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The Difference Maker

from the Vancouver Province,

Talk softly and carry a big stick. Players often preach that credo, but few put it into practice like Sami Salo.
As the owner of one of the NHL’s most feared slapshots—the Vancouver Canucks defenceman was ranked third in a Sports Illustrated players poll—Salo can make a difference in a chess-match playoff series with the Dallas Stars that may be settled by special-teams execution.
“They’re going to be hard-battle games and special teams are going to be crucial,” predicted Salo, who scored five of his 14 goals this season on the power play. “And they’re not going to be high-scoring because both teams have great goaltending and play their systems well.

continued

Filed in: NHL Playoff Talk, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Focusing Is Tough For JSG

from the OC Register,

Giguere, 29, had been absent from the team since Wednesday, when his wife, Kristen, gave birth to their first child. A non-life-threatening medical condition involving the couple’s son, Maxime, caused Giguere to miss last weekend’s season-ending trip to Dallas and Columbus.
“It’s been tough,” Giguere said without revealing specifics of his son’s health. “You want to be where it matters the most, but at the same time, life continues. You need to work, and this is my work, so you have to be here and when you’re here, try to focus on what you have to do.
“It’s a little hard. I won’t lie to you. But I try to be professional. When I come here, I try not to think about what’s going on at home. It’s not easy, but whatever happens at home, sometimes you just have to leave it there and go to work. I think I need to do that.”

more

Filed in: Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Wings Tickets Still Available

from Dave Dye of the Detroit News,

According to a report Saturday on CBC-TV’s Hockey Night in Canada, around 2,500 Wings season-ticket holders declined to buy playoff tickets.
“I couldn’t tell you either way,” Hahn said when asked about the report. “I don’t know who they got that number from.”
As for an estimate on the number of tickets available, Hahn said, “I don’t have a specific count.
“But there’s less available for Game 1 than Game 2 and 5 and 7, and there’s more for Round 2 than in Round 1.”

read on

added 6:54am, Make sure to read IwoCPO’s take on this at A2Y.

Filed in: NHL Playoff Talk, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Run And Be Runned

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Murray told reporters that if Therrien wants to try to intimidate the Senators in the best-of-seven series that starts tomorrow at Scotiabank Place, then the Penguins can expect Ottawa to push right back.
“However we’re treated, we’ll treat the other team. If they give us 10:30 (a.m.) ice times, we’ll give them 10:30 (a.m.) ice times. If they run our goaltender, we will look after that area of the game as well,” said Murray. “That’s the way I have always tried to operate: You do to something to us and I’m going to make sure my team does the same thing. We’re not going to take a back seat to anybody.”

more

Filed in: NHL Playoff Talk, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Can The Pens Win It

from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Five reasons they can win it-
Heart. It’s not going to be easy to drive a stake through this team, which is among the best in winning percentage when trailing after the first or second period. Those young legs help in comeback situations, and no player in the league has a bigger heart than veteran winger Gary Roberts.
Five reasons they can’t win it-
Faceoffs. Don’t laugh. Consider the game eight days ago in Toronto, when a lost faceoff in overtime led directly to the Maple Leafs’ winning goal. The Penguins have been the worst faceoff team in the NHL all season and do not have a go-to guy.

read on for all of the other reasons…

Filed in: NHL Playoff Talk, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

CBC Not Happy With Schedule

from the Toronto Star,

In fact, thanks to the NHL first-round schedule hammered out Sunday night, the CBC will get only one Saturday night game involving a Canadian team, and only if the series between the Vancouver Canucks and Dallas Stars goes six games.
Hockey Night In Canada becomes Hockey Not In Canada.
Needless to say, the CBC is not amused.
“We asked in the strongest possible way for Ottawa to be showcased on a Saturday night,” said CBC Sports executive director Scott Moore. “We were disappointed that the league decided not to give it to us.

more

Filed in: Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Rebirth of Craig Rivet

From San Jose Mercury News,

Craig Rivet never found much to celebrate when spring rolled around during his 11 seasons in Montreal.
The weather was still miserable in April, and it usually matched the mood of the Canadiens’ fans and media who sometimes seemed personally offended by anything less than perfection.
“It’s not a good thing,” the veteran defenseman said. “It’s a very tough place to play. ... That’s Montreal for me. It’s a city of, ‘What can you do for me right now?’”
During his first six weeks with the San Jose Sharks, Rivet has been reintroduced to the simple joys of professional hockey…

continued…

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

Old Vs. New

from the New York Times,

And while the Thrashers have lived on their offensive firepower, the Rangers are a defense-first team that has frequently won, or lost, by 2-1 scores.
The series, which starts Thursday in Atlanta, will most likely swing on which team can impose its style on the other.
“They are a strange team to play,” Rangers forward Jaromir Jagr said. “They’re like a snake. They make you sleep and they jump. They’ve got so much power, they just hit you with three goals with the skill they have.
“You have to be ready for that. I think you just have to play your game, don’t adjust to their game.”

read on

added 9:51pm, from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Not only are the Thrashers playing in their first playoff series, they’re doing it on the biggest media stage in the world. The team, which at times has complained about the leaguewide lack of exposure for its stars like Ilya Kovalchuk and Marian Hossa, now has to prevent being burned by overexposure and the distractions that come with playing a New York team.
“That’s going to be a challenge,” coach Bob Hartley said after Monday’s practice. “That’s the challenge of a pro sports athlete — some people will lose their focus.”

more

Filed in: Atlanta Thrashers, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Around The Rink With Stan

from Stan Fischler at the Hockey Journal,

*David Nonis is the under-heralded GM who rates a retroactive ovation for picking Alain Vigneault off the coaching scrapheap and handing him the Canucks. Brian Burke’s protégé, Nonis speaks with fewer decibel counts than his mentor but he sure is piling up the point
*Ales (Big Talent, Little Drive) Hemsky and Fernando (Overpaid) Pisani were supposed to take the Oilers a long way this year. So, who gets the blame – our beloved underachievers or coach Craig (Run Out Of Quotes) MacTavish?

more from the Maven…

 

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Lemaire Bothered By Opening On Wednesday

via Russo’s Rants,

The Wild originally believed its playoff series against the Ducks would start on Thursday. On Sunday, however, the team was informed that it would play Wednesday at Anaheim.
Coach Jacques Lemaire simply said, “you don’t want my comment,” when asked for his reaction. This isn’t a surprise. Preparation is one reason for Lemaire’s success so you had to figure when he got the call Sunday about the schedule there were a few choice words tossed around.
If Lemaire had known the Wild would play Wednesday he would have had his players on the ice Sunday. Instead, he gave them the day off. As a result, Lemaire ended up having to cover more ground during Monday’s practice than he wanted to.

Filed in: NHL Playoff Talk, Minnesota Wild, | 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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