Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Wise of the Washington Post,
For some reason I found myself referring to Chris Clark, the Capitals’ injured right wing, as “Clarkie” the other day, as in, “What’s Clarkie doing sitting up here in the press box?”
It didn’t feel chummy or corny, of which it was probably both. It felt oddly natural, like my friend who walked up to Donald Brashear yesterday and said, “What’s up, Brash?” as the Caps’ enforcer winked at the notion of a virtual stranger knowing his nickname. Ovie the Kid. Olie the Elder. Greenie. Feds. Brooksie. And, yes, “Gabby,” Bruce Boudreau, that chatterbox coach from Hershey, whose wry humor and spare honesty disarmed most anyone interested in his hockey team.
They let Washington into their world the past five months, into their clubhouse—a grown-up bunch of Lil’ Rascals, armed with sticks and pucks. They fell to a more focused Flyers team that taught them a good lesson about playoff hockey:
Let’s just hope the Washington media who recently discovered that Washington has a hockey team, doesn’t forget about them next year!
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
And the performance of the duo of veteran referees Don Koharski and Paul Devorski in Philadelphia’s 3-2 overtime win over Washington Tuesday has to be noted, because it was simply abhorrent.
If there were a way to get a police sketch artist to encapsulate Koharski and Devorski’s wildly varying in-game assessments – featured by a stretch in which no penalties were called from the 13:27 mark of the second period to Tom Poti’s chintzy tripping minor 4:15 into OT that led to Joffrey Lupul’s game-winner at 6:06 – I’d transfer that image to thousands of Wanted: Dead Or Alive posters and start fundraising immediately to raise as much money as possible for a reward.
Making matters worse, if it weren’t for another blown call in the second period, the Caps might’ve won their Eastern Conference first-round series in regulation time.
Update 3:35pm ET: Jamie Fitzpatrick writes a response to Proteau’s comments at About.com
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
If the Avs are to beat Detroit, they’re going to have to do what they did to Marian Gaborik, which is HIT their star players. The Avs hit the Wings about as hard as a teenage girl pillow fight in the regular season, so it’ll be time to change that.
The Avs are clearly a different team than the regular season, though. Foote and Salei have vastly improved and toughened the blue line. I mean, it’s not even close there.
Before things heat up here on KK regarding the Avs/Wings series, make sure to check out the bottom of Daters blog. Want a conversation piece, buy his book and the money goes for a great cause, check it out…
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
The Canadiens, whose victory provided the backdrop for the disturbances, weighed in with regrets yesterday. Team president Pierre Boivin said: “We wish for celebrations to take place in the traditional spirit of happiness and respect of our sport that brings us together.”
But it was ironic that Boivin added: “We ask our fans to show the same public-spiritedness as they do in the Bell Centre.”
For the record, there was a distinct lack of civility at the Bell Centre Monday night as fans shouted and booed while Charles Prévost-Linton sang the U.S. national anthem.
It wasn’t like that in the good ol’ days.
from Greg Wyshynski at Yahoo,
...it was rather embarrassing to see those same fans litter the ice with rally rags, food, beer and the whatever containers had housed said beer after the Capitals’ 3-2 overtime loss in Game 7 last night to the Philadelphia Flyers. We’re talking pools of overpriced brew that splashed on the ice near where the Flyers were celebrated Joffrey Lupul’s game-winner, and showers of concessionary debris that kept falling during the postgame handshake—and post-series interviews, like this one with Jeff Carter:
more and watch the video…
from Rich Hofmann of the Philadelphia Daily News,
The leaping, joyous emotion Stevens showed on the bench after Joffrey Lupul won it, won Game 7 in overtime, was back wherever Stevens stores such things. If you could read the relief on his face, hear it in his voice, it wasn’t obvious.
Stevens was just himself - the coach of a team that rose from the depths last season and learned something, learned how to win.
“I’m just happy,” Stevens said. “You just love to see a group have some success . . .
“You keep talking about success, and getting to where you want to go. To win a series, it’s great to see the excitement in the players and the whole organization, especially after last year.”
Barry Melrose of ESPN breaks down the games last night and talks a little Pens/Rangers…
Watch the video…
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
They played their hearts out,” Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said after the game. “They laid it on the line like you knew they would. That’s probably why they’re so sad.”
What did Boudreau say to his boys afterward, before reporters swarmed in to record the Caps’ disappointment?
“I just told them that they’d given me the greatest year of my life and I thanked them,” he said. “We’ll talk tomorrow. They don’t want to hear too much and I couldn’t say too much at that point.”
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Afterwards, Kiprusoff — who begins the first year of a lucrative new six-year contract extension next season — said of coach Mike Keenan’s decision to switch goalies: “It’s not my call. You have to ask somebody else.”
Keenan, that somebody, was blunt in his assessment: “I didn’t think it was controversial,” he said, of his decision to make the goalie switch. “Kipper didn’t play very well. I was surprised. I thought he would give us his best game.”
Flames’ captain Jarome Iginla, who scored their opening goal, was deeply disappointed with the loss, especially since the game was there for the taking, about 23 minutes in, when Calgary held a 2-1 lead on Owen Nolan’s breakaway goal.
“Guys worked extremely hard to get to this point and give us a chance to win the series,” said Iginla. “There was about a 10-minute span there when they won the game and ended up winning the series on us.”
fromm Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,
All you want is a team’s best. Such a modest request for a Game 7. But we all know how hard that has been to find for the Sharks on a consistent basis in the playoffs over the past few years.
But the final score Tuesday settled that matter for now. In nine minutes during the second period, the Sharks settled the issue of whether they can bring their best when it really matters.
“If you have played youth hockey, street hockey, any hockey, you’ve played this game in your head a million times,” Sharks captain Patrick Marleau said afterward.
The National Hockey League today announced the dates, starting times and national broadcast coverage for the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoff Conference Semifinal round, which begins Thursday, April 24 when the Montreal Canadiens host the Philadelphia Flyers and the Detroit Red Wings host the Colorado Avalanche. On Friday, April 25 the Pittsburgh Penguins host the New York Rangers and the San Jose Sharks host the Dallas Stars.
Complete, detailed schedule is below:
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