Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jody Vance at Slam,
Working at the rink, day in and day out, you get to know the characters behind the scenes pretty well, good folks like Vic the security guy who stands guard in front of the Leafs dressing room.
Vic is always there with a big smile and hello for me every game day, and this day was no different, except, he added, “Well, Jody ... is this it till next fall or will I see you next Monday?”
Call it the ripple effect of being a part of the NHL culture. It is akin to having a seasonal family.
One can only imagine how the players must feel on this day.
When any season wraps up, as it has in Toronto, do they give thought to how this group likely will not gather in its current form next fall?
from Mark Herrmann at Newsday,
The one who makes the franchise go - and made it go beyond logic Sunday - is the man behind the bench.
You can tell the players know it. They violated hockey tradition and their own instincts after that heart-stopping, last-second Devils goal and the heart-thumping shootout win Sunday. Instead of jumping immediately onto the ice, which is what hockey players do when they are on the bench and something remarkable happens, they stood right where they were. They all had to congratulate coach Ted Nolan.
“That was unexpected,” Nolan said yesterday.
added 7:02am, also from Newsday,
Although he hopes to participate in the playoffs, DiPietro said he first must be able to resume playing hockey in practice without symptoms before he even can take the neuro-psychological test he must pass in order to be cleared to play.
“The test is a few more steps away,” DiPietro told Newsday yesterday. “It’s an interesting process, but there’s a lot of things you need to do and be symptom-free before you go back to take that test. I’ll be doing some stuff on my own [today]. I think it depends on how I feel. It’s definitely a frustrating deal.”
from the Vancouver Province,
Talk softly and carry a big stick. Players often preach that credo, but few put it into practice like Sami Salo.
As the owner of one of the NHL’s most feared slapshots—the Vancouver Canucks defenceman was ranked third in a Sports Illustrated players poll—Salo can make a difference in a chess-match playoff series with the Dallas Stars that may be settled by special-teams execution.
“They’re going to be hard-battle games and special teams are going to be crucial,” predicted Salo, who scored five of his 14 goals this season on the power play. “And they’re not going to be high-scoring because both teams have great goaltending and play their systems well.
from the OC Register,
Giguere, 29, had been absent from the team since Wednesday, when his wife, Kristen, gave birth to their first child. A non-life-threatening medical condition involving the couple’s son, Maxime, caused Giguere to miss last weekend’s season-ending trip to Dallas and Columbus.
“It’s been tough,” Giguere said without revealing specifics of his son’s health. “You want to be where it matters the most, but at the same time, life continues. You need to work, and this is my work, so you have to be here and when you’re here, try to focus on what you have to do.
“It’s a little hard. I won’t lie to you. But I try to be professional. When I come here, I try not to think about what’s going on at home. It’s not easy, but whatever happens at home, sometimes you just have to leave it there and go to work. I think I need to do that.”
from Dave Dye of the Detroit News,
According to a report Saturday on CBC-TV’s Hockey Night in Canada, around 2,500 Wings season-ticket holders declined to buy playoff tickets.
“I couldn’t tell you either way,” Hahn said when asked about the report. “I don’t know who they got that number from.”
As for an estimate on the number of tickets available, Hahn said, “I don’t have a specific count.
“But there’s less available for Game 1 than Game 2 and 5 and 7, and there’s more for Round 2 than in Round 1.”
added 6:54am, Make sure to read IwoCPO’s take on this at A2Y.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Murray told reporters that if Therrien wants to try to intimidate the Senators in the best-of-seven series that starts tomorrow at Scotiabank Place, then the Penguins can expect Ottawa to push right back.
“However we’re treated, we’ll treat the other team. If they give us 10:30 (a.m.) ice times, we’ll give them 10:30 (a.m.) ice times. If they run our goaltender, we will look after that area of the game as well,” said Murray. “That’s the way I have always tried to operate: You do to something to us and I’m going to make sure my team does the same thing. We’re not going to take a back seat to anybody.”
from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Five reasons they can win it-
Heart. It’s not going to be easy to drive a stake through this team, which is among the best in winning percentage when trailing after the first or second period. Those young legs help in comeback situations, and no player in the league has a bigger heart than veteran winger Gary Roberts.
Five reasons they can’t win it-
Faceoffs. Don’t laugh. Consider the game eight days ago in Toronto, when a lost faceoff in overtime led directly to the Maple Leafs’ winning goal. The Penguins have been the worst faceoff team in the NHL all season and do not have a go-to guy.
read on for all of the other reasons…
from the Toronto Star,
In fact, thanks to the NHL first-round schedule hammered out Sunday night, the CBC will get only one Saturday night game involving a Canadian team, and only if the series between the Vancouver Canucks and Dallas Stars goes six games.
Hockey Night In Canada becomes Hockey Not In Canada.
Needless to say, the CBC is not amused.
“We asked in the strongest possible way for Ottawa to be showcased on a Saturday night,” said CBC Sports executive director Scott Moore. “We were disappointed that the league decided not to give it to us.
From San Jose Mercury News,
Craig Rivet never found much to celebrate when spring rolled around during his 11 seasons in Montreal.
The weather was still miserable in April, and it usually matched the mood of the Canadiens’ fans and media who sometimes seemed personally offended by anything less than perfection.
“It’s not a good thing,” the veteran defenseman said. “It’s a very tough place to play. ... That’s Montreal for me. It’s a city of, ‘What can you do for me right now?’”
During his first six weeks with the San Jose Sharks, Rivet has been reintroduced to the simple joys of professional hockey…
from the New York Times,
And while the Thrashers have lived on their offensive firepower, the Rangers are a defense-first team that has frequently won, or lost, by 2-1 scores.
The series, which starts Thursday in Atlanta, will most likely swing on which team can impose its style on the other.
“They are a strange team to play,” Rangers forward Jaromir Jagr said. “They’re like a snake. They make you sleep and they jump. They’ve got so much power, they just hit you with three goals with the skill they have.
“You have to be ready for that. I think you just have to play your game, don’t adjust to their game.”
added 9:51pm, from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
Not only are the Thrashers playing in their first playoff series, they’re doing it on the biggest media stage in the world. The team, which at times has complained about the leaguewide lack of exposure for its stars like Ilya Kovalchuk and Marian Hossa, now has to prevent being burned by overexposure and the distractions that come with playing a New York team.
“That’s going to be a challenge,” coach Bob Hartley said after Monday’s practice. “That’s the challenge of a pro sports athlete — some people will lose their focus.”
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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