Kukla's Korner Hockey
from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,
I didn’t pick the Dallas Stars to win the Stanley Cup. Heck, I didn’t pick them to get out of the first round. Not many did. After three straight first round exits, I’m guessing Modano’s Nana had the Ducks in five.
But with each passing game, with each convincing victory, I’m starting to get this funny feeling it is their year.
It’s the way they are winning, and the character traits they are showing that make you believe something special is going on here. Here’s your Stars’ Playoff Personality Profile:
This is the biggie. Remember how it seemed Anaheim won every little battle last year? How they got to the puck a fraction of a second faster, fought a little harder in every corner, played every second like overtime in game seven? That’s what these Stars are doing. The poster boy for this is captain Brendan Morrow, who would be my round-and-a-half Conn Smyth pick.
from Bob Duff of the Windsor Star via the National Post,
Windsor native Stan Matwijiw operates the Bandits Goalie School in Novi, Mich., and back in 2004, was charged with the task of deconstructing Osgood.
It proved to be a reclamation project of Humpty Dumpty-like proportions.
“I got a call from Chris the second week of August the summer before the (2004-05) lockout,” Matwijiw recalled. “When he first came to me, I was a little unsure about what he was looking for.
“This was an NHL goalie with 11 years of experience. I didn’t know whether he was just looking to fine-tune some things, so we talked about it. To my surprise, he said, ‘I want you to completely tear my game apart and rebuild it.”
from Puck-rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,
The West is so diluted Dallas might reach the finals. I was watching a game from the Colorado-Detroit series recently and, uh, oh wait that was a rerun from ESPN Classic. These are your father’s Red Wings and Avs.
Anyway, the best young talent in the West is on developing teams: Chicago, Phoenix, even Los Angeles. Will the big money clubs such as Detroit retool? No doubt. But in the salary cap era they can only do so much.
Translation: The Jackets have never been on a more level playing field. Let’s see if they can take advantage.
From David Shoalts at the Globe & Mail blog,
Don’t look now, but a New York Ranger was spotted in the opposition’s goal crease, holding up his arms and waving like a marooned sailor on a desert island.
No, it wasn’t the attention-starved Sean Avery this time but the allegedly classy veteran Brendan Shanahan. His technique was different than Avery’s but the intent seemed to be the same, to block Pittsburgh Penguin goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury’s view of the puck. [...]
Avery’s tactics drew a vow from the NHL that any further antics would result in an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty but Shanahan did not get whistled down. However, the Penguins professed no alarm about this because, they said, the referees told them if the Rangers scored a goal it would have been disallowed.
Update 4:31pm ET: Some words from Stan Fischler on what it will take for the NYR to get back into the series with the Pens
Joe Pelletier at Greatest Hockey Legends is looking back at every Stanley Cup champion since 1930, offering capsule looks at the playoffs and teams, and of course highlighting all the heroes.
This past weekend he has posted Stanley Cup capsules dating from 1930-1944. He’s added 30 new biographies as well. A lot of great hockey reading.
From Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,
Watching Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Martin Biron embrace the moment is one of the best stories of these NHL playoffs. He embodies the axiom about the value of the journey over the destination. And while the Stanley Cup dream is the ultimate, Biron’s career-long anticipation of his first postseason action in the NHL makes him a prime example of the wait giving weight—as in richness—to the moment.
Stop the whining…
more at my blog at Hockey.com…
Noted by Rick Sadowski in the Rocky Mountain News:
Red Wings forward Darren McCarty is convinced Forsberg will play.
“I’m pretty sure, unless Forsberg’s leg’s going to fall off, he’ll probably be in there for Game 3,” McCarty said. “They’re a veteran team. They’re well-coached and they’ve got guys that have been in different situations like this before. It’s not like they’re a young team.”
Kostopoulos earned a two-minute roughing minor on the play, but the war of words has escalated ever since.
“Kostopoulos, he’s a tough kid and I’ve got a lot of respect for him and [Steve] Bégin,” Philadelphia head coach John Stevens said. “But to go up and blindside sucker Kimmo Timonen on a play at the end there, that’s cowardly, in my opinion.”
Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau has been anything but quiet about the criticism of his player.
“That’s one team that shouldn’t talk,” Carbonneau said of Stevens’s comments. “They played 82 games and had the most suspensions in the league.”
And over at the Philadelphia Daily News, Rich Hofmann also expects things to get nastier in this series, citing this quote from Carbonneau:
“I think [Timonen] deserved it. That’s why they didn’t call any (major) penalties on it.”
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
A couple of old favorites are getting a lot of attention in the playoffs.
No, not the Detroit Red Wings and Dallas Stars — although they appear to be in the process of setting up a titanic struggle for the Western crown.
The two old favorites are interference and crease crashing.
Actually, the latter is a variation of the former, but either way, it’s fairly clear that the recently reconstructed competition committee is going to have to deal with these issues over the summer.
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.
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