Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ryan Dixon at the Hockey News,
But this year’s version of the New York Rangers isn’t your typical brash, big-city bunch. A team that in recent years came to be known for its heavy Czech presence is really more about checking hard at both ends of the rink and thriving on a north-south game. That and fantastic goaltending.
With the Eastern Conference as wide open as Saskatchewan, the Rangers are starting to gather a sizeable following of people who believe this could be the year Madison Square Garden plays host to another Stanley Cup final.
Update 5:56pm ET— From Bill Clement at NBC Sports, more Rangers optimism:
Having made the playoffs for the third straight year under coach Tom Renney, the Rangers shouldn’t be sold short of capping their season with a ticker-tape parade down New York’s Canyon of Heroes.
The only other time such a celebration took place for this franchise was in 1994, when captain Mark Messier helped end over a half-century of futility on ice in the Big Apple.
Looking at the competitive balance in the Eastern Conference, one would be crazy not to think the Rangers could make it to the Stanley Cup Finals. And if they do, with the strengths they possess and with the possibility their opponent will have paid a heavy price to come out of the rough-and-tumble West, the Rangers will have a better-than-average chance to sometime in June skate around the ice with Lord Stanley’s Cup held high.
Wings forward Tomas Kopecky out for 4-6 months after suffering a partially torn left anterior cruciate ligament and a sprained MCL when he flipped over Columbus forward Manny Malhota in Thursday’s game, general manager Ken Holland said on Friday. After a two-week period to let the swelling go down, Kopecky will have surgery.
from Chilling Out at the Tennessean,
I’m not going to suggest the Predators tank it tonight in Chicago.
But let’s face it. The last place they want to end up is the Shark Tank, which would be the case if the Predators beat the Blackhawks tonight and Vancouver beats Calgary on Saturday.
As matters stand now, the eighth-seeded Predators will open the postseason against top-seeded Detroit, which is hardly a walk in the park. The Red Wings are the Presidents’ Trophy winners and are loaded with talent.
The Ottawa Senators will not have forwards Daniel Alfredsson and Mike Fisher in their lineup for the forseeable future, as head coach and general manager Bryan Murray told reporters Friday that both players have knee injuries and will be out for “weeks.”
Making things worse for Ottawa’s captain is a head injury suffered after a hit by Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mark Bell on Thursday night, identified by the team as an upper body injury.
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon talking hockey?
Watch for yourself…
from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,
What, Vancouver has to win to get in? That is so unfair. And, by the look of it, impossible.
With their season on the line, the Canucks went 1-6 in the seven games that mattered most. In the final of these, Thursday, the Canucks eliminated themselves from the playoffs by losing 2-1 to the Edmonton Oilers.
The Oilers were freshly eliminated from the playoffs and missing their No. 1 goalie, top defenceman and five forwards, including the two top scorers.
via the NHL…
#3 Carolina Hurricanes can clinch the Southeast Division tonight:
* If they beat Florida.
#3 Carolina Hurricanes can clinch an Eastern Conference playoff berth tonight:
* If they get one point against Florida and Philadelphia gets no points against New Jersey.
#4 New Jersey Devils can clinch the Eastern Conference’s #4 seed tonight:
* If they beat Philadelphia.
* If they get one point against Philadelphia and NY Rangers get one or no points against NY Islanders.
* If NY Rangers get no points against NY Islanders.
From Josh Brewster at NHL Quick Shots,
It appears to me that Hockeybuzz likes the appearance of legitimacy that noting the writer’s newspaper affiliation lends, and that’s where Hockeybuzz is irresponsible. If it’s entertainment, don’t pass it off as something else (calls to Eklund for comment went unreturned).
Eklund should have some type of process for his blog site, but obviously doesn’t, which is why bloggers are looked at suspiciously by traditional journalists, and rightly so. Much of what’s flying through the blogosphere is garbage.
Call Garner’s piece a “slob comedy,” Eklund. Put a picture of a cartoon character next to a piece like this if this is entertainment. Maybe throw a picture of John Belushi or Jim Carrey (maybe even a monkey?) on the page so that we know this is a goof, because it was presented by Hockeybuzz as something other than entertainment, for sure.
more… on the interesting case of journalist Ryan Garner, and issues of accountability
Three of the four teams listed make the playoffs, which team is left on the golf course?
added 10:30am, As a KK reader pointed out, Carolina should also be on this list, so I have added them to the poll after about 100 votes.
from Don Brennan at Off the Posts,
The guys on the ice when the Ottawa captain, leader and best player was drilled in the head were Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza, Anton Volchenkov and Wade Redden. If they weren’t going to try and rip Bell’s cage off and fight him, they should have at least jumped him and tried to give his broken jaw a good rub.
There was ample opportunity for one of the more physical Senators to go after Bell later, but that didn’t happen either.
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