Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
We interrupt the multitude of Chris Pronger controversies for a quick and stunning Western Conference revelation: Todd Bertuzzi is starting to play like Todd Bertuzzi again.
And that can’t be good news for the Anaheim Ducks.
As if there isn’t enough for the Ducks to worry about, what with trying to control Henrik Zetterberg on one line and Pavel Datsyuk on another and trying not to let Dominik Hasek get in their heads, now they have this truck dressed in Red Wings garb to be concerned about.
from Allan Muir at Sports Illustrated,
No joke. I get a call this afternoon from a buddy of mine, livid about NBC’s decision to dump overtime of the elimination game between Buffalo and Ottawa onto Versus.
“I can’t believe it,” he moaned. “They cut off the strongman competition I was watching for a stinkin’ hockey game!”
I had to laugh. After the kick to the gut American fans got today, it’s nice to know there’s at least one sport lower on the broadcast totem pole.
As I stated yesterday, NBC should have prepared the fans with a heads up of their plans, but nothing was mentioned. I have received over 100 emails the last 12 hours, all livid with the NBC decision. Many people set their DVR to record and even allowed for extra time, but they missed the OT since no one set the DVR to Versus. If NBC would have alerted us about this switch, in ADVANCE, it would have made it a little easier to take.
Instead, many NHL fans feel like NBC just doesn’t care.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
The fifth game of the Western Conference finals will be the one in which they stop taking the careless penalties that have sapped their energy and fueled the Red Wings’ offense, or it will be another showcase for their lack of discipline.
It will be the day they realize that mental toughness is more important than sheer brawn, or another occasion on which they let their emotions overrule their heads.
It’s their choice.
They can use their abundant talent to its fullest, or they can be drawn into tripping and hooking and holding and continue to tax their overworked defense and disrupt the flow of their offense.
They say they have chosen how they want to be known.
more (reg. req.)
from The Milford Daily News,
But any fan of hockey - traditional, old-school hockey as it was meant to be played - should have their eyes glued to the ongoing Western Conference Finals between Anaheim and Detroit.
The series might be the last chance for traditionalists to save the game.
If hockey general managers have proven anything over the years, it’s that they’re not the most creative bunch. The NHL is a copycat league; when one system or approach proves successful, you can be sure a good chunk of the league will try to do the same thing.
That means the winner of this series, which is tied at two games apiece heading into this afternoon’s Game 5 in Detroit (NBC, 3 p.m.), could provide the blueprint for many other franchises, especially if the winner goes on to take the Stanley Cup.
Anaheim and Detroit couldn’t approach the game any differently. And ironically, the roles are opposite what you would expect from the respective cities they call home.
By George James Malik
Chris Pronger needs to take his nose out of Playboy (audio interview, go to 24:28 mark and listen thru to 36:30 mark) and open up a physics book.
Physics does not explain why a 6’6” player is allowed to hit a shorter player in the head simply because he is taller than the shorter player. That’s a cop-out and rationalization of Burkeian proportions.
Does the “law of physics” state that, because players like Bertuzzi and myself are so massive (245 pounds), we’re allowed to shrug our shoulders when we take runs at players, and those players are injured?
When people like us play contact sports, we hurt people, and we don’t even mean to do it, because Newtonian physics state that momentum is conserved in collisions (barring factors such as friction and metabolism [body heat] dissipating some energy into the surrounding environment), or, in other words, when I hit somebody who’s lighter than me, they have to accelerate faster than I do, or absorb more force (force [in Newtons] = mass x acceleration).
from The Puck Stops Here at Fox Sports,
All told, Ottawa has a few players who might have Hall of Fame careers, but none are sure things. Ottawa does not have a top goalie. In the pre-lockout days, this is a team that might have been a Stanley Cup contender, but it is not the kind of team that wins the Cup. In the post-lockout days when it is much harder to keep a successful team together, this is quite possibly what a Stanley Cup-winning team looks like.
The Senators are better than Carolina in 2006. However the question that matters is: Are they better than either Detroit or Anaheim this year?
Q. Coach, this is going to get analyzed and analyzed over the next couple days. Was it special teams perhaps your power plays inability to score goals?
COACH LINDY RUFF: I don’t think you can put it there. If you look at Ottawa was maybe 0-17, 0-18 on their power play. The last three games and we were - we had got a couple so - I think, you know, the first two home games, that hurts. When you lose those first two home games and the second game where we had the 2-goal lead and end up losing that game, you know, to leave your building and then try to resurrect a series gave them some momentum, I thought.
‘‘It’s kind of surreal right now,’’ Alfredsson said of his first-ever foray into the NHL’s championship series.
It was fitting in too many ways that Alfredsson got the big goal, his 10th of the post-season, having been the goat on last year’s overtime winner by the Sabres when Jason Pominville walked around him and beat Ray Emery to end yet another disappointing playoffs for the Senators in the second round.
‘‘He’s taken a lot of heat over the years,’’ said Senators linemate Dany Heatley. ‘‘It’s great to see him score big goals. He deserves it. He’s a man on a mission.’‘
added 7:05pm, Bryan Murray, Daniel Alfreddsson and Ray Emery press transcript
from the Palm Beach Post,
If hockey fans needed a reminder of how insignificant their sport is on the American landscape, they got it courtesy of NBC Saturday.
One minute, viewers were watching the end of regulation play with the scored tied at 2. Coming back from the commercial break, NBC switched to its coverage of the Preakness Stakes. It was almost as if the hockey game had never happened.
Alfredsson, the best Ottawa player this post season, ends the hopes of Buffalo fans with a goal in OT.
Watch the press conference (will be available soon after the game).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org