Friday, June 22, 2012

Will the NHL have a Work Stoppage Next Season?

After a banner year that saw revenues increase again in the NHL there is concern that another lockout or at least work stoppage will occur. At the end of the Finals it was a bit depressing. In my mind I was thinking is this the last live NHL hockey game I will see for over a year? Are we in for a repeat of 2005 - the lost season? If the NHL and NHLPA are wise they will not do this to their fans again. Hockey fans are loyal, but losing more games due to politics will damage the game greatly.

I am by no means a professor of sport business or even business. So, let me link you to several posts I found helpful as we look forward to the NHL Draft tonight, free agency July 1, and then the black hole of CBA talks.

HK Sport Business Blog

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mentally Tough Performer of the Week #8 2012 NHL Playoffs: Jonathan Quick

The Los Angeles Kings won their first Stanley Cup in team history Monday night capping an unbelievable run. The Kings went 16-4 in the postseason, 10-1 on the road, and ended the Devils' hopes with a 6-1 stomping in Game 6.

As a team the Kings demonstrated tremendous grit, toughness, preparation, focus... you name it. LA reached its potential in this years playoffs and provided a great example of how a group of players can come together and win a championship despite a recent history of not reaching their potential.

Hockey Mental Edge Quote Anze Kopitar on Winning the Cup

"This is unreal. Every single emotion in me is coming out. The biggest thing has been the belief inside the locker room. We had 25 guys believing in one thing. I can't be more proud of the guys."

Kings' forward Anze Kopitar on winning the Stanley Cup (from

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Devils Not Finished Yet Force Game 6

New Jersey is the first team in 67 years to lose the first three games in the Finals and force a Game 6. How have they staved off elimination? Perseverance, timely goal scoring, and big time goaltending from Martin Brodeur.

I think the turning point in this series came in Game 4. Despite a tough boarding call on David Clarkson in the third period and then giving up the game-tying goal, the Devils responded with impressive effort and intensity. The Devils had the better of the play after the Kings tied it and they eventually won that game on a rocket to the top shelf by Adam Henrique.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Response to LeBrun's Save it for June: How to Reduce the Grind

Is the quality of play in the Stanley Cup Finals poor compared to previous rounds? I think that is debatable but it is the core argument made by ESPN hockey blogger Pierre LeBrun.

Save it for June: How to Reduce the Grind

LeBrun argues to reduce the physical and mental wear and tear on players the following five things should occur (albeit some are not realistic as he admits):

Mental Toughness Quote of the Week Adam Henrique

If you are going to win four straight games to win the Cup and do the improbable then you better have an attitude like Adam Henrique:

"There's no quit in the group in here. We know we can do it. We know we can put 4 together and come back."

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Kings One Win Away from History

Are you convinced now? The Los Angeles Kings are putting on a dominant display of tight checking, brilliant goaltending, and timely goal scoring. The team of destiny has 15 wins in these 2012 playoffs, one short of making history. I personally have not seen a run like this in recent years. You have to harken back to the 1988 Edmonton Oilers who lost only two games en route to the Cup. You kind of expected it from that team. But the Kings? They have streaked to a 3-0 lead with the first two games on the road in every series. Amazing. Time to get over the surprise, they will make history soon.

You  know what number I would like to see? Of the number of minutes the Kings have played in the playoffs how many minutes have they been behind. I bet is a very small percentage of time.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Mindset of Kings and Devils after Game 2

Two overtime victories for the Los Angeles Kings has them two games away from hoisting the Stanley Cup. The team of destiny continues to find a way to win close games. The inevitably of the Kings winning the Cup as the #8 seed from the West seems clearer than ever. It was no more evident than when Kovalchuk hit the crossbar late in the third period of Game 2. The Kings cannot lose even when their captain hand delivers the puck to the Devils best sniper ten feet from the net.

With a 2-0 lead in the series LA must not change their game. There are two pitfalls in the Kings' leading position.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Mentally Tough Performer of Week #7: Drew Doughty

This week's mentally tough performer came down to overtime and between Martin Brodeur and Drew Doughty. With the Kings winning 2-1 again in overtime in Game 2 I decided to choose Doughty as the Mentally Tough Player of the Week for week 7 of the 2012 NHL Playoffs.

Doughty has opened the scoring in Game 2 with an end-to-end rush. He has been a steadying force on the backline for the Kings and a constant threat to create offense. In this low scoring series offense from the defense will be huge as the forwards are struggling to create many scoring opportunities in close.

What sets Doughty apart is his fearlessness to join the rush and his confidence with the puck in tight spaces and under pressure. While he makes a mistake with the puck here and there, far more good things happen when Doughty is lugging the puck. He makes plays consistently throughout a game and is a constant force for the Kings.