Kukla's Korner Hockey
The thing is, Backstrom gave his agent, Don Baizley, a clear directive. They met last weekend in Finland, face to face. “And it was good for me and him. It got really clear for both of us that I want to stay there, and stay in Minnesota,” Backstrom told me earlier this morning. “So we went through everything and he knows exactly what I think, and what I want. Of course, if something new comes up, then he just calls me and wants to know what I think about it, but we went through a lot of things.”
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Overshadowed in the Pronger melodrama was the fact that Red Wings-Ducks match-up is slowly morphing into the most compelling playoff series since the opening round. Anaheim played its two best games of the series on the road and earned only a split. Detroit upped the tempo in the two games in Anaheim, held an overall edge in play, but also earned just the split. It’s hard to argue that the series isn’t exactly where it should be — deadlocked at 2-2 and waiting to see which team can raise the level of its play still another notch.
Red Wings’ coach Mike Babcock put forward a theory the other day — that in most playoff series, one team tends to get better while another team tends to get worse. If that is the case and holds true, then the Red Wings are in the stronger position.
from the Stoney Creek News,
I am not the type who doesn’t get freaked out by roller coasters. I get freaked out. But I love it. I get butterflies in my stomach, I scream, I close my eyes and hold my breath when another turn is coming. But I keep lining up for more because it’s so much fun.
That’s how I feel about playoff hockey, especially overtime playoff hockey. There is nothing better.
But I get butterflies in my stomach, I scream, I close my eyes and hold my breath when the ‘bad guys’ get near the net.
The thought that at any moment, with one fluky shot or mishandled rebound, the game will be decided just gives me knots in my stomach. I sit on the edge of my seat, I ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ with each shot or pass. I am wound up until it’s over. I repeat, ‘I can’t take this’ all while revelling in the sheer joy.
more.. and I am sure many of us feel the same way, even though we may not admit it…
from Michael Farber at Sports Illustrated,
Among the myriad jobs of Erin The Intern, the most noticeable one is guardian of the logo.
She stands sentry after practices and games, guarding the team logo that has been imprinted in the Ottawa Senators’ dressing room. When the media hordes descend, notepads and tape recorders and cameras at the ready to record the innermost thoughts of Antoine Vermette, Erin The Intern has to steer them around the centurion character in the middle of the room.
Lindy Ruff on an off-day Q & A…
Q. Lindy, the message today, you got the chance to play another home game and stay alive in this series. What’s the message to your players today?
COACH LINDY RUFF: Well, along the lines that we talked about before Game 4, again, that got to take care of all the little areas and make sure that we’re good with the puck and in a lot of situations just try to make sure we outwork them.
Q. They had a few more turnovers last game than the previous ones. Was that forecheck, guys clogging the middle better, pressure on them more?
COACH LINDY RUFF: I think it was a little bit of everything. I think that, you know, we were better with it. I think when you get the lead, a team has a tendency to try more things, you know, try to get back in the game. I think obviously when you get down by a couple, you’re going to err on the side of being more aggressive and trying to make more plays.
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
They may be a bit raw and certainly a tad too undisciplined for any hockey purist, but they certainly didn’t lack the courage to win.
That’s no small accomplishment, especially against a team as deep and as mentally tough as the Red Wings.
You knew coming in it could go only one of two ways for the Ducks. Never a particularly good team when Pronger was out of the lineup in the regular season, they had to decide whether they would suck it up and do whatever it took to make up for the loss of perhaps the league’s best two-way defenceman or do the old woe-is-me routine and falter in his absence.
The Star Phoenix did a Q & A with former NHL defenseman Brad Marsh,
To me, the new rules and the officiating are ruining the game and they’ve taken those rules and put them in minor hockey. We’re not producing any skilled players at the novice, atom and pee wee levels because three-quarters of the game is spent in the penalty box. I coach minor hockey. Brendan Shanahan talks about this, this and this. He’s never stood behind a minor hockey bench and he’s never run a minor hockey practice. I know what the rules are doing to minor hockey. They’re ruining minor hockey. Period.
more from Marsh…
from the Tennessean,
Nashville Arena will become The Sommet Center today under a naming agreement between the Nashville Predators and Franklin-based Sommet Group, a Predators official said.
The lease between the Predators and Metro allows the NHL team to keep all revenue from naming rights. With talk about the Predators possibly exercising an out-clause in their lease with the city in the coming weeks, the new naming rights deal could be a signal that the team is leaning toward staying in Nashville long term.
via the Toronto Star,
The Stanley Cup playoffs are producing good results for TSN. The network’s 831,000 average for this round is up 22 per cent over last season. CBC isn’t releasing year-over-year figures yet, but Wednesday’s Ottawa-Buffalo game drew 1.7 million viewers. The CBC has to be thrilled by Ottawa’s chances of making the final.
No games tonight, we all need the time off!
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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