Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Pierre Lebrun at the CP via CBC,
Fast forward 12 months later and the Senators are back in the same spot after a five-game win in the first round. Except this year’s edition believes it’s better suited for a run.
“You can see the difference in this hockey club from the previous hockey clubs that I’ve been with,” said Senators GM John Muckler. “This hockey club seems to have something special. The leadership is great, they all get along together, they compete every night, they have the skill level and the physical strength - so we’ll see where that takes us.”
The difference is the commitment to team defence.
from the News & Observer,
Missing the playoffs didn’t hurt the Carolina Hurricanes only in terms of pride. It hit them in the pocketbook as well.
After turning a $10 million profit last season while winning the Stanley Cup, the Hurricanes expect to lose about $4 million this season.
“You can live with it,” team owner Peter Karmanos said. “But not forever.”
The International Ice Hockey Federation is proposing a Champions League format which would pit the top club teams in Europe against each other in a tournament similar to soccer’s Champions League.
The goal is to get the Champions Hockey League off the ground in 2008-09, which coincides with the IIHF’s 100th anniversary.
“This is a vision that we have had for quite some time and started to work actively on for several months,” said IIHF President Rene Fasel.
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
“Do I like what happened? No,” said Babcock.
“Could he have handled it differently? Sure. I coach the team so I’m a little biased but I saw (Iginla’s) elbow hit (Hasek) in the forehead and thought at least it should have been a penalty both ways.”
Iginla didn’t see it that way.
“That ice is just as much ours as it is his and, to be honest, I thought he came into me and I didn’t think it was much contact at all,” said Iginla.
“I was surprised he got so upset on that play. At that point in the game, it’s obviously a good thing to get the powerplay and if he’s not happy and we’re playing within the rules, that’s obviously a good thing too.”
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Somehow, championship teams find a way to overcome any and all adversity. The vanquished, meanwhile, too often seek out a bullseye for misguided blame. And the officials always are the easiest target around.
But unless Apple invents the iRef, we’re stuck with the guys and the system we’ve got. And until someone comes up with a practical, fail-safe solution to a game played and run by human beings, all you ref-blasting bleaters out there ought to stuff a hockey sock in your soundholes and allow the rest of us to enjoy the playoffs in peace.
Spector is in the process of a few changes to his site, check it out at Spector’s Hockey.
Lyle is still in the process of the changeover and it should be completed
within 24 hours
(now open for business as of early Friday afternoon). For the latest news, you can still go to his soon to be old site.
Sabres and Sharks hope to wrap up the series tonight.
from the Mercury News,
A victory tonight would give the Sharks some much-needed recovery time before the next series. They would not need to play a Game 6 in San Jose on Sunday or (heaven forbid) a Game 7 in Nashville on Tuesday. It is likely that Round 2 of the playoffs won’t begin until next weekend.
You can look it up. The most accurate predictor of a Cup winner is how easily the team makes it through the early playoff rounds. Not since 1992 has a team been stretched to a seven-game series in the first round and then proceeded to win the Stanley Cup. And the team that did so, the Pittsburgh Penguins, had the benefit of Mario Lemieux on its roster.
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
“There’s nothing to be ashamed of,” Therrien said. “You look at the big picture, it’s a huge step.”
How true, the Pens are on a huge upswing, look out NHL!
added 8:29am, from the Toronto Star,
Even though they lost in the first round of the playoffs, this was more a beginning than an end for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Nobody understood that – and how the hockey landscape is about to change – better than Ottawa coach Bryan Murray, whose club had just made short work of the Pens, dispatching them in five games.
“They’re going to be a team you’re not going to want to play in the future,” said Murray.
fromm Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
Adhering to the rulebook, especially at this time of year, still is a sensitive issue with a lot of players, coaches, fans and media.
“As much as everyone bought in to what we’re trying to do, you get people who say ‘How can you make that call at this time of year?,’” Walkom said last night in an interview. “We continue to work at changing the mind-set. What is a penalty in the first period is still a penalty in the third. I think if people are (scrutinizing officials), it’s because emotions are running really high right now with so much at stake.
“Everything is magnified. But we know that and we expect that.”
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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