Kukla's Korner

TV Schedule Complaints

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Caesar of the St, Louis Post-Dispatch,

It’s playoff season in the NHL, time when you’d think the league would want to treat its existing fan base like royalty while also trying to hook casual viewers into full-fledged customers. So what do the NHL and its television partners do to their customers? They treat them like peasants.

They start some contests at inconvenient hours, then to make matters worse they make fans wait even longer by telling them the wrong game time.

The Blues have played four playoff contests so far against the Minnesota Wild, and they have started an average of 14 minutes after the listed starting times. There has been a total of 55 minutes thus far of fans waiting around in the stands — and the TV and radio audience being put on hold. That total almost certainly will surpass a full hour Friday night.

And because of television, fans of several teams in the Central time zone also have been subject to games that are scheduled to start 90 minutes later than is the norm in the regular season — 8:30 p.m. instead of 7 o’clock. Three contests in the Blues-Wild series have been tabbed for that inconvenient time. The reason: The networks often show an earlier game and hope it will end before the later contest begins. But that 8:30 “start” time isn’t really when the game begins.

The opening faceoff for a weeknight game last week in St. Louis was 8:40. And Wednesday in Minnesota it was 8:45 p.m. .

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Will The Detroit Red Wings “Get Regrouped And Get On With It”?

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By Paul

from Craig Custance of ESPN,

Just like that, the series took a completely different turn. The Lightning celebrated in the corner, the Red Wings headed to their dressing room, stunned at what just happened. They went from having a stranglehold on the series to a series now locked up at 2-2.

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock doesn’t typically address his team after games, but he did this time. He felt the Red Wings stole Game 1 in Tampa Bay. He felt the opposite in Game 4. This one was stolen from the Red Wings and in the process, this series was exactly where Babcock thought it should be -- even at two.

“Here it is, it’s the best of three,” Babcock said. “Let’s play. ... Let’s get up and get regrouped and get on with it.”

more on last night's game...

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Not Surprised A Former MLSE Executive Would Be Concerned About Income

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A New Beginning For The Edmonton Oilers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

The idea projected and promoted here that Connor McDavid would make the Edmonton Oilers significantly better long before he ever arrived on the ice in Edmonton, didn’t take long to kick in.

When Peter Chiarelli is introduced at a press conference Friday in Edmonton as the new head of Hockey Operations under new Oilers Entertainment Group CEO Bob Nicholson, it will deliver a message to the entire hockey world it’s finally the start of a brand new era of Oilers hockey.

The Oilers, after missing the playoffs nine years in a row, are undeniably having their best playoff years since they last won the Stanley Cup.

One of the first questions Chiarelli will no doubt be asked at the press conference is if he’d have made the move if the bingo balls hadn’t placed the next Wayne Gretzky in the same city where the last one played the greatest years of his career.

Maybe the recently fired Boston Bruins general manager might say there’s far more here than the kid expected to become the best players in the league within three or four years. Maybe he’ll say he’d have probably taken the job anyway. But if he’s honest about it, I suspect he’ll say McDavid made it a no brainer.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: peter+chiarelli

Dave Nonis Talks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

The meeting was called for early Sunday, the morning after the NHL regular season had ended. At first, Dave Nonis thought nothing of it — he thought it would be a continuation of his Saturday conversation with Brendan Shanahan. At first, he figured it would be business as usual.

“A part of me thought we were going to move on to the next phase of our plan. That was my first thought, but a part of me knew it was coming,” said Nonis in his first interview since being fired as general manager of the Maple Leafs, an almost hour-long conversation with the Sun.

The meeting was brief and professional.

“He told me he was making a change. I pretty much knew what he was thinking ... I understand the reasons behind it. I’m not mad at Brendan. He’s still a friend of mine. But still, I was disappointed.

“There’s no hard feelings or ill will. I understand why he decided to make the change. I was hoping it wouldn’t happen. I thought we got along very well throughout the year. But I’ve been in the game a long time. I understand why you do this.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dave+nonis

The Nashville Predators Will Play Another Day

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Climer of The Tennessean,

The Nashville Predators arrived at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday night with one objective:

Avoid being on the wrong end of a congratulatory handshake.

