Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Joe McDonald of ESPN,
There's a growing concern among players about the ice conditions around the NHL.
In an attempt to help fix the issues, the NHL and NHLPA Playing Environment subcommittee recently initiated a joint project to better identify and resolve ice-condition issues throughout the league. This process began on Feb. 1.
Players and on-ice officials are asked to fill out a one-page form after every game in order to quickly rate the ice. Players rate the ice either excellent, good or fair based on the three periods. The survey also asks is the ice hard and fast, and does it have good glide, or is it chippy, soft or sluggish.
Players are also asked whether or not the shoveling of snow during television timeouts is suitable or not.
NHL's deputy commissioner Bill Daly responded to an email from ESPN.com, asking about the success of the new rating process. "We've had an ice rating app available for players for years," Daly responded. "What we are trying now are actual ice report forms that are completed manually. No early returns yet, still way too early."
from Alexanda Bruell of the Wall Street Journal,
WSJ: You recently left a sexy digital music business to join a 100-year-old sports league. What’s your mandate?
MS. BROWNING: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman gave me one clear goal, and that’s to grow our sport. Our mission is to modernize our approach and take a fresh look at the marketing mix to find new ways to engage new and future fans. The real focus here is extending the reach of the NHL brand—driving viewership, digital audience, engagement with the app, increasing social followers. How does that drive our NHL TV sales, merchandise sales and ticket sales? The commissioner encouraged me to take a blank-canvas approach to growth.
WSJ: Who are your current fans and some of the new fans you’re looking to reach?
MS. BROWNING: We need to broaden beyond hard-core fans and expand to casual fans. Millennials and Gen Z are a huge focus for us. I believe that we’ve got a sport that’s wired to the attitudes and behaviors of these generations, because they’re so action-focused. We’re absolutely looking to target more women. Our demographics are about 60% male and 40% female.
WSJ: How are you using fan data to drive growth?
MS. BROWNING: This is a huge initiative for us. There’s a data opportunity at the NHL across all touchpoints—ticket and merchandise purchase data, what fans are doing at the game, how they’re engaging across digital platforms and social media.
Which trade-deadline rental would provide the best bang for the buck in the playoffs?
Craig Custance: Put me down for Kevin Shattenkirk because if you trade for the St. Louis Blues defenseman, you get a head start on the rest of league in getting a chance to sign the best unrestricted free-agent defenseman on the market to a contract extension. That's extra bang for your buck and additional value for teams that would be looking at Shattenkirk as a solution on defense beyond this season. The problem is that teams are going to have to pay a premium to land him.
For general managers not interested in paying the steep asking price and looking for a cheaper alternative, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith could end up being a sneaky-good addition. He's a strong skater, can contribute offense and is still young enough that he could be auditioning for a spot on your defense too.
continue for more opinions from the ESPN hockey crew...
As you can see, Jake Allen had a tough time picking up the puck.
Below is a video of the goal....
Home Team in Caps
Florida 2, ST. LOUIS 1
ARIZONA 3, Anaheim 2
PANTHERS SWEEP FIVE-GAME ROAD TRIP, CLIMB ATLANTIC DIVISION
Vincent Trocheck scored the go-ahead goal with 4.6 seconds remaining in regulation as the Panthers concluded their road trip with a 5-0-0 record. Elias notes that Florida swept a road trip of at least five games for the first time in the franchise’s 24-year history.
* Trocheck scored his second game-winning goal of the season (also Nov. 3 vs. NJD) and extended his point streak to six contests (3-5—8). Per Elias, Trocheck (59:55) scored the latest game-winning goal in franchise history, besting the mark set by Kristian Huselius (59:46) on March 28, 2002 at OTT (4-3 W).
* At 28-20-10 (66 points), the Panthers passed the idle Maple Leafs (27-20-11, 65 points) and Bruins (30-23-6, 66 points) to move into third place in the Atlantic Division.
* James Reimer (26 saves) has earned wins in his past five decisions and improved to 8-1-1 in his last 10 overall dating to Dec. 31 (2.01 GAA, .933 SV%).
from Ryan Boulding of ColoradoAvalanche.com,
Colorado Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov left Monday's practice after colliding with forward Mikko Rantanen during one of the on-ice exercises and is out for the remainder of the regular season with a fractured ankle, the team announced.
The incident occurred when Zadorov became entwined with Rantanen during a drill.
"He got tangled up with Mikko," head coach Jared Bednar said after practice. "He actually fell on top of Mikko, but his leg got trapped underneath Mikko and he fell awkwardly."
While Zadorov's status is a tough blow for the club, the Avalanche appears closer to getting two other players back in the mix.
Here is the NHL explanation...
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
For what it’s worth, and it’s not much, I didn't like the Malkin hit on Wheeler. I like to think I like hitting in hockey as much as anyone, but Malkin's hit struck me as unnecessary. The puck was gone. Outside of fulfilling the time-worn “finish your check” mantra or protecting the sky-is-falling chorus of “there's going to be no hitting in the game,” I'm not sure what purpose Malkin's hit served, especially weighed against the contact to Wheeler's head.
But I have also come to realize everyone's threshold for this type of hit is different, and if the GMs on opposite sides of the debate haven't figured it out yet, I don't like our chances for resolving it here today.
I get that Jets fans are angry, and I wouldn't want to be dismissive of them, though let's be honest: How many of them would be outraged if it had been Wheeler who hit Malkin in that fashion?
much more and also discussed the Trouba hit on Stone...
Watch the Malkin hit below...
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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