Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Jeff Marek at CBC, an interview with David Singer from HockeyFights.com,
Marek: Last season the Anaheim Ducks lead the league in fighting majors and ended up winning the Cup. How much did that affect fighting this year?
Singer: A good amount, especially as the season went on and good teams were bringing tough players onto the roster. It’s been a long time since any team carried enforcers with the playoffs in mind. At the same time, it’s also been three years for rivalries to re-blossom, players to adjust to new interpretations to rules, and for GMs to bring some new-style tough guys into the league.
M: Do you think the NHL and PA will scrap the instigator rule? Should they?
From Dan Steinberg at the DC Sports Blog (Washington Post),
The Stanley Cup playoffs require a wide-ranging level of civic commitment. For Mike Green, that commitment was on display this morning, in the form of an early-morning mohawk. Dozens of fans will be receiving similar ‘hawks tomorrow. For Pat Sajak, that commitment might involve a red-eye flight back East from a “Wheel of Fortune” taping next Friday, to make sure he can get to Verizon Center in time for Game 5.
“If the Caps don’t sweep,” Sajak noted. “I’m pretty well at their mercy.”
Yeah, that’s right, Sajak has become a hard-core Caps fan, a front-row season ticket holder for the past two seasons who attends 30 games a year and was “Rocking the Red” throughout last week’s spasm of Caps passion.
Unfortunately, there’s a good reason Sajak isn’t going to be able to pull off his own mohawk to support his favorite team.
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
The Bruins did not skate this morning. But head coach Claude Julien said that Patrice Bergeron, who has been out with a grade 3 concussion since Oct. 27 and was cleared for contact on Monday, will not play. Whether Boston’s highest scorer, Marc Savard, will play won’t be determined until game time….
On the Canadiens side, captain Saku Koivu (fractured left foot) will remain on the sideline and defenceman Francis Bouillon (ankle) isn’t ready for action. Hard-hitting blueliner Mike Komisarek (hip) is fit and will play. Also in the Montreal lineup will be veteran Patrice Brisebois instead of rookie Ryan O’Byrne.
more on tonight’s game…
Pardon the interruption, but Shop.NHL.com (affiliate link) is holding a one day sale, today only. 25% off on non-playoff team merchandise!
Click the link, pick your non-playoff team and you will see the 25% discount available to you.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Also working against the Ducks is the sword hanging over Pronger, just back from an eight-game suspension for stepping on the leg of Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler.
As a multiple offender who served a pair of one-game suspensions last spring, Pronger will be watched closely by NHL officials. A cross-eyed glance at an opponent may get him suspended. Continued poor impulse control could trigger a sentence of five games or more, a loss the Ducks would have difficulty withstanding.
Coach Randy Carlyle said he and Burke talked to Pronger about staying within the rules but neither wants him to change.
“We think that he has to play the game with that competitive edge to continue to be an elite defenseman, and we expect him to do so,” Carlyle said.
Then they’ll have to expect to do without him at least once.
“I guess stubborn is a good word,” Franzen said when he began a late-season offensive roll that included 15 goals in a 15-game stretch in March and April, as well as a club record six game-winning goals in March. Scoring 24 of his 27 goals since Dec. 15 represented more goals than the 22 he scored (12 and 10) in his first two NHL seasons. “I love playing this game. Besides, I’ve seen the alternative ... and I hated it.”
Whoa, big fella. Alternative?
“Yeah,” he continued. “I was a real late bloomer. Didn’t start playing hockey at anything other than lower-tier hockey back home until I was 19. I wasn’t drafted by the NHL until I was 25. I’d say that’s a late bloomer, wouldn’t you?
more on Franzen by Larry Wigge at NHL.com…
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
Need a compendium of Stanley Cup tidbits to impress your friends? You’ve come to the right place. Here’s a lot of what you need to know about the Stanley Cup from A to Z.
A> As in A.A.A. The Montreal Amateur Athletic Association won the first-ever Stanley Cup in 1893….
Z> Zzzzz. Sometimes, fans just can’t make it all the way through those West Coast multiple-overtime games.
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
One of the week’s more heavily linked-to sports journalism stories is a fantastic article in the New York Magazine on the NBA’s sadder-than-sadsack New York Knicks. But a great sidebar story – and one that should be of interest to NHL fans – is this New York Daily News piece by Frank Isola on the media-relations policies at Madison Square Garden for both the Knicks and New York Rangers.
For me, the most intriguing – and troubling – part of Isola’s story is this:
“(T)here is a ‘company response’ for unfavorable stories that the heads of each media-relations department are instructed to follow:
- A call to the reporter by the public relations representative explaining the objections the company had with the way in which the story was written.
- Limiting a media person’s follow-up access to the division representative about the incident in question.
follow the link to get the links and more NHL talk too…
“Blood all over the ice” made my blood boil at Hockey.com today.
Update 1:24pm ET: Also from Hockey.com today, Marty Henwood on Gary Roberts,
From the morning-after-the-night-before department of hindsight and what-ifs, the Ottawa Senators probably could have saved themselves a whole lot of hassle, not to mention a few early vacations, had they simply traded for Gary Roberts, say, half a dozen years ago.
Just in case you think you have seen this movie before, relax. You are not losing your mind.
from Mike Hume of the Falls Church News-Press,
Since the rebuild began, Leonsis tried to sell fans on his team. But for all of silver-lining citations and what, at times, seemed like overly-optimistic opinions, he never once presented a false front. He never lied about his commitment to the team and to the fans — even the ones that had temporarily forsaken him.
In a perfect world, such behavior would be common place, but struggling sports teams seldom receive the commitment the Capitals have from Leonsis. Fans of the Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, Florida Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates, feel free to send in your testimonials.
So as the euphoria of the Stanley Cup Playoffs washes over Washington this weekend, praise the players that willed this team into the postseason. But save something for the man in the owners’ box that made this playoff push possible.
added 10:16am, The Wall Street Journal published a Q & A with Ted Leonsis today,
The Wall Street Journal: Like most other NHL teams, the Capitals get little exposure. What can the NHL do to get a better TV deal than the arrangements with Versus and NBC—and, of course, more fans?
Mr. Leonsis: My belief, and what I’ve been advocating, is we’ve lost the TV war. That’s where the puck is. We want to go to where the puck’s going to be. We want to fight the big battle, and there we’re advantaged. The NHL has the most wired, the most affluent fans. They’re living their life on the Net. We wanna be, and we’re becoming, the leader in growing digital media.
more (not sure if it is for paid subscribers only)
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.
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