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GDT - W.C. Fiinals, Game 1: Red Wings host Blackhawks (3:00)

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Jeff OKWingnut

The kids in CHI have had five days off between games, any rust? The experienced (read old) Wings are coming off a 7 game grinder; do they have anything in the tank?  Will youth be served, or taken to school? 

All of the numbers are below.  Some of them are intriguing.  DET holds a decided advantage in 5-5 f/a. DET have allowed 13 even strength goals against vs. CHI’s 24.  DET’s goal differential/game is nearly twice CHI, at 1.46, vs. CHI = +0.75.  DET takes 40 SOG to CHI 29. Nikolai Khabibulin’s numbers are a very pedestrian 2.76 ga, 0.896 save %.

If DET can stay out of the Penalty Box, they should have an excellent opportunity to prevail.  CHI have a lethal PP that has carried them to the W.C.F., sizzling at 29%. 

Seabrook (9 pts, +3 26:20) and Keith (5 pts, +4, 25:15) will log big minutes against DET’s top lines.  The test for CHI will be their depth “D” versus the Wings depth at forward.  Barker (7 pts, -1 16:51), Walker (2 pts, -4 15:20), Hjalmarsson (1 pt, 0 15:38) and Campbell (9 pts, +5 19:03) have not played against an opponent having such scoring depth.

Game On!

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Well Kid?  Have You Paid Your Dues?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

More importantly, can you moan the blues?  Yep.  Bringing back David Allan Coe.

And here’s why.  He warned us. He warned us all that if we’re big-star bound, you’d best be prepared because it’s a long, hard ride.

The Wings know that ride.  They were aboard in ‘94, ‘95 and ‘96.

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The Crippling TV Contract

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

If the first two rounds of the playoffs have been a showcase for the NHL’s greatest young players—start with Crosby and Ovechkin, go directly to Evgeni Malkin, then to Eric Staal, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews—it also has exposed the folly of Gary Bettman’s love affair with Versus and the grudge he carries against ESPN.

It has exposed the NHL’s empty approach to a television strategy, even as Bettman risks dislocating his shoulders in patting himself on the back for his league’s innovative approach to blacking itself out.

The commissioner may have been justified in not taking ESPN’s crumbs coming out of the lockout. He may have been justified placing the league’s immediate future into the hands of Versus, owned by Ed Snider’s Comcast, by the way.

But Bettman was not justified in granting Versus a contract that included unilateral options for the network to retain exclusivity through 2010-11—a six-year commitment as crippling in its own way as the Rangers’ six-year commitment to Wade Redden.

more plus other hockey topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Rumor Talk Heating Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector’s Hockey,

Chuck Gormley recently reported a rumor that has the Flyers trading either Daniel Briere or Joffrey Lupul and a top prospect (either James VanRiemdyk, Luca Sbisa or a 2009 first round pick) to the Montreal Canadiens for goaltender Carey Price and the rights to impending UFA blueliner Mike Komisarek. Another has the Flyers peddling a similar package to Vancouver for goalie Roberto Luongo and the rights to Mattias Ohlund although the Canucks are pushing hard for Jeff Carter.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No offense to Gormley who’s only reporting what he’s heard, but in the words of the late, great Ricardo Montalban: Welcome to Fantasy Island!

more rumor talk…

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Now The Test Starts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Tribune,

The Red Wings won the Wrigley game 6-4, and they looked like men playing against boys. But the boys have matured. They’re different than they were in January. They’re better and tougher. They won the last two meetings between the two teams after losing four straight….

Let’s not kid anyone. The Red Wings are the defending champions. They’re experienced, and they’ve seen everything there is to see. They rarely make mistakes. And they’re tough too.

Other than that, the Hawks have the Red Wings right where they want them.

But Detroit looked tired at the end of its seven-game series Thursday night against Anaheim.

The Hawks’ legs might be a little fresher.

The Red Wings don’t appear too concerned about it.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Hockey Observations

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

• So here’s how it works in Mr. Bettman’s NHL. You falsify documents, you defraud banks, you run shell games with financial institutions, you fake having money, and if you do it well enough, they make you chairman of the board of governors, as Bruce McNall was. Reading the details of the Boots Del Biaggio guilty plea for fraud reads like McNall Lite. Phony documents, a Ponzi scheme, and stealing from the bank his own father started, and to think, Bettman wants nothing to do with BlackBerry king Balsillie, who has real money, when under his watch as commissioner five different NHL owners have gone to jail or are about to go to jail.

• Johan Franzen of the Wings has scored 21 goals in his past 27 playoff games, which are all-time kind of numbers: Rocket Richard once scored 19 goals in 20 playoff games over two seasons.

more hockey notes…

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

All Documentation

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

The Biz of Hockey has posted many of the documents pertaining to the Phoenix Coyotes…

Various Documents Pertaining to Coyotes Chapter 11 Filing by Jerry Moyes, and His Attempt to Sell the Club to Jim Balsillie, Who Wishes to Relocate Coyotes to Hamilton, Ontario Canada

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Do Referees Give Sidney Crosby A Break?

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

It was suggested in the comments of my semi-final playoff predictions that referees have been helping Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins win in the playoffs.  This is presumably because Crosby is the best North American player in the NHL and arguably the best player in the game.  The NHL’s marketing is significantly tied to Crosby and the Penguins.  I decided to look into these allegations and see if there might be some truth to them.

The most obvious comment that somewhat discredits this allegation is the Alexander Ovechkin should have been suspended for his knee-on-knee hit on Sergei Gonchar.  If the NHL was favoring Pittsburgh, the non-suspension of Ovechkin certainly makes no sense at all.  That is clearly the biggest incident that blows a hole in the theory.

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Where Is Everybody?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic,

If a franchise falls in the desert and nobody is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?

Yes, and it comes across as something like this:

Yawn.

Hockey in Phoenix is nothing but dead air right now. Wayne Gretzky isn’t talking. The team held a “Save the Coyotes Rally” on Saturday in Glendale and attracted several hundred without a single player or team official in sight. It’s a sad turn of events for a brilliant sport and raises important questions about Gretzky’s accountability.

Gulp

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Blackhawks Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Quenneville, Kane, Toews, Campbell and Seabrook met with the media today…

Q. We were talking a little bit earlier with some of the Wings and Mike about the youthful exuberance of your team. Dan Cleary said it could be very dangerous, they’re playing with a lot of confidence. Can you talk about the comparison of the youth versus experience in this series and who it might favor.

        JOEL QUENNEVILLE: Well, I’m not going to predict favoritism. Certainly we liked the experience we gained in the first two rounds. We didn’t know how we were going to handle the playoffs for a first time for a lot of the guys. I thought we were on?the?job training every day, gaining experience, preparing in different situations in games, coming out of games, trying to find out how to close out a series. I thought both times we handled those assignments very well.

        But I just think as we go into games, the excitement and enthusiasm on our team has been real. We’re getting a lot of good contributions from across the board whether they’re young guys or older guys. The guys are excited about this challenge and this opportunity. Should make for a great series.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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