Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Kolb of MSG Network,
It seems like everyone in New York, N.Y. has forgotten that the other New York team, 400 miles northwest, is the team to beat.
Expectations must be high, if the Sabres disappointed so many scribes and television analysts while eliminating the Islanders in five games.
Conversely, the Rangers swept the Thrashers in four and are now the darlings of the hockey world.
And yes, it’s easy to jump on the Ranger bandwagon - as so much of U.S. and Canada’s hockey fans, writers and analysts have done - after their four-game annihilation of Atlanta.
Ranger fan or not, it is great they are in the playoffs!
from the Welland Tribune,
Craig Spada is hanging up his Fox 40.
After serving as a referee in the National Hockey League for six years, the 35-year-old Fort Erie native has decided to call it a career.
Family and travel were the two reasons he decided to walk away. He missed the family and hated the travel.
“The first couple of years I enjoyed the travel, but having kids changed my thinking on it,” he said.
Predict the total amount of goals scored for the Conference Semi-Finals. A $100 gift certificate is on the line!
Submissions must be in by 5:00pm EDT today.
from the Vancouver Province,
“I think we have an advantage in goaltending,” Canucks captain Markus Naslund said. “I don’t think anyone can beat Luongo as far as goaltending matchups go.”
But games against Anaheim this season haven’t worked out well for Luongo. In the only game that the Canucks beat the Ducks, backup Dany Sabourin was the starter.
In his three games against Anaheim, Luongo was pulled in one. Overall, he finished with an 0-3 record with a 3.83 goals-against average and a .857 save percentage.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
The Sabres knocked off the Ted Nolan-coached New York Islanders in the first round of the playoffs. They’re not looking past the Rangers, but it shouldn’t stop anybody else. If Buffalo can dispatch New York and Ottawa beats New Jersey, the Sabres would reacquaint themselves with Senators General Manager John Muckler.
Of course, this journey wouldn’t be complete without Dominik Hasek. The Dominator was back to his old tricks in Detroit. He helped keep the Red Wings’ hopes for another Stanley Cup alive when they beat the Calgary Flames in the first round.
Reminder for first-time riders on the Sabres’ bandwagon and anybody who hasn’t graduated from high school: Nolan, Muckler, Hasek and Sabres managing partner Larry Quinn were embroiled in a power struggle for the ages after Buffalo won the Northeast Division title in 1997.
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
Versus has used the NHL to increase its exposure by almost 20 percent, from 64 million homes to 72 million. It reportedly has pursued the NFL and Major League Baseball and could be a suitor for the NBA next spring.
If Versus continues to grow at the same rate, it would be in about 80 million homes when the current contract expires at the end of the 2007-08 season, which would make it a significant competitor to ESPN2, if not ESPN.
An NHL spokesman said Versus has an option for another three years beyond that.
“A lot of people now know where Versus is compared to two years ago,” said sports-television consultant Neal Pilson, the former head of CBS Sports.
from the Toronto Sun,
“He doesn’t like traffic, but, then again, what goalie does?“Thornton said yesterday. “Either way, we have a lot of big forwards and plan to use our size to our advantage.
“It’s unlikely you are going to score many pretty goals in the post-season.
“It’s going to be hack and whack. Most of the goals will come from within four feet of the net.
“The trouble is, Hasek has such an unorthodox style, you can’t really scout him.”
from the NY Post,
“We’ve been through all situations and we’ve had success both ways and had disappointments both ways,” the coach/GM said after practice yesterday, when the Devils prepared for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals tomorrow against Ottawa at the Meadowlands. “To say there’s a formula [for success isn’t true].”
He acknowledged, “This is the best for us. This is a better set of circumstances.”
His players agreed. They believe the difficulty they had dispatching seventh-seeded Tampa Bay in six games bodes well for their postseason future.
A year ago, after overwhelming the Rangers in a four-game sweep, the Devils dropped their second-round series with Carolina in five games.
On the afterlife: “I’d like to die fast and painlessly at a hockey rink. I’ll watch a game, have a heart attack and go. Then I want my body to be frozen and stored off ***(not revealed, will give it away). Overhead will be a neon sign flashing my NHL numbers, ** and 7, nonstop.’‘
On a family excursion: “When I was a kid, my family moved to Australia because my dad had a crazy idea for supplying our troops in Vietnam with food. Within (a short time) the war ended, and he was stuck Down Under with his thumb up his (butt), so we moved back to ***.
click to find out who it is…
The first game of any series is a good time for the road team to “steal” a game. Will it happen tonight?
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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