Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
But as each minute expired Friday night, as the clock ticked into the final 10 seconds, there was no avoiding that sinking feeling that the Sabres had no escape. Really, anybody who thought the Sabres would come away unscathed again was drowning in fantasy. It defied the laws of probability, which had been gaining ground.
Don’t worry, it wasn’t a dream.
Buffalo’s hockey god, Chris Drury, answered all prayers, resuscitated the Sabres once again and carried them within one victory of reaching the Eastern Conference finals for the fourth time in nine seasons under Lindy Ruff. Even the eternal optimists and strongest die-hard would agree that this is getting a little ridiculous.
from The Kingston Whig-Standard,
Kirk Muller and Doug Gilmour have been Kingston’s poster boys for the NHL for two decades, playing for a combined 13 teams. Last night, at the 12th annual Kingston and District Sports Hall of Fame, the boys came home.
“Who said you can’t come home? Thank you, I appreciate it tremendously,” said Gilmour last night before a sold-out Hall of Fame crowd at the Ambassador Motel.
“To be going into the same hall with a group of people I grew up cherishing is a very special honour,” Muller said.
Do the Sens move on tonight?
Sharks/Wings- I think today the key is PP and PK, whoever is better will win.
Regarding the NBC game, as I stated yesterday, the Detroit NBC affiliate will go to split screen if the game runs into Kentucky Derby time. I have read other cities will go to the Derby. Aslo have read NBC may move the game to VERSUS if it runs over the allotted time slot.
from the Toronto Star,
The crowd gathered around Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom, his left eye is still bloody, his left pupil still dilated from a stick injury suffered against Calgary.
“How’s your eye?” a reporter asked.
“Where are you?” joked Holmstrom, feigning blindness and getting a few yuks….
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said the Wings are different team with Holmstrom.
“When (Holmstrom) gets the puck you don’t get one chance, you get a bunch of chances,” said Babcock. “The power play is about work ethic. It’s about getting the puck back, it’s about winning battles.”
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
Now the Senators get a chance to shut down the Devils and their building tonight.
“That’d be nice, wouldn’t it?” said Senators defenceman Chris Phillips, who scored the overtime winner in Game 6 of the 2003 Eastern Conference final here to force Game 7 back in Ottawa. “That’s definitely our goal.”
The Devils will have home-ice advantage tonight and it will be interesting now to see if New Jersey coach and GM Lou Lamoriello, who fired Claude Julien as coach with just a couple of games to go in the regular season, will change his philosophy regarding the matching of lines. Lamoriello obviously thought he could do a better job behind the bench.
from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,
With the Sharks and Detroit tied 2-2, we face the very realistic possibility of the series going seven games. If it happens, that would entail a major back-and-forth cross-country hockey slog. Today’s game at Joe Louis Arena will be followed by a plane ride back to San Jose for a Game6 on Monday. And that would be followed by another potential flight back to Detroit for a Wednesday conclusion.
If you’ve taken careful notes, that works out to three games in five days - sandwiched around two flights across a combined six time zones. Or three flights across a combined nine time zones, if you include the trip both teams made here from San Jose for today’s game.
Frankly, I became fatigued just typing out that scenario. You probably were pooped just reading about it. Imagine if you had to play hockey, too, while icing down your bruised body somewhere over Nebraska both ways. It only stands to reason that the younger team might have an edge.
from the OC Register,
No Vancouver players were conspicuously absent from the traditional postgame handshake line. Canucks coach Alain Vigneault made a point of congratulating Ducks counterpart Randy Carlyle and his staff. Vancouver general manager Dave Nonis went to Carlyle’s office after the game to commend Ducks coaches and management.
“I expected nothing less from Dave Nonis and Alain Vigneault,” said Ducks general manager Brian Burke, who formerly held the same position with the Canucks….
“We got beat by a better team. It’s as simple as that,” Vigneault said. “The games were tight, but overall they had more speed. They were better than we were.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
“We have to realize that the series is not over,” said Lundqvist, his team’s best player by leaps and bounds. “We really can’t think too much about this.
“We can’t lay down and die here.”
Understand, this game was not stolen from the Rangers, no matter how close they came to escaping with the series lead after Martin Straka scored at 16:41 of the third to break a scoreless tie. The Blueshirts were sloppy and a step or two slow against a Buffalo squad that played uptight hockey nearly all night and were there for the taking.
“We’re not going to win too many playing our ‘B’ game,” Tom Renney said, echoing the message he delivered to the team moments after it had ended. “If we give an opportunity like this the next time to our opponent, the series is over.”
The Phoenix Coyotes on Friday fired play-by-play television announcer Curt Keilback, the voice of the NHL franchise for the past 27 seasons.
Keilback said he was told by team officials that his contract was not being renewed.
“I certainly didn’t see it coming,” Keilback told the East Valley Tribune. “To all of a sudden to be told just out of the blue, ‘That’s it. You’re done,’ is devastating.”
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Here along the edge of the Detroit River in the place they call Hockeytown is where making history and repeating history intersects.
The Detroit Red Wings (desperate to recapture some Stanley Cup magic in the face of a string of playoff letdowns) and the San Jose Sharks (desperate to make good on Stanley Cup expectations instead of becoming the Ottawa Senators of the West) find themselves deadlocked at two games apiece with a pivotal fifth game set for Saturday afternoon.
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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