Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Edmonton Journal,
In a full-page newspaper advertisement in both Edmonton dailies, Patrick LaForge details a string of obstacles, including injuries and extended road trips, that hampered the Oilers’ performance this year. Under the headline, Proud to be in Oil Country, the letter from LaForge also defends Edmonton as a great place to play hockey.
“It’s our annual report back to the fans and the community on how we did,” LaForge told the Journal in an interview today.
from the Calgary Herald,
By now you’re probably getting the idea that Bertuzzi is one big set of shoulders. And that was on a night when the Flames won. Hand them a loss and the Flames will probably have him rivalling the Great Khali. His mass is especially noticeable on nights when Robyn Regehr, the Flames’ redwood, is out of the lineup—as he likely will be the rest of this series.
Detroit coach Mike Babcock obviously spied Bertuzzi barging through Calgary’s zone like a piano mover on Thursday.
from the Pittsburgh Penguins,
The hockey season will go on for some Pittsburgh Penguins.
Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal and Sergei Gonchar will represent their countries at the IIHF World Championships in Moscow, Russia, at the end of the month.
Malkin and Gonchar will represent the home country, which opens play April 27 against Denmark.
continued... no mention of Crosby…
update 1:54pm, from the Pittsburgh Penguins,
The NHL’s Art Ross Trophy winner will not defend his World Championship scoring title for Team Canada at this year’s tournament in Moscow.
Crosby will sit out the tournament to let a broken bone in his left foot heal.
“It would have been a huge thrill for me to play for Team Canada again, especially in Moscow, which is a place I’ve always wanted to play,” he said.
Getting down to nitty-gritty hockey today. Enjoy the games!
Ben Wright at Blueland Blog has a great recap from the exit interview process with Don Waddell and Bob Hartley. This from Hartley,
On what went wrong:
“On our side we simply had no answers- for their puck control. That Hossa, Jagr and Nylander line- they took away lots of our energy and after that their support players which are great players, they played very well. It seemed that every game they got big goals from everyone.”
Capitals Insider pointed to this in the NY Daily News,
Still, there is a theory going something like this: The deeper the Rangers, perceived as having national marquee value, go in the playoffs, the more fans, most of them casual NHL viewers, will hop on the bandwagon.
The NHL desperately needs these casual fans. They are the only hope the the league has of pulling its TV ratings out of the toilet.
more fromt he NY Daily News…
from the Tampa Tribune,
We knew at some point in the series that [Brodeur] was going to stand on his head and he played very well,” Lightning captain Tim Taylor said. “That’s why he is who he is.”
And on this night, Brodeur had to be the Brodeur the Devils have relied upon so many times in the past. The Lightning showed no effects of an emotional overtime loss two nights earlier and showed up to play.
Tampa Bay was the better team on the ice for most of the game, limiting the Devils to 14 shots, a franchise record low allowed by Tampa Bay in a playoff game and a New Jersey record for fewest shots at home in a postseason game….
Lightning coach John Tortorella said he liked they way his team played, but failed to elaborate on his point. When pushed on the issue, he traded expletives with a reporter from the New York Post while being broadcast live on Canadian television station CBC.
added 3:43pm, To see the Tortorella interview, go here...
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.
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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