Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the CBC,
Hockey Night In Canada analyst Scott Morrison makes his picks and predictions for the second stage of the Stanley Cup playoffs….
ANAHEIM (2) vs. VANCOUVER (3)
Key Player: J.S. Giguere has to be as good as Roberto Luongo. Simple. No reason, after getting to the finals a few years ago, that he can’t. But the way Luongo is playing, there is a smaller margin for error for the Ducks goaltender.
Key player: Markus Naslund has to step up and take charge, to assert himself and rediscover his offensive form – not just for a night, but a series.
Prediction: Ducks in six games.
thanks to a KK member for the pointer…
from the Buffalo News,
The New York Rangers haven’t had a game in six days, so their players have had a lot of downtime to fill. Avery has been using his to visualize his opponents in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
“I’ve just secretly been making up things in my head about guys on their team that they’ve done to me so I can identify with them when we’re going in a corner,” Avery said Monday in New York. “I’ve already decided I hate all those guys, so we’re not going to have any problem with that.”
Hate is a common word when discussing Avery. His peers named him the most hated player in the NHL in a poll by the Hockey News, and he won in a landslide. Avery got 66 percent of the vote while Nashville’s Jordin Tootoo placed second with just 6 percent.
from George Johnson at the Calgary Herald,
Sutts Lite, he came to be called.
It’s difficult to figure out if we got even a fleeting glimpse of the real Jim Playfair at all. He had that suspicious, tight-lipped, us-against-the-world Sutter thing going almost from the drop of the puck.
If he did deliberately adopt the pose, maybe it’s because that’s what he felt his boss believed a winning coach to be. Or maybe he did it out of respect for someone he truly does admire, imitation being the sincerest form of flattery.
Or just maybe, as he told us countless times heading into this adventure: “I’m more like Darryl than you guys think.’’ Maybe he actually is as much of a hard nut as Sutter. Only with fewer credentials to fall back on.
from Darren Dreger at TSN,
When it comes to Mike Keenan, the hockey world has learned to expect the unexpected.
With that in mind, Keenan is about to add a new chapter to his storied career by returning to hockey management, but not with a National Hockey League team, at least not for the moment.
Keenan, most recently a hockey analyst with TSN, has accepted the position of Senior Advisor to the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation.
STAMFORD, Conn. (April 24, 2007) - VERSUS, the national cable television home of the NHL, today announced the network’s schedule for the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoff Conference Semifinal round, which begins on Wednesday, April 25 with VERSUS’ pre-game studio show “Hockey Central” at 6:30 p.m. ET, followed by a double-header at 7 p.m. ET when the Buffalo Sabres host the New York Rangers and at 10 p.m. with Vancouver at Anaheim. Each week night VERSUS will feature one to two playoff games, as well the studio wrap-up show, “Hockey Central”.
VERSUS anticipates airing up to 52 playoff games, as well as the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final. The number of playoff games will vary depending upon the length of each individual series.
The complete schedule for the NHL Playoffs Semifinal round follows (subject to change):
from the Province,
The victory exorcised the ghosts of playoffs past — Game 7 home-ice losses to Calgary in 2004 and Minnesota in 2003 — and placed Linden on an even higher pedestal in Canuck folklore. He now has 10 points in nine career Game 7 appearances and his six goals are the most of any active player.
And at age 37, the Medicine Hat native was thankful to get a one-year contract extension from management that reshaped the franchise.
“I know how hard they worked putting this team together and I know how much this city wanted this,” added Linden, who had four shots in Game 7. “And we wanted it just as bad. We’ve had our heart breaks in Game 7, too. For me it was such a grind all day.
“It’s just a relief for me now.”
from the Buffalo News,
The Eastern Conference semifinal between the Sabres and New York Rangers will start Wednesday, and both teams have a player who fills an important niche. The Rangers have Jagr, one of the most potent offensive players of his generation. The Sabres have Chris Drury, who earned Selke Trophy votes this season as the NHL’s best defensive forward.
It would seem logical for the Sabres to make sure Drury is on the ice whenever Jagr is. But the Sabres enjoy making other teams adapt to them, so coach Lindy Ruff said Monday he will not alter his game plans just to make sure Drury and his wingers shadow Jagr and his linemates.
“No. No,” Ruff said. “We didn’t do any changing on the fly this year. We didn’t pour anybody over the boards. We’ll get matchups that we like.”
I just did a quick search and would have been able to purchase a group of 12 tickets in Row 9 of the upper bowl for $108 each.
I do wonder if the Wings will be able to sell-out this round.
from David Kolb of MSG Network,
Momentum was on their side.
Yet the team never capitalized.
What went wrong?
While Coach Ted Nolan could be the best off-ice coach in the NHL, his in-game managing could be questioned. Nolan kept his faith in certain players that were either playing too much or were simply miscast.
For instance, for some time Chris Simon was playing not only on the first line, but had significant power play duty as well.
The same can be said about Randy Robitaille, a player that by no means deserved the ice time he received. He proved time and time again that he is amongst the worst defensive forwards in the NHL.
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
Hockey Night In Canada has been given back its traditional Saturday night time slot for the second round of the National Hockey League playoffs.
The CBC complained at the start of the post-season when it was denied a Saturday prime time game on the first weekend.
The network will air the second game of the New Jersey Devils-Ottawa Senators series Saturday at 8 p.m. EDT.
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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