Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Vallejo Times-Herald,
A sheet of paper taped to the locker-room wall in Detroit that listed “Warren’s Playoff Goals.” The shoulder patches with his initials - WAS - sewn on each jersey. Those same initials on lapel buttons worn by coaches and front-office staff.
But it goes beyond that. Nearly three weeks into a playoff run that began with the death of goalie coach Warren Strelow, Evgeni Nabokov makes it clear that Strelow is still very much on his mind.
“You know what? I think about his advice even more than I used to,” Nabokov said. “You used to have the guy by your shoulder all the time and telling you this and now he’s not here. But you’re trying to remember what he would say and what he would think and how he would react.”
from the Vancouver Sun,
In the eyes of Canuck coach Alain Vigneault and his players, they are the not- so- mighty Ducks. And the Canucks figure they can prove it, if only they can get their special teams act together.
The Canucks outplayed Anaheim at even- strength Sunday night, but another subpar performance by their power- play and penalty- kill units allowed the Ducks to skate to a 3- 2 win and a 2- 1 lead in their best- of- seven Western Conference semifinal series.
“I thought five- on- five we were good again, but the difference was obviously special teams,” Vigneault said. “Theirs were better than ours. It was a tight game and we had some chances at the end, but couldn’t get it done.”
from the Leader-Post via the Vancouver Sun,
Only one hockey rivalry is worth $3,900 a pop and that’s Canada/Russia.
But these guys aren’t watching, they’re playing.
Teams of beer-leaguers from Vancouver, Fort McMurray, Alta., and Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., spent almost $4,000 per player to suit up for three games each against senior squads in St. Petersburg and one more in Moscow. And it turns out the trip has actually been priceless.
from the Ottawa Sun,
Both coaches have matchups that are working for them.
The big question going into this series was if the Devils’ shutdown unit of John Madden, Jay Pandolfo and Sergei Brylin could stop the Senators’ top line of Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson.
The Senators have won that one going away.
Madden and Pandolfo have been on the ice for all but one of the Senators’ seven goals in this series (that was Dean McAmmond’s short-handed goal in Game 1).
fromm the Hockey News,
• I heard Monday Night Football commentator Tony Kornheiser say the NFL is just more fun when the Chicago Bears are good. I think the same can be said for the Rangers, or any Original Six team for that matter. For some reason, things are just more interesting when a classic club is in the mix.
• The Canadian anthem singer puts me in the mind of Adam Sandler’s “Opera Guy” character from Saturday Night Live. Somebody should get Sandler to do an anthem. Yes, really.
• Ducks win, but we’ll leave you with a one question. A) Is Chris Pronger hurting? He doesn’t look like the dominating, peak-of-his game Chris Pronger on this night. We suspect we’ll see a different Pronger as the series matures.
from the New York Post,
That they were able to square the series on Jamie Langenbrunner’s double-OT breakaway Saturday was their escape, but the Devils will be playing with fire if they can’t slow down the Senators and dictate a more deliberate tempo, starting in Game 3 of this 1-1 second-round series here tonight.
“[High speed] plays more into their hands. We’re able to do it, but at the end of the day, we’re a patient team that sits back and waits for mistakes,” Martin Brodeur said. “We feel we’re able to skate with them, but we have to be in control.
“It’s all about not playing to the level of your opposition. You have to play to the level you’re comfortable with.”
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
Buffalo remains the deeper, faster and more skilled team in this series. The Sabres would have won in the first overtime had Derek Roy’s shot inside the post bounced the right way rather than slither along the goal line. It also could have ended in regulation had off-ice officials given Karel Rachunek credit for a goal that bounced off his skate on a play Jagr started behind the Buffalo net.
We’ll see where it goes from here. The Sabres would be satisfied with a split in New York and a 3-1 lead going back to Buffalo for Game Five. Jagr has a reputation for playing tough at home and soft on the road. And, really, the Sabres actually have done a good job on him. Tallinder and Toni Lydman have been solid.
from the Toronto Star,
In some ways, Kelly Hrudey is the anti-Don Cherry.
The former NHL goaltender, whose career spanned 15 seasons, will be getting a lot more exposure in upcoming weeks as he alternates with the more bombastic Cherry as Hockey Night In Canada’s studio analyst….
He sat down recently with Unplugged in his Calgary office.
If you were Gary Bettman for a day, what would your first priority be?
Finding a way to eliminate the dirty or dangerous player from the game and ensuring the players respect each other so we have fewer hits from behind and fewer dangerous hits.
How would you accomplish that?
I know Colin Campbell does a wonderful job ... but I would suspend people in a really harsh manner.
from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,
Both teams dug in and battled deep into a second overtime. The game featured all the best things about the sport. It had the skill, speed and determination that make hockey, especially playoff hockey, very special.
And, guess what? Nobody hit anybody over the head with a stick. I’m sure that was a big disappointment for the relentless anti-puck crowd. On this day, the league shined. If you were paying attention to the bigger picture, it was a win-win for the league. Of course, not everybody could be expected to see that picture.
“It’s hard for me or the guys in this room to appreciate that right now,” said Sabres co-captain Chris Drury, still soaked in sweat after the bitter loss. “Stepping back, though, I could see where it helps our game.”
from the Toronto Sun,
Former NHL tough guys Tiger Williams, Bob Probert and Kevin Maguire played in some hostile venues over the years, but none like this.
The three ex-NHLers are part of a entourage that left Canada yesterday for a week-long tour of Afghanistan, a trip that is scheduled to feature a ball-hockey game versus the troops.
“We’re supposed to play the winners of their tournament,” Maguire said. “Mostly, we’re going to help lift the spirits of the soldiers.
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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