Kukla's Korner Hockey
Bryan Murray and Jason Spezza took part in an NHL teleconference today…
Q. My question is about the departure of Zdeno Chara. I know he’s a guy that’s talented enough you don’t want to lose his skills. But in losing him, how has this defense evolved and, specifically, Chris Phillips?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: I think two things happened. Phillips became more important and certainly played at a real high level this year and Anton Volchenkov got a chance moving from No. 5 really in our depth chart to No. 2 as a shutdown guy.
I think the two of them developed as a real solid pair, obviously a big part of what’s happened here. And defensively and shot blocking?wise we haven’t taken a step backwards.
I think Chara was certainly a top player in our team and played the point in the power play on occasions and did lots of good things. But like in every other team in this business, when you lose a player, you have to move on; and we’ve been able to do that.
from The Maven,
Over – and out.
We say Bye-Bye to the Blueshirts with an unusually heavy heart.
I know precisely how they feel. Exactly.
A year ago, the Devils played Carolina in Game Two of the second round and scored the go-ahead goal with 20 seconds left in the third period.
The game not only was in the bag it was IN THE BAG.
I’ve updated the World Wide Web of Hockey page today. Lots of new sites added, and the page now features almost 350 unique hockey destinations on the internet. Thanks to everyone for helping make this page such a great resource.
Note: I’ve rejected very few submissions so far, only sites that don’t clearly have significant hockey content. If you have submitted a site that suits this requirement yet wasn’t posted, odds are that I just lost track. My apologies, and please send it again.
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
A number of factors have contributed to what is a modest falling off in arena fan support.
First, the local economy, which is so dependent on the moribund domestic car industry, is in the dumps. The Wings also hiked ticket prices for the playoffs, and the casual fans haven’t anted up as they have in the past. The price increase may be one factor, but another is the unprecedented competition for the attention of the Detroit sports fan.
read on and additional NHL playoff talk too…
fromm Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
A team that was poised, relentless, blessed with timely (and reasonably proficient) scoring, defensively sound play and soundly physical play in eliminating Nashville in five games seemingly has chucked all of the things it did well in that series. The Sharks haven’t just lost their bite; they’ve gone belly-up in the face of a Detroit attack that has been neither withering nor relentless.
In fact, the Red Wings have pretty much been fortunate given the number of injuries they’ve had before and during this series.
more... plus some Sabres/Sens talk…
via Sports Business Journal (paid sub.),
The league is distributing advanced new digital camcorders called Flip Video cameras to players, teams and celebrity bloggers for use on NHL.com and its various video partners, including YouTube. About the size of an iPod and produced by Pure Digital Technologies, the cameras hit the market for public sale last week and are designed to be a foolproof way to shoot video and upload it to video-sharing Web sites, whether NHL-themed or otherwise.
The celebrity blogger video content for the NHL, with rapper Lil Jon and actors Dave Annable and Eddie Cahill among the participants, is now online, with player behind-the-scenes content from the ongoing postseason due to start appearing during this month’s conference finals.
“We’re looking to achieve something that’s a little different,” said Keith Ritter, president of NHL Interactive CyberEnterprises. “Our fans are consuming our content now in many different ways, a lot of them not involving TV.”
Wings/Sharks Game 5- 1.4 rating and a 4 share.
Sabres/Rangers Game 6- 1.4 and a 3 share.
The only sporting events with a lower rating were the National Heads-Up Poker Tournament and the Rolex Equestrian Championships (both taped).
via Sports Business Daily (paid sub.),
Meanwhile, NBC pulled a 1.4 overnight for Game Five of the Sharks-Red Wings NHL Western Conference semifinal series on Saturday, up 40% over last year’s comparable Devils-Hurricanes game. The decisive Game Six between the Rangers and Sabres earned a 1.4 on Sunday. There was no comparable game last year on NBC.
from the CP via the CBC,
An NHL team and a European team will square off next year in what the International Ice Hockey Federation hopes will become an annual exhibition series, a source told The Canadian Press on Monday.
IIHF President Rene Fasel is scheduled to make the announcement Tuesday during a news conference at the IIHF World Hockey Championship. The series will take place in September 2008.
Ideally, the IIHF would like to have the Stanley Cup champion meet a European champion but that won’t be the case for the first event.
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
Next up for Drury and the Sabres: the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference finals.
Run the oft-advanced theory past Drury, now 30, that the Avalanche’s regression began the day he was traded, and that Colorado has yet to recover, and he is genuinely embarrassed.
“Oh, I don’t know about that.” Pause. “That’s a pretty strong statement.” Double pause. “I guess I don’t really have a comment.”
I was going to point to the love Tim Hoffine shows for the Ottawa Senators at The Lantern, The Student Voice Of Ohio State Univ., until I read this…
And when big players don’t perform, well, that’s even worse. The Dominator is done. The Red Wings managed to eke out a six-series win against the Sharks, but the damage of old age and a flustered goal-keeper are showing as a too-quickly traded Sergei Federov watches his old team lumber to the next round.
But that’s what sets the Senators apart. Their goalie is pretty good.
more if you care to read…
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.
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