Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the New York Times,
The Devils played their first three home playoff games before a total of nearly 6,300 empty seats, but goaltender Martin Brodeur could have sworn Continental Arena was packed to the rafters.
“I think the towels made it,” Brodeur said with a smile Tuesday, referring to the white towels given to fans to spin over their heads in the playoffs. “It fills up the empty seats.”...
The Devils, who open their second-round series at home Thursday night against Ottawa, have yet to sell out this season at 19,040-seat Continental Arena — a 26-year-old building with the all the charm of a warehouse. The Devils say they play hard no matter what, but the empty seats start conversations.
“It’s brought up,” center Scott Gomez said. “It’s something that’s definitely noticed. How can you not notice it?”
from the Moscow Times,
It’s been 14 years since the Russian national team last won the World Ice Hockey Championship, but with Moscow hosting this year’s tournament there will never be a better time to end the drought.
For Russian fans, a championship would be especially sweet in a tournament the Soviet Union virtually owned for three decades.
From 1954, when it first took part, through to the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Soviets won 22 gold, seven silver and five bronze medals, failing to finish in the top 3 just once.
The international hockey scene has changed a lot since then, however, and Russia hasn’t been able to dominate the way the Soviet Union once did.
I make mistakes and thanks to a heads-up KK reader, it will now get corrected.
In the Conference Quarter-Finals KK Challenge, I stated the total goals scored was 215, even after counting it over about five times.
The KK reader sent me a quick spreadsheet, I counted and counted again and the correct goal total was 216, therefore making Tony a winner of the $50 gift certificate.
Sorry for the mistake but nothing lost, the $100 gift certificate is still up for grabs for the Conference Semi-Finals. Good luck to everyone and belated congrats Tony!
Predictions aren’t for fools, they’re for hockey media. Do we really need to play the games? Nah. The experts have it all sorted out and can assure you exactly what’s going to happen. Check out the links below to get the exact picks, but if you want to save yourself some trouble, I’ll tell you now: they can virtually guarantee you that the Anaheim Ducks and the Buffalo Sabres are moving on. The only games worth watching (or so it would seem) would be the Sharks/Wings and the Sens/Devils.
Hmmm. All I have to say is that no one in the hockey universe predicted last year’s Stanley Cup finalists. Regardless, it’s all in good fun. Here’s some predictions to snack on till pucks start dropping tonight:
-Globe & Mail—Duhatschek
-Globe & Mail—Wharnsby
-Mike Knuble (*sorry, had to throw this one in)
-NBC Sports Crew
-Sporting News West and East
-Sportsnet—McCormick and Kelly
-The Hockey News
- Washington Post - El-Bashir
via the Sports Network,
The Florida Panthers signed left wing Ville Peltonen to a two-year contract on Wednesday.
Peltonen appeared in 72 games this season with Florida and recorded a career- high 17 goals and 37 points.
“We are pleased to have guaranteed Ville’s return to the Panthers,” said general manager and head coach Jacques Martin. “He is an extremely skilled and talented player who possesses a great hockey sense.”
from Blueland Blog,
Rangers versus Red Wings for the Stanley Cup
I’m already sick of Avery, and who really wants to see Detroit (and Hasek) win again aside from Detroit fans? Detroit used to be a bit of a sentimental favorite because it was tough to cheer against a guy like Steve Yzerman. now? It’s remarkably easy to pull for whoever is shooting on Dominik Hasek.
more..wth most likely SCF scenario too…
from Jaques Demers at USA TODAY,
I had picked the San Jose Sharks to come out of the West, and I’m sticking with that. Joe Thornton is another player who has been criticized over his past playoff performance, but I think that he, Patrick Marleau and Jonathan Cheechoo will prove too much for the Red Wings.
The Red Wings are capable of surprising the Sharks, but it will be tough. I believe San Jose will prevail in seven games in a highly competitive series that really could go either way. But I can guarantee one thing: This series will be one that you’ll remember for a long, long time.
from the AP via the Akron Beacon Journal,
The New Jersey Devils apparently are getting rugged defenseman Colin White back for the second round of the playoffs against the Ottawa Senators.
The concern now is Devils captain Patrik Elias.
Elias missed his second straight practice with a cold on Wednesday, sparking concern that the left wing on the Devils’ top line might not be available for Game 1 at the Continental Airlines Arena on Thursday night.
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Here are 10 of the more memorable Stanley Cup-related musings over the years:
4. “I’d like to know where Patrick (Roy) was in Game 3 – probably up trying to get his jock out of the rafters.” – Jeremy Roenick, after Game 4 of the 1996 Western Conference semifinals against Colorado.
8. “Bob Kelly was so dumb, they should’ve written his name on the Stanley Cup in crayon.” – Legendary Philadelphia broadcaster Gene Hart on the former Flyer.
fro Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
Look for the Ducks to triumph over the Canucks if for no other reason than fatigue — both mental and physical — on the Canucks’ part.
But if there’s an upset, there won’t be a lot of long faces in the league’s head office. The Anaheim ice is an absolute disgrace and staging a postseason game on that surface is akin to staging a World Series game on a gravel infield.
Two of the league’s most atrocious surfaces — Nashville and Tampa Bay (in that order) — are gone.
Once the Ducks and Devils go, the quality of the overall spectacle will pick up.
more picks from Al, plus other NHL topics…
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 firstname.lastname@example.org