Kukla's Korner Hockey
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from the Windsor Star,
Barring a last-second setback, Detroit Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg declared himself ready to play in Thursday’s opening game of the Western Conference quarter-final against the Calgary Flames.
Zetterberg, who hasn’t played since Feb. 24 because of an inflamed disc in his back, participated in a full practice for the first time Monday at Joe Louis Arena.
“I feel better than I did last week,” Zetterberg said….
Babcock said Todd Bertuzzi, who was diagnosed with a mild concussion after colliding with goalie Chris Osgood in a game last Thursday, will be re-examined by doctors later this week before he’s cleared to play.
“I think he will (play), but I don’t know for sure,” Babcock said.
from the St. Petersburg Times,
They gave Brodeur respect, called him “great” and talked about skills such as his stick-handling, which makes him almost a third defenseman. Still, some seemed as if they would rather be taking a puck off the head.
“We’re not going to sit here and talk about him every day,” center Brad Richards said. “We know he’s great. We know what he brings to the table. With all respect to him in the world, to sit here and wrack our brains over it is counterproductive.”
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…
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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