Kukla's Korner Hockey
I need to step away for about four hours or so today. Will update early this afternoon.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
It wasn't so much that they were beat. It was that they looked like they were beat. And now, it says here, they probably are. Midnight can't come until about 11 p.m. EDT in Raleigh tomorrow, at the earliest, for the Edmonton Oilers. But it looked like it arrived early in the second period last night when their adrenalin kicked out and the Carolina Hurricanes kicked in. It was then when the Carolina carbon monoxide poisoning, as Oilers coach Craig MacTavish identified it after Game 2, started to take effect yet again. After that, MacTavish's dream team certainly looked like dead men skating. And the dream appeared to die.continued
from the Vancouver Province,
The third hot rumour has unrestricted free agent defenceman Wade Redden going to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. Redden would be a great fit because the Ducks have lots of room under the cap and GM Brian Burke seems to enjoy the spotlight that goes with making the big deal. The fourth hot rumour is out of Buffalo, where the Sabres currently have only three players under contract. Word has it the team can't afford to re-sign unrestricted free agent defencemen Teppo Numminen and Jay McKee, either of whom would look just fine in a Canucks jersey. The fifth hot rumour is out of Dallas. The Stars are said to be shopping goalie Marty Turco and have already talked to Vancouver, Toronto and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Trouble is, Turco had another playoff meltdown this spring and has three years left at $3.16-million per.more
from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,
There is considerable sentiment at the NHL's board level that the playoffs should become a 20-team extravaganza. That's hardly a surprise. At the board level, there's always strong support for anything that shows a profit. ...But even though Bettman can influence a vote, he can't control it, and in this case, he is a bit biased. He strongly opposes seasons that drag on to late June and, as a result, strongly opposes the NHL's involvement in the Olympics. For the same reasons, he doesn't want to add a week to the season to accommodate a play-in round. The answer of course is to start the season a couple of weeks earlier. In Canada, the only place in North America where the NHL really matters anymore,more
-Of the 27 clubs who have led 3-1 in the Stanley Cup Final since the best-of-seven format was introduced in 1939, 26 have won the Stanley Cup. The only club to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the Final was the 1942 Maple Leafs, defeating the Detroit Red Wings. The Maple Leafs had trailed 3-0 in the series. -The Hurricanes successfully killed all five Edmonton power plays in Game 4, improving their record in the 2006 Stanley Cup Final to 24 for 25 (96%). -Carolina won their sixth consecutive postseason game that followed a loss. Carolina has not lost consecutive games since Games 1 and 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal against Montreal.
via the Contra Costa Times,
The NHL expects its new economic system will stop the financial bleeding for most of the 30 teams this season, but the Sharks said Monday they will finish in the red once again. Sharks CEO Greg Jamison said the franchise probably will lose $5 million, citing the loss of sponsorships, a decline in ticket revenue and an increase in the cost of doing business. To help offset that, the team told season-ticket holders over the weekend that prices are going up. "When you look at it, the league did very well and rebounded very strongly post-lockout," said Jamison, who does not disclose specifics of the team's financial operations. "There are still some areas we have to deal with, but we're closing the gap."
Peter Laviolette talks after game 4-
Q. Usually five-on-three against is a pretty dicey situation. You have killed four of them. Have you ever seen a five-on-three that has been this good for you and also can you kind of give us a clue as to why they are so effective? COACH PETER LAVIOLETTE: I think power play -- I think power play when you have a power play meeting and we try to go by this, when you have a power play meeting I think it's good get the input from the players. You have some of the most creative, gifted players in the world in a meeting to talk about how to be creative, so it doesn't make sense to dominate a conversation. As far as the penalty kill goes, I think it is a lot more structure, I think that you have to have assignments, you have to have routes, you have to execute those routes. You have to be willing to pay a price by blocking a shot, head first if you had to. And I think the biggest thing is execution.read more in the comments...
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Leave it to Chris Pronger to get it right most of the time. Pronger, the Edmonton Oilers' 30-minute-per-night defenceman, was talking about his team's ongoing power-play troubles before Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final and put matters nicely into perspective. “You can look at it both ways,” said Pronger. “It's either going to bite us. Or it means we're due.” After Monday night's back-breaking 2-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, there is only one way to look at it anymore. It bit them alright - in a big, hurting way.read on
Post game interview with Craig MacTavish...
Q. This is about as long a dry spell for your power play as you have had this year, almost, I think you are 1 in 25 or 1 in 26. I mean, and I know I asked you about it last game, but have you got any thought on it as to -- COACH CRAIG MACTAVISH: Yeah, I've got lots of thoughts on it, but I mean we have got to get back to doing and executing at the same level and we have had trouble with the pressure from Game 1, and it's the reason why we are down 3-1 in the series. If we got a couple power play goals in the series, a couple more power play goals, we're at least tied, at least tied. We have been down this road before with our power play, where we start to get frustrated and then you lose your patience on the power play, you take your first opportunity, and when you are on top of your game on the power play, you don't take a mediocre opportunity when you are in your set-up. You have got the patience to explore a better quality chance. And now our first chance to shoot the puck, we shoot it whether there's shin pads there or not. So we have just -- I saw some better signs in the second period on the power play, we did some things better in the second period and didn't get a power play in the third, but it's the reason we're in the situation we're in right now being down 3-1.more in the comments section of this post...
from the blog of Ron Francis,
Defense! Defense! Defense! Much has been made of the Canes offense and for good reason, but the 3rd period was another great example of why defense wins championships. The Canes turned in a perfect 3rd period with the lead and honestly, I never felt the were in any trouble of losing their lead. Now the tough part. They say the 4th win is always the hardest.more
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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