Kukla's Korner Hockey
Brian Burke took part in an NHL tele-conference today…
Q. Brian, is your team going into this year’s playoff after the first round is in better shape than last year? Do you feel better about this year’s team than you did last year’s game? You polished off Minnesota.
BRIAN BURKE: I don’t think it’s fair to say we polished off Minnesota. It was a 4-1 series, but they were all one-goal games, except the last game, which was a two-goal game with an empty netter. I thought it was a difficult series to play. It’s certainly a hockey team we respect.
As far as moving forward, you get to the playoffs. If you’re lucky enough to advance, you’re going to play another team that advanced. This is a good hockey team we’re playing.
The main difference this year is that I think for our team the addition of Chris Pronger on defense would be the biggest single difference, then the fact that we’ve managed to get both our goaltenders active and ready to play early.
Lou Lamoriello and Zach Parise took part in an NHL tele-conference today-
Q. Lou, looking at the Ottawa Senators, obviously they’re a very different team from the Lightning. What do you see that you’re going to need to do differently as a team in order to succeed in this series?
LOU LAMORIELLO: There’s no question they’re a different team. They’re a deep team. They skate four lines, six defensemen. We’ll get more of our players certainly involved. As you know, the Tampa series, their bench is a lot shorter because of the matching that we do, and we are a matching team. So we see a lot of different players getting more ice time.
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
His helmet was off and his jersey was gone, but somehow you knew the young man sitting on the far side of the Detroit Red Wings’ dressing room had to be Kyle Quincey.
For one thing, he looked all of 21, which is to say unscarred and wide-eyed. Then there was the grin on his face that made him look like a jack-o’-lantern on Halloween.
“I had a smile on my face the whole game,” Quincey explained while trying to avoid the media horde that encircled his celebrated teammate, defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom. “It was unbelievable out there. Those fans, the whole atmosphere, it was amazing.”
thanks to a KK reader for the tip…
via the Pittsburgh Penguins,
Sidney Crosby is among the candidates for Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world, known as the Time 100.
Voting is taking place right now here on Time.com. Crosby recently became the youngest player ever to win a scoring title in a major professional sport and is considered the fresh new face of the NHL.
Bryan Murray and Daniel Alfredsson took part in an NHL tele-conference today…
Q. Could you talk about the play of Chris Phillips and Anton Volchenkov throughout the first round and throughout the season?
BRYAN MURRAY: They’ve been our key match-up pair of defensemen. They’ve been real solid, obviously. I think both of them have developed their game even beyond what they were a year ago. There’s no question that if you don’t have that kind of shutdown pair, our team, number one, wouldn’t have had the year we had, and number two, wouldn’t have been able to stop Sidney Crosby and his group the way we did.
Q. Can we expect to see that pairing against the Gionta, Elias, Gomez line?
BRYAN MURRAY: Certainly part of that time will be that way. The other line we have to recognize is the Parise line. I think they were very, very good for them in the early series. We will have to play a little bit of toss the ball in the air and see which one is going on a given night.
They’re certainly our priority pair.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
It’s not as if Forsberg or Tkachuk or Smyth were washouts either. All three played pretty well for their respective teams; one could convincingly argue that without Tkachuk or Smyth, the Thrashers and Islanders might have missed the playoff picture all together.
Still, when the price of a rental is so prohibitive, the expectation goes up too — and in what so often happens in a team game, one player, more or less, couldn’t make the difference in getting his club out of the first round. The Thrashers in fact were skunked; the Islanders and Predators fell in five.
via Red Wings Corner,
Coach Mike Babcock said after Tuesday’s practice that both Tomas Holmstrom and Brett Lebda will likely miss Thursday’s Game 1 against San Jose.
Lindy Ruff and Daniel Briere took part in an NHL tele-conference today…
Q. Both teams had quick series. How was the layoff for the Buffalo Sabres? How did you deal with it?
LINDY RUFF: Well, we took one day off. We took the Saturday, anticipating the series may start as early as Wednesday. We had a light day on Sunday, two good practices leading into Wednesday. It worked out that we anticipated playing Wednesday.
Q. When I looked at the stats, it’s been a while since you met the Rangers. I guess you were all involved in games early on in the year, three of those in overtime, one shutout. We all know that a four-game series can be close. What do you expect from the Rangers?
LINDY RUFF: Well, I expect them, as they played in the playoffs, finished off the regular season, to be a very tough opponent. They’ve proven here in the four games they played Atlanta that they’re a different team than when we played them in December. Even though when we played them previous to that we won in shootouts and I think three of them went to overtime, that right now they’re a different team. They’re deeper. They have offense coming from deeper in their lineup. Their goaltending has been fabulous. It’s going to be a tremendous test.
Dan Marouelli, in his 24th season, was not among the 12 referees selected to move on to the next round. This marks the second straight year that Marouelli has been dropped after the opening round.
Also dropped from the first round rotation was veteran Mick McGeough, who worked the Stanley Cup final last year, along with Eric Furlatt, Mike Hasenfratz, Mike Leggo, Wes McCauley, Dan O’Rourke and Tim Peel.
Bill Watters on Leafs Lunch- “The Sharks will handle the Wings with relative ease.” He sees no toughness from the Wings.
Remember, Watters also picked the Flames to beat the Wings too.
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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