Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Vancouver Province,
For the Canucks, possibly the most dismaying part of being down 2-1 in their series with Anaheim is that the Ducks have taken the lead while their two biggest defensive stars have been, well, average.
There hasn’t been much in the way of magic, dominance or impact—as of yet—from Chris Pronger and/or Scott Niedermayer, the best defensive pairing since Mean Joe Greene and Jack Lambert….
Part of the reason the Ducks have so easily weathered any mini-slump by their defensive superstars is the fact that—as Yoda once put it—there is another.
Enter Francois Beauchemin, who has all the skills and none of the hype. He is the George Harrison to his Paul McCartney-and John Lennon-like teammates.
from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,
“I think the overtime should go to four-on-four. I think it creates more ice; it creates more chances,” Ruff said yesterday. “(In overtime) teams get fatigued. The scoring chances go way down.”
Ruff said the additional 37 minutes of hockey on Sunday produced five combined scoring chances from both teams.
“I looked around and it looked like people had left. I don’t think people want to come here to see six periods of hockey and the last three periods (have) one or two scoring chances. I don’t think that’s what the game is about.
“Two or three periods of overtime, I don’t think it’s good for the game.”
from the NY Post,
Goals are regularly waved off for “incidental contact,” but not this one against an otherwise impenetrable Martin Brodeur. Mike Fisher’s passing run onto Brodeur’s stick yanked the Devils’ goalie off balance, allowing Tom Preissing’s routine shot to break up a scoreless duel in the third period.
“In my mind, it was interference [with] the goaltender,” Lou Lamoriello said. “I don’t think it matters if it was intentional or not.
“All I know is he was thrown off balance. We don’t make excuses, but unfortunately, there was contact there.”
The NHL series manager wasn’t unsympathetic to Brodeur’s claim.
“That’s exactly what it was, incidental contact,” manager Charlie Banfield told The Post. “Brodeur had one foot inside the blue.
“We’re not saying it’s a penalty. It’s incidental contact. It’s a hockey play.”
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Quoting an unnamed source in the medical community, the Toronto Sun reported in its Tuesday edition that Sundin needs surgery similar to the operation that all but ended former NHL sniper Alexander Mogilny’s career at age 37.
The report didn’t state which hip needs surgery.
Ferguson, contacted by TSN, disputed the accuracy of the report.
“I can assure you this is 100 per cent inaccurate,” Ferguson told TSN. “He hasn’t been examined by a doctor. This is completely false.”
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Mats Sundin’s future in Toronto—and his future as a National Hockey League player—suddenly is in question after it was learned yesterday that the Maple Leafs captain requires hip surgery.
According to a source in the medical community, Sundin needs surgery almost immediately to repair a hip problem, complicating his still-to-be determined contractual status with the Leafs.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Other than Lou Lamoriello, there isn’t another coach in the NHL who wants the Devils to succeed in the playoffs.
Lamoriello’s decision to fire coach Claude Julien with three games left in the regular season hasn’t sat well in the NHL coaching fraternity, many of whom would love nothing more than to see New Jersey fall flat.
from the Toronto Star,
The inventor of a wireless timing system believes a game-time controversy on the weekend may move the National Hockey League toward adopting his technology next season.
Mike Costabile says his Precision Time System, used for seven seasons in the National Basketball Association, could have prevented confusion in Saturday’s New Jersey-Ottawa game over a Devils goal late in the first period.
“The key is that the officials on the ice control the clock with this system,” said Costabile. “Right now in hockey, the timekeeper has to look through a stack of legs and sticks to see the puck.”
fromm Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle,
As a result, the Sharks regained hold of a series they looked as though they had lost, and chilled the members of the crowd who booed them as they left the ice after the first period.
“I don’t think they know how hard this is,” head coach Ron Wilson said afterward. “They’re the best team in the Western Conference for a reason. I mean, there’s no room out there for anyone.”
Well, almost anyone. There was room for Joe Thornton, just to name three or four of the best five or six Sharks.
from The Maven,
• The NHL Players’ Association Civil War within itself is no closer to solution then it was when Ted Saskin came under fire. One insider tells us that the there’s “chaos in terms of their direction.” The Union hasn’t reached first base in it’s quest to find a replacement for Saskin – assuming that he does go – than two months ago when the NHLPA mud hit the fan.
• No matter how the NHL, Colin Campbell nor Steve Walkom want to shake it, the officiating system is not working the way it should, particularly in the playoffs. One of the major problems is that legitimate hitting too often is penalized.
from John Buccigross at ESPN,
Maybe that’s the answer to save “Entourage.” Move the show to Queens. Have the boys get their keesters kicked by the old neighborhood, and have Avery and Brendan Shanahan make a guest appearance. Have the cast discover what they’ve become: an uninspiring, banal organism with no “feeling.”
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the Stanley Cup playoffs are the most exciting reality show on television. Its entourage of characters is what people will be talking about 20 years from now, not someone named “Turtle.”
Watch the games. Feel the games. Feel life. Pass the beer nuts.
read on and a look at the teams still in the playoffs…
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
So here’s a topic for a lovely spring day:
Might Buffalo’s Darcy Regier be open to jumping ship if the right ship comes in?
Regier is said to be on the last year of his contract in Buffalo. The buzz is he’s already come to terms on a new deal and that it will all be announced after the Sabres complete their playoff run.
That may be and if the Sabres go all the way to the finals (as many think they might), Regier would likely be closed out of the market anyway just because other teams can’t afford to wait. But what if he is available?
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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