Kukla's Korner Hockey
from The Puck Stops Here at Fox Sports,
All told, Ottawa has a few players who might have Hall of Fame careers, but none are sure things. Ottawa does not have a top goalie. In the pre-lockout days, this is a team that might have been a Stanley Cup contender, but it is not the kind of team that wins the Cup. In the post-lockout days when it is much harder to keep a successful team together, this is quite possibly what a Stanley Cup-winning team looks like.
The Senators are better than Carolina in 2006. However the question that matters is: Are they better than either Detroit or Anaheim this year?
Q. Coach, this is going to get analyzed and analyzed over the next couple days. Was it special teams perhaps your power plays inability to score goals?
COACH LINDY RUFF: I don’t think you can put it there. If you look at Ottawa was maybe 0-17, 0-18 on their power play. The last three games and we were - we had got a couple so - I think, you know, the first two home games, that hurts. When you lose those first two home games and the second game where we had the 2-goal lead and end up losing that game, you know, to leave your building and then try to resurrect a series gave them some momentum, I thought.
‘‘It’s kind of surreal right now,’’ Alfredsson said of his first-ever foray into the NHL’s championship series.
It was fitting in too many ways that Alfredsson got the big goal, his 10th of the post-season, having been the goat on last year’s overtime winner by the Sabres when Jason Pominville walked around him and beat Ray Emery to end yet another disappointing playoffs for the Senators in the second round.
‘‘He’s taken a lot of heat over the years,’’ said Senators linemate Dany Heatley. ‘‘It’s great to see him score big goals. He deserves it. He’s a man on a mission.’‘
added 7:05pm, Bryan Murray, Daniel Alfreddsson and Ray Emery press transcript
from the Palm Beach Post,
If hockey fans needed a reminder of how insignificant their sport is on the American landscape, they got it courtesy of NBC Saturday.
One minute, viewers were watching the end of regulation play with the scored tied at 2. Coming back from the commercial break, NBC switched to its coverage of the Preakness Stakes. It was almost as if the hockey game had never happened.
Alfredsson, the best Ottawa player this post season, ends the hopes of Buffalo fans with a goal in OT.
Watch the press conference (will be available soon after the game).
Word is if game goes in OT, NBC will throw the game to Versus.
added 4:51pm, Game now on Versus, but no HD available here in Detroit area with Comcast. If you are getting the HD feed, please pass it on.
Also, NBC is sticking with the game in the Buffalo area.
added 5:12pm, more on this at AVSForum...
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Against Calgary and then San Jose, the Wings found themselves tied at 2 heading into home dates in Game 5. In both cases, they dominated the games en route to Game 6 series-clinching victories.
The Anaheim Ducks, however, are in uncharted territory. They dispatched Minnesota and Vancouver with relative ease in five games and now face their first must-win contest of the postseason.
Must win? History shows that when a series is tied at 2, the team that wins the fifth game has gone on to win 157 of 195 series (80 percent).
from the New York Times,
Sobotka remained a little-known player in the Red Wings’ organization until the early 1990s, when he unwittingly began what is perhaps the most wacky ritual in all of sports: the octopus twirl.
During a home playoff game in 1991, a fan tossed an octopus onto the ice after a Red Wings goal, a tradition that dates to 1952, when it took eight postseason victories to win the Stanley Cup.
As he had done for years, Sobotka quickly corralled the octopus with his bare hands. This time, however, Sobotka took a moment to greet the crowd, with eight tentacles.
“I just gave that octopus a little twirl over my head,” he recalled. “The place went nuts.”
Q. Chris Pronger was quoted in the radio station back home for you guys saying that the officiating has been an absolute joke. And I wonder what your thoughts are on that, and if it troubles you to hear that your players might be sort of speaking out about the officials like that?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion. And in the case of officiating, obviously we think, and every coach does, that at times calls didn’t go your way. And I’m sure Detroit feels that there are some calls that didn’t go their way.
It’s a game of intensity that gets ramped up in the playoffs, as there’s more pressure on players to perform, there’s more pressure on officials to perform.
As far as that, that’s the way I look at it. You can’t, from my standpoint, sit here and criticize. It’s more about playing for the next one. It’s more about giving the respect that’s necessary to the people that are in charge of the hockey game.
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
Babcock was incredulous to Pronger’s explanation, and turned to the moderator, NHL vice-president Jamey Horan, and said “we have one more question?” When he was told that was it, he walked off.
Pronger is many things: a Norris Trophy winner, a Hart Trophy winner, an Olympic gold medalist, funny, bold, honest and outspoken. He may also prove to be a motivator because his words on Friday appeared to have fired up the Wings. The big defenceman didn’t stop at his physics remark.
He also told the Roggin and Simers Squared radio show:
“The league should make its own calls, not be pressured into anything by the media, and more to the point, the Canadian media,” said Pronger, who was suspended for Game 4 on Thursday, when his teammates scored a 5-3 victory to tie the best-of-seven series at 2-2.
Read the full transcript from today’s Q & A with Babcock…
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