Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
Others will say it’s been ugly around here since the playoffs began.
It all depends, of course, entirely on your view of hair style.
On the one side of the Canadiens’ dressing room, you have the long, flowing, golden locks of Russian star Alexei Kovalev - hair so long and blond that, Saturday night, some Montreal fans showed up in wigs that made them look like they were extras in the Broadway musical Hairspray.
On the other side, you have the buzz cut, playoff choice of most of the Montreal dressing room, with players like Tom Kostopoulos, the one who decked Philadelphia’s Kimmo Timonen the other night, looking like they’ve just been deloused and are about to be issued their prison garb.
From Ken Campbell at The Hockey News,
So I figure I’ve earned the right to complain about a few things I’ve seen during this season’s playoffs. If you agree with me, give me a call and perhaps we can further discuss our issues over a glass of prune juice.
In any case, I remember when…[...]
• The NHL didn’t feel the need to pander to corporate sponsors by endorsing a contest where an NHL legend - in this case Mark Messier - brings the Stanley Cup to your house. The news release for the Bring Home the Stanley Cup promotion reads like this: “Known as ‘the Holy Grail’…the Stanley Cup ™ (sic) is one of the most celebrated sports icons and is the ultimate goal of hockey’s greatest players.”
Then leave the Stanley Cup ™ to them, not to some painted-up slob whose fingers are greasy from eating too many potato chips.
from Capitals Insider,
I’m hearing that Ovechkin and Semin joined Team Russia last night, but Ovechkin is still waiting for insurance on his 13-year, $124 million contract. Insurance for Ovechkin’s contract might cost the Russian Hockey Federation as much as $800,000. The Russians have said they will pay, but Ovechkin is contractually prohibited from going on the ice until coverage is in place.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
In addition to Ovechkin, the list includes Sergei Fedorov, Alexander Semin, Maxim Afinogenov, Ilya Kovalchuk, Denis Grebeshkov, Dmitri Kalinin and Alexander Radulov.
Kovalchuk, Afinogenov, Kalinin and Grebeshkov were on the ice against the Swiss last night.
The Russians who weren’t dressed, according to a Hockey Canada observer at the game, were “enjoying hot dogs and poutine in the stands.”
Huh? Well, Mike Lange of course…. Hear it at Empty Netters...
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
The Flyers, like the Bruins, found themselves in a dogfight for a playoff berth in the final weeks of the season, but that seems to have hardened the team and made it more prepared for post-season play. Captain Mike Richards, meanwhile, leads the club in ice time and seems to be in the middle of everything, whether it’s a scoring play or a scrum.
The Flyers, on home ice, now have a glorious opportunity to put their boots on the throats of the Habs. But if they don’t, no one would criticize them for it because they are the team that came all the way from the bottom to be respectable again.
from Francis X. Donnelly of the Detroit News,
He was Vlad the Impaler, a ferocious Red Wing known for flattening foes with bone-jarring hits on the open ice.
Now the 41-year-old can’t even take care of himself, slowly shuffling about his Metro Detroit condo with a walker.
It’s been 11 years since a limousine wreck turned Vladdy Konstantinov’s world upside down, a decade full of lawsuits and mental and physical rehab.
The legal maneuvering resumes today in U.S. District Court with the start of a trial that will try to ascribe blame for the injuries with the Ford dealership that sold the vehicle
from Mark Spector of the National Post,
If New York can’t win this game—a grinding affair in which Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin combined for one assist and just five shots on goal—is there any game of any type that the New York Rangers can devise to climb back into this series?
Surely this series can’t be over even before it really starts. Can it?
“Just like the Jersey games, we’re looking to win them 3-1, 2-1, 3-2—that’s playoff hockey, I think,” said New York’s Chris Drury. “I’m sure their meetings [before Game 2] were mirror images of ours. They didn’t want to play 5-4 games, either.
“I felt like we had some good chances. But when you come away from the game without any goals, you’ve got to do more.”
added 8:50am, from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
“That’s one thing about our team, we can do it both ways,” said 19-year-old Jordan Staal, who scored the first Pittsburgh goal and is doing a checking job any veteran would admire.
“We’re great defensively, we’re solid on both sides of the puck,” Staal added. “This team really seems to find ways to win and that’s what we did today. This team has matured so much, especially from last year.”
from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,
Price has had one outstanding game in this series and one subpar game. As a result, the Canadiens won the game in which they were outplayed by the Flyers and lost Game 2, even though they outplayed Philadelphia by a wide margin.
Surprise, surprise. Come playoff time, goalies, quarterbacks and starting pitchers have a disproportionate impact on a team’s fortunes.
Price is still learning his craft. No matter how large his talent or how bright his future, he is a 20-year-old playing a man’s game.
There will be nights when it all comes together, as it did during Game 7 against the Bruins - and there will be nights like Saturday’s game against the Flyers, when a couple of pucks go in over his left shoulder and the kid goes to work to adjust his position, doing the things he will do automatically as he matures.
from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,
“We’ve got a big mountain ahead of us to climb,” Sharks captain Patrick Marleau said. Actually, at last geographic report, there are no mountains in Dallas, where the next two games will be played. However, Stars goalie Marty Turco will be there. And the Sharks would probably rather face a big mountain.
Mount Marty is the challenge that the Sharks can’t solve. They have outshot Dallas in the first two games, 58-44, and they have zero victories to show for it.
from the Star-Telegram,
Modano had just taken a shot that had hit a skate and eventually skittered back to Zubov near the right side wall.
Modano, knowing how Zubov operates, had quietly circled back on the other side while every Shark defender’s attention—especially Nabokov’s—was focused on Zubov.
Without hesitation, Zubov whirled 360 degrees, backhanding the puck across the ice to the now wide-open Modano, who knew exactly what to do with it. His lightning-like wrister beat Nabokov on the stick side before the goalie could react.
“I had spun back the other way and everyone kind of gravitated towards Zubie,” said Modano, whose goal was his second in two games and seventh this year against the Sharks.
“That’s ‘shinny’ hockey at its finest, but with Zubie, that’s part of his game,” Tippett said. “That’s pretty special right there, to find a guy right on his tape, spinning around like that, that’s a special play. But we’ve seen that from Zubie around here for a long time.”
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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