Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Ottawa Sun,
Both coaches have matchups that are working for them.
The big question going into this series was if the Devils’ shutdown unit of John Madden, Jay Pandolfo and Sergei Brylin could stop the Senators’ top line of Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson.
The Senators have won that one going away.
Madden and Pandolfo have been on the ice for all but one of the Senators’ seven goals in this series (that was Dean McAmmond’s short-handed goal in Game 1).
fromm the Hockey News,
• I heard Monday Night Football commentator Tony Kornheiser say the NFL is just more fun when the Chicago Bears are good. I think the same can be said for the Rangers, or any Original Six team for that matter. For some reason, things are just more interesting when a classic club is in the mix.
• The Canadian anthem singer puts me in the mind of Adam Sandler’s “Opera Guy” character from Saturday Night Live. Somebody should get Sandler to do an anthem. Yes, really.
• Ducks win, but we’ll leave you with a one question. A) Is Chris Pronger hurting? He doesn’t look like the dominating, peak-of-his game Chris Pronger on this night. We suspect we’ll see a different Pronger as the series matures.
from the New York Post,
That they were able to square the series on Jamie Langenbrunner’s double-OT breakaway Saturday was their escape, but the Devils will be playing with fire if they can’t slow down the Senators and dictate a more deliberate tempo, starting in Game 3 of this 1-1 second-round series here tonight.
“[High speed] plays more into their hands. We’re able to do it, but at the end of the day, we’re a patient team that sits back and waits for mistakes,” Martin Brodeur said. “We feel we’re able to skate with them, but we have to be in control.
“It’s all about not playing to the level of your opposition. You have to play to the level you’re comfortable with.”
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
Buffalo remains the deeper, faster and more skilled team in this series. The Sabres would have won in the first overtime had Derek Roy’s shot inside the post bounced the right way rather than slither along the goal line. It also could have ended in regulation had off-ice officials given Karel Rachunek credit for a goal that bounced off his skate on a play Jagr started behind the Buffalo net.
We’ll see where it goes from here. The Sabres would be satisfied with a split in New York and a 3-1 lead going back to Buffalo for Game Five. Jagr has a reputation for playing tough at home and soft on the road. And, really, the Sabres actually have done a good job on him. Tallinder and Toni Lydman have been solid.
from the Toronto Star,
In some ways, Kelly Hrudey is the anti-Don Cherry.
The former NHL goaltender, whose career spanned 15 seasons, will be getting a lot more exposure in upcoming weeks as he alternates with the more bombastic Cherry as Hockey Night In Canada’s studio analyst….
He sat down recently with Unplugged in his Calgary office.
If you were Gary Bettman for a day, what would your first priority be?
Finding a way to eliminate the dirty or dangerous player from the game and ensuring the players respect each other so we have fewer hits from behind and fewer dangerous hits.
How would you accomplish that?
I know Colin Campbell does a wonderful job ... but I would suspend people in a really harsh manner.
from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,
Both teams dug in and battled deep into a second overtime. The game featured all the best things about the sport. It had the skill, speed and determination that make hockey, especially playoff hockey, very special.
And, guess what? Nobody hit anybody over the head with a stick. I’m sure that was a big disappointment for the relentless anti-puck crowd. On this day, the league shined. If you were paying attention to the bigger picture, it was a win-win for the league. Of course, not everybody could be expected to see that picture.
“It’s hard for me or the guys in this room to appreciate that right now,” said Sabres co-captain Chris Drury, still soaked in sweat after the bitter loss. “Stepping back, though, I could see where it helps our game.”
from the Toronto Sun,
Former NHL tough guys Tiger Williams, Bob Probert and Kevin Maguire played in some hostile venues over the years, but none like this.
The three ex-NHLers are part of a entourage that left Canada yesterday for a week-long tour of Afghanistan, a trip that is scheduled to feature a ball-hockey game versus the troops.
“We’re supposed to play the winners of their tournament,” Maguire said. “Mostly, we’re going to help lift the spirits of the soldiers.
from the Detroit Free Press,
Henrik Zetterberg gave a thumbs-up to having big right winger Todd Bertuzzi as a linemate, so good news for Zetterberg: He is going to see more of Bertuzzi tonight when the Red Wings resume their second-round series against the Sharks.
Bertuzzi has been a part of numerous line combinations during the playoffs, but he was such a success in his latest incarnation on Detroit’s top line that Mike Babcock plans to use him there again as a stand-in for the injured Tomas Holmstrom for Game 3.
from the Mercury News,
Wilson’s impressions of Game2 against the Red Wings didn’t change after he broke down the video.
“Same. We played really well, but we made some catastrophic giveaways - unforced, too,” he said. “But at the end of the day, we got a split in Detroit. We totally limited their offense, and we were so close to scoring that third goal yesterday it was unbelievable.”
Would the Sharks have prevailed if they had built a three-goal bulge?
“It would’ve helped, but who knows?” Wilson said. “You never know. Like, if Brian Burke and I didn’t flunk chemistry, would we be doctors? We were premed. I don’t have an answer for that. If we’d have scored the third goal, would we have won? I think, but you’re playing a dangerous team, Detroit. You’re not going to keep them off the board long, and we’ve limited their offense.”
from the Rangers Blog at the New York Post,
The tone was set with the kilotons of non-calls by the refs, favoring the Sabres to an absurd degree. The tension built to maddening proportions with each missed scoring opportunity and each bad call against the Rangers.
Buffalo got seven power plays in regulation to the Rangers two. To further tip things in the Sabres’ favor, a goal — just as valid as the Pominville one that counted in game two — was called back. The reason? The most indistinct “distinct kicking motion” I’ve ever seen.
Seriously, if the League and the refs don’t have it out for the Rangers, I can’t explain why so little seems to go their way.
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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