Kukla's Korner Hockey
From the WSJ,
Sitting in $80 seats just behind the net at a recent Chicago Blackhawks hockey game, Anthony Molinaro and his girlfriend could see the sweat roll down the goalie’s face and hear the grunts of the skaters as they battled for the puck along the boards.
The seats were freebies, courtesy of owner Bill Wirtz, as part of a “fan appreciation” program. So was Mr. Molinaro, a 39-year-old community-college employee and lifelong fan, grateful? Not quite.
“He should be giving the seats away,” said Mr. Molinaro. “There’s no way I’d pay for them.”
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* Read more here from Eric McErlain
One of BCR’s favorite supporters to have around is the NHL’s Luke Richardson. Recently the Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman came out with a Sun Sports film crew to film a segment on the cats for cable tv. From years of checking people into the boards to now being a Big Cat supporter, Luke does it all.
From Randy Sportak at the Calgary Sun,
Down the road, Jarome Iginla can tell the tale of when he pulled a Babe Ruth—calling his shot and delivering at the biggest moment.
For now, though, the Calgary Flames captain just wants to chalk it up to a good break coming at the right time.
Yesterday morning, Iginla proclaimed he was on the verge of snapping a personal drought against the Wings.
Hours later, he scored the game-winning goal midway through the third period in a 3-2 victory over Detroit.
From Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press,
Pavel Datsyuk doesn’t use hair-care products, a teammate pointed out, while Henrik Zetterberg has rock star hair.
The two young Red Wings have markedly different personalities, and there are those around them who wonder at times how they communicate so well. Their chemistry, though, is indisputable: They became fast friends four years ago, have played well with one another, and now they’re as dominant a pairing as can be found in the NHL.
From the Dallas News,
Mike Modano’s frustration grows at the same rate as the Vancouver Canucks’ lead in this first-round series that appears to be almost over.
The Stars lost a 2-1 game to the Canucks on Tuesday to let Vancouver fly home with a 3-1 lead in the series.
The winning goal came off the stick of Trevor Linden, the second pick of the 1988 draft. That’s worth noting only because Modano, the first pick that year, didn’t register a single shot on goal in more than 24 minutes.
From NY Daily News,
“I think the mentality of the team right now is: We can’t let up at all,” winger Sean Avery said after the Rangers’ first home playoff win in 10 years. “We just want to come in (tonight) and just hammer them even harder.”
Then there was the moment of confirmation that the Thrashers had again lost their composure. Kovalchuk reacted to an Avery hit by challenging The Grate One to a fight and punching him with his gloved hands, getting both sent to the penalty box for the remaining 16:09 of regulation.
Here’s some video of Sean Avery and Ilya Kovalchuk, not being very friendly, from HockeyFights.com:
From Wayne Scanlan at CanWest News,
The Pittsburgh Penguins have an unusual pre-game theme song for a Stanley Cup hopeful -Mission Impossible.
The mission is starting to look just that, impossible, after a 2-1, seat-of-the-pants victory by the Ottawa Senators gave Ottawa a 3-1 lead Tuesday in their NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with the Penguins.
This is usually the point when hockey types start invoking the “stranglehold” word into a playoff series, sometimes carelessly.
I have a few early appointments this morning and will be unable to update.
However, the Krew will put in an extra effort sometime this morning to make your morning reading pleasurable.
from Mark Herrmann of Newsday,
Here’s the plan: Everybody immediately starts praising Alexei Yashin. Writers opine about how much he means to the Islanders, fans chant his name during long stretches when he is off the ice and shriek uncontrollably when he takes a rare shift.
Anyone who goes to Game 4 Wednesday night against the Sabres must reminisce about the good times and mention he is just inches from turning it all around. Finally, and pay careful attention because this is the most important part, shamelessly beg that the Islanders keep Yashin.
from Richard Sandomir of the New York Times,
The N.H.L. remains a league in recovery from the 2004-5 lockout and the miscalculations that led to the labor strife. So it is not surprising that it continues to struggle to rebuild its United States viewership. Nationally, for example, NBC’s regular-season average viewership of 1.34 million is but 45 percent of the 2.9 million in more glorious days on Fox 11 years ago.
“Is there a prospect for monumental growth in ratings? No,” Bill Daly, the league’s deputy commissioner, said yesterday in a telephone interview. “Do we have what we consider good growth prospects in this environment? Yes.”
from Karen Crouse of the New York Times,
Lecavalier, who usually plays alongside Martin St. Louis, another scary scoring threat, has four of the Lightning’s nine goals and 15 of its 70 shots. He is hard to knock off the puck and even harder to read when he has the room to pass or shoot.
“I think he’s getting different looks that I’m not really used to,” Brodeur said. “I think he comes in and he’s looking at you, picking corners. That makes it a little harder for me to be aggressive. I don’t know what he’s doing.”
“Vinny’s one of the best,” Brodeur said, “so I’ve got to stay back and be patient.”
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org