June 22, 2007 |
If you're expecting this week's NHL entry draft to be filled with immediate impact players -- similar to the blockbuster crop produced in 2003 -- think again. "For the most part, this is your normal type of draft," said Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi, who has the No. 4 pick in tonight's first round (Rounds 2-7 will be Saturday). The Ducks will pick 16th. The 2003 draft "was a pretty strong class," Lombardi said. "But that was an aberration."
May 25, 2007 |
The Stanley Cup finals are approaching, and hockey couldn't be in better shape. A late-season NHL television broadcast drew almost 10% of the country's residents, no matter that neither team was playoff-bound. First-round playoff TV ratings dipped but rebounded nicely for subsequent rounds. And Sidney Crosby, who has been touted by the nation's media since he was a boy, became the league's best player. Wait a minute, that's the hockey story in Canada.
May 17, 2007 |
I have a problem with two recent decisions made by the big brother arms of the NBA and NHL, unnecessarily suspending key players from crucial playoff games. It just does not seem right for the Phoenix Suns to play without Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw and for the Ducks to be missing Chris Pronger at this stage of the postseason. Not for the type of offenses that led to their suspensions.
April 23, 2007 |
Johan Franzen scored early in the second overtime period, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a series-clinching 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Sunday night in Calgary, Canada. Detroit, the top-seeded team in the Western Conference, won the series, 4-2, and will play either sixth-seeded Dallas or No. 5 San Jose in the second round. Dallas plays at third-seeded Vancouver in Game 7 tonight. The second-seeded Ducks will play either Vancouver or San Jose in the second round.
March 28, 2007 |
Borrowing a component from its contract with the NFL, NBC announced Tuesday a one-year extension of its revenue-sharing deal with the NHL that will include "flex scheduling." Instead of having a set schedule next season, NBC in most cases will pick one game 13 days in advance to televise nationally on Saturday or Sunday over a nine-week period. The network will select from at least three games.
February 3, 2007 |
Threat of imminent bodily harm -- even if it was doom shaped in the form of a Bobby Hull slap shot -- didn't make a set-in-his-ways goaltender change his mind and put on a mask. Not until his final season in the NHL. Gump, you see, had it all figured out. "He often said he was already married and had kids, so it didn't matter whether he was ugly or not," said former Minnesota North Stars defenseman Tom Reid, laughing.
January 24, 2007 |
Tonight is the fun part, a gathering of players who have honorably carried their teams for years and youngsters entrusted with carrying the NHL into the next decade. But when the All-Star game concludes and the last in a likely goal barrage is recorded at the American Airlines Center, the hard part will begin for Gary Bettman.
January 15, 2007 |
As he took the ice Thursday night against the Dallas Stars, goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov was already feeling the heat. The league-leading Ducks, whose franchise-record start had turned heads, now were turning over pucks. They had lost key players to injury, including star defenseman Chris Pronger and starting goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere. They also had lost five of their last six games and were stumbling toward the All-Star break.
November 8, 2006 |
Joe Thornton scored his first goal at home this season and Evgeni Nabokov made 22 saves in the San Jose Sharks' 3-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night. Patrick Marleau and Mike Grier also scored for the Sharks, who avenged a 4-1 loss to Minnesota last month with two early goals followed by two periods of strong defense. Nabokov was outstanding in only his second victory in five starts, ending the Wild's four-game winning streak at the Shark Tank.