Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
Fair to say that there are weightier games on the schedule Wednesday night than the third of four regular season meetings between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals. Contests fraught with playoff implications like the Blues against the Red Wings or Rangers vs. Islanders. Real life and death stuff.
Hey, Precious may have been more critically acclaimed than The Hangover, but I know which one I’m tuning into 10 times out of 10.
Sure, Caps and Pens has turned into hockey’s answer to the Red Sox and Yankees and, as a regular season event, the perceived importance of these games supersedes whatever real meaning they might have.
BOSTON, MA – Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has signed defenseman Andrew Ference to a three-year contract extension through the 2013-14 NHL season. Per club policy, financial terms of the deal will not be disclosed.
“I don’t think anyone anticipated us having the season we’ve had. It’s really frustrating because everyone has the same goal in this League and it’s to win. When you can’t do it and you’ve been somewhere for a long time, it gets frustrating.”
“I believe in this team, I believe in this franchise and I believe in the ownership and management. I think we have good young players who will only get better in the upcoming seasons.”
-Rick Nash of the Columbus Blue Jackets, More from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com.
NEW YORK, N.Y. (March 24, 2010)- VERSUS, the fastest growing sports cable network in the country, earned a .7 National HH rating and averaged 622,000 viewers for the March 22 Detroit Red Wings/Pittsburgh Penguins game making it VERSUS’ highest-rated and most-watched NHL regular season game in network history and the most-watched NHL regular season telecast on cable since 2004. The game peaked at a .9 National HH rating and 760,000 viewers during the live telecast.
Monday night’s game surpassed VERSUS’ previous highs set by the Washington Capitals/Philadelphia Flyers game on October 27, 2009 in terms of HH rating (.6) and the Toronto Maple Leafs/Detroit Red Wings 2008/09 season-opening game on October 9, 2008 in average viewership (577,000).
Locally, Pittsburgh delivered a 6.7 HH rating and Detroit earned a 4.7 HH rating making VERSUS the top-rated cable network and also one of the top networks (among both cable and broadcast) in both cities.
from Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic,
The journey has led them through h-e-double hockey sticks. The shadow of death still lingers. But at long last, the Coyotes are back in the mainstream.
Muhammad Ali is on the bandwagon, spotted at numerous recent home games. Jerry Reinsdorf has resurfaced in negotiations to buy the franchise, an owner with real credibility and juice.
On the ice, this rejuvenated club has become the talk of the NHL, a plucky bunch threatening to claim the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
These Coyotes are shaping up to be one of the finer hockey stories in years. And if there actually is a happy ending for the state of Arizona, the irony will be delicious:
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
But the Toronto Maple Leafs come to town Thursday, and the Thrashers have a home-and-home against the Carolina Hurricanes this weekend. They remain just three points behind Boston with nine games to play. Philadelphia lost again Tuesday, and the Flyers are just four points ahead of Atlanta.
“We’ve got to let go of tonight pretty quick,” Hainsey said.
And perhaps the Thrashers once again will defy the odds, the skeptics and their own history and regroup, start a fresh charge toward an unexpected playoff berth.
Still, as the players headed for the showers and the Bruins headed toward their charter, it was hard not to think again that this was a franchise that came this close to something and somehow, once again, found itself so far from anywhere.
from Jim Jamieson of the Vancouver Province, T
heir best player and the guy they need to be consistently in the zone in the post-season had a meltdown here against the NHL’s worst team and admits he is searching for answers to his on-again, off-again play.
Franchise goalie Roberto Luongo allowed three goals of varying degrees of questionability in the Oilers’ first 10 shots as Edmonton took a 3-2 win on Tuesday.
“I made some good saves, but unfortunately all three of those goals I should have had,” said an emotional Luongo following a game where there was speculation he may be pulled for the eighth time this season.
“I’ve got to find the consistency in my game. Before, I might have a bad game every 10 or 12 games, now it’s every two or three games I’m getting one where I’m not at my best. I’ve got to get that consistency level back and game in and game out I have that swagger that you have to have.”
more on the loss to Edmonton…
from Stan Fischler of Game On,
The Maven wishes he had a dollar for all the premature Rangers “burials” prepared by the notoriously pessimistic media types, not to mention fans descended from the Nervous Nellie clan.
Granted, the 2-1 loss to the Bruins in Beantown on Sunday hardly is cause for cartwheels of joy but with a good two-and-a-half weeks left in the season, there’s still time for a revival in Rangerville.
If it’s going to happen, John Tortorella’s troops will have to get it into their heads that procrastination is the thief of time and, as Father Time would confirm, the games are running out on the Blueshirts.
from Dan Martin of the NY Post,
Neither Rick DiPietro nor anyone else with the Islanders is ready to say that DiPietro has played his last game of the season, but with the goalie still not permitted on the ice because of swelling in his surgically repaired right knee, the odds of him suiting up by April 11 seem remote.
But even if he winds up playing just eight games this year, DiPietro considers it a success.
“This isn’t a wasted year,’’ DiPietro said while the rest of the Isles prepared to play the Rangers at the Garden tonight. “I proved I could come back from a major surgery and play in the NHL and win hockey games. That was the main focus of this year. Does it [stink] that I haven’t been able to go out and play every single game, every single night, when we’re in the middle of the playoff [run]? Yeah.”
DiPietro has not played since Feb. 6 and he has been sidelined since first experiencing the swelling on March 1 after returning from the Olympic break.
Though questions of his durability persist—and no doubt will continue to do so into next year—DiPietro said he remains confident.
from Nate Rau and John Glennon of the Tennessean,
The Nashville Predators said Tuesday the team will reach its critical attendance mark of 14,000 fans per game, positioning the franchise to reap a $10 million revenue-sharing payment from the National Hockey League.
The announcement comes a little more than a week after the Predators’ owners avoided a potential lease default with the city by promising to waive their early termination rights for the next two years.
“As of (last) Saturday, we’re now over the 14,000 mark, and based on ticket sales and how everything is going, I don’t see it being an issue at all,” Predators president of business operations Ed Lang said
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