Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Pioneer Press,
Count Lemaire among those who will be glued to the television during the Finals. Currently relaxing at his place in Florida, Lemaire has been enthralled by the entire playoffs. He says he has noticed a pattern that likely will alter the NHL landscape a bit next season.
“Looking at where the league is going, it’s going to be a little more aggressive,” he said. “We went the other way for a while. The hitting was there. Now, it’s a little more than that. You see the scrums after the play. They’re pushing, fighting more.
“Every team will try that. Especially now that they see Anaheim doing so well. Everyone is talking about them. Everyone will take that road.”
Successful strategies always have been copied. Lemaire should know. There isn’t a team in the league that doesn’t use a trap. If something works, everybody wants in.
from Steve Silverman at MSNBC,
In an era when other sports have never received more exposure, talk-show hosts around the country all but ban themselves from mentioning hockey, fearing that it will be an invitation for listeners to pop in a CD or change stations. Even hosts who like the game have to pretend they are too cool for the room and ridicule the sport.
I’m sick of listening to it. I don’t care if hockey’s not popular. I will watch the Stanley Cup finals and I believe the unknown cable network — Versus — has done an outstanding job of giving hockey fans what they want.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
How did Anaheim become the under-ducks in this series?
“A lot of the Canadian media are going to pick the Canadian team and that’s fine,” answered Ducks general manager Brian Burke, who knows something about how the Canadian media operates, from his days running the Vancouver Canucks. “We have more Canadians on our team than Ottawa does. That’s fine. We’re content to be the underdog in this and it’s clear to us that we are. We like our team and we’re happy with our group.
“We’re happy to be here.”
from the CP via Yahoo,
The team is representing the nation’s capital in the Stanley Cup final, but there will be fans all across the country cheering against them during Monday night’s series opener.
Just ask Michael Fox, a self-described “big-time” Toronto Maple Leafs fan who said he’ll be rooting for the Ducks all the way.
“If it were the Leafs in the final, they’d be cheering against us right to the bitter end,” he said of Senators fans while lunching at Wayne Gretzky’s bar in Toronto. “They’d probably show up at the game and cheer against us just out of spite, so I have my reasons to cheer for the Ducks.”
Fox said he doesn’t buy into the notion of the Sens as “Canada’s team.”
from Ross McKeon of the San Francisco Chronicle,
When Scott Niedermayer hoists the Stanley Cup following Game 5 a week from Wednesday night, it will culminate what was almost predestined with the events of last July 3.
Anaheim will be the first team in the Pacific time zone to win the Cup since it was awarded to the Victoria Cougars of the Western Hockey League for their 1925 conquest of the Montreal Canadiens.
California will boast an NHL champion for the first time….
And it will be thanks to the bold yet confident move made by Ducks general manager Brian Burke, who wasn’t afraid to part with a bushel of riches to acquire defenseman Chris Pronger from Edmonton.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Question: What would be the best California song to set the stage for an Anaheim Ducks-Ottawa Senators’ showdown? Every year, before the Stanley Cup final opens, I burn a disc of songs to play in the rent-a-car stereo on the drive to and from the airports and the arenas – and here, where it takes 45 minutes on a good day with no traffic to get from LAX and Orange County and even longer to get to the beaches (must find Ducks fever somewhere!), it’s even more important to have a good, scene-setting musical compilation.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
Jonathan Cheechoo had sports hernias on both sides when he finished and both Bill Guerin and Mark Smith were also troubled by the same ailment. And we all know about the trials of Ed Jovanovski.
Most of the players are blaming poor ice conditions, which force them to move their feet at enormous speed through slow, slushy conditions, but the experts are not so sure the ice is to blame. To be sure, the teams are taking a very serious look at this and wondering whether or not a lot of this core training, which has been ongoing of late, is the main factor.
“The core work that is being done is allowing these guys to get stronger and to perform better but it’s putting a lot of torque and strain on that area and we’re seeing this injury on the rise,” says Canucks medical trainer Mike Burnstein.
from the Montreal Gazette,
The first Stanley Cup game in June didn’t happen until 1992, when the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Blackhawks 6-5 on
June 1 to complete a four-game sweep. Summer hockey has been a way of life ever since in the NHL. The latest-ever date for a Stanley Cup game came on June 24, 1995, when New Jersey beat Detroit 5-2 to complete a four-game sweep in a season that was delayed by a labour dispute.
It will be interesting to see the TV ratings for this year’s Stanley Cup final. Unless you are a true, diehard hockey fan - or you live in Ottawa - there are a lot of other options over the next two weeks other than sitting inside watching a hockey game. And by the time the final starts tomorrow, hockey fans will have gone five days without any playoff games to watch, which is enough time to get reacquainted with Balconville, your barbecue, the backyard pool and the outdoor terraces downtown, not to mention taking your kids to their soccer or baseball games.
from Terry Jones at the Edmonton Sun,
Has there ever been a more popular player, a more sentimental favourite to win a Stanley Cup than Teemu Selanne?
Ray Bourque maybe. Lanny McDonald perhaps. But not many.
And don’t even talk to Anaheim Duck fans about Chris Pronger and Scott Neidermayer. Selanne’s their guy. Always has been.
from Marcia C. Smith of the OC Register,
Hockey – follow us closely – is generally played in the less tanned regions of the world where people drink Molson, hunt moose and survive inhumane sub-70-degree winters that make roads, sidewalks and the surfaces of frozen-over ponds dangerously slippery and cold.
Ottawa, the capital of Canada, has embraced hockey, along with Celine Dion worship, even though the Senators have been an NHL franchise since only 1992….
Since 1993, the Anaheim Ducks have forsaken the Southern California beach culture to convert Orange County into parka-wearing fans of this boxing-on-blades sport.
They play atop a 1¼-inch sheet of man-made ice cooled to 18 degrees, inside a giant marble and glass icebox formerly named The Pond.
Despite their webbed feet, the Ducks skate on blades of steel sharp enough to cut a ripe tomato. They wield long, slender sticks made of graphite and wood.
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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