Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the LA Times,
All you need to know about Ottawa’s inept offense in the Stanley Cup finals is that in two games, the Ducks have limited the Senators to 36 shots on goal, with 15 of them coming in man-advantage situations.
Playing a style of defense similar to an NFL Cover 2 scheme with two safeties deep, the Ducks have made it difficult for the Senators to get the puck into the attacking zone.
“It’s not just that, but they have a couple of real good safeties back there,” Ottawa forward Mike Comrie said of the Ducks’ Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger.
continued (reg. req.)
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Kunitz will take the game-day skate on Saturday and there is a chance that the doctor could be re-visited—though the doctor is in Anaheim, so whether he gets X-Rays, nobody knows for sure, but this guy looks like he’s getting closer and closer.
Is he perfect? No, not even close. But, he provides a physical element and, the way that he was shooting the puck in practice suggests that Kunitz could be a player at some point in Game 3, 4, 5 or 6, when it appeared at the start of the series that he only had an outside shot at playing in Game 6 or 7.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s in the game pretty soon.
more plus other SCF bits…
from the OC Register,
The Ducks-Ottawa Finals also highlight the increased importance of making the right personnel decisions in the new NHL. The Ducks and Senators front offices, NHL players and coaches said, focused on the right guys.
“There’s more to it than just how much money is spent,” Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer said.
“With the cap system,” Burke said, “if everybody has the same amount of money to spend, it’s going to come down to personnel decisions: scouting, coaching, management.”
from Ken Campbell at the Hockey News,
I think that’s the difference we have to make tomorrow,” said Senators coach Bryan Murray. “We have looked for the stretch guy often. They really get back with their ‘D’. They sit back very well and they’ve really got quality people back there. So we have to do a little different things in the attack as far as I’m concerned. We’re going to try, anyway.”
In fact, the Ducks are posturing themselves so deeply in the defensive zone that even when the Senators try to dump the puck in and go to get it, they’re being beaten to it.
“They cheat right back to the middle of the circle almost,” Murray said. “You try to dump it in and all it takes is two steps and they’re back to get the puck.”
The NHL’s brightest stars will be shining in Toronto on Thursday, June 14, as hockey’s elite descend upon The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre for the 2007 NHL Awards Show, airing on CBC at 8 p.m. ET.
From a performance by Canada’s hottest band Finger Eleven, whose single “Paralyzer” topped the charts for 16 consecutive weeks, to “Mr. Hockey” Gordie Howe, to Trish Stratus, the most decorated Diva in WWE history and host of The Second City’s Next Comedy Legend on CBC—some of the biggest names from the hockey and entertainment worlds will come together to recognize the best from the 2006-07 NHL Season.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
On a team that features stars like captain Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley and Wade Redden, none of whom have played particularly well in the first two games of the finals against Anaheim, Murray pointed instead to the 23-year-old Spezza.
Perhaps he was laying down the gauntlet for Spezza, whom he expects great things from.
Perhaps he was just hoping to catch a break in a series in which the Senators are desperate for a break.
Regardless, it is a mark of the evolution, the maturity of the one-time child prodigy that Spezza reacted to Murray’s hopeful comments, not with surprise or nervousness, but with his newfound aplomb.
“I know personally I have to be good,”” Spezza said. “Hopefully I can give the team a jolt. I know I have to be an impact guy.”
from E.J. Hradek at ESPN,
According to league sources, the NHL is planning another outdoor game for the 2007-08 regular season. The date, site and clubs involved were not disclosed.
The sources did indicate the game will likely include at least one American-based team and it will be televised in the U.S. by NBC as part of its regular-season schedule.
from the AP via the NY Post,
The Ottawa Senators may have a surprise or two for the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night. They better if they want to avoid falling into a 3-0 deficit.
On the eve of the first Stanley Cup finals game in Ottawa in 80 years, the Senators held a team meeting prior to Friday’s practice at Scotiabank Place.
Goalie Ray Emery wasn’t about to divulge what coach Bryan Murray discussed with his team, which flew home from Anaheim on Thursday after dropping the first two games of the finals on the road.
“I don’t want to get in trouble,” Emery said.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
O’Donnell is the local boy, who made good but now finds himself on the visiting side, with his team ahead 2-0 and in a position to put a stranglehold on the series with a victory tonight. His parents Emmett and Mary-Lou still live in the same house where he grew up, about a mile from the arena. Years ago, His dad worked as a security guard in the Corel Centre because he was a hockey fan and wanted to watch the games. O’Donnell was going home for a few hours after Friday’s practice to visit his parents before rejoining the Ducks for a team dinner later that night.
In short, his roots in the community still run deep — and he will even acknowledged that, for personal as opposed to competitive reasons, he wanted to see the Senators in the final.
from Brad Holland at NHL Connect Stanley Cup 2007 Headquarters,
The flight out of the airport in Ontario, California (how strange is that?) left at 8am. That means, for the media, staff and even the official crew working the Final, a 4:30-5am wake-up call, a 5:30 bus ride, and about an hour’s wait through check-in, security, and boarding.
All for a 6 hour, cross-country flight.
For the staff of nhl.com, we amused ourselves by taking video, reading, watching the in-flight movie Wild Hogs, and randomly hitting tunes on our iPods. And eating. Eating basically every step of the way.
instead of pointing direclty to the story, I am pointing to the page, scroll down to find continue his blog…
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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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