Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Willa Ford (Mike Modano’s wife) at her NHL.com blog:
We’ve handled one big, strong, quick-skating tough team, and now we have another. But this goaltender is up for the Vezina, and they have potentially an even greater set of forwards to throw against our young D.
(I said to Mike this morning, “This goaltender probably isn’t going to like you very much in the next few days and he replied with “He’s a great guy off of the ice, but no, hopefully he isn’t happy with me when this series is over.”)
To top it off, the San Jose arena is one of the loudest and most violent crowds that I’ve ever seen in person. It worries me, but for some reason Mike loves it. He said he hopes they boo him, he hopes they give it to his goaltender and his team and his teammates because it drives him…
from the CP via TSN,
Colorado Avalanche forward Wojtek Wolski will not play in Game 2 against the Detroit Red Wings and likely will miss the rest of the second-round series because of an upper-body injury.
Wolski was hurt in Detroit’s 4-3 win Thursday night.
Star forward Peter Forsberg, who was scratched from the series opener with a groin injury, is questionable for Game 2.
Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville expects Jose Theodore to play Saturday after being pulled and sent to the hotel during Game 1 because he was sick.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
This was more than your customary vanilla pre-series press briefing from Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby.
This morning, hours before the puck would be dropped here for the opener of the Rangers New York Rangers -Penguins Eastern Conference semifinal, No. 87 reacted angrily when asked to respond to innuendo from Tom Renney that Crosby embellishes possible penalties and takes dives.
Thursday, Renney, asked if he were concerned about a potential bias toward Crosby, who has been known to embellish in order to draw penalty calls, said he would speak to the series supervisor of officials about a number of topics.
“I haven’t changed one bit; I never dove and I don’t dive now,” Crosby said today with a flash of anger. “That’s just part of the playoffs; part of gamesmanship.
from Duffer’s Dabbles,
As a youngster in Calgary, Colorado’s Ryan Smyth grew up watching the heated Battle of Alberta between the Flames and Edmonton Oilers in the 1980s and then got to experience it as a member of the Oilers. Though admitting it’s a close call, he goes with Edmonton-Calgary as the nastier feud than Detroit-Colorado. “That’s tough,” Smyth admitted. “Back in the day, we saw a huge rivalry (between the Flames and Oilers), but over the course of the mid-nineties, these guys, Detroit and Colorado had some wars. It’s comparable, but I think it’s a little different in Canada.”
more on the Detroit/Colorado series…
from Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet,
But there’s a guy available right now that can do the job and he’s a free agent: Doug Armstrong.
The Leafs fumbled the ball on Bob Gainey more than a decade ago, not they’ve got a chance to hire his protege.
Somewhere along the line, Armstrong’s reputation took a hit in the arena of public perception, probably because he didn’t win a Stanley Cup as GM of the Dallas Stars from 2002 to 2007 and his team struggled in the playoffs in recent years. That’s a major reason why he got fired. Of course, they made the playoffs EVERY year he was GM. Leaf fans take note.
Consider the evidence when assessing Armstrong’s case:
from Spector at Fox Sports,
The NHL playoffs are over for half the teams and their current rosters could have a different look next season as several players face some crucial contract decisions this summer.
Big changes could be in store for the Wild this summer. Brian Rolston and Pavol Demitra are eligible for UFA status this summer, but it’s expected GM Doug Risebrough will choose to re-sign Rolston, who was a two-way force over the injury-prone Demitra.
The biggest decision facing Risebrough could be that of leading scorer Marian Gaborik, who had a disappointing postseason with only one assist against the Avalanche.
April 25, 1964 • Toronto goalie Johnny Bower blanked the Detroit Red Wings 4-0 to propel the Maple Leafs to their third straight Stanley Cup title.
*information via NHL media
*photo found in at Legends of Hockey.net
Sportingnews.com NHL reporter Victor Chi, a former San Jose Sharks beat writer for the Mercury News for over 10 years, answered a handful of questions about working in the American half of the orginal six, visiting Columbine High School after the school shooting tragedy, Mike Ricci taking a ceremonial faceoff with Queen Elizabeth, the Sharks-Flames series, the impact of late goaltending coach Warren Strelow, questions and expectations surrounding Joe Thornton and Sharks captain Patrick Marleau, and offered insight into the rigors of covering a team over an 82-game regular season.
Q] After 15 years working at the Mercury News, 10-11 as the beat writer for the San Jose Sharks and time spent in Chicago, Detroit, Boston and New York, what are your thoughts on the state of the industry?
[VC] Yes, I’ve had the pleasure of working in the American cities of the Original Six plus covering an Original 22 franchise. It’s a unique perspective. The newspaper industry is obviously going through a painful transition phase. It can be depressing with news of layoffs—- I have first-hand experience with that—- and buyouts almost every day. But the public has a tremendous appetite for information so other opportunities are going to develop.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
In the 2000-01 season, the Penguins had just come through their second bout of bankruptcy. They only remained in Pittsburgh because Mario Lemieux found the financing to take over the team and later that season he came out of retirement, in part because the team desperately needed a gate attraction to stay solvent.
By then, however, Jagr was in a long public sulk. He fought with his coaches and teammates and the media.
Now, he says, looking back with the wisdom of 36-year-old eyes, it was all done to keep forwards Alexei Kovalev, Martin Straka and Robert Lang in Penguins uniforms. All three were set to become free agents at the end of the 2000-01 season and Jagr said he knew the team needed them more than him. After Lemieux made his comeback halfway through the season, Jagr said the team could afford to lose him.
via Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.,
Montreal’s Alexei Kovalev tied the score with 29 seconds remaining in the third period and Tom Kostopoulos scored the winner 48 seconds into overtime in the Canadiens’ 4-3 win over the Flyers in Game 1 of their series. It was only the fourth playoff game in NHL history in which a team tied the score in the final minute of regulation and won it in the first minute of overtime.
This is the first time that Mike Modano and Joe Thornton have played against each other in a postseason series. They’ve played in the same regular-season game 28 times, with the Stars winning 16 of them, Thornton’s teams (the Bruins and Sharks) 10, and two games ending in a tie. Thornton (9-18-27) has outscored Modano (10-15-25) by two points in their head-to-head games.
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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