Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Pioneer Press,
Wild defenseman Martin Skoula is considered a good skater. But he remembers what happened when he stepped on the ice for his first-ever playoff game with the Colorado Avalanche in 2000.
“I was like, ‘holy (#%)!’ ‘’ Skoula said. “I couldn’t even catch up, it was going so fast.”
His eyes were the size of manhole covers - which is a pretty common reaction for anyone experiencing the NHL playoffs for the first time. And he felt about as mobile as a fire hydrant.
The playoffs are a different animal. The regular season can be intense at times, but the playoffs result in more of everything: more speed, more physical play, more determination. I once asked North Star Bobby Smith why teams didn’t play all out like that during the regular season.
from Lynn Zinser at the New York Times,
But ask any of the Rangers about Jagr and not one will minimize his impact. Coming out of the All-Star Game break, Jagr said his only goal was to lift his struggling team into the playoffs. He would indeed lead the way, but not by scoring goals in bunches. Instead, he backed up everything he asked his teammates to do by also doing it himself.
Since that March day against St. Louis, the Rangers have gone 12-3-3.
“It’s always important when a player of his stature is doing what we call the little things,” forward Brendan Shanahan said. “It sends a message to all of the younger players. Here’s a guy who’s played 16 years in the N.H.L. and has a closet full of trophies and he’s doing all these little things. That’s leadership.”
Mid-way in the 2nd period, Jonathan Cheechoo hit by Scott Hartnell. Hartnell gets 5 for kneeing and a game. Cheechoo went off with no pressure on his right leg.
added pics at 10:02pm…
update 11:10pm, from the AP via TSN,
The Sharks said Cheechoo was being evaluated, and his return to the best-of-seven series opener was uncertain. Cheechoo led San Jose with 37 goals this season, and came in with 20 points in 13 games.
added 8:48am 4/12/07, via the Tennessean,
“It was an unfortunate accident,’’ Hartnell said. “I think it will show in the video that it was pretty clean. I was going to hit him in the upper body and I didn’t stick out my knee to get a piece of him.’‘
Said Sharks Coach Ron Wilson: “When you stick your elbow in his face and put knee on knee that’s an intent to injure. That’s why he got kicked out of the game.’‘
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail (for Thursday edition),
It was late and a bit tricky to find, but Hockey Night Online made its debut last night and worked pretty well.
HNO is the Internet pre-game show that Hockey Night In Canada is planning to post on CBC Sports.ca before each of its National Hockey League playoff telecasts.
Wednesday night’s show preceded Game 1 of the Pittsburgh Penguins-Ottawa Senators series. It was scheduled to start at 6:15 p.m. EDT, but we couldn’t get it on our computer monitor until several minutes later.
from the AP via MSNBC,
The last thing Bobby Holik wanted to talk about was Kari Lehtonen’s new do: a bright blue spiked mohawk, flanked by platinum blonde hair.
“Please, I ask you one favor, do not ask me about that,” Holik pleaded. “You have to ignore the situation.”
from the CBC,
The Nova Scotia legislature has unanimously endorsed a resolution chastising the NHL for its decision to schedule the Pittsburgh Penguins’-Ottawa Senators playoff game for Saturday afternoon rather than the evening Hockey Night in Canada slot.
Conservative backbencher Pat Dunn drafted the resolution. Nova Scotians are keen to see Dartmouth native Sidney Crosby in his first playoff season and a 4 p.m. faceoff makes no sense, Dunn said.
“Most Nova Scotians are very busy with their lives — out, some working, some shopping, running errands and so on,” Dunn said. “Just not a good time to be sitting down watching a hockey game prior to parents getting meals ready for their children and so on.”
from David Kolb of MSG Network,
Pitted against the #7 Tampa Bay Lightning, the #2 Devils appear to be the overwhelming favorites.
The Bolts have had serious goaltending issues all year. Season-long toggling between Johan Holmqvist and Marc Denis has yet to yield a true #1 net-minder.
Despite the lopsided edge the Devils own in net, the Lightning could be an extremely dangerous club, and a stiff challenge in the postseason’s first round.
from KK member Joe Pelletier,
Hockey legends are born in the NHL playoffs. Some gain instant immortality in a single moment, players like Pete Babando, Bobby Baun and Sudden Death Mel Hill. Others come out of nowhere, have the playoffs of their lives, only to disappear again soon after, just like Chris Kontos and John Druce. Some are seemingly born to play in the playoffs, always raising their game in the spring like Teeder Kennedy, Bernie Parent, Glenn Anderson and Claude Lemieux. Others are the true superstars of the game, separating themselves from regular season heroes with repeated championship runs like Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Mike Bossy and Steve Yzerman.
Joe Pelletier’s Legends of Hockey Network will honor all of the NHL Playoff Legends. Tune in every day of the NHL post season for new profiles. The first post season hero remembered is perhaps the greatest playoff player of all time - three time Conn Smythe Trophy recipient Patrick Roy.
from Phil Coffey at NHL.com,
To the winner goes the spoils, but also the bumps and bruises of an incredibly tough journey.
The team that goes on to lift the Stanley Cup will need to win 16 games over four rounds of hard, physical, intense play. There are no fluke champions.
Tonight, the 2007 tournament opens with four games. Here’s a quick look at what to expect.
STAMFORD, Conn. (April 11, 2007) - VERSUS, the national cable television home of the NHL, gives fans the opportunity to relive the greatest Stanley Cup moments of the modern expansion era and vote for the ultimate moment as part of a Stanley Cup playoff feature which launched, today, April 11 on www.versus.com/nhlplayoffs.
As the NHL playoffs commence today, 16 teams will begin the Quest for the Cup, with each game a Do or Die battle to the championship. Along the way many heroes will emerge to become forever linked with the greatest memories of the Stanley Cup. Was it Mark Messier’s 1994 playoff guarantee? Ray Bourque’s crowning glory or Bobby Orr flying through the air after his Cup winning goal? These are just three of the defining moments chosen by VERSUS that fans can relive on www.versus.com/nhlplayoffs.
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