Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Hockey News,
-To watch the Tampa Bay Lightning lose 5-2 to the Senators Thursday night was to watch a team entirely without faith in its goaltending. -It’s amazing how quickly post-season missteps can undo regular-season success. Isn’t that right, Tom Renney and the New York Rangers/Dave Tippett and the Dallas Stars? -The New Jersey Devils have been vilified for playing boring hockey over the years, and the label was not undeserved. But has there been any more of a thrilling offensive line this post-season than Patrik Elias, Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta?more
from the National Post,
Mark Recchi was prowling the corridors of the Bell Centre before his Carolina Hurricanes took the ice for their practice yesterday afternoon, restless and visibly upset. "I didn't get too much sleep [Wednesday] night," Recchi said, "all I could do was worry about Saku. All the guys here [in the Carolina room] feel the same way."... Asked whether the vision in Koivu's left eye is at risk, Gainey replied with caution: "I really don't know," he said. "I can't answer that. I'm working from the information I have but also from the point of view that it's an eye and that with that type of injury, you work from worst-case scenario backwards rather than try to diminish the injury and increase the possibility you will be wrong."more photo via Journal-Montreal
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
But Cherry was most upset that Neil refused to fight Dingman, who received 17 minutes in penalties — resulting in a seven-minute power play during which Ottawa scored twice — in the Senators’ 8-4 win in Game 3. “He turtled. He was a Tommy Turtle,” said Cherry while showing video of the incident. “If he’s going to challenge a guy, he shouldn’t Tommy Turtle like that. There’s no honour in that. Just remember, he who will sell his soul for a win has no honour.” Naturally, Cherry didn’t stop there. He then went after Chara, who fought Lecavalier in the final minutes after being challenged. “(Lecavalier) doesn’t want to go with this big monster, but (Chara) keeps staring at him and he has no choice,” said Cherry. “He’s got to go because he’s been embarrassed. Then, when it’s over, (Chara) is holding his hand up like he’s a big hero.” Murray responded before Game 4 last night at the St. Pete Times Forum because it was the talk of the media from Tampa and Ottawa. “I’m disappointed when people question the character of our players,” said Murray. “I like Don Cherry and I like watching him. He’s got a vehicle to give lots of opinion when he’s on television.more
from the Star-Telegram,
Unfortunately, the Stars may be finally understanding that this journey actually started more like three weeks ago, when they realized that they could really go neither up nor down in the standings and decided to coast to the finish line. It didn't help matters that the player who set the ho-hum tone for those two weeks was team captain Mike Modano. "Those were tough games to get up for motivation-wise because of our situation; we couldn't go up or down," Modano said. "There was no way to approach those games against those teams." Modano and many of the Stars players thought they could just turn it on again when the playoffs arrived. They're realizing now how wrong they were. "There was a little bit of uneasiness going into the last couple of games because of our pattern of hockey," Modano admitted. "Everybody was hoping it wouldn't spill over into the playoffs. "There wasn't much to play for. Now there's a lot more to play for."read on
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
What's interesting, however, is that several NHL clubs appear to be looking for brand new answers to the questions of the post-lockout era. Two prominent player agents, Pat Brisson of IMG and Brian Lawton of Octagon Sports, are believed to be in the running for general manager's jobs, while New York-based broadcaster and former NHL goalie John Davidson may be on his way to a prominent head office job. If there is a common denominator, it may be that teams are starting to look at the new business environment of the NHL and look for an edge, and they may believe that becoming "player friendly" may be the best way to proceed. The "player friendly" theory is that with all teams having identical payrolls to spend if they choose to spend it, teams have to position themselves as ideal landing spots for free agents, given that the money is likely to be equal between teams.more
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Now, only 60 minutes of hockey away from four-game, first-round playoff elimination and, at the same time, nearly 10 weeks away from his team's last run of superior hockey, Renney must recognize his loyalty belongs to the logo, and painful as it might be, not necessarily to the guys in the room who did the heavy lifting throughout the season. It is Renney's obligation to put the lineup on the ice that has the best chance of beating the Devils tomorrow afternoon in a potential elimination Game 4 at the Garden, regardless of whether that might mean the inclusion of a handful of players who have spent little time - if any - with the club this season, at the expense of some who have been here since September.read on (reg. req.)
from the blog of Ansar Khan at Mlive,
You'd think Edmonton would be a little more hockey-savvy than some place like Phoenix or Nashville, but the celebratory reaction and the overreaction by some in the media and many fans to the Oilers' 2-1 series lead over the Red Wings was strange, if not ridiculously premature. After three games, many folks up here actually began setting their sights on a second-round matchup between the Oilers and Flames, rekindling their fierce rivalry from the '80s and early '90s. The Edmonton Sun ran a laughable editorial declaring Oilers goalie Dwayne Roloson as a leading candidate for the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.continuedPremature
from Hockey Refs,
NHL referees are taking heavy criticism by some for their strict standards of enforcement in the early games of this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. Following the Detroit Red Wings’ 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, Red Wings television analyst Mickey Redmond called the officiating “a disgrace to the National Hockey League.” “It was pretty bad,” he said on Fox Sports Net Detroit. “The guys (referees Dean Warren and Marc Joanette) won’t be doing many (more) games.”continued
Instead of waiting for the coverage map for the NBC games on Saturday, you can check MSNBC now and select either the Rangers/Devils or Wings/Oilers. The chart will point out if your location will receive the game of your choice.
Craig MacTavish said in the post game interview that depending on who the refs are, he tries to adjust the teams thinking before the game starts. He put the blame on his players tonight and not the refs. He stated the Wings did a better job of adjusting to the calls tonight than his team did. MacTavish noted the refs tonight were going to make the questionable call and you just have to deal with it. Good move by MacTavish, keeps his team focused on the game and not blaming the refs. Now that the series is tied 2-2, his team can't be thinking the refs messed up, they need to concentrate on the Saturday afternoon game.
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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