Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Inside The Panters at the Palm Beach Post,
The Senators have been one of the more entertaining teams in the NHL for years, but they’ve consistently been one of the worst draws among all visiting teams for the Panthers and, presumably, most other American-based franchises. One can only speculate, but a miserable first few years out of the blocks combined with no Stanley Cups and no Original Six history has added up to no excitement for the casual hockey fan.
The bloggers that were sent over to Moscow by the Washington Capitals to cover the WC did a fantastic job and I enjoyed following along with them.
Hopefully they have set a standard that others will follow.
I respond to an email I received regarding the state of the NHL in my NHL.com blog today.
Your comments are always welcome too.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
Tonight, they go into Game 3 at home tied 1-1 with the Detroit Red Wings, believing they should be up 2-0 and with a confidence about them, but not a swagger, of a team which thinks they can get it done and maybe be the first NHL team from the West Coast to win a Stanley Cup.
“We’re a very confident group and a very tough team to beat now,” is how goaltender J.S. Giguere describes the difference.
“One year later is a big difference because we’ve got that one year under our belt. Our young guys are better. The young guys know what the playoffs are all about.
“Mostly we know what it takes to win and how much it hurts to lose.”
from On the Forecheck,
There’s nothing like the pivotal moments late in an NHL game, where each rush up ice is met with hope and dread, depending on the rooting interest of the fans watching. Sometimes, the deciding strike comes swiftly after a faceoff win, and what I’d like to look at today is which players help produce or prevent such chances.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
The reality is that Buffalo is all but finished, headed home with barely a whimper. How else can you explain a team that looks discombobulated if not disinterested? You’ll hear all the right things from both teams, how the Sabres never quit, how they’re going to keep coming. In this series, their reputation has been a myth.
If you’re searching for answers, look no further than the only goal the Ottawa Senators needed to beat the Sabres in Game Three on Monday night. It pretty much exemplifies what’s wrong with a hesitant Buffalo group against an unwavering, confident Ottawa team that knows the Stanley Cup is no longer a fantasy.
from Mark Spector of the National Post,
But the question that needs to be asked in a hurry is, what ever became of the Buffalo Sabres?
With a power play that would shoot blanks if it shot at all, and a President’s Trophy winning roster that looks intimidated against the hard-charging Senators, the Buffalo Sabres took one more step toward extinction last night at Scotiabank Place, losing 1-0 to fall behind three games to none in what was once a highly anticipated Eastern Conference Final.
Talk about anticlimactic. The scoreboard may have read 1-0, with Daniel Alfredsson’s second period goal standing up. In reality, however, Game 3 was a blow-out, disguised only by the spectacular play of Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller.
from Red Wings Corner,
Forgive me, for I am a stranger in a strange land. But in Orange County I’m not seeing the signs of hockey culture. (An oxymoron, I know.)
I have not seen any kids play hockey on a driveway or move nets to the curb when someone shouts, “Car!” I have not heard any locals dissect the local NHL team. And I do not see anyone outside of the Ducks’ arena wear anything with the word Ducks, colors of the Ducks or anything resembling a cartoon Duck not named Daffy in these parts.
So forgive me if it surprises me that this is the place from which Detroit was attacked as not being the hockey town that it once was.
One day before the start of the Western Conference final between the Anaheim Ducks and Detroit Red Wings the Los Angeles Times printed a column by Helene Elliott that assailed Detroit as having lost its status as Hockeytown because the Red Wings have not been able to sell out a single playoff game this spring.
Let’s get the terminology straight first. There’s a difference between the upper-case Hockeytown and a lower-case hockey town.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
So far, Alfredsson has an NHL-best nine goals in 13 playoff games, has scored in all three games in this series and in six of his last seven post-season matches.
Not bad for a former sixth-round draft pick.
Not bad for a player roundly vilified for his weak defensive play against these same Sabres on the goal that eliminated the Senators from last spring’s playdowns.
“I’m a better player this year,” he said flatly when asked about the difference in his 2007 springtime performance compared to last year.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
“Dom’s different. I talked to Ritch Winter (Hasek’s agent) and he said Dom wants to finish his career on the ice,” Holland said. “That was really important to him, finishing on his terms.”
The terms in this series have confounded the opposition Ducks. They have outplayed and out-chanced the Wings through the first two games in Detroit but have shot wide or high often on quality scoring opportunities, the ones Hasek hasn’t stopped.
“That’s what Dom does to people,” said Chris Chelios, another Red Wing veteran playing on the cheap. “He intimidates the other team. He gets in their head. Then they starting thinking they have to be perfect. Once he gets them thinking, he’s got them.”
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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