Kukla's Korner Hockey
Al, just bring a rubber octopus out with you. Confuse them, the art of deception can work!
from the Detroit Free Press,
Details were scarce Friday, but the Wings have been told by the NHL that head octopus wrangler Al Sobotka no longer may swing the mollusks over his head while removing them from the ice at Joe Louis Arena. If he (or anyone else) does, the team will be fined $10,000.
That’s $1,250 per tentacle.
More replies, see On the Wings…
from Mike Boone of the Montreal Gazette,
Passover begins on the 15th day of the first month of the ancient Hebrew calendar. Back in the day when the Canadiens routinely either won the Cup or advanced deep into the playoffs, the celebratory Passover meal often would coincide with a playoff game. With an 8 p.m. start, however, and a seder supervisor who knew how to read through the ritual prayers at a fairly brisk clip, you could usually catch most of the second and all of the third periods. But when the puck drops at 7 this evening, Passover celebrants will be just warming up.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
If the Montreal Canadiens are so sure rookie netminder Carey Price will rebound from his Game 5 gaffe in Saturday’s Game 6 in Boston, why did the team keep him from the media Friday? Only in the NHL can one of the bright young stars of the game be shielded from the cruel pokings and proddings of the media the day before a big game. We’re not even talking morning skate here—we’re talking a full day and a half before the actual contest. But no, there was precious (and now presumably fragile) Price being kept under wraps.
more and 4 more items titled, “Five Things We Learned Friday Night”...
from Dave Krieger of the Rocky Mountain News,
The margin of safety the Avs appear to bring to the Pepsi Center tonight is a mirage. And they have seen this particular hallucination before.
These are the building blocks of the delusion: You have the advantage in a best-of- seven playoff series, up three games to two, and you’re coming home to play Game 6. Not only do you have a chance to close it out in your own building, you also have a safety net. Lose at home, knotting the series for a third time, and you still have the backstop of a Game 7.
That’s the illusion - the alleged safety net and the lack of urgency it can produce. In fact, lose the home game and the air goes out of the balloon.
from Jim Souhan of the Star-Tribune,
Enforcers Derek Boogaard and Chris Simon are not people you would want to meet in a dark alley or a neon arena, and their intimidating presence has raised a question about hockey enforcers that Wild management seems to have forgotten to ask:
What good are goons?
Even while ignoring a lack of depth at center and defense, the Wild, concerned about Boogaard’s iffy back, went three-deep in one-dimensional players, picking up Todd Fedoruk off waivers and acquiring Simon at the trading deadline.
from Ed Moran of the Philadelphia Daily News,
“We’ve really got to remain grounded,” said John Stevens at practice yesterday morning, fresh off the Flyers’ double-overtime win in the Wachovia Center on Thursday night. “That was an emotional game. Both teams played well, both goalies played well, and we were fortunate to get the win.
“In a playoff series, momentum, if you lose a game, it can be crushing. If you win, it’s elating. You take pride in each game, put it behind you and go to the next one.”
That’s what Stevens will continue preaching: Focus on the moment.
from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post,
Coach Bruce Boudreau “talked about it this morning, that we’ve been in this position before,” Laich said. “He talked about how people have counted us out. They have wrote us off, saying it’s been a good push, it’s been a good story. Some people are waiting for us to die. We don’t feel like that in here. We feel we still have a lot to give. We think this is going to be a long series still.”
Said Boudreau: “If we look at it as just going out and winning Game 5, it’s not like it’s a situation we haven’t been in before. We’re used to it.”
more (reg. req.)
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
I believe Guy Carbonneau when he says he has no hesitation coming back with Price, that he’s confident the 20-year-old will find his game again.
On his part, Price told reporters after the game: “I won’t think about it again after I leave this dressing room.”
Hmph! It could be Price is strong enough to block it from his mind, which would be the right thing to do, but you can be sure Boston fans will be reminding him about the meltdown tonight.
Want more Canadiens coverage? Check out Habs Inside/Out...
from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette,
While everyone else is enjoying balmy temperatures near 80 degrees, the Bruins are trying to prolong their winter and force that seventh and deciding game on Monday up in the Great White North. To do so, they’ll have to weather what is expected to be another frenzied start by a raw-meat-eating Montreal team that’s averaging an incredible 35.6 hits a game (to Boston’s 29.0).
“We know they’re going to come hard,” said center Glen Metropolit, who potted the game-winner in Thursday night’s stunning 5-1 rout of the Canadiens at the Bell Centre.
“We’ve got to have a better first (period) than we did (Thursday) night. The first five minutes set the tone.”
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
So, who’s the NHL’s Western Conference power? Tough call, eh.
Some call it parity. Some call it mediocrity. Either way, it’s impossible to say any one team in the conference is head and shoulders above the pack.
The way San Jose has finally found another gear probably puts the Sharks the closest to that spot, but it’s hard to say they’ve been all that impressive in their series with the Calgary Flames.
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