Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Al Cimaglia at ESPN,
I am not sure why some had the notion the Blackhawks were going to overwhelm the Red Wings with their speed. Detroit has a very good skating club—as does Chicago, but no team skates faster than the puck can travel. The Red Wings are an older group, but age doesn’t prevent them from passing the puck as well or better than any other team in the NHL.
Much of the Wings’ fast play starts from their defensive zone. Same with the Hawks. The Wings were able to get out of their defensive zone more efficiently on Sunday and then moved the puck through the neutral zone quickly. Detroit won the battle between the bluelines as the Hawks could not gain speed for their attack during most of the game.
Another false impression in my view is the Hawks played the Wings’ style. Both teams want a fast pace and strive to control the puck. They have similar styles. In fact, the Wings played the Blackhawks’ style better than the Hawks. Detroit managed the puck, especially near the bluelines better than the Hawks.
via Puck The Media,
NBC’s coverage of Game 1 of the Detroit/Chicago series drew a 2.0/5 on Sunday. That rating marks the best ever rating for an NHL On NBC broadcast, excluding obviously the Stanley Cup Finals and Winter Classic.
Steve at PTM hopes to have local numbers later today, so check back for those.
added 1:18pm, The local numbers are in for Chicago and Detroit. People were watching in Detroit and Chicago. See the numbers by clicking the above link.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
This prompts me to ponder some moves this summer that actually would make sense:
1. New York Islanders drafting Viktor Hedman: Originally my thought was that it made sense for the Islanders to grab John Tavares to give the team a premium young scorer to build around, but the more I explore the draft possibilities the more obvious it becomes that 6-6 Swedish defenseman Hedman would be the best choice.
10. Tampa Bay Lightning owners maintaining a low profile: It’s fair to say that the new Lightning ownership gained goofball status last summer thanks to a series of moves in which they seemed to be playing fantasy hockey. Since Brian Lawton became GM, there seems to be more stability. In the name of credibility, it would make sense for this organization to be more buttoned up this summer.
“They got a nice hockey club and, as we sit here and watch them, we’re watching them grow. We can’t wait for them to get into cap trouble, to tell you the truth. When you’re young like (the Blackhawks), and players are playing for cheap, you can have an abundance. But pretty soon, they’re not playing for cheap, and then, that’ll help us out.”
Wings Coach Mike Babcock on WDFN this morning. Listen to the interview at Mlive.
from Dan Wood of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
The Detroit Red Wings, in great position to win a second consecutive Stanley Cup championship and fifth in 12 seasons, have often attributed much of their success to the fact that numerous players have taken less money than they might have received elsewhere in order to remain in Hockeytown….
A number of current Ducks players who stand to become unrestricted free agents July 1 are in position to make similar financial concessions that could help the organization build on this season’s impressive playoff run that ended with Thursday’s 4-3 loss at Detroit in Game 7 of the second round.
Four key members of the Ducks — defensemen Scott Niedermayer and Francois Beauchemin, center Todd Marchant and right wing Rob Niedermayer — are set for unrestricted free agency. As players went their separate ways Saturday, at least two expressed potential interest in the idea of taking less money to remain with the Ducks.
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
Former Avs star Patrick Roy has been offered Granato’s job and is mulling over the offer, according to multiple NHL sources who are close to Roy. The Hall of Fame goalie could not be reached for comment Sunday night, and the Avs had no comment about the possibility of Roy replacing Granato. Granato has not yet been told he’s out of a job.
added 2:15pm, from TSN,
Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy has denied a report in the Denver Post that stated he had been offered the head coaching job of the Colorado Avalanche.
“I never received an offer . . . but anyway, I’m not commenting,” Roy told French language website SRC.ca.
from Craig Harris and Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic,
Ray Artigue, executive director of the MBA sports-business program at Arizona State University, said being a non-playoff team and playing in Glendale makes it difficult to regularly attract fans throughout metro Phoenix, especially those on the other side of the Valley.
Moyes, through a spokesman, declined to comment. But Jeff Shumway, the team’s former chief executive, said the Coyotes mounted numerous efforts to stimulate interest, were competitive much of last season, but still couldn’t attract fans and lost millions.“At this point in time, hockey isn’t financially viable here,” said Shumway, who ran the team from April 2006 to January 2009.
He said an NHL official told him a team needs to make the playoffs four out of five years to generate a loyal following….
Unable to meet minimum paid attendance and revenue-growth figures in 2007-08, the NHL docked the team at least $3.6 million, or 25 percent of a full revenue share. This past season, the Coyotes again failed to meet those standards and received a 40 percent cut, or more than a $6 million reduction, according to Shumway.
The NHL last year told the Coyotes to “do whatever they needed to do” to hit the minimum requirements and receive a full share, Shumway said. The team, through an accounting move, then sold Moyes about 1,000 tickets a game and deducted the cost from the millions of dollars in loans he provided the team.
Daly said the NHL, which has contended it has been in control of the team since November, became aware of the situation in January and told the Coyotes to stop.
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
So no matter how well the Hurricanes play defensively, they’re still going to need Ward in this series. The Penguins are going to get their chances. Ward is going to have to stop them.
Those are difficult circumstances for a goaltender, but they are the kinds of circumstances in which Ward really thrives. He’s a big-game goalie, and he showed that in the regular season when he denied Crosby on a breakaway and Malkin on a penalty shot in a 3-2 Carolina overtime win on April 4.
At 25, he has never lost a playoff series, and watching him shine in the playoffs after a two-year absence drives home what a missed opportunity those two seasons really were for the Hurricanes.
Because with Ward in net, there’s always a chance. Had the Hurricanes made it in 2007 or 2008, they might have gone as far as this team has. But they didn’t, and if anything, that has sharpened Ward’s resolve.
from Herb Gould of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Because it’s Chicago and Detroit, it’s hard not to think about a young Bulls team led by Michael Jordan needing to conquer Isiah Thomas and the NBA champion Pistons before winning championships. Those Bulls had to be frustrated by Detroit before maturing into winners, and these Hawks probably need more time, too.
The problem is, now that they have handled Calgary and Vancouver, it’s only natural to want more. It’s easy for hungry fans to rip into Kane, who followed up his hat trick against the Canucks on Monday with a dud at Joe Louis Arena. Nobody could make Kane feel any worse than he already felt, though.
‘‘We tried to make a statement,’’ the boyish Kane said glumly. ‘‘This was a big game for us. We had the start we wanted. We got off to a 1-0 lead. But they took it to us the second half of the game.’‘
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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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