Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
Still, we can’t help but believe there’s a little bit of a trap being laid here. The Wings, considered old when they lose and savvy veterans when they win, are not really supposed to be here. And yet, they are slyly confident.
“I just think that expectations from within in Detroit are as high as they’ve ever been [regardless of what the outside perspective might be],” offered former Pittsburgh Penguins coach Ed Olczyk, now a national broadcast analyst.
“There’s no doubt in my mind, for most of this season, these are the two best teams [in the conference],” Olczyk said.
... in the end. As it should be.
from the Buffalo News,
Daniel Briere was silent Thursday night. The Buffalo Sabres’ top scorer was idled by Ottawa during a 5-2 loss to open the Eastern Conference finals. The cocaptain, who led the Sabres in scoring during the regular season and is pacing them in the playoffs, didn’t register a shot. It was the first time he was kept at zero in the postseason and just the 10th time in the 94 games since October.
He left HSBC Arena without comment despite media requests.
added 9:38am, from the Hockey News,
Seems like falling behind by a couple goals is tantamount to a collective whiff of ammonia for the Sabres. Their nostrils flare, eyes widen and they start to get real serious about things. It’s too bad they’ve often got one skate in the grave when they come to…
Not sure if Daniel Briere is hurt or what, but he looked like the only person in Buffalo who didn’t care whether the Sabres won Game 1 or not. My advice to him would be up the intensity or start asking Maxim Afinogenov about which press box seats have the best sight lines…
more on the game last night…
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
What’s with all this booing?
Buffalo and Ottawa shouldn’t be Stanley Cup rivals; they should be twin cities.
Both exist because of the border — blue-collar Buffalo because it was so close to it, and national capital Ottawa because it wasn’t. Both have almost exactly the same regional population. Both have hockey teams that went bankrupt and were sold, rink included, for about the price of a new puck. Both are connected to canals. Both had significant political assassinations: President William McKinley in Buffalo and Father of Confederation Thomas D’Arcy McGee in Ottawa. Both cities have had exactly 58 mayors, Byron Brown holding the office in Buffalo and Larry O’Brien the new mayor in Ottawa.
And both, of course, can’t win the big ones.
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
Way back when he was just getting his feet wet in management, John Muckler, then the Buffalo Sabres newly-minted Director of Hockey Operations was following the playoffs on television when he noticed this guy named Dominik Hasek moping up for the Chicago Blackhawks in a one-sided Stanley Cup loss to Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Muckler was so impressed with Hasek’s competitive nature that he made certain that then Sabres general manager Gerry Meehan make a play for the goalie who was seemingly stuck behind some guy named Ed Belfour.
from the Ottawa Citizen,
Daniel Alfredsson’s first period power-play goal came after Kalinin had taken a hooking penalty, while trying to prevent a second Fisher breakaway.
“It was disappointing,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. “We were not very good with the puck and he was one of them. I don’t have to get in his face. Everybody saw it. We won as a team and lost as a team all year.”
Again, Kalinin stands out on a rough night all around. The official giveaway count was Sabres 19, Senators 8.
“Overall, five-on-five, we weren’t too bad,” said Jason Pominville.
“But we have to improve the turnovers and the special teams.”
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
The Sens only allowed 20 Sabre volleys to be directed at Emery last night, an extraordinarily low total from the NHL’s highest scoring team, and only 10 of those came after Buffalo erased an early 2-0 lead with a goal off the stick of low-scoring defenceman Toni Lydman in the game’s 29th minute that tied the game 2-2.
That, you could argue, was the most important result of last night’s 5-2 Ottawa victory, that an early lead was surrendered and yet the Sens didn’t cave. In the opener of a second-round series between the clubs last year, after all, favoured Ottawa blew a big lead and lost a 7-6 overtime decision from which it really never recovered.
from the Ottawa Sun,
The Senators have accomplished one goal by stealing a game here, but they can take a commanding 2-0 lead home with a victory in Game 2 tomorrow night.
Spezza said the Senators’ next goal is to break an 0-8 playoff record after winning Game 1.
“Now we have a chance to steal two before we go home,” said Spezza. “We just have to get rid of those second-game blues. I know we’re going to talk about that all day (today), so maybe we can finally just shake it.
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
Nobody took the Red Wings’ first-round flop last spring, when Detroit was ousted by the Edmonton Oilers in six games, harder than the passionate Babcock. How could the first-place team perform so poorly in the playoffs? Babcock endeavoured to find out.
His father, a hard-rock mine pit boss, instilled in him a long time ago that if you want to get your employees to work hard and perform, the boss has to exhibit an even more inexhaustible work ethic. So Babcock scoured the game tapes from the Oilers-Red Wings series and arrived at training camp last September with a new message and the video evidence to support his new theme.
NHL.com is beta testing real time scoring. Check it out if you have a need for it.
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
The NHL Players’ Association’s team player representatives voted unanimously today to fire executives Ted Saskin and Ken Kim “for cause,” after a union-commissioned report concluded Saskin had quarterbacked a campaign to hack into player email accounts.
Chris Chelios just mentioned this on his weekly conversation with WDFN in Detroit. It is at the end of the audio and you can listen at A2Y. Chris mentioned they will start from scratch to find an new leader.
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.
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