Mission accomplished.

With a 5-2 victory in Game 5, the Predators survived to play another day. In the process, they postponed the traditional handshake that comes with the conclusion of each of the 15 best-of-seven series that comprise the Stanley Cup playoffs.

It's still an uphill climb for the Preds, who trail Chicago 3-2 entering Game 6 on Saturday at United Center.

Even so, this clearly is a team that is not going quietly. And after the events of the third period Thursday night, something tells me the Blackhawks are feeling pressure to close out the series at home Saturday. They don't want to come back to Bridgestone Arena for a decisive Game 7.

continued

Below, Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times with "Everybody Else Wants To Be The Blackhawks"...

Continue Reading »

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

The Vancouver Canuck Survive To Play Another Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

Maybe Corsi can win you a game, eventually, if you dominate the possession stats the way the Sedins have over the Flames’ top line for five games.

“I hope so,” Daniel said. “In a long series, if you can make them tired, it’s going to pay off. All you can do is create chances, and sooner or later they’re going to start to go in. That’s the way we look at it, and tonight it paid off.”

We’ve reached that point now, folks. It’s a long series, guaranteed for six games, with a genuine possibility of seven.

Calgary is quicker and heavier up front, and their game plan of pounding, pounding, pounding on the Canucks defencemen is surely paying off. Alex Edler is not the Canucks' best defenceman, which is a battle won for the Flames. He, Luca Sbisa and Kevin Bieksa have been turning pucks over in the face of the Michael Ferland-led Calgary forecheck with growing regularity.

Vancouver’s plan is more IKEA. Possess, possess, possess. Recalling that the Flames have succeeded all season in the face of the Corsi numbers, we are left to ask: Was Game 5 a product of erosion? Did four games of pretty good possession for Vancouver produce a Game 5 that they truly dominated?

Or, was that a one-off by a desperate team on the brink of elimination? Will Calgary’s way beat the Canucks way when we get back to Calgary for a Saturday night Game 6?

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The New York Islanders Now Need A Home Win

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Herrmann of Newsday,

Now the Islanders are in a uniquely desperate situation, or desperately unique. Not only are they playing for the survival of their season, they have one game to keep Nassau Coliseum alive.

They have one last chance to give themselves more chances, one opportunity to avoid having the lights turned out forever on hockey in the only home they have ever known. If they want to seize on omens, they can look at the fact that they haven't been good at closing things out or shutting them down this postseason.

If they had been better at those skills, they would not find themselves down three games to two against the Capitals, heading into a possible elimination for themselves and their building Saturday. Looking back on it, they put themselves in this position well before the 5-1 loss in Game 5 Thursday night. They were up by two goals twice in Game 2 and let that slip away. They were up two games to one and couldn't build on it. They even jumped ahead 1-0 Thursday night.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Wings Fail To Finish

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

from Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press,

They were six minutes from a stranglehold grip and then, like one of those movies where the hero gets distracted by someone screaming, the Red Wings loosened their hold just for a moment.

And got sucker punched.

Shish. Boom. Bang. A goal on a great individual effort. A goal on great team passing. A goal in overtime to pull down the curtain.

And a tie series.

"Never a doubt, was there?" joked Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper.

Not funny, pal.

Fortunes change. The Wings, still rubbing their eyes after this 3-2 overtime stunner, are heading to Tampa Bay minus home-ice advantage, minus the health of a key player and minus the confidence they would have had in this first-round playoff series if they had been able to finish what they started — or somehow hid the puck for the final six minutes, once the hugely valuable Luke Glendening left the ice with a hand injury.

Instead, it's a best-of-three now against a team that, as Cooper put it, "grew a couple of inches."

continued

Below, watch both coaches post-game...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Videos- Recap Of The NHL Playoff Games From Last Night

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Here is Sportsnet's nightly recap...

 

 

Below, the NHL's version of the recap...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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