Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
INTANGIBLES: Crosby will be under extreme media pressure and that alone could enervate The Kid. If Avery succeeds in luring Pitt into a headhunting expedition, that, too, could hurt the Pens. Opening on the road won’t scare the Blueshirts; they took all three games in Newark. Motivation is high on both sides and each club is well-rested, but the Penguins will be more rusty from the longer layoff.
CONCLUSION: I picked the Rangers in seven over New Jersey never thinking that Brodeur would have such a mediocre five games. I pick the Blueshirts in six as much on a hunch as the fact that New York has been in an impressive crescendo. Add The Avery Effect to that, and ‘nuff said!
NHL.com has preview pages set up for every series going into the second round. Each one of the links below has its own selection of related multimedia archives (photos and video), the official media guides for each team and stories from various NHL.com writers.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: media, playoffs
At the end of the video, Al Sobotka seemed a little defiant of the ‘no twirl’ rule!
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
There’s a very good reason for Canadiens fans to loathe Daniel Briere - and it’s not because he spurned Montreal’s courtship last July and signed an eight-year, $52-million contract with the Philadelphia Flyers.
It’s because Briere blithely flipped the final puck used during Carey Price’s first NHL shutout into the Bell Centre stands on Feb. 16.
Even for a non-collector like Price, the vulcanized souvenir from this milestone is a keeper. And even if Briere didn’t realize the significance of the Canadien rookie’s 34-save effort that night, he did a very bad thing.
Q: Hey Damien: Do you think there’s any way the Leafs and Mats might structure something for next year that allows him to play the back half of the season only, if the Leafs are in contention? It would free up cap room, allow more ice time for some promising younger talent, and lessen the wear and tear on Mats. A healthy, rested Mats could be a powerful weapon for a playoff run.
A: Interesting idea, I suppose. But pointless, and there’s no guarantee Sundin would come back as the same player he was. Moreover, he might not be inclined to sit around not getting paid for half a season if he really wants to play.
More questions answered (mostly Leafs related) from the mailbag of Damien Cox of the Toronto Star…
via the San Francisco Chronicle,
The Bay Area’s seasonal infatuation with the Sharks has returned, at least based on the local ratings from Tuesday’s 5-3 win over Calgary. Comcast SportsNet Bay Area announced that its telecast of Game 7 drew a 4.6 average rating (approximately 111,000 households) and an 8.8 peak rating (212,000), the highest since Game 7 of the 2002 second-round series with Colorado that drew a 5.7.
The rating for the series finished at 2.7, against the team’s regular-season rating of 0.9. These numbers do not include the viewers who chose the Versus or CBC telecasts.
The ESPN experts weigh in at the playoff page...
Watch Barry Melrose make his 2nd round playoff picks…
from the Courier Post,
Marty Biron spent nearly 12 years in the Buffalo Sabres’ organization waiting, hoping and praying for a chance to prove himself in a playoff series.
He never got it.
Danny Briere spent the past two years in Buffalo hearing how he could produce offense during the regular season, but disappeared in the playoffs.
Even one of his current teammates commented last year that Briere had been “pushed out” of the Sabres’ conference finals against the Ottawa Senators.
Today, the two former Buffalo soldiers are proving themselves as playoff warriors for the Flyers.
from the Times & Transcript,
Robbie Laird, director of pro scouting for the Los Angeles Kings, today offers his predictions for the second round of the 2008 National Hockey League Stanley Cup playoffs… Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers
Both teams looked real good in the opening round, both are healthy and ready to go. You have a potential Vezina trophy winner in Lundqvist vs. a hot at the right time Fleury.
Gomez, Jagr and Drury are all on different lines so the Rangers have a special three line mix. Pens have the game breakers in Crosby and Malkin. The Rangers are very well coached. When you have your producers playing a hard checking game that is a formula for success. Sergei Gonchar does not get enough credit; he has been great this year. In the end, home ice is going to matter and Crosby gives the Pens the slight edge.
Prediction: Pittsburgh in seven.
from Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star,
A goalie’s life is never easy, but it should be particularly difficult for Colorado’s Jose Theodore and Detroit’s Chris Osgood over the next 10 days.
That’s because the NHL’s two best pests in front of the net, Tomas Holmstrom and Ryan Smyth, will be plying their trade.
“They’re both similar players,” Detroit’s Nick Lidstrom said.
“They’re good at knocking pucks down, good hand-eye co-ordination. They’re both good at taking the puck to the net too.”
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 email@example.com