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Pressure Time

from Craig Custance of The Sporting News,

The pressure is on: The Devils. If Carolina doesn’t win, most pundits would credit them for pushing the favored Devils to seven games. Either way, interim coach Paul Maurice deserves to return next season. If the Devils don’t beat Carolina, it would be a serious collapse for a team some think has a serious chance to represent the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup finals….

The pressure is on: The Capitals. Rangers coach John Tortorella made a point of asking reporters during Monday’s meeting with the press if anybody thought the Rangers had a chance in Washington for Game 7. Nobody responded. “I appreciate your honesty,”...

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Rangers Have A Chance

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Tortorella returned to the rink and to his team after serving his Game 6 suspension, a subject he refused to discuss following practice, dismissing a series of questions out of hand with the suggestion that people want too much information.

It was quintessential Tortorella, famous for demanding discipline and accountability, but apparently not obligated to practice either himself. Whatever. His personality quirks are not the story of Game 7, though the hubris with which he struts could influence the outcome if the Caps take the ice with the same amount of misplaced arrogance.

Maybe the Caps will be overconfident after winning Games 3, 5 and 6 so easily, though last year’s first-round Game 7 OT defeat at home to the Flyers after scratching back from down 3-1 will likely serve as a cautionary tale. Maybe the Caps will be like the Soviets at Lake Placid and underestimate their opponent.

more

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

Ducks Do What They Do Best

from Mark Whicker of the OC Register,

It was a night of flying helmets, thrown gloves, and penalty boxes that forced you to take a number.

It was a Sixth Game but it was played like a Twelfth Round. Thanks to an all-hands-on-deck performance by the Ducks, there’s no need to worry about what’s left for Game 7.

Once again, the masters of the process of elimination snuffed out someone else’s season. The eighth-seeded Ducks sent San Jose off to another summer of doubt with a 4-1 victory that ended this first-round series in six terrific games.

And, for the fifth time, the Ducks will take on another wary rival, the Detroit Red Wings, in a Western Conference semifinal that will begin in Hockeytown.

Opponents are now 0-9 when they try to avoid season’s end in Anaheim, and this time it was especially well-timed because Game 7 would have been in San Jose Wednesday night.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Morning Line

“We didn’t come through again. The bottom line is they were better than us and that is unfortunate.”

-Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov after losing to the Ducks last night.  More from the Sharks at SanJoseSharks.com.

added 11:36am, Rob Blake, Evgeni Nabokov, Dan Boyle, Patrick Marleau and Coach Todd McLellan spoke with members of the media after Game 6 against the Anaheim Ducks… watch below.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeni+nabokov

Sharks Go Silent

from David Pollak of Working the Corners at the Mercury News,

A common question in the locker room afterward was one that’s been discussed around here since the Sharks fell behind at the start of the series: Do you think this team needs to be broken up at this point?

Most players (and we’re only talking four or five at most) said that really wasn’t up to them and they’d defer to the people who make those decisions. Only one — Rob Blake — said he’d keep the team together. And, considering his contract expires on June 30, did he want to be back for more? Yes, he did.

Me, I wanted to find out what Coach Todd McLellan said to the team in the post-handshake locker room. McLellan said he and his staff said nothing.

“We haven’t talked yet. We left them alone. It’s their time,” he said. “Coaches, they hear us all year. They need to be alone right now, talking to each other. We’ll have many days to talk to them coming up.”

OK, so I asked a few players what they had to say to each other?

As it turns out: Nothing. Just silence.

read on

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

Blackhawks Prove They Are A Good Team

from Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times,

Winning a road playoff game and closing out a wounded team to avoid a Game 7 are steps in the maturation process that the Blackhawks can cross of their list after their Stanley Cup playoff series-clinching 4-1 victory over the Flames late Monday night. But the more players talked afterwards, the more it seemed those goals weren’t all they were playing for. Young or not, this was about showing people that the Blackhawks have officially arrived.

‘‘We want to be more than a fun team to watch,’’ Adam Burish said. ‘‘We wanted to show that we’re a good hockey team. It’s more than just filling the building and being OK. We want to be a great team. We want to go deep in the playoffs. We want to show people. That was the edge we had tonight.’‘

continued

added 8:10am, Scotty Bowman was on Fan590 this morning and said the key of the series was Chicago shutting down Jarome Iginla.  Bowman also talks, about the Canucks, San Jose/Anaheim and a few other topics.

Click to listen to the interview.

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

Change Needed In Calgary

from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,

What next, Mr. Sutter?

One thing is evident on the heels of the Calgary Flames latest first-round defeat: It’s time to make changes.

With the coaching staff.

With the personnel.

With the identity.

The man atop the totem pole, GM Darryl Sutter, can make all the assertions he wants this season was done in by injuries.

A betting man says he will.

But that’s only part of the puzzle that’s become as scrambled as the one you get from the box Christmas morning from your aunt.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Ducks Defeat Sharks - Western Conference Semi-Finals Are Set

With a 4-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks, the Anaheim Ducks advance to the 2nd round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Ducks will travel to Detroit for games 1 and 2 while the Chicago Blackhawks will visit Vancouver for the first two games.

Since Chicago defeated the Flames in Calgary tonight, I wonder if they will just stay in western Canada and then make the short flight to Vancouver instead of goin back to Chicago and then quickly heading out to Vancouver.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Flames Fade

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

All the months of preparation; all the trades; all the dollars spent on salary — all in vain once again for the Calgary Flames, whose season ended in familiar fashion last night.

Only once in the past 20 years have the Flames advanced past the first round, and their prolonged postseason drought continued again this spring.

The Flames had no answers last night for a Chicago Blackhawks team that outclassed them in all areas of the game — physical play, special teams, discipline, energy and finishing ability. The net result: A 4-1 Blackhawks’ win, which gave the visitors from Chicago the best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final series by a margin of 4-2.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

NHLPA Feels Time Is Right For Another Team In The Toronto Area

from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,

With a handful of Sun Belt teams struggling to sell hockey, NHLPA director of player affairs Glenn Healy believes the timing could not be better for the NHL to seriously look at transferring a second team to the Toronto area.

He also stated that, in addition to Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie and a group that wants to bring a team to Vaughn, Ont., there are at least two other factions interested in landing another NHL team for Southwestern Ontario.

“They have been trying to fit a square peg into a round hole for a lot of years,” Healy said yesterday, in reference to the failure of the Sun Belt teams in the NHL. “They have tried everything in the world to sell the game, market the game, put fans in the seats and it doesn’t work for a lot of reasons.

“You can go down a laundry list of why it hasn’t worked — it doesn’t have the corporate backing, management has been ineffective in putting a winning team on the ice, and so on.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

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