Kukla's Korner Hockey
Tonight should be another great night to settle in and watch some playoff hockey.
The Blues will be without T.J. Oshie and Patrik Berglund, the Flyers are starting Ray Emery and their #1 goaltender Steve Mason will join the Flyers in NYC tomorrow but is still questionable for game 2.
Also, there was some question of the starting goaltender for San Jose and this morning the Sharks announced Antti Niemi as their starter.
Enjoy and feel free to comment on the games...
from the CP at The Hockey News,
Hockey is a religion in Quebec. Just ask the Roman Catholic Church.
The church is giving Habs fans a chance to support the only Canadian team in the Stanley Cup playoffs and do a little charity work by donating $1 to light a virtual candle on thewww.laflammedesseries.ca website.
The contributions will go toward the church's annual fund drive.
The website went up on Wednesday before the Canadiens defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-4 in overtime in their first playoff game.
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
Now the Blues are beaten-up and have lost six straight games entering the first round, and they’re facing the Chicago Blackhawks, the defending Stanley Cup champions and the second-best offensive team in the NHL in the regular season. St. Louis seems on edge. But Miller seems at ease. He joked with reporters about the 18 goals he allowed in his last five games, saying he didn’t think it was too bad and he wasn’t worried, and then he said something interesting.
“I’ve learned some things about playing with this group the last month-and-a-half, and I feel I’ve built my game to be in a good place this time of year,” Miller said. “Over the last year-and-a-half, two years, I think I’ve built a good attitude to play hockey the right way and be a good teammate. Right now it’s about coming together as a group, battling for your buddy and hunkering down and just going to work. That’s kind of what I’m putting my focus into. I’m just going to try and be there and do my job for the boys.”
A good attitude? To play the right way? To be a good teammate? What does Miller mean by that? Well, when you’re a perfectionist, imperfection can drive you nuts, and when you’re a goalie, being a good teammate can mean worrying about yourself. Miller had good times in Buffalo – two trips to the Eastern Conference final, a Presidents’ Trophy as the NHL’s top regular-season team, a Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goalie – but the Sabres slipped and so did he. The frustration affected him. He called out problems like a captain.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Question: Do you know the difference between Bobby Orr and Ryan McDonagh?
Answer: The Bruins would never have traded the rights to Orr to the Rangers in exchange for Scott Gomez.
Well, that difference among many.
And yet, as the Flyers approached Thursday’s Garden opener of their opening-round playoff series against the Blueshirts, one can be excused for wondering if Philadelphia’s coaching staff had super-imposed the No. 4 onto the back of McDonagh’s jersey given the emphasis the club seemed to be placing on the Rangers’ best player.
Indeed, coach Craig Berube reportedly had instructed his first line consisting of Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell and Jakub Voracek to change its preferred style of rush-hockey to a form of dump-and-crash in order to: a) protect against offensive blue line turnovers that would trigger McDonagh leading the transition; and, b) wear down McDonagh by pounding the defenseman whenever he goes back to play the puck below the goal line.
“I think everyone should have a chip on their shoulder to perform, to get the job done. Last year finished off not the way we wanted it to, so I think it’s important to go into the playoffs with that chip on us.”
-Rick Nash of the New York Rangers as they prepare for the Philadelphia Flyers. More from Josh Thomson of Rangers Report.
WEISE LIFTS CANADIENS IN OVERTIME
After a back-and-forth three periods that saw neither team hold the lead for more than four minutes (TB – 3:34, MTL – 3:58), Dale Weise scored his first career playoff goal at 18:08 of overtime to lift the Canadiens to a 1-0 series lead over the Lightning.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Weise became the first Canadiens player to record his first career postseason goal in overtime since May 18, 1986, when Brian Skrudland did so nine seconds into the extra period of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final versus the Flames. Last year, three NHLers scored their first playoff goal in overtime: Gustav Nyquist, Brooks Orpik and Jason Zucker.
from Rick Telander of the Chicago Sun-Times,
You win three Cups in five seasons, including possible back-to-back Cups? You’re a dynasty. Maybe you’re not the Shangs or the Mings, but you’re more than a hiccup.
Do the Blackhawks want to play the nasty Blues in the opening round, starting in St. Louis on Thursday night?
It doesn’t really matter. To win the Cup, you beat whomever steps in front of you for the next two months. At some point, you’ve beaten everybody who’s beaten everybody else....
It’s all doable. Not easy. But possible. Likely even painful. There’s a bull’s-eye on the chest of every Blackhawks star. They are the defending champs, after all. As Kane said of being singled out for special treatment by the Blues, “I would expect that, even if I wasn’t coming back from injury.’’
No, it’ll be hard, very hard. And long.
But no dynasty was easy. And none was built in a day.
A great Inside Hockey feature by Elliotte Friedman on Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper.
Thanks to xXxCrosby87Xx for the upload...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org