Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Larry Brooks at the NY Post,
If the Rangers sincerely believed what they were telling the press yesterday about not having to dramatically ramp up their game in order to have a chance of advancing, they are not only kidding themselves, but the postseason will become the offseason within a week.
Game 3 at the Garden this afternoon, and however many remain in the series, will be about depth, no question about that. But more so it will be about the Rangers’ best players bringing their collective “A” game to the rink for the first time this series.
From Ben Kuzma at The Province,
Like Sgt. Rock of comic-book fame, Willie Mitchell should be chomping down on a cigar and tugging on a machine-gun trigger while leading his troops to victory.
The Vancouver Canucks defenceman not only battled back from an early injury Friday in a 2-1 double-overtime win over the Anaheim Ducks, he expects a similar effort today in the Western Conference semifinal series now even at one game apiece.
“We’ve got more in the bag,” said Mitchell. “We’re underdogs I guess and a lot of people were writing us off after Game 1. They were saying that [Ducks] team is too much for us, and that’s motivation.
From Stu Cowan at The Gazette,
With the Canadiens missing the playoffs for the second time in four seasons and the sixth time since their last Stanley Cup championship in 1993, there’s little for Montreal hockey fans to cheer about these days.
So why not cheer for some of the former Canadiens who are still alive in the playoffs? In fact, of the eight teams remaining in the Stanley Cup hunt, the Ottawa Senators are the only one that doesn’t have a former Canadien on the roster.
continued... *Some of his choices: Chris Chelios, Trevor Linden, Francois Beauchemin, Dainius Zubrus…
From the AP,
Canada’s Shea Weber was suspended Sunday for three games at the Hockey World Championship for hitting German forward Yannic Seidenberg in the head a day earlier.
“A three-game suspension in a tournament like this is awfully tough,” Canadian head coach Andy Murray said. “It’s the equivalent of a 40-game suspension back in the National Hockey League based on the number of games we’re playing here — but that’s what they decided and that’s what we’ll deal with.”
The Nashville Predators defenceman was ejected just 1:19 into Saturday’s Group C game, after forcefully elbowing Seidenberg in the chin as came through centre ice with his head down.
from the CP via Yahoo,
The Vancouver Canucks are frustrated with the way the Anaheim Ducks have been crashing into goaltender
Roberto Luongo in the first two games of their NHL Western Conference semifinal series.
Canuck general manager Dave Nonis is taking up the issue with the NHL prior to Sunday night’s Game 3 (8 p.m. ET). The best of seven series is tied 1-1.
“We’ve got some issues with the officiating that I’m not sharing with you,” Canuck coach Alain Vigneault said after practice Saturday. “The professional thing is to deal directly with the NHL.
“Obviously we had some issues with last night’s game. Dave is bringing it up with them.”
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
According to Earl Zukerman, the communications officer & Webmaster of the McGill University’s Department of Athletics, Babcock asked that the school send him a red silk tie hat he could wear behind the bench for Game 2 of the series.
Babcock is the third former McGill player to coach an NHL team (Lester Patrick guided the N.Y. Rangers; George Burnett served in Edmonton).
from the CP via NHL.com,
Head coach Lindy Ruff of the Buffalo Sabres has been fined an undisclosed amount by the NHL for his tirade at the end of Friday night’s 3-2 win over the New York Rangers in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal.
Ruff, who was also assessed a gross misconduct, was irate with on-ice officials for what he perceived were two missed calls late in the game.
from the National Post,
Might there be something in Thursday’s narrow escape to suggest the Senators have reformed their game? Perhaps.
“We still have moments when we stray from the game plan, but I think it’s just the realization that, if we do the things right that we practise during the year—really not giving the other team any chances—we know how to play that way now,” Emery said.
“If we dedicate ourselves and play like that ... guys are willing to do that now.
“I don’t know if we even knew how to do that last year.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Accordingly, the challenge for Saturday’s second game is simple — get more traffic in front of Sharks’ goaltender Evgeni Nabokov and get more shots through to the net.
“There’s no skill part of it,” said Cleary. “It’s just wanting to do it and anticipating rebounds and being confident and being brave in going to the net and hanging around there. It’s a tough area. If you’re willing to go to tough areas, you’re going to score. Most playoff goals are scored in that 10-foot range around the net, on rebounds. Not great-looking goals, but they’re goals at the end of the day.”
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
The Red Wings are winners on the ice. Always have been, but the organization becomes a loser when it rips off a devoted fan base at playoff time.
The owners have the salary cap, after years of trying to get fitted with one. Seems to me it’s time somebody up there put a cap on ticket prices during the playoffs.
more... and as I have stated numerous times this season, the Wings do not have the pulse of the Wings fans. No marketing effort, every event they offer the fans is a “pay to get in” type thing.
No open practices, no involvement from the players within the community and of course, trying to get access to anyone within the organization is almost impossible.
Christy at Behind the Jersey takes an in-depth look at ticket sales for both the Wings and Pistons.
Spector at his Fox Sports blog also wonders where are the Wings fans?
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.
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