Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Coaches Don’t Know What To Expect

from the San Francisco Chronicle,

"This really feels fresh," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said Saturday. "We've never been involved in a playoff series with San Jose, so it's a fresh series, and you really need that second series to confirm where you are." And then there's San Jose's Ron Wilson, who isn't as moved by concepts like freshness. "You don't know what to expect coming out," he said. "You've seen what teams with long layoffs have done in these playoffs, and plus we have three games in four days. I think (tonight's game) could be really sloppy." Hmmm. Fresh, and sloppy? Sounds kicky.
read on

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Emery Needs Help

from the Ottawa Sun,

"I haven't seen Dom on the ice," said Murray. "I think he works out real well, I think he's getting real strong. But I haven't seen him on the ice, so I assume that Ray will be our guy. That's our plan, and we're very happy with that. "We really bottomed out, in helping Ray get the game going (Friday). I mean, 35 seconds in, to give up the goal that we gave up ... it's pretty difficult for a goaltender, whether he's young or old, to say he's going to have a fantastic game from that point on. "We've done the analyzing of what happened, and what has to happen going forward. Now, starting (today) we've got a new page to worry about. It's playoff hockey and we think we're going to win every game, every night. I think somebody said we have a chance to win (the series) in seven. Well, we have to win a few, but you have to lose a couple for that to happen."
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If You Are Still Interested

via the Herald Today,

That's right, we skipped past the highlights to get right to what bugs us (the list is long): • The "sexy" teams - the Red Wings, New York Rangers and, for Tampa Bay area fans, the Lightning - were eliminated in the first round, leaving many with no rooting interest the rest of the way. Who are we going to get behind, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks? Maybe if Emilio Estevez was the coach and Goldberg was in net. • Every time I turn on a playoff game, OLN is showing "Bonus Coverage." It's only bonus coverage if you're showing us another game. Tapping in to the Canadian broadcast of the same game does . . . not . . . count. Speaking of which, OLN does not switch games, even if they are showing a blowout and another game is in OT.

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Game 2 Is Key

from the OC Register via the Mercury News,

For whatever reason, teams winning Game 2 in best-of-7 NHL playoffs have gone on to capture their series on 353 of 494 occasions, a nearly overwhelming 71.5 percent success rate. Six of eight first-round series this season held true to the pattern. Teams winning Game 1 have emerged victorious less often, 337 times out of 494, or 68.2 percent of the time. Four Game 1 winners in the first round this season wound up losing their respective series.
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Thornton Unstoppable

from the CP via Yahoo,

Stopping NHL scoring leader Joe Thornton is mission impossible, says San Jose Sharks coach Ron Wilson. "How do you stop a guy who has control of the puck? How do you take the puck from him legally, how do you pin him to the boards? The answer is you can't. You take penalties. You have to grab him, hook him or trip him." Wilson also sent a message to the referees to keep an eye on Edmonton winger Ryan Smyth. "A lot of times he hides behind the net or is sneaking in behind the goalie," said Wilson. "Probably more than any player in our league he interferes with goaltenders.
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Meet Stanley Cup

from the NY Times,

Before the start of the 2000-1 National Hockey League playoffs, a Detroit radio station attempting to rev up the Red Wings and their fans invited the Stanley Cup to the Motor City. That invitation was graciously declined — by Stanley Cup himself. "They wanted me to visit the city and be their lucky charm," said Cup, 57, a steel mill worker who lives in Saltsburg, Pa. "But I told them that I was just a quiet, redneck country boy, and that city life is a little too wild and crazy for me."
continued

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Hinote Closing In On Suspension

from the Rocky Mountain News,

Colorado Avalanche forward Dan Hinote is halfway to a suspension. Frustrated during a 5-0 playoff loss Friday night, Hinote flattened Anaheim Mighty Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf as the game ended. The hit drew a 5-minute major charging penalty, a 10-minute misconduct and a game-misconduct. NHL rules call for an automatic one-game suspension for any player who receives two game-misconduct penalties during the playoffs. Hinote also will be fined $200 for the game misconduct, and $100 for the 10-minute misconduct.
continued

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Carolina Starts Strong

from the blog of Ron Francis,

When I said I liked the match up, even I didn't like it(6-0) that much. The Canes did exactly what they had to. They played their best game defensively in the playoffs and also showed that relentless pursuit of the puck that made them so successful during the regular season. They also shut down NJ's PP and obviously were very successful on their PP
continued

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The Official Tracker

Let's see how many games the officials have worked during the playoffs (games last night not included). A few refs have worked 6 games while a few have worked only 3. Is it too early to start eliminating some of the refs and linesmen? A few more games into the 2nd round should paint a more clear picture for us.

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Filling In The Gap

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Just how good was the crop of NHL rookies this season? Well, New York Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist was named Thursday as a finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goalie, but he couldn't crack even the final three in the voting for rookie of the year. In other seasons, Phaneuf and Crosby would have been clear-cut Calder winners. But in this "year of the rookie," being a finalist is a mark of honor in itself given the performances of other first-year players Jussi Jokinen, Ryan Miller, Ray Emery, Petr Prucha and Brad Boyes. In a time that saw the end of the line for Scott Stevens, Mark Messier, Luc Robitaille, Brett Hull, Dave Andreychuk and, in all likelihood, Steve Yzerman, there is something to marvel at what might lie ahead for the next generation that appears more than capable of filling that void.
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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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