Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,
With the four series all heating up over the weekend, the number of young players contributing in prominent roles for their respective teams caught my attention. Some of them are guys we’ve heard about and who had high expectations associated with them, while others just sort of appeared.
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
When Michal Rozsival’s slap shot found the back of the net in the second overtime in the Rangers’ 2-1 win Sunday, it not only gave the Blueshirts life in their series against the Buffalo Sabres, but it also prevented a controversy over an earlier disallowed goal by Rangers defenseman Karel Rachunek.
Imagine the mess if the Sabres won the game to take a 3-0 series lead. There would have been days of debate over whether Rachunek actually tried to kick the puck into the net, as officials ultimately ruled he did.
read on- much more playoff talk…
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
The weekend represented everything that is the NHL today and in general, if you boil it down to its simplest terms, you’re left with one unavoidable conclusion.
The people who run the NHL should get up every morning and thank whatever supreme being they believe in — apparently the almighty dollar — for the players. Despite all the encumbrances from above, the players are carrying this league and if it is ever to find its salvation, it will be the players who lead it there.
That might seem to be only common sense. And it is. But unfortunately, the people who run the NHL still fail to grasp that most basic of concepts.
Information from Sports Business Journal (paid sub),
Sports Media Challenge’s Sports Blog Index identifies the top issues discussed over the past week on some of the top sports blogs.
The percentage of talk last week breaks down like this…
NFL Draft 43%
NBA Playoffs 25%
Mike Penner, LA Sports Writer 9%
NHL Playoffs and Curt Schilling’s Bloody Sock 7%
from the blog of Scotty Bowman at NBC Sports,
With three of the four playoff games reaching double overtime, it’s obvious how terrific goaltending has been for these teams. It used to be that teams would attack in the first 7-10 minutes of the first overtime to try and end it, but now they’re a little more cautious. I think we have so much more open hockey that once you get to overtime, you don’t get those outnumbered situations. You try to draw a power play instead and that’s when the goalies take over. It happened repeatedly in the Rangers’ Game 3 win over the Sabres.
Game 3 of the Rangers/Sabres series drew a 1.3 rating and a 3 share in the overnight ratings.
Game 2 on Saturday between the Wings and Sharks drew a 1.0/2.
via the LA Times (reg. req.),
While playing the Blackhawks on April 29, 1982, in the second game of the conference finals, Canucks Coach Roger Neilson became convinced referee Bob Myers was biased against his team. After yet another call went against the Canucks, Neilson grabbed a white towel, stuck it on the blade of a spare stick and began waving it in mock surrender behind his team’s bench at Chicago Stadium.
Several Canucks players joined him, making their point very clear. Although Neilson was fined $1,000 by the NHL, the towels were a hit back in Vancouver. A local businessman printed up and sold several thousand towels — with the proceeds going to a charity — and fans snapped them up for the next home game. And the next, and the next.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Marty McSorley, the San Jose Sharks’ color man, who apparently isn’t available to work tonight’s game against the Detroit Red Wings for what the team describes as personal reasons. As a result of McSorley’s absence, the Sharks brought back Drew Remenda, their former analyst, to work with Randy Hahn, his long-time play-by-play partner, for tonight’s telecast of the third game of the Red Wings-Sharks’ series on FSN Bay Area….
Earlier in the season, McSorley was critical of Red Wings’ coach Mike Babcock on a broadcast, citing as his source an unidentified player in the Detroit dressing room. I was actually watching the broadcast on my satellite dish that night and remember thinking, it was a pretty strong statement by Marty - far bolder than the commentary you normally associate with these in-house sorts of broadcasts, where they tend to tread carefully around anything remotely interesting or controversial.
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.”
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org