Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Helene St. James at the Detroit Free Press,
Any team that wins the Stanley Cup always gets a few lucky breaks along the way; and if the Stars could upset the Canucks, that means the Sharks and Ducks get to beat up on each other in round two, leaving the winner bruised and battered for the Conference Finals. The Sharks and Ducks are widely considered the two best teams in the West, for while they won fewer games than the Wings, they played in a much tougher conference (division).
from the Buffalo News,
“They’re a balanced attack,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said Sunday. “It’s come from a lot of different places. They’ve got younger guys that have been in the scoring department, but I think it’s overall balance. They’ve played sound defensively, and their goaltender has been very good.”
The sixth-seeded Rangers are paced by Jagr, who figures to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer when he hangs up his skates. The 35-year-old won back-to-back Stanley Cups with Pittsburgh during his first two seasons. Mario Lemieux did the bulk of that work, and Jagr wants to return the favor to the youngsters on his team.
“I love the players I am playing with,” Jagr said last week. “When I was young, Mario gave me the Cup. I always wanted to help the younger guys like Mario helped me.”
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
There was some debate among Canadian analysts that perhaps Playfair, who was fined $25,000 by the league on top of a team fine of $100,000, should have been removed by GM and former coach Darryl Sutter after the Flames were outclassed in Games 1 and 2.
There shouldn’t be much debate now given how the Flames disintegrated into ash in the blink of an eye as Detroit’s 2-1 double-overtime win Sunday eliminated Calgary from the postseason in six games.
more...plus “Code” talk, Sean Hill and GM talk…
from the Calgary Herald,
While Miikka Kiprusoff dragged his Calgary Flames around for six playoff games, a much more subtle, equally impressive show of domination was being exerted by Nicklas Lidstrom.
The Detroit Red Wings captain was matched against Calgary captain Jarome Iginla throughout this Western Conference quarter-final series.
Apart from the fact Lidstrom’s team won four times and Iginla’s side twice, there’s a small mountain of evidence that supports the quality of Lidstrom’s performance.
from the NY Post,
“I’m sure the Senators feel this is their year. Every year I’ve been in this league, they’ve been right there,” John Madden said after the Devils advanced to the second round with their 3-2 Game 6 victory over the Lightning here yesterday.
“Their depth is going to be a big challenge,” Martin Brodeur said after becoming the second-winningest goalie in NHL history with his 93rd victory.
The Devils, however, showed that they’ll present the old tenacity that is their trademark, the spirit of the bulldog that should be their alternate emblem.
fromm the National Post via Canada.com,
Ordinarily, you wouldn’t wear a Vancouver hockey sweater into enemy territory. At Ciociaro Sports Bar and Grill, however, normally hard-wired Canadiens fans are clearly distinguishable from the rest of Montreal.
Hearts are tainted Cerulean blue—the jersey colour of Italy’s national soccer team—and Orca Bay navy, in deference to Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo.
SEATTLE & NEW YORK—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Just in time for the NHL playoffs, hockey fans can now watch full-length games whenever and wherever they want through the Amazon Unbox (affiliate link) digital video download service. The National Hockey League (NHL) and Amazon.com today announced that hockey fans can download full-length regular, post-season and classic games through Amazon Unbox.
Amazon Unbox will offer three or more of the most exciting NHL games each week during the regular season and playoffs, as well as classic NHL games. The first set of games from the 2007 playoffs are now live and available through Amazon Unbox. Games are available for download as soon as 48 hours after the final buzzer for just $2.99. Dozens of classic games from the NHL’s rich history also are available, including the 1994 Stanley Cup Final in which the New York Rangers defeated the Vancouver Canucks, the 1993 Western Conference Final game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Los Angeles Kings featuring Wayne Gretzky, and the 1997 Stanley Cup Final in which the Detroit Red Wings topped the Philadelphia Flyers.
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
With each game, each series and each season, Murray and assistants John Paddock and Greg Carvel have gained more knowledge of the inner workings of their own team.
“I know what guys can do now,” said Murray. “I know the level you can expect, where they fit and they, in turn, came to understand better the system that we’re trying to play, the checking role we expect of them and the work ethic we expect of them.”
With that knowledge, the coaching staff can figure out what matchups work best, what areas they are best equipped to try and exploit on the other side.
I have to be honest with you, as a Wings fan, we normally don’t hear the phrase, “The Wings are running the goalie in every game.”
In a way, that is the type of team Detroit fans have been waiting for, but I really don’t see much of the “goalie running” everyone is talking about.
Do the Wings really run the goalie? What do you think about that fans, both Wings and fans of the other teams.
The Hockey News comments on yesterday’s action…
•I’d imagine the Lightning’s loss will mean one of their big three (Richards, Martin St-Louis, Vincent Lecavalier) will be on the move this summer. Tampa GM Jay Feaster can’t go into the 2007-08 season so top-heavy in payroll and he needs to improve his defense.
•I don’t buy the theory that older teams tend to wear down during overtime or late in a series. The Red Wings looked young and strong throughout the overtime of Game 6, the seventh-plus period of hockey they played in about 33 hours. A younger Calgary team looked wasted at times. Durability is all about conditioning and drive, not age.
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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