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Serious Defensive Liability

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The Montreal Canadiens have won so far in the playoffs because strong goaltending has limited their opponent’s goals.  Jaroslav Halak has had some outstanding games.  Because of the low goals against the Habs have allowed, their defence has gotten a lot of credit.  I am not so sold that Montreal has a great team defence.  They had a mid-level 13th best goals against average in the regular season.  One defenceman on the team, Marc-Andre Bergeron has been a significant liability defensively.

Bergeron has a playoffs worst -10 +/- rating.  He has been on the ice for 2 even strength goals scored and 12 against.  He has been successful on the power play with seven Montreal power play goals for with him on the ice.  Bergeron does not fit on the defence of a strong defensive team.  He might be useful in a power play only role on a team if they can afford to have only five defencemen for even strength situations.  Bergeron is the caricature that Mike Green detractors claim Green is.

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Two Canadian Teams Left - Who Are You Rooting For?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Kelley at CBC,

It’s Canada vs. Canada. As two Canadian teams advance to the second round of the NHL playoffs, who should the country be cheering for? The Vancouver Canucks or the Montreal Canadiens?

We’re asking hockey fans to record a video, explaining which team deserves Canada’s support. West Coast or East Coast? Blue and green or blue and red? The team with zero Stanley Cups or the team with 24?


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Canucks Win, Fan Punches Security Guard In The Mouth

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Chicago Sun-Times,

A hockey fan from Vancouver is facing more than five minutes for fighting.

Grant Rowe, 27, of West Haro Street in Vancouver, was arrested after Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs second-round series between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Vancouver Canucks Saturday night after allegedly punching a United Center security guard in the mouth on the Near West Side, police said.

Rowe was charged with misdemeanor battery after being arrested at 10:05 p.m. Saturday at 1901 W. Madison St., according to police.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Sharks Have Been The Better Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gary Peterson of the Oakland Tribune,

“I thought we played well all night,” Thornton said. “We were moving our feet. When you move your feet, you get the calls.”

The Red Wings seemed to think there was a more sinister explanation, but there’s no denying the effort that went into the Sharks’ scoring chances, the goals themselves, and the defensive push that thwarted the Red Wings’ desperate attempts to tie the game in the final few minutes.

“It’s good to get rewarded,” said Pavelski, who has six goals in the Sharks’ past three games. “Everybody’s on the same page and battling.”

Now that the Sharks have demonstrated the ability to arm-wrestle a game back under control, they’ll have to prove they can keep doing it. The Red Wings aren’t likely to change their style, especially going back to Detroit for Games 3 and 4.

“Their best game will be the next game,” Blake said.

The Sharks have been saying that for two games now. And for two games, Detroit’s best game hasn’t been good enough.


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

The Great Halak

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,

Ali is old and tired. The self of his former shadow, as Michael Farber put it. But he’s also the smartest fighter who ever lived: He ropes, and he dopes, and when Foreman is so tired of beating on Ali that he can hardly lift his arm, Ali starts to throw brilliant combinations.

The rest you know. Rope-a-dope works, in hockey as it does in boxing. For it to work, however, you need a great goaltender. Not a good goalie, a great one.

And the Canadiens just might have that goalie. The thoroughbred, it turns out, was right under our noses all along. And I’m not talking about Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver.

Meet Jaroslav Halak, the relatively slight, unassuming Slovak who will turn 25 in 10 days. The man the Canadiens have tried to consign to a backup role. The outsider who has fought through every prejudice to become a dominating goalie.

read on

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

Special Goal By Briere

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Ninety-nine percent of the time, a player in Briere’s spot would dump the puck into the Boston zone or, at most, skate it in and pull up to wait for friendlies to join him. But Briere suddenly sped up, skated between the Bruins, fired a backhand shot and then flipped his own rebound past Tuukka Rask for the goal that sent the game into overtime.

So if Briere is capable of such artistry, why doesn’t he do it more often? The answer is complex and sheds light on the psychology of players rising to the occasion in big games.

And Briere does that. He has a long history of playoff success, even if he sometimes seems to get lost for stretches during the regular season.

“He certainly has a special set of skills,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. “He’s a gifted player, and those players have every opportunity to make a difference.”

read on and watch the goal below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+briere

No Joking With These Sharks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

The assessment of many prior to these playoffs was that this would be the final litmus test for several Sharks, primarily Thornton and Marleau. Instead, what we may be finding out is that what those two needed wasn’t necessarily more big game prowes. Maybe they just needed help.

So we’ll see this week at The Joe. The Wings will want Game 3 and then hope that puts in the minds of the Sharks the memories of blown playoffs past. But home ice hasn’t been especially kind to Mike Babcock’s group so far in the post-season, and its worth noting their best performance to date came in Game 7 against Phoenix out in the desert.

Now, they’ve got an opponent that’s tired of being the butt of everyone’s joke. That can be a powerful thing.


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

Chicago Understands What They Need To Do

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gary Mason of the Globe and Mail (Monday edition),

To the surprise of no one, members of the Chicago Blackhawks awoke yesterday morning to find there was still life on earth. And because there was they were forced to drive to the rink and watch lowlights from their 5-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks in Game 1.

We won’t know until after Game 2 tonight what kind of students the Chicago players make. But certainly those Hawks marched in front of the media here yesterday were making the right sounds, which included admitting that perhaps they hadn’t shown their Round 1 opponents the deference they deserved.

“Maybe there was a little bit of disrespect [for Vancouver] going into the series,” coach Joel Quennville conceded.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Sharks Go Up 2-0 On The Wings

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Game 3 on Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena.  You have to say it is a must win game for the Wings.

Fans may complain about the penalties awarded to San Jose tonight, but the Wings won 38% of the faceoffs tonight, a figure that stands out for me.

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

The Main Hatchway Is Secure

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

Down 0-1 to this team is not necessarily a concern.  Down 0-2 would make me sad but not fetal. 

Am I stressed?  Yes ma’am. 

But concerned?  No.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Admitting I'm Wrong, | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

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