Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Lightning Strikes,
The representative for Russian freight train Evgeny Artyukhin said he and Tampa Bay are talking about a contract. This would be a good thing for the Lightning as the 6-foot-4, 254-pound left wing would provide some muscle and forechecking power to a team that, for the most part last season, lacked a physical edge.
The Lightning was mum Thursday, but Gandler said, “Both sides want to see Evgeny back playing in Tampa next season and for the next few seasons.”
Of a contract, he said, without giving specifics, “It think it’s doable and it should be done.”
from John Dellapina of the NY Daily News (Friday edition),
The prospect of seeing Martin Brodeur have to shake Sean Avery’s hand sometime after 10 o’clock Friday might prove too tantalizing for most Rangers fans to concentrate on their day jobs Friday.
The Rangers themselves insist they won’t have the same problem.
Tonight, the Rangers get their first of three chances to eliminate the Devils and advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup tournament when they take their 3-1 series lead into Game 5 at the Rock in Newark. The trick is to make that handshake line happen by not focusing on it until a series-ending buzzer sounds.
from Mark Spector of the National Post,
Things we’re learning in a first round that reminds us that no matter how long we keep trying to pick this game, the predictions never get any easier to get right.
If the Ottawa Senators were the family pet, you’d have put them under after Game 2. And as noble as Daniel Alfredsson was to come out and play at about 60% in Games 3 and 4, it looks now like an ill-advised admission by Senators management that the lineup they iced in Games 1 and 2 was so far from beating Pittsburgh, even a clearly injured Alfredsson would be an improvement.
In the column, tiled “Beaten To the Punch,” Wise called the club “an instant repudiation of what (Commissioner) Gary Bettman wanted the league to become” and “a reminder of the NHL’s pugilistic past that just won’t go away.”
“They flat-out market and sell violence here, sanctioned, unbridled assaults disguised as sport,” Wise wrote. He also said, “Many of the women and children in the crowd looked as if they could be security for Megadeth.”
The Flyers planned to distribute 20,000 copies of the article at Thursday night’s game, but the Post sent a cease-and-desist order. So, what did the Flyers do? They put the article up on the big screen over the ice surface, Clark reported.
One Flyers public relations official also wore a long-haired wig and a black shirt with the heavy metal band’s name emblazoned across his back Thursday night.
Read Mike Wise’s original article [link may require free reg.] that appeared in yesterday’s Washington Post.
from On The Forecheck,
This Predators/Red Wings series is shaping up to be a real struggle no matter which team ends up winning; Nashville can claim momentum heading into Game 5, but Detroit has two games at home in what has now become a best-of-three affair, so I don’t think there’s a significant advantage to either side right now. One area in which the Red Wings are dominating, however, is the faceoff circle, and that’s where I’d like to provide more detail than what fans usually see.
Overall, Detroit boasts a 130-112 advantage in Faceoff Wins in this series, gaining possession after 53.7% of draws.
continued for numerous breakdowns from the face-off circle…
From Paul Kukla at Hockey.com,
In the playoffs the team that won the latest game seems to have all the momentum to keep on rolling, right to a series win. But hold on, put on the brakes, there are more games to be played and fortunes can turn around quickly. All it takes is a loss and panic becomes the key word.
Early Tuesday evening, the Calgary Flames could do no wrong. The were coming off a stunning comeback and life was good. Bam, Thornton scores and we now hear the Flames are in a nasty mood, bickering within the locker room has begun. Now what?
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
...Thornton still will need to help carry San Jose past Calgary (and very likely, for a couple more playoff rounds) before his past receives a proper burial. But he is far from the only player with an unfortunate reputation to revise. Here are five NHLers – some of them still playing, others who’ll have to wait until next year for their next shot – with something still to prove:
Marty Turco, G, Dallas
It’s hard to believe a guy who posted a .952 save percentage, 1.30 goals-against average and three shutouts for the Stars in the first round of the 2007 post-season would have to deal with questions regarding his playoff worthiness. Yet that’s precisely the situation Turco faced as Dallas prepared to take on Anaheim this spring.
via Puck-rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,
Good for the Predators. You may hate them, Blue Jackets fans, but you’ve got to give this club credit for the way it competes. I maintain that Barry Trotz is a no-brainer for coach of the year. Bruce Boudreau second.
Anybody who votes for Mike Babcock is a joke. Arace, Reed and Portzline could coach that club to 48 regular season wins, easy. We’d get beat in the second-round of the playoffs, but ...
from John Glennon at Chilling Out at the Tennessean,
...But the Wings were sunk in Game 4 due in part to the poor goaltending of Dominik Hasek, a six-time Vezina Trophy winner. And Detroit coach Mike Babcock just announced that Chris Osgood will replace Hasek for Game 5.
Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised at this.
After all, Ellis outplayed Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo down the stretch, as the Predators battled the Canucks for the final Western Conference playoff spot.
What’s another all-star to knock off at this point?
From the AP via KTEN.com
Anaheim right wing Corey Perry said he probably will play in Game 4 of the Ducks’ playoff series against the Dallas Stars.
After a morning skate-around, Perry said he felt good but acknowledged it will be a game-time decision whether he will play Thursday night. The Ducks’ top goal scorer hasn’t played since March 6, when the quad tendon above his right knee was lacerated by the skate of Colorado goalie Jose Theodore.
Fellow right wing Rob Niedermayer did not make the trip to Dallas for Thursday night’s game, remaining home with concussion-like symptoms. He also missed Game 3.
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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