Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Mike Keenan – God love him – hates that tired old cliché that’s generally trotted out whenever an NHL playoff series is tied at two games apiece – that it’s now a best-of-three and may the best team win.
As far as Keenan concerned, on the morning of the fifth game of the Calgary Flames-San Jose Sharks, it’s a best-of-one. Only tonight’s game against matters; it’s the only one on his mind – and he hopes it’s the only one on his players’ minds as well.
“I would prefer to have the group playoff ready for (tonight’s) game,” replied Keenan, when asked the best-of-three question.
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
Murray deserves his share of the blame for what’s happened to the franchise, but he also fits the criteria for director of the rebuild. He knows hockey and he knows talent and where he gets an edge is that he knows Ottawa’s problems from the inside out. Given Melnyk’s other problems, Murray is the guy Melnyk has to charge with fixing the Senators.
Goaltending will be a huge issue. Emery is as good as gone, likely via a buyout. That message was sent from the moment Murray nailed him to the bench in favour of Martin Gerber. Gerber wasn’t awful in the series, but he was never close to being a difference maker and if a team has Stanley Cup aspirations or even aspirations of making the playoffs (which will be both a singular and difficult goal for the Senators next season), that has to improve.
from Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post,
Any coach should have the authority on his bench to tell his players to take a loss like men, go home with their dignity intact and use the scoreboard to seek vengeance in the next game.
But what do I know? I don’t live in the state of hockey, where die-hard Minnesota fans are still sore after the Wild got beat up by Anaheim in the playoffs a year ago.
In response, Lemaire assembled the biggest cast of desperadoes and bushwhackers seen since “Blazing Saddles” hit movie theaters in 1974.
But here in Colorado, we know all too well how stupid violence in the game can result in a broken neck.
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
So, how can New Jersey prolong the series on Friday at The Rock?
“We’ve got to take it slow,” Brodeur suggested. “Just play the game and pay attention to detail. We can’t shoot ourselves in the foot anymore. We (Martin and Madden) had a chance to take the lead, but we didn’t bury it. Then, there’s the mistake in our zone and that’s the game.”
Don’t be surprised if Sutter makes a major change on defense. Vitaly Vishnevski should be benched and replaced by Karel Rachunek who will at least give the Devs some offense with his D. Perhaps Sheldon Brookbank, who is fresh, will get an opportunity.
But when all is said and done, for the fourth straight game, Brodeur has been out-goaled by Lundqvist.
from Mark Spector of the National Post,
He is combative, Harvard educated, and opinionated, with facts at the ready to back up his particular stance. He is also armed with enough self-confidence—yes, ego—to very likely believe that he could succeed where so many others have failed as the general manager of the woeful Toronto Maple Leafs.
“I’ve known Brian since he was 16, and I stay in contact with him,” New Jersey’s Lou Lamoriello, the dean of all NHL general managers, said yesterday. He wouldn’t speculate on Burke’s career path, but as a fellow GM, Lamoriello likes Burke’s qualities.
“He’s not afraid to make a decision, not afraid to make a mistake. He works at the job and is intelligent. They should be qualities everybody in hockey has, and most people do. Yet there are those who don’t,” Lamoriello said.
All I know is the Penguins keep on winning…
from Erin Nicks at her blog, The Universal Cynic,
Sorry, but I’m not ready to hand over the Cup to Pittsburgh. Their defence and goaltending specifically faced little (if any) grief, and they haven’t been behind in a series yet. Their lines roll well—there’s still some chemistry to work on—but ultimately it’s going to come down to what happens from the blueline backwards. And will someone please tell them to go back to their powder blues?
“They went to the net,” Brodeur said. “The Jagr one, he’s going to the net trying to score and I’m trying to make a save and he goes right through my crease. We had contact. That’s just part of the game. We’ve just got to make sure these areas, guys can’t go there freely and right now, for some reason, they’re able to get to the front of the net with a lot of speed or for rebounds. They’re around the net a lot. They’re hungry to score goals.”
via Fire & Ice...
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
“It felt like the walls were closing in on us,” Jason Spezza all but whispered when all was over and done with.
He was speaking not just of the game — his Ottawa Senators’ 3-1 defeat by the Pittsburgh Penguins — and not just of the series, now embarrassingly lost in four consecutive games, but of an entire year clouded in mystery.
For a team that, not so many years back, came within a lighted candle of holding a séance to call upon the spirits of One-eyed Frank McGee for help, it was hardly surprising last night the Senators would be looking for a little magic.
Update 2:00pm ET: From TSN,
Although Emery admits he did not perform up to standards this year, he said he would not be the fall guy for the team.
“Yeah it was a really bad year for me,” said Emery. “The worst year I’ve had - on and off the ice - it just wasn’t enjoyable at all. I learnt a lot of things but that’s about it - not too many positives”
fromm the Mercury News,
They played him alongside Russ Hodges. That’s saying a lot.
OK, so it was hyperbole and some humor from KNBR’s Gary Radnich on Wednesday morning. But Randy Hahn’s TV call of Joe Thornton’s game-winning goal Tuesday night is destined to become part of the Sharks soundtrack, particularly if the goal leads to a playoff run that at last won’t disappoint fans.
“HE SCORES! HE SCORES! HE SCORES!” Simple. And, no, it’s no “The Giants win the pennant!” But it packed some deep-seated emotion.
“It’s raw, it’s primal,” Hahn told us Wednesday. “It just comes from inside you. And in that moment, you know what, it comes especially on the road for me.”
Watch and hear Hahn’s call…
from the Boston Globe,
After four games, the Bruins have scored only five times for an average of 1.25 goals per outing. They were denied on 27 attempts Tuesday as Price recorded his first postseason shutout.
Glen Murray doesn’t have a point. Sturm has one assist and zero goals on a team-high 11 shots. Krejci, the man with the hot stick during the regular-season stretch run (9 points during a five-game streak), has scored only the Game 2 power-play goal. Glen Metropolit, who had several close-in opportunities in Game 4, hasn’t scored in more than two months.
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.
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