Kukla's Korner Hockey
NEW YORK (December 29, 3014) – NHL Network™, NHL.com and NHL Social’s™ programming plans for the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, the outdoor game between the Chicago Blackhawks® and the Washington Capitals® at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 1 (1 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, TVA) will be filled with several days of exciting, in-depth coverage and activation across the National Hockey League’s media platforms.
from Stephen Whyno of the CP at the Winnipeg Free Press,
For the first time, the crown jewel of the regular season isn't a matchup of long-time rivals. And it's at seven-year-old Nationals Park, not a historic stadium that attracts extra attention.
"I'm sure if you ask the Washington Capitals, there's probably more of a buzz there because it's in Washington and not in Chicago," Blackhawks defenceman Brent Seabrook told the Chicago Sun-Times. "All the fanfare around it, we don't get to see that here."
This will be the eighth Winter Classic since the tradition began in Buffalo in 2008. According to NBC play-by-play broadcaster Mike Emrick, there have been 110 outdoor games since at various levels and in many countries, from Mexico to Russia.
This one is a chance for the NHL to shine the spotlight on Alex Ovechkin and the city of Washington, which has experienced a rejuvenation as a hockey town with the "Rock the Red" era Capitals, who have made the playoffs in seven of the past eight years.
Follow the Hawks and Caps through the regular season as they get ready to face off in the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic outdoor game.
Watch below, scheduled to start at 10:00pm ET.
First the good goal by Alex Ovechkin...
The bad goal goes to the Calgary Flames, watch it below...
from Alex Prewitt of Capitals Insider,
Here was the Mike Green everyone knew, or at least the one everyone remembered, revived and tearing through all three zones, while everyone else tried to catch up. He zipped across the defensive blue line. He caught one opponent flat-footed and blew straight past. He faked a slap shot and raced by another. He bolted through the right faceoff circle, curled parallel to the goal line, angled himself and, with a simple nudge, slipped the winning pass back into the middle as the Blue Jackets stared.
“He looks slow, but he’s buzzing pretty fast,” forward Michael Latta said. “Hell of a player.”
“Ghost-like,” Coach Barry Trotz said later. “You might not notice him, might not notice them, then – bang – he’s there on offense and he creates something.”
Game highlights are below...
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Fair or not, the perception around the hockey world is that there is a distinct lack of buzz surrounding the NHL's marquee regular-season game.
On social media, much of the early discussion surrounding the tilt between the host Washington Capitals and the Chicago Blackhawks has been around the seemingly slow build of enthusiasm for an event that has been a major draw for NHL sponsors, hundreds of thousands of fans at the event and a huge television audience.
Anecdotal? For sure.
Meaningful? Hard to tell, although, to be fair, the NHL is just now swinging into major event mode.
What are your thoughts on the Winter Classic? Is it still considered must watch for the NHL fan?
Follow the Chicago Blackhawks and Wasington Capitals through the regular season as they get ready to face off in the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.
Watch below and it is scheduled to start at 10:00pm ET.
Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington answered a few questions...
Q: [Because] Ovi has bought in on Trotz system & his [numbers] have gone down, is it more acceptable to NHL media?
That’s actually a great question. I can’t tell you how many times I have gone on Canadian radio and have been baited to criticize Ovechkin for one thing or another....
Alex Ovechkin will never win a Selke Trophy, but through 28 games Ovi has 14 goals and nine assists for 23 points and is EVEN on the plus-minus ledger. That projects to 41 goals and 26 assists for 67 points, the second-lowest total of his career.
Brian MacLellan said this last month and I agree with him. I’d rather see Ovechkin score 40 goals and get the Caps into the playoffs than see him score 51 and see him playing for Team Russia in the World Championships.
The problem with SOME members of the NHL media is that they will ignore Ovechkin’s improvements as a player and highlight any mistakes he makes that lead to goals. There is a reason for that, in my opinion, but I’ll save that for another rant.
more questions and answers on the Capitals...
from Alex Prewitt of Capitals Insider,
With 57 games left in the 2014-15 regular season, their first under Trotz, the Capitals are tied for third in the Metropolitan Division with 26 points. They are on pace for 85 points, or to finish the season with slightly more than one point each game. Fortunately for them, their top-heavy division is the only one without at least three 30-point squads.
“If you can get in the top three in your division, you’re in [the playoffs], no matter what your record is,” Trotz said. “We’ve got to play at probably about a 100-point pace from now until the end of the season to be in the mix. We need to rattle off the wins, there’s no question. There should be some urgency in your group.”
To play at 100-point pace the rest of the way would give them 95.5 points, and the last Eastern Conference team to miss the playoffs with 90 points was Carolina in 2010-11. That said, their current rate likely won’t cut it, unless the Metropolitan Division continues to struggle; an 80-point Eastern Conference team hasn’t made the playoffs since Philadelphia and Montreal finished with 88 in 2009-10, the same year Washington buried its Southeast Division beneath a league-leading 121 points.
NEW YORK (December 5, 2014) – With just under four weeks until the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, the countdown to the much-anticipated outdoor match-up between the Chicago Blackhawks® and Washington Capitals® on New Year’s Day has begun.
Hockey’s biggest stars – including Alex Ovechkin, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane – will take center stage as the Blackhawks and Capitals meet in Washington, D.C. at Nationals Park, home of the Washington Nationals. The event will be broadcast live nationally on NBC in the United States and on CBC and TVA in Canada on 1 p.m. ET on Jan. 1.
Events and activities leading up to the annual outdoor hockey celebration will include:
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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