Kukla's Korner Hockey
Scott Burnside of ESPN breaks down the WCF,
Many preseason prognosticators believed this was the Ducks’ season. For those who like their foul West Coast style, Anaheim has done nothing to disappoint. The team is 8-2 through the first two rounds and hit the Western Conference finals for the second straight season, well-rested and hungry to take that next step to the Stanley Cup finals.
Now onto the ECF,
At the start of the playoffs, this looked like an absolutely perfect matchup for the right to go to the Stanley Cup finals. And now that it’s here, there’s nothing to suggest this won’t be anything but a terrific showdown between the two best teams in the conference.
from Mike Brophy of the Hockey News,
The Red Wings were clearly the hungrier team in this series. They refused to let injuries get them down and they pressed on offense. Game 6 was not one for the ages; in fact, it was a bit of a yawner. But the defensive tone was pure Mike Babcock, a coach who leans on his players to get the job done in their own end. Now we will see if Detroit’s weakened defense and so-so offense can contend with the Anaheim Ducks.
more on last night’s game…
from Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press,
As we always say, you can never have enough Swedes on your hockey team. Mikael Samuelsson may not be the first name you think of when rattling off Swedish Wings, but Monday night he was the Nordic Nuke, the Scandinavian Slayer, the Go-To Goteburger. His two goals in less than five minutes continued a streak of Swedish successes that have finally, finally, given the Red Wings two things they desperately wanted:
1) A return to the Western Conference finals for the first time in five years, and ...
2) A day off.
Swedeness and light.
from the Mercury News,
So what happened? Well, the Red Wings happened, which means that winning a few more games during the regular season to get a higher seeding might have been a good idea. Ten days ago, there seemed to be an odd amount of confidence going into a series against a team with such tradition and determination.
“This wasn’t the Little Sisters of the Poor, you know,” Coach Ron Wilson barked to reporters after the game.
from the CBC,
Carlyle doesn’t like his team’s chances to advance to the Stanley Cup final if players continually commit costly penalties.
“Those things are draining. If you continue to give teams opportunities they are going to find a way to put the puck in your net.”
The concern for Carlyle extends beyond Anaheim’s penchant to play short-handed.
Despite their seemingly comfortable elimination of Vancouver, the Ducks looked susceptible at times with some sloppy play.
Hasek came up big tonight, frustrating the Sharks and leading the Wings to a 2-0 victory.
Wings open at home against the Ducks on Friday night.
added 11:58pm, from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
On the opening day of their playoff series against the Detroit Red Wings, San Jose Sharks’ coach Ron Wilson was asked about the importance of goaltending.
“That’s all playoffs are,” replied Wilson. “It’s goaltending. I don’t have to say anything more.”
For the normally loquacious and talkative Wilson to say no more was unusual, almost extraordinary, but his words also proved prophetic — for the wrong team. Of all the things that helped the Red Wings advance to the Western Conference finals Monday night, the primary factor was the play of 42-year-old Dominik Hasek in goal.
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
It has been months since Ted Saskin was told to take a paid hike as executive director of the National Hockey League Players’ Association. Eight weeks and three days, to be precise.
Now, finally, the fate of the quasi-exiled union boss is about to be decided. This week, a conference call will be held involving Toronto lawyer Chris Paliare and the player representatives from the 30 NHL teams. Paliare was retained by the players in late March to examine Saskin’s contract and determine what course of action the players should take.
No one will go on the record or off to discuss Paliare’s recommendation for fear that one wrong word, one whispered statement could give Saskin the legal ammunition he needs to shoot back at the NHLPA.
NEW YORK (May 7, 2007)—The National Hockey League today announced the dates and starting times for the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoff Conference Finals, which begin in the Eastern Conference on Thursday, May 10, when the Buffalo Sabres host the Ottawa Senators. The Western Conference Final will pit the Anaheim Ducks against the winner of the Detroit Red Wings-San Jose Sharks Conference Semifinal series, which Detroit leads 3-2, and will start on Friday, May 11.
National rightsholders NBC and VERSUS in the United States and CBC, TSN and RDS in Canada will provide exclusive broadcast coverage of the Conference Finals. All games also will be carried on NHL Radio. More specific broadcast information will be announced shortly.
2007 EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL
Date Time (ET) #1 Buffalo vs. #4 Ottawa
Thursday, May 10 7:00 p.m. Ottawa at Buffalo
Saturday, May 12 8:00 p.m. Ottawa at Buffalo
Monday, May 14 7:00 p.m. Buffalo at Ottawa
Wednesday, May 16 7:00 p.m. Buffalo at Ottawa
* Saturday, May 19 2:00 p.m. Ottawa at Buffalo
* Monday, May 21 7:00 p.m. Buffalo at Ottawa
* Wednesday, May 23 7:00 p.m. Ottawa at Buffalo
The agreement between the International Ice Hockey Federation and National Hockey League regulating transfers of and payment for players was extended for four years today. Vladislav Tretyak, president of the Russian Hockey Association is unlikely to sign it, which means that Russian players will move to foreign clubs for free.
Updated May8, 2007 11:05am ET:
From AP via SI,
Russia is unlikely to sign a new four-year player agreement regulating transfers from Europe to the NHL.
Russian hockey federation president Vladislav Tretiak said Tuesday that 80 percent of his nation’s clubs were dissatisfied with the terms.
“We are not yet happy,’’ he said. “We are in negotiations.’‘
The International Ice Hockey Federations’s national associations have until midnight Tuesday to ratify the latest agreement between the IIHF and the NHL.
About 30 percent of the NHL’s players come from Europe. The NHL annually signs 45 to 60 players from European countries.
Earlier today, Anaheim Ducks’ coach Randy Carlyle and player Ryan Getzlaf participated in a media teleconference:
Q. We know that you don’t know who you’re going to be facing yet, but in winning two series in five games, is there anything that you want to see your team do better than they have done throughout the tournament?
COACH CARLYLE: Well, I think there’s always areas of improvement. I don’t think that you could ever say that we’re completely satisfied with our whole team game. I think there’s been parts of our game as a group that we went for stretches where we’ve been very ineffective. We turned the puck over far too many times, and I guess the hugest area of concern for us right now would probably be our penalties. I don’t think that we can continue to take the penalties at the rate that we have in the first two series to continue to have success here as we go forward.
Q. You guys were heavily penalized throughout the regular season; is there a bit of a changing of the gears that your team needs to EMBRACE here in the playoffs where things are more magnified?
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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