Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Dallas Morning News,
We may never know how many people really eyeballed Brenden Morrow’s series-clinching goal at 1:24 a.m. Monday. But we do know how many Dallas-Fort Worth homes were tuned into the game on Fox Sports Net Southwest from 1:15 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.
The television rating for that quarter hour was a 3.9 with an 18 share. The rating translates into 94,988 homes, according to Nielsen Media Research. The 18 share means that 18 percent of all homes with televisions in use were tuned to the final minutes of the Stars’ 2-1, four-overtime victory over the San Jose Sharks.
Overall, the game scored a Stars playoff-high 4.4 average rating (107,166 homes), with an 11 share from 8 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. It peaked in the third period from 10:30 p.m. to 10:45 p.m. with a 6.0 rating (146,136 homes).
more TV talk…
from Greg Logan of Newsday,
For the past 20 years, Chris Botta helped the Islanders navigate through a public-relations minefield replete with revolving owners and controversial personnel decisions that threatened their existence as a viable NHL franchise. But that relationship ended yesterday when the Islanders’ vice president of media relations announced his resignation for personal reasons. “It was my dream job, and it’s been an incredible ride,” he said yesterday. “But it’s time to end it.”
from Carl Steward of Inside Bay Area,
Seriously, at this point is extraordinary effort enough from the Sharks if it doesn’t deliver victory and playoff advancement beyond the first round?
Blunt answer: No way, San Jose. This conference semifinal “Groundhog Day” elimination routine is getting old for fans, and it should be getting embarrassing for the Sharks, who are becoming the Atlanta Braves of hockey. Of course, the Braves won a World Series and got to a couple more, so maybe they’re not even on that level.
Something significant has to change with these guys, because mere minor tinkering to achieve the same sour result next year is foolhardy, and that’s precisely what will happen if the Sharks try to maintain the status quo. They’ll still get the sellouts, they’ll still win their share of games, but they’ll never get a sniff of the Stanley Cup.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
“I was writing my will that first night,” Avery told The Post by phone yesterday. “I was in bad shape. I was nervous. I was trying not to think about it.
“I thought I was done.”...
Avery said he was in “such bad shape the first couple of days,” that he had no idea that one publication reported that he’d suffered cardiac arrest and was found unconscious in a Manhattan hotel room before being rushed to the hospital at 3:30 the morning following the game.
“Nobody said anything, but then it kind of funneled through,” said Avery. “To make up lies, it just shows the credibility of the people who would put that stuff out there and then try to stand by it even when it’s proven false.
“That anyone would print something that’s just false . . . I don’t know why people have the need to lie about me.”
from Lynn Zinser of the New York Times,
Hossa will be a question mark whenever Pittsburgh’s season ends. The Penguins have other unrestricted free agents to consider re-signing, including defenseman Brooks Orpik and forward Ryan Malone. They also have to ensure they have future cap room to keep their young players. Malkin will be due for a new contract — presumably a long and large one — after next season.
If the Penguins do not have enough money to offer Hossa, who is making $7 million this season, the Rangers may be in the bidding for him. He is a strong two-way player and seems to be the kind of finisher the Rangers could use on a line with center Scott Gomez.
If the Rangers keep him from returning to Pittsburgh, they would take a chunk out of the lineup of a division rival, one that looks as if it will be formidable for years to come.
Scott Burnside of ESPN breaks down both the East and the West Conference Finals…
The Flyers, who won five of eight matchups against Pittsburgh during the regular season, will try to establish a physical tone with the skilled Penguins, who have shown a surprising level of grit of their own. Both teams have displayed timely, balanced scoring, superb defensive play and stellar goaltending. Oh, and did we mention they can’t stand each other? Stay tuned.
The Detroit Red Wings, meanwhile, struggled midway through their opening-round series against Nashville but took advantage of woeful netminding by Jose Theodore and cruised to a four-game sweep of the Colorado Avalanche in the West semis. The Stars, who have terrific depth down the middle, now have an identity they lacked the past three or four postseasons. Marty Turco, fresh off a 61-save effort, will represent a much sterner test than the Avs, or he should.
Still, the Red Wings seem to be firing on all cylinders and will be very difficult to knock out.
Geez, ESPN, why don’t you just come out and say you don’t like long overtimes.
But can there be such a thing as too much overtime, SportsNation? Sure, it’s amazing that the Stars and Sharks went to four overtimes before a winner emerged, but did you stick around to watch the end? And is it fair to have such critical games determined by sudden-death?
Looks like true hockey fans are responding too…
Here are the final confirmed times and dates of the Eastern and Western Conference Finals.
Below, a couple updated brackets people might find useful.
From Jamie Samuelsen at the Detroit Free Press,
The Red Wings are halfway to a Stanley Cup. While there are many candidates, who’s your Red Wings playoff MVP?
Ken Holland. Seriously, before we get to the question, let’s give the Wings GM a little round of applause here. Talk about Mission: Impossible.
Ken, here’s your job. Take a team full of veterans and full of huge salaries and pare it down to fit in the new financial limitations of the NHL. And while you’re doing this, we’d really appreciate it if you could still contend for Stanley Cups and develop world class stars that the fans can root for. No pressure or anything. Thanks Kenny. Good luck. I’m sure all championships are satisfying and if the Wings win, Holland would say that this ranks right up there with the other rings. But down deep, I’ll bet you that this one will be a little more special. 1997 was great and 1998 was emotional because of the limousine accident. But Holland would have to, in an honest moment, tell himself that this was his best work.
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
Now that the San Jose Sharks are gone, you can be sure of one thing. Coach Ron Wilson won’t be far behind.
Wilson had been hanging by a hair all season long, even though to the casual viewer, the Sharks appeared to be forging a first-rate season.
In fact, Wilson barely made it back after last year’s postseason collapse (hey, in San Jose, anything short of a Stanley Cup is seen as a collapse.)
On its heels, the Sharks held one of the longest exit interviews in the history of hockey, and every player was required to give full and frank views of the team, its future, and its coach. The coach didn’t fare very well.
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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