Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Morrison at CBC,
What to do with Anaheim Ducks defenceman Chris Pronger, that is the question being pondered today?
It says here Pronger should be suspended for at least one game, maybe two.
Pronger is a great player to be sure, but he made a mistake Tuesday night, and it could have been a great big mistake, when he drove Tomas Holmstrom’s head into the glass in the second period of an eventual 5-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings, the Ducks trailing by four at the time.
added 12:07pm, from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Speaking of Niedermayer and Pronger: both deserve at least a one-game suspension for their tag-team assault on Detroit’s Tomas Holmstrom. But I won’t be surprised if neither player receives supplementary discipline, mainly because Daniel Alfredsson got away with a similar cheapshot on Henrik Tallinder in Game 2 of the Sabres-Sens series.
From Paul Hunter at the Toronto Star,
To understand how the Senators have transformed from choking dogs to doggedly determined, it’s necessary to recall the calamitous events around Christmas.
At the time, no one could have known that the negative circumstances enveloping the club foreshadowed a likely trip to the Stanley Cup final. Such a prediction would have earned only scorn.
From John Branch at The New York Times,
The Snyders are still trying to shape and build the legacy of their son — most recently with an 18,000-mile trip to all 30 N.H.L. arenas — while coping with something that time and distance has not healed.
The lasting image from Dan Snyder’s death, in this town and across hockey’s sprawling landscape, is painted in forgiveness. Moments after her son died, LuAnn Snyder entered Heatley’s hospital room. He would recover from the broken jaw and the torn-apart knee, but perhaps never from the survivor guilt. She squelched his apologies by saying that he would always be forgiven.
But the more success Heatley has, the more likely his past will be recalled. The desires of Heatley and the Snyders appear, on the surface, to be in opposition: Heatley is trying to move on, the Snyders do not want anyone to forget.
A family matter takes me away from the computer for a few hours this morning.
If Alanah or The Sailor have some time, they will update, if not, I should be back in 2 hours.
from Mike Brophy at the Hockey News,
Since the game started at 6 p.m. Anaheim time, the seats were quite empty at the start of the contest as fans battled awful traffic trying to make it to the Honda Center. However, of those who made it in time for the game, many chanted “Red Wings Suck! Red Wings suck!” repeatedly a minute into game. Not exactly what I’d call classy.
more on the game…
from The Spin, a blog by Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Pronger’s hit was to the head, it was from behind, it drew blood and it had fans in Anaheim baying for more blood given that the Ducks had got Holmstrom, probably the most troublesome Detroit player in the series so far.
Understand this. The NHL adores mayhem. It likes blood. It wants to see players like Holmstrom have their heads split open and bleeding, and to have those “highlights” shown on television throughout Canada and the U.S. It wants hockey to be seen as a sport in which Wes Craven would feel welcome.
from Randy Youngman of the OC Register,
The referees stopped play to mete out punishment — surprisingly, Niedermayer received a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct, even though it seemed Pronger had more to do with Holmstrom’s face being bloodied — but the cheering continued, unfortunately.
It’s OK to applaud a big hit by the home team, but it’s not all right to keep cheering lustily when an injured opponent lies motionless on the ice, bleeding from the forehead, as Holmstrom was after being sandwiched by Niedermayer and Pronger.
Too bad the penalty box wasn’t large enough to accommodate all of the spectators who were guilty of poor sportsmanship on this night.
more on the game…
from the Detroit Free Press,
It’s a Swedish world the Wings inhabit, what with Swedes up front and Swedes on the back end, a Swede here, a Swede there. It’s a sweet series those Swedes have now helped set up for the Wings, scoring two key goals in the first period Tuesday to start a surge that left the Wings with a 5-0 success over the Ducks in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals.
“Definitely, they make an impact out there,” Hasek said after the victory at Honda Center. “They are fun guys to play with and practice with. I really enjoy to be with them.”
from the Buffalo News,
Beating the Ottawa Senators in Scotiabank Place is the only way the Sabres can ensure the Chris Drury- Daniel Briere era continues. A loss eliminates Buffalo from the Eastern Conference finals and puts the franchise in its most uncertain place since the bankruptcy days.
This is likely the final season in Buffalo for one or both of the co-captains, something that’s been acknowledged since last summer. Since Ottawa holds a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, the next loss is likely the final game for one or both. They become unrestricted free agents in 6z weeks.
“As I said all year, my focus needs to be on the games, and certainly at this point it can’t be anywhere else and shouldn’t be anywhere else,” Drury said Tuesday. “That’s all I’m getting ready for is [tonight].”
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
To suspend or not to suspend.
If Pronger is suspended, for no more than one game, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. The score of the game and the fact it was an elbow from behind doing some damage to Holmstrom’s head and that it was also perceived as payback for earlier events will work against Pronger and the Ducks.
If Pronger isn’t suspended, well, that won’t be a huge shock either. Holmstrom apparently did not suffer serious injury on the play, it’s the Western Conference final and there have been hits like this one that have in the past gone unpunished.
The big thing, though, is that the Niedermayer-Pronger-Holmstrom convergence partially obscures the real story here – Detroit totally handing Anaheim its lunch on Duck ice in what should have been a statement game for the Ducks.
added 8:06am, from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
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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