Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Calgary Sun,
Detroit is still favoured to win the series and not just because the Wings have home-ice advantage in what’s become a best-of-three series against a Calgary team that can’t seem to win on the road.
Since the 2000 playoffs, 15 series have followed the route taken by the Flames and Wings, with one team rebounding from a two-game deficit to even the set at 2-2.
Last spring, Edmonton regrouped from losing the first two games to San Jose and won the series—just like Carolina did to Montreal in the opening round, en route to the Stanley Cup.
But instances like those are the exceptions, not the rules.
from Mark Herrmann of Newsday,
They have taken on the personality of Nolan, who has been preaching all year about his goal for the franchise: “Change the culture.”
“I think that the past couple of years,” goalie Rick DiPietro said, “we’ve been known as a team that wasn’t able to bounce back so well from adversity. I think we’ve done a great job of that this year. But the end result is the same: We’re out in the first round and I don’t think anybody is happy with that.”
Hurting is a good sign. The Islanders were in position to be one of those just-happy-to-be-here eighth seeds. Instead, they left thinking they should have done much more. That’s a change in the culture.
Wings try to keep home ice advantage and Canucks try to wrap up the series on the road.
The Wings/Flames game in on NBC throughout the USA and CBC will have the game too. Mike Emrick, Ed Olczyk provide play-by-play and color, while Pierre McGuire is Behind the Glass for the NBC coverage.
from Joe Biddle of the Tennessean,
“It’s very disappointing to play the way we did all year and then to finish the way we did. Very disappointing,’’ Vokoun said. “We just didn’t get it done. There were a lot of things we didn’t do.
“There was taking penalties, to not being able to score during key moments. It’s all kinds of things. It’s extremely hard. I’m a very competitive person and if I could have done anything to change the game … You don’t know how many chances you’re going to get like this against a team like that.’‘
The most glaring problem was the number of penalties the Predators incurred. It not only put them behind the 8-ball in Game 5, but most of the series.
It was a problem that never got corrected. Friday night they got hit with nine penalties worth 29 minutes.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
The Sabres dismissed the Islanders in five games because Briere and Chris Drury performed while Satan and Yashin mostly disappeared. Briere had a goal and four assists, Drury four goals and an assist, the two co-captains working in symphony. Satan finished with a goal and two assists after waking up in the third period. Captain Yashin? Zip. Again.
“The line between winning and losing is so thin, you need everybody,” Sabres defenseman Teppo Numminen said. “If your best guys are playing their games, it’s huge. They’re so talented that they can break a game and be the difference.”
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
So while the Isles were going out of their way to criticize the league for a few controversial calls this week, the team’s management all the while knew they were in effect playing with a player soon to be deemed ineligible.
So while the league can puff out its chest today and cite Hill’s 20-game suspension announced late yesterday afternoon as evidence of a league drug policy that works, the incident may have actually opened up a bunch of new questions.
When was Hill caught?
Should he have been suspended pending his appeal?
How long did the appeal take?
Should that appeal have been heard before the playoffs began?
from the Ottawa Citizen,
The federal Liberals want the Conservative government to push for a lineup change to Team Canada at the upcoming world hockey championship because of ethnic slurs that were allegedly made by a player toward a francophone referee more than a year ago.
The allegations, which sparked two lawsuits, revolve around an incident at a December 2005 NHL game involving Phoenix Coyotes forward Shane Doan and a francophone linesman. An NHL investigation absolved Mr. Doan of any wrongdoing.
from the Dallas Morning News via the Santa Barbara News,
The national Stanley Cup ratings on Versus are down six percent from last season to 0.02, an average of 268,000 homes per game. During the regular season, NBC averaged 1.34 million homes for its regionalized coverage of the post-lockout NHL. That’s less than half the homes that Fox attracted for its NHL coverage a decade ago.
more on the Dallas Stars ratings…
from the AP via The Hockey News,
Babcock hopes the Red Wings are resisting here-we-go-again thoughts. Since winning the Stanley Cup in 2002, they’ve had two first-round exits and one in the second.
“One of the key things for me is, this isn’t last year’s team - (and) this isn’t ‘04,” he said. “Don’t carry that baggage around.”
From NHL Press Release,
NEW YORK/TORONTO (April 20, 2007)—New York Islanders defenseman Sean Hill has been suspended 20 games for violating the terms of the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program. The suspension begins with tonight’s Stanley Cup Eastern Conference Quarterfinal game against the Buffalo Sabres.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the suspension is accompanied by mandatory referral to the NHL/NHLPA Program for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health for evaluation and possible treatment.
The player’s contract expires with the conclusion of the 2006-07 season. Any portion of the suspension that remains following the Islanders’ participation in the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs would resume, without pay, at the beginning of any successor contract.
Updated 6:03pm ET:
Islanders’ spokesman Chris Botta said Hill did not travel with the team to the arena for Friday night’s game. He said he did not know whether Hill had travelled back to Long Island.
The nature of Hill’s infraction was not immediately clear. An NHL spokesman said the league was obliged to honour the player’s confidentiality and would not comment.
Note: There appears to be no indication of when Hill was tested. Sportsnet also reports that Hill isn’t expected to make a statement till Saturday.
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