Kukla's Korner Hockey
via the Bruins Blog at the Boston Globe,
Patrice Bergeron has been cleared for full-contact practice. He is on the ice this morning and taking part in battle drills.
GM Peter Chiarelli said Bergeron will not play in Game 1.
from SCF PressPoint,
CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox and Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League (NHL) today announced a unique partnership between the two sports organizations. The new marketing partnership, one-of-a-kind among sports franchises, gives the Blackhawks a significant presence within U.S. Cellular Field, home of the White Sox, during the 2008 season.
Throughout this season the White Sox will incorporate the Blackhawks during in-game activities, including a “Shoot the Puck” competition held once a game atop the home dugout. The White Sox also will hold “Blackhawk Night” at the ballpark on Saturday, August 23. That night will include appearances from Blackhawks players and legends, and fans will have the opportunity to purchase Blackhawks game tickets for 2008-2009.
from Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet,
Last Oct. 3, I predicted an Ottawa-San Jose Stanley Cup final. OK, so I feel half good about that one.
Scratch Ottawa, insert Montreal. There’s my Cup final pick—with the Sharks winning it all.
I went 12-3 in picking last year’s 15 playoff series so my guess is that I’m going to be a disaster this time around. With that being said, here’s what I’m thinking:...
In the end, the gaping hole in skill level on these two teams will show up, but it won’t be as easy as many believe.
Prediction—Wings in seven.
NEW YORK – A season of suspenseful races and outstanding performances on the ice was accompanied by historic levels of attendance at National Hockey League arenas in 2007-08. Total attendance of 21,236,255 and the per-game average of 17,265 set records in each category and marked the third consecutive season of growth.
“Our fans have outdone themselves, and everyone at the National Hockey League is extremely appreciative,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “This unprecedented support is only the latest affirmation that our fans are the best fans anywhere.”
from the Washington Times,
This whole deal for the Washington Capitals — the sellout crowds, the crazy flurry of wins to finish the season and a return to the postseason — started with a fire sale.
Owner Ted Leonsis and general manager George McPhee decided during the 2003-04 season that the Caps were not a Stanley Cup contender and — with a possible work stoppage looming — it was time to start over. So McPhee went about taking apart the roster he had put together, sending away his best players for prospects, draft picks and salary relief.
“The process is hard to go through, but when the ownership back you up like they did, you feel like you can take your time and build it right,” McPhee said.
from Marty Henwood at Hockey.com,
Over 150,000 minutes of regular season hockey to separate the best 16 in the league and let 14 others know, yes, that they just wasted six months of their lives.
No one knows what is going to happen over the course of the next nine weeks or so, but two things are certain. There will be at least another 60 games, and perhaps as many as 105, played before Gary Bettman hands the hallowed Stanley Cup to one of 16 captains sometime in June.
Right now, it is nothing more than a guessing game.
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
It will be an upset for the Flames to again knock out the Sharks, especially when you consider how they finished the season in a middling manner.
But don’t count them out just yet, Keenan said.
“We’ll draw from our experiences this season and our playoff experience in the past to be ready.”
from the Daily News Journal,
The Nashville Predators’ mad dash to the finish, which resulted in a fourth consecutive playoff berth, has made general manager David Poile the leading candidate — in the eyes of many — for Executive of the Year, and understandably so.
Keep in mind, though, the team that Poile cobbled together this season is not the one he wanted. The uncertainty and financial restrictions that preceded the sale of the franchise forced his hand with regard to players such as Scott Hartnell, Kimmo Timonen and Tomas Vokoun, all of whom were traded, as well as Paul Kariya and Peter Forsberg, free agents who walked with no effort having been made to re-sign them.
ESPN has set up a 2008 NHL Playoff section, with all kinds of information fans may be seeking out.
Plus a breakdown of each first round series.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
But now, two years later, beginning on Wednesday, Jagr will get a second chance at the Devils.
Yes, the conflict between Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Brodeur will be fascinating. And yes, there will be delicious subplots featuring Gomez, Sean Avery, Zach Parise and Patrik Elias, whose shootout goal was decisive in his team’s 3-2 victory over the Blueshirts at the Rock yesterday that gave the Devils first-round home-ice.
Still, the outcome of this series between this matched set of flawed opponents is almost certainly going to be determined by whether Jagr can dominate the Devils over seven games, the way he dominated for shifts at a time while logging 24:12 yesterday while skating on lines with both Gomez and Brandon Dubinsky.
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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