Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
The Senators did a number on the soft Sabres and proved to be the better team because they were more physical. But if the first two games of the Stanley Cup finals were any indication, Buffalo wouldn’t have stood a chance against an Anaheim team that beats up its opponents en route to beating them.
Reaching the conference finals in consecutive years is impressive, but it has become increasingly clear the Sabres need at least one bruiser on defense, maybe two, and a couple of more bangers on their top three lines. Teams loaded with speed and skill can get through the regular season because talent will carry them through. It’s different in the playoffs, where checking is tighter and officials are less likely to make calls that could determine the outcome.
from the National Post via Canada.com,
The morning after a postgame Ottawa dressing room that was rife with complaints about the dropping of the standard for hooking and holding in this series, Stephen Walkom, the NHL’s director of officiating, didn’t give an inch to the Senators’ complaints.
In fact, he filed them under G—for gamesmanship.
“I appreciate it, but I’m oblivious to it. That approach to influencing the game, it’s archaic,” the head ref said. “The coaches stand up for their team, and I stand up for my team. We don’t score goals or miss the net.”
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Brian Burke sneers at conventional wisdom and just about anybody else in his way. It is part of who he is, part of what his hockey club has and is about to become.
The Anaheim Ducks look like their general manager, play like him, occasionally bark like him. They have edge and temper and the ability to annoy. Yet they play with purpose and intelligence and with a definitive and obvious style.
Burke isn’t your typical hockey man and this is not your typical hockey team.
from Jeffrey Simpson of the Globe and Mail,
A Senators fan finds it hard to admit the following: Ducks fans are good fans, even nice and knowledgeable ones. Walk around the Honda Center in a Senators sweater and nobody is abusive. A few drunks shout “Ottawa sucks,” but compared with the reception in New York, Philadelphia, Boston and especially Toronto, Anaheim is a team party.
Very few people lorded their team’s triumph over us battered Senators souls. Most Ducks fans, like most Americans, have only the vaguest notion of things Canadian, but they do sense that hockey counts up north.
Maiers certainly does. She’s been to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto three times, a game in Montreal and the draft in Vancouver. She knows about hockey being hard-wired into the Canadian psyche, but she’s sorry: “I want the Cup.”
from the Ottawa Citizen,
The Ottawa Senators are on the verge of resurrecting a notorious nickname they had thought they shed: choking dogs.
The team that needed only 15 games to win three NHL playoff series leading to the Stanley Cup final against the Anaheim Ducks has disappeared with barely a whimper.
The Senators have been virtually unable to create scoring chances unless they have a 5-on-3 advantage, and they’ve been largely unresponsive to the wave of bodychecks the Ducks have thrown at them.
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
Balsillie could still try to move the team, of course, but would likely face a thicket of legal woes – the last thing any CEO would want, let alone one whose company is entangled in controversy over the alleged backdating of stock options.
Yet even if Balsillie was able to navigate the Predators out of Nashville, there are indications any move could be complicated. While the NHL board of governors would ultimately decide whether Balsillie could move a team to southwestern Ontario, one investment banker who specializes in sports transactions said the RIM executive is similarly interested in burgeoning Las Vegas.
That city is in the midst of trying to coax architects and builders to make proposals for a new downtown arena suitable for hockey and basketball. They were due back to a sports marketing firm representing Las Vegas yesterday.
from Earl McRae of the Ottawa Sun,
NEW SENS EXCUSES ON HOLD. The Ottawa fans were too loud, couldn’t concentrate. The Ducks are bigger than we are, it’s not fair. The Ducks have bigger, bushier beards than we have, they scare you with them. The Ducks get to stay in nice hotel rooms away from their nagging wives and girlfriends, not us.
much more on the SCF…
iLiveSports.com is a social network for connecting athletes worldwide.
I was browsing it last night by sport, inserted hockey in the search and up pops Dany Heatley.
from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Owner Dave Checketts, who lowered ticket prices to entice fans back to the arena, has said the Blues’ payroll would be about $40 million for the 2007-08 season. That leaves Davidson and Co. with about $5 million to spend in free agency — probably not enough to land a player such as Briere. He made $5 million with the Sabres this season, and after posting 32 goals and 95 points, could net $8 million to $9.5 million per year in a new deal.
So, three years after salaries bordering on $10 million forced the NHL into a lockout, salaries are back in the same neighborhood. This time, it was planned.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Giguere is finishing a contract that paid him $3.99 million this season. Winning the Cup, and perhaps a second Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs, would make him a very popular person the second that the free-agency period opens July 1.
Even if he isn’t the playoff MVP, he is destined to become a very, very rich man. The question is whether his paychecks will have a Ducks logo on them.
The NHL’s salary cap is expected to rise from $44 million to about $48.5 million next season, but the Ducks have a lot of high-priced players to get in under that limit.
They’re obligated to pay Chris Pronger $6.25 million and Scott Niedermayer $6.75 million and they’ll surely want to bring Teemu Selanne back after his 48-goal season.
more (reg. req.)
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.
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