Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,
As it turned out, the people who turned that night into a faux Stanley Cup parade knew what they were doing, since the local heroes weren’t going to get any closer to a championship this time around.
Against the Flyers, they were outworked, outmuscled in their own end, out goaltended to a significant degree, and outlucked.
“I believe in kharma sometimes,” Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau said afterwards. “You have to be lucky to win the Stanley Cup. You need a good team, you need good players, but you also need those breaks on your side. The way they played against us — well, hopefully they have some left.”
from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
These Flyers had the worst season in their history a year ago. Now they are in the final four. They had the worst record in the NHL a year ago. Now they have knocked off the No. 1 seed to advance to the Eastern Conference finals.
“Last year?” said R.J. Umberger, who scored two goals last night and a stunning total of eight in the five-game series. “We almost didn’t make the playoffs this year. We had to fight at the end of the season to get in.”
What’s the French for destiny?
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
The thing that makes me wonder a little more whether he’ll retire, though, is this: I wonder if Sakic was maybe a little scared by this last series, at how much better Datsyuk and Zetterberg were than him or anyone else up front on the Avs. They just zipped past anybody on the ice, including No. 19, and when a great player no longer feels he can dominate any opponent anymore, no matter who they are, they lose the thing inside that made them the best in the first place.
Wondering if Joe Sakic was “scared” is really hard to believe. Perhaps ‘has realized’, ‘the writing may be on the wall’, ‘looked a half-step behind’ would be a better fit, but one thing for sure, Sakic is not “scared”!
via the 2008 Stanley Cup Blog at CBC,
“We have made 200 to 250 calls on kicking plays,” (Mike) Murphy said. “What we have come to determine is that the difference between a kick and a deflection is the force of the puck. If the force of the puck was going to put it into the net at the same speed or a decreased speed, then there wasn’t a kick.
“But if the motion of the leg increases the force or speed of the puck, then we believe that is a kick. We believe (Morrow’s) kick propelled the puck forward and made it go into the net.”
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
You don’t have to be a Roone Arledge or Phil Mushnick to recognize the first thing that needs to be done on the USA-based hockey telecasts is to get rid of all the Americans who obviously have no idea how to produce and execute these shows and replace them with the Canadians who do such a superior job on all their networks.
Either that or bring in the people from MSG who year after year after year make Rangers New York Rangers games about the best watch there is on sports television - SNY Mets games are right there - and thus must have dual citizenships.
more NHL bits…
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
The Montreal Canadiens regular-season success meant nothing in the playoffs.
Unable to get on track against the Philadelphia Flyers in the second round of the playoffs, the Canadiens suffered their fourth defeat in a row — this time 6-4 — and were eliminated in five games.
Tied at 4-4 late in the third period, Scottie Upshall put the Flyers ahead with three minutes and four seconds remaining in the game on a deflection goal off a Jeff Carter shot. Mike Knuble checked in with an insurance empty-net goal in the final minute.
added 10:49pm, Watch Flyers coach John Stevens in his post game press conference via TSN...
Watch game highlights below…
from Lynn Zinser of the New York Times (Sunday edition),
At 36, Jagr has appointed himself to lead that charge. His play became increasingly dominating as the playoffs neared. He turned it up more in the first round of the playoffs and played his most inspired game Thursday, when he had two goals and an assist to help the Rangers stave off elimination.
But it was off the ice after Game 3 that Jagr made his biggest statement. Even though the Rangers had lost at the Garden, 5-3, he went into the locker room and said the Rangers could win the series if they played the way they did in erasing a two-goal deficit in the second period of that game. Publicly, he vowed the series was not over.
Jagr does not often address his teammates as a group. That role usually falls to Brendan Shanahan, one of the alternate captains, and others. But when Jagr does, he has their attention.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
The NHL’s second-class status when it comes to arena dates and television schedules, on U.S. TV anyway, has resulted in a familiar problem in the playoffs. And it will get worse the deeper you go in the playoffs, where fatigue becomes a bigger factor with the players.
I’m talking about the back-to-back games, often in different cities, that are part of almost every playoff series.
The problem is that often NHL teams do not have first call on their arena’s availability, especially when that arena is shared with an NBA team.
from Cole’s Notes at the Vancouver Sun,
Dear Gary Bettman:
On behalf of the travelling members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, I would like to lodge a complaint about the amount of money the NHL’s deal to telecast playoff games in the United States on the Versus network is costing writers, and the damage it is doing to our livers….
Club soda and cranberry juice doesn’t pay the rent, so we are forced to consume copious quantities of beer and other libations just to keep the bars from throwing us out in favour of more lucrative customers. Over three hours — or six, if there happen to be two games on, back-to-back — this runs into serious money, not to mention dangerous levels of alcohol consumption and more chicken wings than are good for our slender figures.
From Steve Zipay at his Blue Notes blog on Newsday,
That’s the word from the Rangers as of a few moments ago. This means the internal bleeding from Avery’s lacerated spleen has stopped. He’s still several days away from leaving hospital, but this is a vast improvement from when he went into St. Vincent’s late on Tuesday night.
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