Kukla's Korner Hockey
Anaheim Coach Randy Carlyle today.
Q. Randy, have you guys been around long enough not to be nervous or is there some excitement, nerves, what is the feeling?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: I think there’s always nerves. I think at this time of the year you can’t help but feel the emotions and nervousness that are associated with entering into the Stanley Cup Finals. I know it’s been well documented about how people react to these intense situations. And I don’t think as coaches you’re any different.
Q. Is that perhaps the biggest obstacle you face the first ten minutes of this game are settling them down?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: I think in some ways, yes; some ways, no. I think both teams, with the amount of days rest that they’ve had, that there will have to be some sort of governor put on the emotional level.
I think it all bodes back to how well you start and what type of puck control that you can accomplish early. And that leads to hopefully some positives for your group.
from the Montreal Canadiens,
Canadiens GM Bob Gainey announced Monday the signing of defenceman Andrei Markov to a four-year contract (2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11). As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“Andrei Markov is one of our best players, and a huge part of our hockey team. We drafted and developed a player who has become an elite defenseman in the NHL. His desire to remain a member of the Canadiens’ organization was evident, and today we are very pleased to have a long-term agreement with Andrei,” said Bob Gainey.
For two straight seasons I’ve been trying to tell Wing fans that there is nothing good about the playoffs. This has been a tough concept to grasp for many people. More than a few have written me with these exact words: “Shut up.” I’m pretty sure all 216 of those emails were referencing my “the playoffs suck” theme.
But I’ve had at least one co-sponsor of the Bill to Ban the Playoffs, and that would be my friend Doomsberry. For years he’s brought Wing fans back down to reality with a type of pessimism only he can muster. It’s time, I believe, to unleash him on the rest of the hockey world. You all definitely deserve it.
-IwoCPO of Abel to Yzerman
from KK member Doomsberry,
As the Stanley Cup finals begin I fear that fans of both teams have plenty to worry about. While Ottawa will be ducking flocks of pucks, Anaheim will be debating how Ottawa laid down the law on them. While fans in 28 cities have put their worries behind them for the year, Sens and Ducks fans will be in a fully agitated state for the next couple of weeks. Those that have prepared properly will survive, while those who allow optimism to create a state of giddiness will suffer later as their hopes are dashed. My advice to fans from both cities is to let pessimism be their guide. When your team is one of only two left standing, this is not an easy task. Certainly this is not the time of the season to be enjoying the games. When your team is in the finals, and Lord Stanley’s chalice is within their grasp, it is time for some serious pessimism, some strong questioning of what quirks of fate await your team, which strange occurrences will result in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
from Terry Jones at the Edmonton Sun,
Either 73-year-old John Muckler has gone senile or his mind has been messed by getting back to the Stanley Cup for the first time in 17 years.
Muckler compared the 2007 Ottawa Senators to the 1990 Edmonton Oilers here yesterday. And if that didn’t do it, he called Daniel Alfredsson the equal of Mark Messier as a leader.
The Oilers won their fifth Stanley Cup in 1990. Muckler was the head coach.
Now he’s GM of the Senators, a team that - at least for the next 10 days or so - has yet to win anything.
from the Vancouver Province,
You can go a mile in any direction of the Honda Center—the Ducks’ home rink—and you’re hard-pressed to find any evidence of the Stanley Cup final.
You can’t go five feet in Ottawa without being reminded the Senators are in that same final.
So it’s a different experience—as different as Queen Elizabeth and Queen Latifah—which might explain why Ducks GM Brian Burke was strangely subdued on Sunday. The table was set for an epic Burke rant and, under different circumstances, he would have obliged the assembled media by howling about the forces conspiring against his team and the lack of respect being shown the Ducks.
But this time, he didn’t have to because just about everyone in the hockey world is doing it for him.
“It’s a Canada-U.S. thing,” Burke said. “A lot of the Canadian media are going to pick the Canadian team. “That’s fine. We’re content to be the underdog in this.”
from Allan Wigney at the Ottawa Sun,
The relationship between music and hockey has been further solidified by players who have dared to dip their feet into the recording world. Leafs goalie Johnny Bower did so successfully, thanks to his hit single Honky the (Christmas) Goose. Kings legend Marcel Dionne fared less well with his peppy Please Forgive My Misconduct Last Night. And as for Guy Lafleur’s disco hockey instruction album, well, it has its moments.
(For instance, the booty-shakin’ passage, “When stick ‘andling, always carry the puck near the ‘eel of the stick for control.”)
It’s all part of being Canada’s game.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
For the third time in 14 years, the final stage of the Tour de Stanley Cup brings us back to the sprawling streets of California.
What seemed a madcap notion back in 1967, when the NHL guessed two California franchises might work as part of a doubling of the old six-team league, has survived through four decades of tumultuous change for both the league and the state.
Today, there are more teams in the most populous U.S. state than in Ontario, and in comparison to the other major professional team sports, the NHL hasn’t done half-bad.
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
John Ziegler is 73 now, semi-retired in Stuart, Fla., and nearly 17 years removed from that December day in 1990 when it was his task, as president of the National Hockey League, to announce that expansion franchises had been awarded to Tampa Bay and Ottawa.
To many, the two were the shakiest of 30 cities that had expressed interest. To the NHL, however, they were the only two willing to put down the $50-million (U.S.) expansion fee without seeking special terms, no questions asked.
Nor, it turned out, did the NHL ask many questions.
from the New York Times,
He cares little that the earnest world of hockey has trouble looking past his various tattoos and colorful wardrobe, or the fact that he missed a flight to a playoff game after crashing his Hummer, or the fact that he drives a Hummer at all in this most Chevrolet of sports.
All of that has overshadowed the not-so-small detail that Emery, 24, has led the Ottawa Senators to the Stanley Cup finals in his first season as a full-time starter. The best-of-seven Cup series between Ottawa and the Ducks opens Monday in Anaheim, Calif.
“I really could care less what people say or think,” Emery said. “I like winning and I like playing the game. It’s exciting for me and the team and all my family and friends who are watching. That’s all I care about.”
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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