy’ and compensated accordingly, you shouldn’t be easily forgiven or excused for having the third-worst save percentage (.880, ahead of only Jose Theodore and Brian Elliott) of all goalies who’ve played in this post-season.
from Bruce Garrioch of Off The Posts,
Jonathan Cheechoo will play against the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight.
This is just stunning and shocking.
You can’t do better than this?
I discuss watching the NHL Conference Quarterfinal round at my NHL.com blog today.
Elimination games are near.
Just announced on NHL Live…
NEW YORK (April 20, 2010)—Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings, Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks and Jordan Staal of the Pittsburgh Penguins are the three finalists for the 2009-10 Frank Selke Trophy, awarded “to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game,” the National Hockey League announced today.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
To be honest, I would like to “propel” the NHL’s rule for disallowing kicked-in goals into outer space, never to be seen again.
But unlike a lot of Vancouver Canucks fans, I don’t believe anyone is out to get them. The Canucks are not a victim of a grand conspiracy so much as a proclivity to take too many penalties at a time when their penalty killing, and perhaps their goaltending, isn’t where it needs to be. And besides, the series, at 2-1 for Los Angeles, is far from over.
The fact that the man who made the no-goal decision last night on Daniel Sedin in Los Angeles is Mike Murphy, the NHL’s director of hockey operations who once played and coached in Los Angeles, has no bearing on anything unless you happen to wear a tin-foil hat.
added 11:36am, from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
There is only one move for the NHL to make, one move that will end any controversy about SkateGate from last night. The hockey operations department should publicly release the DVD sent out to teams two months ago. Mike Murphy told Ron MacLean, Mike Milbury and Kelly Hrudey that the video contained “an addendum” to rules governing kicking the puck into the net.
more plus 30 hockey points…
Four teams (Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Colorado) can go up 3-1 in their respectives series while either Chicago or Nashville will go up 2-1.
What do you think the team you follow will do tonight?
Also, note the Wings/Coyotes early start tonight.
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal answers some questions from readers and this one is about the Oliers signing Jagr…
I would say the organization is torn right now because they are in a rebuild. Do they really want to spend $4 million on a 38-year-old player who certainly isn’t the offensive threat he used to be?
That said, Jagr looked fine in the Olympics, but for getting clobbered in the open ice and knocked for a loop by Alexander Ovechkin. I did notice his cycling along the boards is a little shorter than it used to be. He runs out of gas a little quicker now, but what player his age doesn’t?
I do believe Jagr would be very good for Hemsky, who says he used to be a left-winger, so could move over if Jagr came on board. What Jagr reportedly wants however, is a package deal. He also wants the Oilers to sign Czech Olympian forward Roman Cervenka, who is an emerging star in the Czech League but on the smallish side and looked like he was over his head at the Olympics.
more plus other questions and answers…
from Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen,
They can’t decide whether to:
A) Continue to try to cover this slippery little dynamo, or,
B) Drop their sticks, raise their arms in the air, then sweep them downward to the ice while chanting as one: “We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy!”
Here’s the thing. For long stretches, the Senators do an admirable job of keeping Mr. Crosby under wraps. But it’s like getting baseball slugger Albert Pujols on three weak grounders his first three trips to the plate. You still have to pitch to him one last time, and chances are he is going to pound one over the wall.
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com