Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Puck The Media,
So this is an interesting one. According to SportsBusinessDaily (reg. required), NBC’s coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs had a mixed weekend. While the network’s Saturday coverage of Rangers/Capitals Game 2 drew a mere 1.0/3, flat with last year’s comparable Predators-Red Wings game, Sunday’s telecast of the Penguins-Flyers Game 3, drew a huge (for hockey) 1.7/4, NBC’s highest hockey ratings since the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day, and likely tied for the highest non-Finals/Winter Classic rating on NBC in the network’s history.
continue with some local numbers…
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Their fans will be partying outside the Pengrowth Saddledome, where a series of Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff impersonators – decked out in the home red jerseys of the Calgary Flames – will be getting fuelled up in the ‘Get Red Zone’ in advance of tonight’s third game of the Western Conference quarter-final.
The key, from the real players, inside the dressing room, will be to give those spectators something to celebrate.
The Flames go into tonight’s must-win game against the Chicago Blackhawks knowing the road back into a series in which they trail by two games is a long one.
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
In response to the rules and standard of enforcement changes four years ago, players can no longer hold, hook and interfere with rivals as much as before. As a result, NHL coaches, hockey’s top strategists, have responded with systems that resemble zones in basketball, all designed to keep shots coming from the perimeter or a considerable distance from the net.
To continue the basketball terminology, a lot of shots are coming from three-point range.
“The way the new rules were set up, there’s a lot less interference and it took away from the power of the defenseman,” Penguins defender Rob Scuderi said.
from the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs Blog at CBC,
Suspended Boston Bruins battering ram Milan Lucic was not necessarily disappointed in Colin Campbell’s decision to suspend him for Game 3 against the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night.
His disappointment lied elsewhere.
“I’m a little disappointed in myself,” Lucic said Monday in his first comments since the decision was handed down Sunday evening, “because our team’s done a really good job of being disciplined.”
Lucic, Bruins coach Claude Julien and general manager Peter Chiarelli all said they would have to live with Campbell’s decision, even if they don’t necessarily agree with it, and they each made a point of noting how difficult Campbell’s job can be.
continued with more Bruins and Canadiens talk…
via Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The New York Rangers had an interested observer sitting on the visitor’s bench as they took the ice for the pregame skate this morning.
Caps superstar Alex Ovechkin watched the Rangers practice before apparently being asked to leave by the home team.
The quote from Ovie on being asked to leave the bench during Rangers’ skate: “Because they’re afraid of me,” he said.
Rangers coach John Tortorella insisted after the skate he had no idea Ovechkin was there.
“Who? Oh, god, this is the first I’ve heard of it,” said Tortorella. “Ask me a question about the game, not that [expletive].”
On the Fly goes around the league to listen in on what some of the players and coaches are saying.
from John Ourand of SportsBusiness Journal,
MSG Network is the country’s first regional sports network to run virtual advertising during its live NHL games, a potentially important application to attract advertisers during the economic recession.
The New York-area RSN successfully tested the virtual advertising by superimposing Subway’s logo on the glass above the dasherboards during the final week of the NHL’s regular season. MSG Network was set to expand on the application during the Rangers’ first-round playoff series with the Washington Capitals.
continued and thanks to SBJ for releasing the paid link to KK readers…
from Rob Oiler of the Columbus Dispatch,
“I just sell it. What they do with it is up to them,” said Frank Gonzalez, owner of Frank’s Fish & Seafood Market on Trabue Road in Columbus.
What they do with it is the second hurdle. The common method is to sneak the octopus through the turnstiles by slipping it into your trousers, a technique that Gonzalez does not understand.
“I wouldn’t want something moving around down there when you’re moving around,” he said, smiling.
“They’ve been creative,” said Eric Granger, general manager of Nationwide Arena. “We’ve caught them Saran-wrapped to the body.”
Most contraband carriers get caught before they reach their seats, having failed to elude the authorities, who conduct bag searches and quick visuals under jerseys and around torsos for every game and event.
from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,
Here are five things I jotted into my playoff notebook while watching the Ducks put the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Sharks into a 2-0 series bind Sunday night at the Shark Tank.
1. Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller’s game has had few holes so far in the California classic. The Swiss-born stopper, who grabbed the net because longtime Ducks starter Jean-Sebastien Giguere was struggling, has been rock solid, turning back 77 of 79 San Jose shots….
2. The Sharks finished the regular season with the third-best power-play unit in the league, converting at a 24.2 percent clip. In the first two games of this first-round playoff series, that same power play has been a dud….
added 11:03am, from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
The Sharks have not been that bad in this series. They have been inspired for the most part (although they have had no ability to maintain momentum or keep any sustained pressure on the Ducks). Their goaltending has been excellent and Joe Thornton accomplished more in his first shift in Game 2 than he did in all of Game 1.
It’s certainly not fair that Jonas Hiller is playing better than he ever has in his life.
from Stan Fischler of Game On,
If the Washington Capitals aren’t nervous about becoming victims of a first-round sweep, they should be….
You may be wondering — now that the series is two-zip in New York’s favor — why Washington’s weaknesses haven’t been more actively advertised.
The answer is evident: so much hype has centered on Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green & Co. that the automatic tendency is to overlook the fact that hockey still is a team game.
Brandon Dubinsky & Alex OvechkinTherefore, if you have a sieve for a goaltender, an inept defense and generally weak support beyond Ovie and friends, the chances are that you’re going to be susceptible to defeat. And since Alexander The Great scored in neither of the first two games, Washington’s Achilles heels were egregiously exposed.
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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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