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Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I can feel the desire in the Canadiens players.  Everyone is working his hardest and the team is performing very well, especially considering all the injuries they have faced.

“I don’t think Pittsburgh wanted a seventh game. I played quite a few and the stress is something very special. It’s not handled the same by each player and I believe the Canadiens have put the pressure back on the Penguins.

“What a great job (coach) Jacques Martin has done, finding solutions.”

-Hall of Fame member Jean Beliveau.  More from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette at Faceoff.com.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jean+beliveau

One Team Will Go Home Tomorrow Knowing They Had A Shot At The Cup

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Game 7 in Pittsburgh looms as a 50/50 proposition, something that not only would not have been imagined at the start of the series, but perhaps not even halfway through. Even at 2-2, there was a sense that while the Habs were hanging in there, the Pens were the better team and would ultimately prevail.

That, however, has changed over the past two games. The Pens won Game 5 largely on the basis of Marc-Andre Fleury’s netminding, the formula the Canadiens had been using. In Game 6, the Pittsburgh blue line corps was repeatedly found wanting, exposing a vulnerability created by the salary cap-related losses of both Hal Gill and Rob Scuderi from last year’s championship team.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Mitchell Talks To His Vancouver Teammates

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at TSN,

Injured defenceman Willie Mitchell made a rare visit to the Vancouver Canucks dressing room Tuesday.

Mitchell, who has rarely been seen around GM Place since suffering a concussion in January, slipped in and out before Game 6 of the team’s Western Conference semifinal series against the Chicago Blackhawks.

“Everybody talked to him,” said defenceman Kevin Bieksa. “He’s hanging around and he really wanted to come to the rink and talk to the guys. There was no reason for it. He just wants to be around the guys.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: willie+mitchell

Kari Lehtonen Gets Contract Extension In Dallas

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Frisco, Tex. – Dallas Stars General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk announced today that the hockey club and goaltender Kari Lehtonen have agreed to terms on a three-year contract extension worth $10.65 million ($3.55 million per year average). This extension will put Lehtonen under contract through the 2012-13 season.

“We were excited to acquire Kari Lehtonen in February because of his size, skill and potential to once again be a top-tier goaltender in this league,” Nieuwendyk said. “His play during the last month of the season reaffirmed our belief that he can be our starter for next year and seasons to come. We’re very happy to agree to terms with Kari on this contract extension.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kari+lehtonen

Questions About The Islanders Answered

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks’ Slap Shots at the NY Post, With multiple rumors relating to the franchise’s status circulating across various websites that also claimed no one from the league had denied such allegations, The Post posed a three-part question to Daly via e-mail in which we asked:

* Whether the NHL is in any shape or form involved with Islanders’ ownership/financial/hockey decisions as it was at the start of the Phoenix scenario;

* Whether Wang has “given back” the Islanders to the NHL;

* Whether the NHL has advanced or loaned any money to the Islanders?

“No, no and no,” Daly responded.


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

Look, The West Coast Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rory Boylen of The Hockey News,

Perhaps it’s a fluke the Sharks haven’t represented the West in the Cup final yet. When you’re talking about consistently extraordinary teams that don’t seem to reach the post-season heights they’re destined for, it’s easy to forget just how hard it is to go all the way; only one team out of 30 can win. For a team that’s always in the running, though, odds dictate it’s only a matter of time before the pieces fall into place and they finally come together and push through.

Before the Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 1997, they had won their division six out of the previous nine years, but had whiffed in the playoffs a few times with huge upset losses to the Hawks in ’89 and ’92 and the Sharks in ’94. They were swept in the ’95 Cup final as Presidents’ Trophy winners and ousted by the Avs in the conference final a year later after setting a new NHL record for wins in a season (62). Even after winning the title three times between 1997 and 2002, the Wings were still upset in the first round as the No. 1 seed twice during the next three post-seasons.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Salo Looks As If He Could Play Tonight

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,

Vancouver Canucks defenceman Sami Salo is not exactly known for his toughness, but he was being lauded for precisely that after his team’s morning skate on Tuesday.

Salo, who is suffering from a testicle injury after taking a Duncan Keith slap shot to the groin on Sunday, skated with his teammates and took practice repetitions on a pairing with Alexander Edler, his regular defence partner.

He was not made available to the media, and his playing status is still unknown, but the veteran Finn certainly looked ready to comeback, despite excruciating pain that led to a hospital visit during Game 5.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sami+salo

Pronger Says Flyers Must Keep Their Composure

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,

If there’s one thing that does drive Pronger batty, however, it’s having his club whistled for unnecessary penalties.

“I think that is something that we have had to learn to control the entire season—how to control our emotions,” Pronger said. “Playing at that intense state yet being under control. As a young team it takes a lot of learning.”

The Flyers were the most penalized team in the regular season, with 496 penalties totaling 1,350 minutes (16.6 minutes per game), and are 12th of 16 teams in the postseason with 56 minors totaling 122 minutes (12.8 minutes per game).

“We’ve had our ups and downs with respects to penalties,” Pronger said. “We kind of lost our composure at times. Over the last couple months of the season and into the playoffs, we have done an excellent job at keeping our heads about us and realizing what is at stake.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Killed By Penalty Kill

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

One of the reasons that the Vancouver Canucks are losing three games to two against the Chicago Blackhawks is poor penalty kill.  In the playoffs, their penalty kill has been 67.3% successful.  This is the worst penalty kill in the playoffs and is a worse success rate than any team put up in the regular season (in a regular season where the Toronto Maple Leafs flirted with having the worst penalty kill ever).

In the regular season, Vancouver had a slightly below mid-range penalty kill.  Their 81.9% successful penalty kill was 17th in the league, but it has fallen apart in playoff time.  They have actually done better against Chicago than they did against Los Angeles in the first round (but their 61.5% success rate against LA was so bad it is hard not to improve).

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“In all my years in this business, I have never seen an NHL team with such total lack of respect for the health and well being of one of their own.  Here is a player with integrity, honor and a strong work ethic which is being completely abandoned by the team he played for this year.”

-NHL player agent Allan Walsh on the Lightning refusing to pay for surgery on his client, Stephane Veilleux.  More from Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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