Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
Next up for Drury and the Sabres: the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference finals.
Run the oft-advanced theory past Drury, now 30, that the Avalanche’s regression began the day he was traded, and that Colorado has yet to recover, and he is genuinely embarrassed.
“Oh, I don’t know about that.” Pause. “That’s a pretty strong statement.” Double pause. “I guess I don’t really have a comment.”
I was going to point to the love Tim Hoffine shows for the Ottawa Senators at The Lantern, The Student Voice Of Ohio State Univ., until I read this…
And when big players don’t perform, well, that’s even worse. The Dominator is done. The Red Wings managed to eke out a six-series win against the Sharks, but the damage of old age and a flustered goal-keeper are showing as a too-quickly traded Sergei Federov watches his old team lumber to the next round.
But that’s what sets the Senators apart. Their goalie is pretty good.
more if you care to read…
from the Nashville City Paper,
“We will look at how we deal with players from everything in terms of discipline to how we play the game in terms of systems to how we want to teach the game,” Trotz said. “I want to go through the same things with my staff that David does when he evaluates this organization.
“It will a process that is continuous throughout the season. I can’t be specific until I have that long meeting with our coaching staff, but everyone is aware that we are going to look at all the things we do as coaches. We ask our players to come back better. We are going to come back better as coaches.”
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Nobody’s looking at Detroit’s goaltending this year, though. Hasek hasn’t given up more than two goals in seven straight playoff games, with the Wings poised to close out the Sharks to-
night. He doesn’t have the Gumby-like reflexes he had at, say, 32, when he was taking the Buffalo Sabres to the Stanley Cup final en route to two Hart trophies, six Vezinas and six first-team all-star berths. He doesn’t lose his stick quite as often, or do as many snow-angels in the crease as he did back in 2002 when the Wings won their third Cup in a six-year span.
Player movement talk during the summer is beginning to heat up and Spector covers all the talk.
We are less than two months away from the UFA signing period and teams are still trying to lock up their players before they hit the open market.
Expect the Sharks to lay the body on the Wings defense every chance they get tonight. How the Wings “D” holds up will be the key to the game tonight.
Brent Lebda is a game time decision and if he is not ready to go, Derek Meech will be the Wings 6th defenseman.
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun via the Toronto Sun,
The Sabres-Senators final will be the fourth time these teams will meet in the playoffs with the Sabres having been victorious the previous three times.
The Senators were 5-2-1 against the Sabres in the regular season, which was punctuated by a tough hit by Senators forward Chris Neil on Sabres centre Chris Drury Feb. 22.
“I’m not going to say much about it,” Sabres forward Daniel Briere said.
“Everyone knows what happened this year. We expect a battle.”
added 8:47am, from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
From this neck of the woods in southern Ontario, at least, there is no Stanley Cup tournament matchup still on the horizon that seems likely to match the drama, sheer quality and excitement we should expect from the Sabres and Senators when they begin what seems likely to be a seven-game slugfest later this week.
The two teams that once played in the Bankruptcy Bowl only a few years ago are now in a showdown for the right to play for the Cup. Amazing.
from E.J. Hradek at ESPN,
“When you have a team like the Sabres down, you have to get them out,” said three-time Cup winner and Rangers winger Brendan Shanahan, referring to his team’s Game 5 meltdown. “We left the door open, and they walked through.”
In Game 6, when the Sabres found themselves on the right side of a one-goal lead in the dying seconds, they did what the Rangers couldn’t do—lock it down.
from the NY Post,
There’s no denying what Shanahan meant to the Rangers’ resurgence after signing with the team prior to this season. But there’s also no denying he is 38 and suffered a serious concussion this season that robbed him of some of his early-season excellence.
“I had a great time here and I’d love to be part of it again,” Shanahan said. “But I think there’s been an ‘if’ on my decision each year the past few years.”
from Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle,
Secondly, this isn’t a 1-8 thing; the Sharks are the lower-seeded team here, but most people saw them as one of the two best teams in the West (with Anaheim the other). The Wings were older and smaller and seemingly ripe for a beating from the right team.
Only the Sharks don’t seem to be that team after all.
Despite a regular season in which they walked the talk awfully convincingly, they have established a disturbing trend of getting complacent and/or compliant after 15 or so minutes in each of the first five games, and each game the difference has become increasingly pronounced.
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.
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