Kukla's Korner Hockey
Sticky post until game time tonight.
Challenge: What time in the game will the last goal be scored tonight?
from Hall of Fame Magazine,
Hours before the opening face-off, crowds, most of whom did not have tickets, gathered on St. Catharines St. and adjoining streets around the forum, and they were in a surly mood. At the Montreal Gazette, the editor, sensing that the usual number of reporters staffing a Canadiens game would not be sufficient to cover what might happen, assigned a young sports writer named Red Fisher to rush to the Forum, not to cover any aspect of the game, but to handle whatever other newsworthy event might occur.
Fisher, who was to become a journalistic legend in Montreal, had never before covered anything at the Forum, but as soon as he arrived he sensed that what was growing among the crowds, both inside and outside the building, was a possible riot. He was correct.
from Clay Travis at CBS SportsLine,
1. Send a horse’s head to NBC studios. This worked well in The Godfather and will provide a nice opening bang.
2. Have Don Cherry record a monologue lambasting this decision and put it up on YouTube. Expletives included.
from the Ottawa Citizen,
Without hardships along the way, life’s greatest moments wouldn’t feel nearly as great.
In the aftermath of the Ottawa Senators’ breakthrough to the Stanley Cup final, a reporter asked club president and chief executive officer Roy Mlakar to name the low point of the long, hard journey.
“The low point for me,” Mlakar said, standing in the back of playoff media conference room at Scotiabank Place, “was telling the team they wouldn’t get paid.”
An open post today, asking your views on the game tonight.
Also interested in any superstitions you will bring out tonight to guarantee a victory, for either team!
added 11:10am, We Just Want One Bounce, my NHL.com blog today…
from the Ottawa Sun,
The Senators had a taste of what they mean to a hockey town gone bananas after snagging a reservation in the Stanley Cup final with “King Daniel Of Ottawa” Alfredsson’s OT winner against the Sabres.
Most impressive to the players was the thousands of fans who welcomed them home at the airport.
Even speaking of it yesterday after practice, chills started running up and down their spines again.
Chris Kelly: “I’ve seen a lot of things, but nothing like coming off the plane at the airport. There must have been 5,000 people there. To see that many supporting us, especially on a long weekend when people are out of town, was really fun.”
from the Toronto Star,
It’s a tad too easy for the Red Wings to say “been there, done that.”
But when Daniel Cleary sits on a plane for five hours with the likes of Chris Chelios, Nicklas Lidstrom, and Dominik Hasek after a heart-breaking Game 5 overtime loss that has the Wings sitting on the brink of elimination, that’s the heartening message he comes away with.
“From my standpoint, the experience showed yesterday (on the plane),” said Cleary. “The calmness, the belief that we have. We have a good mixture of veterans who have been there before and young guys who haven’t.
“The trickle-down effect is great.”
from Mark Whicker of the OC Register,
The difference in this series is 3-2, but it’s closer than that. The glare of a shiny Cup is adding to the distemper.
“We believe we’re in control,” said Babcock, arching his back from the wall. “It’s time to put our best foot forward. We’re not going away easily. Actually, we’re not going away.”
from the New York Times,
But a foul-up at Versus’ master control in Denver delayed by about two minutes the time before Versus took the Sabres-Senators handoff from NBC. Marc Fein, a Versus senior vice president, said, “Needless to say, it didn’t go as smoothly as we would have liked.”
John Shannon, the league’s senior vice president for broadcasting and a former hockey producer who loathes such mistakes, said: “We believed the checks, double checks and triple checks were in place. It was one simple, human error. We talked all day. Everything was coordinated. Our concern was that people were told to go to Versus, and it wasn’t there right away.”...
But NBC could have done much better because its overtime plan to go to Versus was in play when Buffalo’s Maxim Afinogenov tied the score with 9 minutes 2 seconds left in the third period.
From there, NBC should have given viewers several messages about switching to (and finding) Versus before regulation ended.
Given the single warning — and the relative newness of Versus — it is reasonable to wonder if fans endured for the two minutes or so that it took for Versus to pick up the NBC feed, or if they wandered off?
added 7:37am, from Newsday,
In an interview with WFAN, commissioner Gary Bettman said the broad audience was worth the risk of overtime, but he left open the possibility of rethinking the Saturday afternoon strategy next year.
Who to blame? Everyone, and that includes you, America, for not watching enough hockey to give the sport ratings clout.
Regardless, the time might have come for the league to swallow its pride, thank NBC for its attention and accept being a niche sport that doesn’t belong on the big stage, if it ever did.
from the AP via the Mercury News,
Saying he’s “frustrated and disappointed” with the end of an otherwise successful season, Doug Wilson plans to decide by next week whether coach Ron Wilson will return to San Jose next season.
“I have not had a feeling like this since I’ve been here,” said Doug Wilson, the former Chicago defenseman who has molded San Jose’s remarkable talent pool into a perennial winner over the past three seasons.
“We’re not going to sit idly by. That’s not what good teams have historically done. ... There will be changes. I’m not going to say, ‘OK, everybody will take this experience and be better by September.’ We will not do that. We’re trying to win Stanley Cups, and we’re trying to build a great organization.”
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