Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet,
...Having spent parts of the opening two rounds with the Penguins, I would urge Canadian hockey fans not to turn off their TVs. They’re as fun to watch as any team in the NHL. But the fact is U.S.-only semi-finals just don’t appeal nearly as much to Canadians….
A Penguins-Wings final would also be the best-case scenario when it comes to convincing Canadian hockey fans to stay in front of their TV sets in early June when a late tee time or a drink on a nearby patio seems so much more appealing.
from the Blue Seats at the NY Post,
Blame the refs. Blame the Penguins. Blame Tom Renney. Blame anyone. There’s plenty of it to go around. But, to be realistic, a team needs to get past bad officiating and the opposing team’s attempts to disrupt the game plan. The ability to persevere is what makes a champion and this year’s Rangers New York Rangers did not have it.
When I saw Jarkko Ruutu jawing at Jaromir Jagr Jaromir Jagr before the faceoff, in Jagr’s face, mouthing off, and then pushing the Ranger captain to the ice after Jagr blew him a kiss ... I knew no one would step up to hand the Penguin pest a dental bill.
from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
We’re talking off the charts.
“Guys are paying the price because they want to win so bad,” Dupuis said. “They’re blocking shots. They’re getting in the shooting lanes. And when the puck does get through to the net, we’ve got a wall in front of it. Marc-Andre is playing unbelievably right now.”
Penguins general manager Ray Shero’s deal for Hossa at the February trade deadline was celebrated long into the night all over the city, but how about picking up Dupuis in the package? And what about the trade for Gill? “His stick is everywhere,” Penguins defenseman Ryan Whitney said of Gill. “He just breaks up play after play.”
from the 2008 Stanley Cup Blog at CBC,
On the cover of the Dallas Stars media guide, Mike Modano, Jere Lehtinen amd Sergei Zubov prowl in the background in black and white, while Brenden Morrow and Marty Turco stand defiantly in color in front of the aging veterans.
The statement is clear - this version of the Stars belongs to Morrow and Turco.
The captain and the goalie have taken over and become the core of the team. While Modano, Lehtinen and Zubov are the sole remaining components of the 1999 Stanley Cup championship team, they are taking on different roles this time around.
What A Comeback!
thanks to Habs Inside/Out for the pointer…
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
So Pittsburgh is, to some degree, a different team than that which Philly played all season.
What is consistent, however, is that opponents continue to underrate the Philadelphia attack, and it’s costing them.
The Flyers have been the most prolific offensive club in these playoffs with 43 goals in 12 outings, despite the fact they played Washington and Montreal, two teams that most analysts would have regarded as more talented offensive teams.
In the regular season, the Flyers scored more goals than Pittsburgh and ended up with seven 20-goal scorers, a list which didn’t include playoff menace R.J. Umberger, who grew up near Pittsburgh.
Interestingly, however, seven of Umberger’s 13 regular-season goals came against the Penguins.
from Lew Serviss of Slap Shot at the NYT,
Here we are at the midway point in the playoffs. Time to hand out some hardware.
Lucky Man Award Brad Stuart, Detroit … traded at the deadline from last-place LA to the first-place Red Wings
Brain-Lock Award Martin Brodeur, Devils … left a juicy puck for Ryan Callahan while he was – just what was Marty doing?
Chernobyl Award Ottawa Senators … a complete meltdown
from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,
The Sharks took the Dallas Stars into a Game 7 here Sunday night. And then into a Game 8.
That’s not what the official result will say, of course. It will say the Sharks lost a four-overtime game to the Stars 2-1. And that the Sharks lost their playoff series bitterly in six games.
Yet as the scoreboard clock moved into the second overtime, then the third, then the fourth, Game 6 did not just become the longest Shark game in history. It became the most remarkable game of this year’s entire NHL Stanley Cup tournament.
And for the Sharks, the worst loss.
from Jennifer Floyd Engel of the Star-Telegram,
Nor was this just any overtime.
The Stars were either going to be staring down the reality of frittering away a 3-0 series lead, thus and thereby trying to wrangle up an ounce of belief that flying to San Jose for Game 7 was not a colossal environmental waste. Or preparing for their first Western Conference Finals appearance since 2000.
Of course, overtime hockey is always a dicey proposition. You are always a bounce or a stumble or just really bad luck away from skating off the ice a loser.
But with each squandered chance, the Stars seemed to be losing their grip on a series they once had in a bear hug.
Just like you can sometimes smell a horrendously bad day coming on, you can likewise smell a cruel overtime.
And that is what overtime felt like at times in Game 6.
Game times aren’t available yet, but here is the schedule as we know it for the Eastern and Western Conference Finals starting this week. (Update May 5th: times and dates finalized and available here)
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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