Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Baltimore Sun,
Hockey's reinvention of itself in the wake of a season lost to labor dispute seems to be working in many ways. Scoring is up, both for teams and individual stars. Rookies Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, who met for the first time last night, appear as talented as the hype suggested. And yet, not all is well, especially not in these parts. The NHL still can't get a national audience to watch on television in the United States. And attendance is lagging in some cities. Even with Ovechkin, the Washington Capitals are struggling to draw fans. The television ratings are more troubling for the league. NHL broadcasts on OLN have averaged a 0.3 rating, meaning only 215,000 people a week are watching. Ratings are much stronger in Canada, but hockey's popularity was never in question there.
via the Ice Block, Shane Doan will become the first player to be suspended for receiving an instigator penalty within the last five minutes of regulation time. Doan did that tonight by cracking Vitaly Vishnevski at the end of the Coyotes 2-1 loss to the Ducks. Doan and coach Wayne Gretzky will also be fined due to Doan’s actions.
from the San Francisco Chronicle,
Of all the numbers in which the Sharks lag, there's one that stands above the rest and delivers a hard dose of reality after one quarter of the season. In their last 15 games, the Sharks have one win in regulation. And it took a goal in the final four seconds of that Oct. 28 game in Los Angeles to accomplish it. This is hardly what was expected of a team that reached the West finals in 2003-04.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
If the future of the NHL is a coin, one side bears the face of Sidney Crosby, the other bears the likeness of Alexander Ovechkin. And a shiny coin it is, tossed for the first time before the NHL world Tuesday night. That it came up Crosby as the Penguins edged Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals 5-4, will ultimately be more trivia fodder than defining moment for either player. But in terms of a taste of what lies ahead, the first NHL meeting between the rookie titans exceeded the considerable hype that preceded it. "It's exciting considering where we've been in the NHL," said Pittsburgh head coach Ed Olczyk, referring to last year's lockout. "It's something that was real special and a lot of people were talking about it."
from the Nashville City Paper,
Anyone who has ever doubted the Nashville Predators were sincere about building the team through the NHL Entry Draft needs only to look at the current roster. “It’s a sign that our scouts have done a good job of identifying people,” Predators Coach Barry Trotz said. “Our development process, from the conditioning camps to going to Milwaukee, to giving them roles in the NHL where they can succeed is working. It’s a process, and I think we have done a good job of explaining that process and culture with our players and all of our coaches. We believe in the people that we have here.”
I cannot recall every reading a story quite like this, a good change of pace... from the Journal News,
The natural inclination, of course, is to watch the game, but sitting on a hockey bench often does not afford that luxury. Oh sure, players can glance at the action. But when they hear their line called, they must watch the position player they will soon replace on the ice. Substitutions without a stoppage in play — changing on the fly — make hockey unique among North America's major sports.
from the London Free Press,
Don Van Massenhoven's career as a police officer did not prepare him for what he saw on the Detroit Red Wings bench Monday night. "It still shook me up because it was the last place you would expect to see something like that," the veteran NHL referee from Strathroy said yesterday from Fort Lauderdale, where he'll work tonight's game between the Florida Panthers and New Jersey Devils. "Tony Colucci came running down the corridor (to the bench) and had his jacket off. He already knew he was going to work. He didn't even hesitate. He knew what he had to do," said Van Massenhoven.more via the Ottawa Sun, ex-Wing Aaron Ward on Fischer,
Fischer, then a rookie, lived at the home of Hurricanes D Aaron Ward when both were with the Wings. Ward was having a hard time believing a guy in such incredible shape could have health issues like Fischer has had. "I had to have the no-shirt rule in the house," said Ward yesterday. "He wasn't allowed to be shirtless in the house. The kid's built like a Greek god. I didn't want my wife seeing that. One day he was sitting at the computer with no shirt on and I'm like, 'Hey, Jiri, you know the rule!' "from the Toronto Sun,
Jiri Fischer is one of the lucky ones. He may not necessarily feel that way, given that the future of his National Hockey League career is now in doubt, but the Detroit Red Wing defenceman definitely beat the odds. Depending upon whose statistics you believe, anywhere between 350,000 and 500,000 North Americans go into sudden cardiac arrest while not in hospital every year. About 5% of them survive.read on update 9:10am, from the Buffalo News,
The near-death experience of Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jiri Fischer hit close to home for the Buffalo Sabres.more update 10:51am, Lets Go Wings has put together a video library of the Fischer incident, check it out if you have not seen any of the videos.
from the Denver Post,
In the new NHL, the free-market capitalists have turned socialist. When the revolution came, in the form of a new collective bargaining agreement that included a salary cap, free-spending teams such as the Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings were met with schadenfreude from much of the league. The thought those teams won't be able to buy a Stanley Cup anymore was accompanied by snickers. Nobody is laughing now. The Avalanche has been better than many people thought, and entering tonight's game with Colorado, no team in the league has more points than Detroit at 32. The rich, in Detroit's case, are still getting richer.
from the Toronto Star,
While the NLRB has the power to subpoena union president Trevor Linden or anyone else it chooses to, a source familiar with the NLRB's plans said one of three players that it plans to call to testify about the alleged shenanigans at the union is Willie Mitchell, a five-year veteran who started his career with New Jersey before signing as a free agent with Minnesota. Mitchell said he's been frustrated in attempts to get answers from Saskin over the past two months. "I've sent Ted emails and he won't answer them; he just left me a message saying he'd talk to me at a players meeting in December") and added he looks forward to talking to the NLRB "because this is about my livelihood."
from the Journal and Courier,
Down here in Indiana, I know the NHL lockout came and went and many of you took no notice. But for a lifelong Michigan girl like me, it was a year of painful longing. In the Great Lakes State, hockey is nearly a religion. So for our cathedrals to sit empty for months, for our idols to sit idle, for the Zambonis to collect dust, it was a travesty of almost unspeakable proportions. I can tell you when (1997 Stanley Cup finals, some time between games three and four) I fell hard and fast for hockey, but I have never been able to pinpoint exactly what it is that casts such a spell on me. It's the smell of the ice, the sound of glass rattling after a good, hard hit. It's the time I've spent with my father at hockey games. And, I must admit, it's getting to turn around and correct the know-it-all guy and his inaccurate hockey statements and watch the smirk fade from his face as he gets put in his place by a girl. Without my hockey, I felt lost.
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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