Kukla's Korner Hockey
from George Johnson at the Calgary Herald,
“One of the best all-around players you’ll find. He scores beautiful goals. He’s going to be a Selke Trophy candidate for years to come. You saw the other night. He backchecks Iginla. He forechecks Phaneuf. He can be a pain in the butt, or he can be a Lecavalier or a Jagr.
“But because we haven’t had a lot of playoff success since he got here—losing out in the second round against Calgary three years ago, then the lockout year, and the one round against Edmonton last season—a lot of fans, especially in Canada, haven’t really seen that much of him. So he kind of flies under the radar.’‘
from Erin Nicks at the Ottawa Sun,
If Sens fans are constantly reminded of the prominent role that Crosby holds as a Penguin, why shouldn’t they show their displeasure?
Furthermore, can someone explain how Crosby can be described as “mature” and “wise beyond his years,” but when criticism arrives in the simplest of forms en masse, he is referred to as a “boy?”
He isn’t a child, being pummelled by bullies sporting red, black and gold. He doesn’t require protection or leniency from critics, simply because he’s a gifted player under the age of 20.
To state so suggests a separate standard being created for the phenom—revered and worshipped, high atop a lofty perch free from negativity and critique. Something tells me that No. 87 would be the first person to vehemently disassociate from such a scenario.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Actually, this seems to be a Rangers’ issue. Actually, for some inexplicable reason, the Rangers - the Ranger$ - are the only team in the league not to have paid guaranteed signing bonuses while the lockout was still in effect on July 1, 2005, after the 2004-05 NHL season had been canceled.
And, actually, this does not seem to be about the language in the contracts, at all, for Slap Shots has learned the NHL already has stipulated in its pre-hearing briefs that the contracts as written do guarantee the signing bonuses.
more...plus some Kerry Fraser and Cherry talk…
Instead of grabbing a sniping forward with the No. 1 overall pick in 2000, the team made Rick DiPietro the only goalie in NHL history chosen with the first overall pick. But after deciding on DiPietro, the Isles still needed scorers, which is why Mike Milbury shipped Luongo to Florida for a package that included right wing Mark Parrish, a 20-goal man, and the enigmatic Oleg Kvasha.
It’s debatable whether the Islanders would have been better off keeping Luongo and drafting Marian Gaborik, the forward Milbury said he would have selected No. 1 if the goalie moves hadn’t been consummated. The former Isles GM and current senior vice president has said he made the deals because the mandate from new owners Charles Wang and Sanjay Kumar was to produce a playoff team—immediately.
from George Johnson at ESPN,
For those convinced the softie-toffee Detroiters might shrivel up into the fetal position in the face of a withering Calgary assault—reconsider. These Wings will compete. They will not back off. They will even initiate. This is a far different proposition than the upset-minded Flames pummeled into submission in six games three years ago.
Younger. Stronger. Hungrier. No Hullie or Shanny or Stevie Y. Great players all, no argument. But there’s a lift in the legs and in the attitude of this group. If the Flames are waiting for the Detroiters to automatically run down like a $5 knockoff Gucci watch bought off a blanket on a street corner, they could be out of this thing faster than Pavel Datsyuk speeding down the boards with a half-step on a defenseman.
thanks to a KK member for the pointer…
from the Star Tribune,
The Ducks have 25 players on their playoff roster. Nineteen are Canadians, three are Americans and three are Europeans. The Euros are Pahlsson (who thinks he’s from Red Deer), superstar Teemu Selanne from Helsinki, Finland, and Ilya Bryzgalov, a Russian who has been the starting goaltender for the first two games.
Mark Whicker from the Orange County Register put it this way early in the season: “With Brian Burke in charge, the Ducks are becoming as Canadian as curling, smoked meat and the Tragically Hip.”
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun (Sunday edition),
Still, Ottawa coach Bryan Murray isn’t ready to panic and snapped at a reporter who suggested the Penguins might have confidence.
“They’ve won one game and didn’t touch the puck for two periods,” barked Murray….
Afterward, someone reminded Alfredsson that before Game 2 he declared that whoever scored a win yesterday would have the “momentum” going into Game 3 tonight.
“I lied,” said Alfredsson, who scored his first goal of the playoffs on a perfect tic-tac-toe passing play at 16:44 of the second to give the Senators a 2-1 lead, with Colby Armstrong off for nailing goalie Ray Emery.
added 8:52pm, from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
The beauty of the NHL playoffs isn’t just the fine line that separates winning from losing, but the way those lines intersect with each other and lead from one to the other like a map. A broken stick here, a goalpost struck there, a timely hit, a key save.
But sometimes those fine lines don’t just happen—they are created.
And so it was on Saturday afternoon. With the opening-round series between Ottawa and Pittsburgh feeling much like a rout after two periods of play, longtime Senator-killer Gary Roberts created that fine line for his new team, the Penguins.
from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
The game ended with shoving and hitting and penalties. In the middle of it all was Avery.
“I don’t think it was frustration,” Thrashers coach Bob Hartley said about the chippy finish. “I think it’s more the love we have for Sean Avery. He’s a solid competitor. ... I don’t know him personally, but he seems to disturb lots of people in the league.”
from the AP via the Akron Beacon Journal,
After refusing to comment following the Sharks’ fisticuff-filled 5-2 loss to the Predators on Friday night, Wilson reacted incredulously Saturday to Trotz’s repeated attempts to blame the series’ physical tone and vindictive episodes on the Sharks.
“The rhetoric coming (from Trotz) is that we went there to start a street brawl, which is comical,” Wilson said after the Sharks’ 4 a.m. return from splitting the first two games in Nashville. The best-of-seven Western Conference series resumes Monday.
“Our responses aren’t about beating anybody up or any of that baloney. We took home ice from them. The pressure is on them now. We’re still in the driver’s seat. ... We’ll win the game on the ice.”
Most every series has had its share of big hits, scrums and gritty play. Hope hockey fans are enjoying the play so far, the best is yet to come.
Expect a better game tonight from the Islanders and the Tampa Bay/New Jersey game should be a hard fought batttle.
The Flames will come out flying tomorrow, trying to erase Game 1 memories quickly.
No need to even discuss Sharks/Preds, we know the Shark Tank will be rocking. And look for the Wild to regroup and come on strong at home.
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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