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Ericsson Proves His Worth With Wings

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock isn’t surprised by rookie Jonathan Ericsson’s effectiveness because he has been working as the defenseman’s chief lobbyist almost from the day he first saw him.

“I’ve seen him for three years and pushed to have him on the team for two years, but I didn’t have votes,” Babcock jokes.

Babcock simply couldn’t talk general manager Ken Holland into straying from the team’s philosophy of keeping prospects in the American Hockey League until they are ready to contribute significantly at the NHL level.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+ericsson

Evening Line

One could conjecture whether Tortorella has out-coached Bruce Boudreau and the only conclusion, based on the three-games-to-one Ranger advantage, that the answer is affirmative….

Is it to soon to celebrate? Of course. But, unless Backstrom, Kozlov, Semin, et. al. quickly stop auditioning for Rip Van Winkle, the horns can be taken out of storage.

-Stan Fischler of Game On.  More on the Rangers victory over the Capitals.

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

Can Capitals Beat Lundqvist?

from Ryan Dixon of The Hockey News,

You know what they’re saying in Washington. The Capitals were down 3-1 to Philadelphia last year before storming back to force a Game 7, which they ultimately lost in overtime.

Now, facing the same series deficit versus the New York Rangers, the Caps most natural rallying cry is, “We did it before, this time let’s finish the job.”

That notion would be more than hyperbole if they weren’t trying to score goals on Henrik Lundqvist, which is just about the toughest NHL assignment east of Vancouver.

The good news for Washington is Alex Ovechkin looks poised for another late-series surge similar to the one he had last year against Philly.

more and some Canadiens talk too…

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

Bruins Sweep Canadiens, Move On To Eastern Conference Semi-Finals

Kevin Mio of Habs Inside/Out writes,

What’s Next: A summer full of questions and searching for answers as to what went wrong during the centennial season. The Canadiens have a long list of unrestricted free agents and the 2009-10 edition of the team could look vastly different.

added 10:34pm, from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,

If the Canadiens were going to win this series, their hopes had to rest on goaltending but Carey Price never looked like the second coming of Patrick Roy or Ken Dryden.

Check that. Price did do a fair imitation of Roy when he stopped a shot by Mark Recchi from just across centre ice with a little more than four minutes remaining in the second period. The sellout crowd greeted the stop with an ovation that dripped with sarcasm and Price responded by throwing his arms in the air.

When coach Bob Gainey was asked why he didn’t use Jaroslav Halak, who was limited to 20 minutes of perfect relief work in Game 2, he suggested that it wouldn’t have been fair to the Slovak because he hadn’t started a game in 7-10 days and that it wouldn’t have been fair to Price, who had carried the load coming into the playoffs.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Early Answers

from Craig Button at NHL.com,

What answers have been obtained through the early part of the playoffs?

* St. Louis had a wonderful run to the playoffs, but had the misfortune of facing a team which had an equally good record entering the playoffs.

* Roberto Luongo has been on top of his game, and a fortune could be made if there was a dollar handed out at every mention of “goaltending is important in the playoffs.”

* The Canucks’ defense is outstanding and any questions about the Sedin twins have been emphatically answered during the first round with their stellar play.

* Chris “OsGreat” has warranted the belief the Red Wings put in him prior to the playoffs. The series has unfolded as a lopsided one, but early in Game 1, the Blue Jackets put the test to the Red Wings, and Osgood not only answered brilliantly, he has maintained that level of play through three games.

more

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Has Chicago ” Bitten Off More Than They Can Chew”?

from Peter Zuurbie of CalgaryFlames.com,

The Hawks may have made the biggest mistake of their season. In losing their composure at the end of Game 3, the Blackhawks continually instigated the Flames, and specifically captain Jarome Iginla. While the inexperienced Hawks team may have been trying to throw Iginla off his game, they may have accomplished the exact opposite. Standing strong behind their fired-up captain, the Flames seem to have regained their swagger.

“He’s not a guy you want to light a fire under… that guy’s got a scary look when he gets mad and I wouldn’t want to be on the other team facing off against him,” said a defiant Nystrom, who believes his opponents have bitten off more than they can chew.

“The only thing they can do is verbally abuse that guy because you’re not going to physically intimidate him… He’s not afraid of anybody, he’s willing to take anybody on so, if they just want to talk and not back it up, only Iggy’s gonna get stronger.”

continued

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

This Can’t Be Good

Talk about bad karma…

from Erik Rolfsen of The White Towel at the Vancouver Province,

...we’re having a friendly competition to see which Canuck fan can map out the best route for the Stanley Cup Parade. All you have to do is use Google Maps to draw the route you think would be best. It could pass through your neighbourhood, by your house, your favourite watering hole, wherever you want. Just let us know where it should go, and use markers to describe any points of interest it passes along the way.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Afternoon Line

Funny how the Flames are accusing the Hawks of trash talking. At least that’s happening on the ice and would have stayed there if not for broadcaster Pierre McGuire playing Peeping Tom between the benches and reporting it for Canadian television.

Many Hawks don’t think McGuire likes them anyway.

-Tim Sassone of Between The Circles.  More from Tim on the Calgary/Chicago series.

Just a note Tim, we here in the States heard it too, Versus picked-up the TSN broadcast.

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

Win In The Forecast For The Rangers

from Stan Fischler of Game On,

Was it an aberration or a hallucination?

Was what we saw on Monday night at the Garden an eccentricity or were we just seeing things? Or both?

No matter. A 20-year-old inexperienced, third-string goalie blanked the Blueshirts, four-zip, leaving Rangerville in a state of shock and wonderment –  if not awe.

The wondering has everything to do with how to defeat Washington on Wednesday night at MSG. Now that The Maven’s Sweep hopes are history, sweep-minus-one remains possible; if not probable.

continued

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

One Elimination Game & Two Games That Could Put Teams Up 3-1

Canadiens have to win tonight or their season is over while Washington and Calgary need wins to avoid going down 3-1 in their respective series.

image

Filed in: NHL Teams, | 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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