Kukla's Korner

A SCF Blueprint

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP,

The NHL should probably send a note of thanks to everyone involved with the Red Wings and Penguins after the series they’ve put on.

It was a dream matchup that was in danger of turning into a dud after two easy wins by Detroit to open the series. However, it got dramatic after that and the six-period marathon the teams played in Game 5 essentially ensured that this Stanley Cup final will go down as a classic.

There will be a lot of people who remember it, too, because it was the most-watched NHL game in the U.S. in six years.

That’s only part of the evidence that the quality of this series might be helping sell the sport to some Americans. Rich Baker lives a couple hours away in Cleveland but was hanging around Mellon Arena on Wednesday afternoon and doing something totally unfamiliar - talking hockey.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Hull On Woods

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Hockey News,

“It’s unfortunate that he would say that, because there’s a guy I really admire,” Hull told THN.com Wednesday. “I look to him as a Wayne Gretzky type of person that always does the right things and says the right things, not only for his sport but as an ambassador for sport in general.

Woods’ insults seemed particularly baffling to Hull given his previous experience meeting the world’s No. 1 golfer when Hull was still an active player for the Stars.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brett+hull, tiger+woods

Stars Aren’t For Sale

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Mike Heika at the Stars blog at the Dallas Morning News:

A report in Canada’s National Post says that the Stars are one of eight teams who have been in contact with Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie, who is trying to buy a team and move it to Hamilton, Ont.

So I called Tom Hicks to ask about it.

Hicks said there is no truth to the report, and that the team is not for sale. He said he has no idea how the Stars were linked to this.

Note: The report in question mentioned earlier today.

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

Big Audiences for NHL Video Online

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Business Wire:

After Tuesday night’s triple-overtime thriller during Stanley Cup Final Game 5 between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings, on Wednesday National Hockey League (NHL) fans consumed more streaming video at NHL.com than any other single day in the history of the site.

On Wednesday, fans flocking to the NHL Network Online, and tuning to the Game Highlights Channel presented by Verizon Wireless, consumed 50 percent more streaming video than NHL.com’s previous daily record. The achievement is particularly notable because the amount of highlight video consumed in the wake of Game 5 eclipsed nights when the NHL has had 15 games being played across North America.

Filed in: NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hockey+fans, media

Prove It Detroit

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,

A proper analysis of these Red Wings would indicate they are the better team, the deeper team, the more experienced team and the better coached team.

It’s time for them to prove it and Babcock will have to play his part.

He’s on record as saying he’s over the loss on Monday and that his focus is on winning the game tonight.

Of that there is no doubt. What he needs to do, however, is get his team to think and act the same way.

It’s the only way they’ll see the Cup out of the hallway and in their hands.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+babcock

Players Who Bring the Intangibles

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Scott Cullen at TSN:

Using hits, blocked shots, giveaways, takeaways and face-offs, then, here are the top “intangible” players in the 2008 NHL playoffs.

Top Intangible Ratings - Playoffs

Brooks Orpik, D, Pittsburgh (2.66)
Brenden Morrow, LW, Dallas (1.86)
Stephane Robidas, D, Dallas (1.67)

read on for Cullen’s complete list

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: playoffs

Damned If They Do—Damned If They Don’t

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From Mike Brophy in The Hockey News,

NHL referees are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. While they don’t like the idea of calling goalie interference in overtime, let alone twice in extra time, they also don’t relish the idea of a goalie being hit by an opponent and the winning goal being scored while the fallen goaltender is unable to do his job. It is a discretionary call.

“We don’t want the Stanley Cup-winning goal being scored with the goalie on his back after being crashed into,” said NHL executive Kris King.

The Red Wings were rightfully ticked off about the two calls against them, but you just know if the skate was on the other foot and Chris Osgood had been bumped rather than Marc-Andre Fleury, resulting in a goal by the Penguins, Detroit would be screaming bloody murder.

and more on various topics

Note: More on the issue of the refs at MLive, with links to what the Detroit pundits have to say on the matter.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kris+king, officiating

Malone Takes the Breaks in Stride

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From David Shoalts at the Globe & Mail,

“Anyone else in this room would be doing the same thing,” [Ryan] Malone said. “I’m definitely thankful. A broken nose, swollen lip and some chipped teeth are a pretty good scenario for a puck in the face. I look at it as you never know when you’re going to be back in the Stanley Cup final, so you have to do everything you can to help out.”

Actually, Malone’s nose was already broken before Gill’s shot hit him. Red Wings defenceman Niklas Kronwall did that in the first game when he flattened Malone with a bone-rattling body check. When Gill’s shot broke it again, it was practically old hat.

“Yeah, you can get drilled a lot,” Malone said. “You’re standing in front of the net. That’s my job. On the power play, I’ll be back there again.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: injuries, ryan+malone

Beer and Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From AdWeek:

Anheuser-Busch said today it has signed a deal with the National Hockey League that enables Bud Light to remain the “Official beer of the NHL” through the 2010-11 season. Bud Light has held that distinction since 1998.

Simultaneous renewals with Anheuser-Busch and Labatt, which markets and distributes Bud Light in Canada, gives the brand category exclusivity and a brand presence in-game and at retail across North America. Financial terms were not disclosed, but analysts put the figure at $75 million.

Sheesh. 10 years and $75 million and I’ve still never had the urge to drink a Bud Light.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: budweiser, marketing

Game 6 Heroes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

So, with Game 6 set for tonight and a host of potential heroes waiting in the wings, here are our picks for players who could steal the limelight from the big guns.

Word has it that Cleary had a host of friends, family and dignitaries into Detroit from his native Newfoundland for Game 5 on Monday night. That didn’t quite work out as Talbot and Sykora soured the Stanley Cup celebration plans; but Cleary has the skills needed to put his hometown of Carbonear on the Stanley Cup map and set up a date for a summer visit with the big mug.

more picks from both teams…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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