Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre McGuire at NBC Sports,
The playoffs are a time when players can create reputations. Have a bad regular season, but show up in the playoffs, and you can be hailed a hero. Have a great regular season and a bad and short playoff season and you are seen as a failure.
Playoff pedigree matters. Look at the men who will be playing in the Conference Finals this year and you see some huge playoff performers:
Well, this morning I took a quick look at the Wings ticket situation for game 1. I could have purchased a block of 16 tickets in the upper bowl, row 24 at $99 a piece or a block of 20 standing room only tickets for $108 a pop.
Can you imagine if the opposing team was a little closer than Anaheim? The Joe would have a well represented presence from the visiting team.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
I asked Schneider: Did he believe there was justice in professional sport? He had a big smile on his face, when he answered in four precise words: No, I do not. But he knew where I was going – that even if the Sharks were only a minute away from assuming a 3-1 series lead, Detroit was the better team by far that night and deserved to win in overtime.
So when Schneider broke his wrist in the next game – proving his point, there was no justice in pro sport – I almost felt as if I’d jinxed him with the question. Superstition shows no bounds, presumably.
read on and Eric reverses the curse, picking the Wings in six.
from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,
Hockey needs goals. More than soccer, where much of the excitement is in the buildup of the play. Somehow, My New NHL extends only as far as the beginning of the playoffs: once we get into the post-season, the norm is the 2-1 game—and it’s not enough.
There doesn’t appear to be a dramatic change in the way referees call the game. They seem to be carrying on the regular-season crackdown on obstruction and hooking. But defenders are still lining up four and five abreast at the blue line, it is still almost impossible to carry the puck into the zone, and if you do break through you are dealing with almost unbeatable goaltenders from Roberto Luongo to Jean-Sebastien Giguere to Dominik Hasek.
A few weeks ago, HNIC did a feature on “Blade Tape”.
NHL Digest thought it was interesting enough to contact the company and get the scoop.
BladeTape is an alternative to traditional cloth hockey tape. It is a self adhesive rubber application that repels snow and ice to offer better control of the puck than traditional cloth tape used on the hockey sticks. It has been patented and tested to be durable for about 12 ice sessions, but some have claimed that it can be used substantially longer.
from Phil Esposito at the National Post,
It’s hard to believe that both of last year’s finalists, the Edmonton Oilers and the Champion Carolina Hurricanes, both were outside looking in once the playoffs began. So it got me thinking about the final four teams this year, and if it’s possible that any of these squads could miss the post-season next year. Pretty difficult to figure out because I can guarantee you that nobody thought that Edmonton and Carolina were in trouble either. But a combination of injuries, free agents, goaltending and just plain bad luck can all contribute. Before you know it, the slope is slippery and down you go. Now, to this year’s crop.
In case you are “new” to KK, don’t forget to take a look around the whole KK Site.
Abel to Yzerman gives you all the Wings/Ducks coverage you want, while Canucks & Beyond is coming out of a depression state and will soon be pointing out hockey topics I would not even think of.
Also, don’t foget about the latest KK Challenge.
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
The Buffalo Sabres finished No. 1 overall during the regular season with inoa franchise-high 113 points. The Detroit Red Wings matched them. Anaheim, with 110 points, led the Pacific Division. Ottawa, after a terrible first half, finished with 105 points, only two behind New Jersey.
Get the picture? No surprises. In a league that almost always delivers upsets during the playoffs, it’s only right that the NHL’s Big Four have made it to the finals in the East and West.
Now the fun really begins.
More from the World Championships from the Washington Caps Crew.
from Mike Waldner of the Daily Breeze,
All that separated the Ducks from possession of the Stanley Cup was a loss in the seventh game of the Finals.
Mike Babcock was the relatively young 40-year-old rookie NHL coach who molded the Ducks into a formidable team. He was bright, passionate, committed and, so it seemed, settling in for a long run in Anaheim.
You know, you never know.
from Randy Youngman of the OC Register,
Obviously, a one-year offer meant there were some doubts about whether Babcock could be the coach Burke wanted him to be, and Babcock wanted more than that.
“He said, ‘One year is not a lot of security,’” Burke recalled. “So he asked for permission to look around. ... He asked for a window (to negotiate with other teams) and he later asked for an extension to that (negotiating window).”
And a few days later, Babcock accepted a multiyear offer to coach the Red Wings.
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com