Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bucky Gleason at the Buffalo News,
The Sabres are a long way from being the cream of the crop after four games against the Rangers in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Ottawa had a 3-1 series lead over New Jersey. Anaheim was dominat-
ing Vancouver. You could argue Buffalo isn’t even the best team in the state now that it’s tied with New York.
Fans are pulling their hair out wondering what’s wrong with the lovable and supposedly unbeatable Swords, the so-called darlings of the new NHL. Granted, Buffalo didn’t play well in Madison Square Garden, but folks around here have been slow to recognize there’s another team on the ice in the Rangers.
from The Maven,
Before the series started, I picked the Rangers to beat Buffalo in five. Now it will have to be six games.
The Sabres have been blunted; not to mention outskated, outhustled and outcoached.
Plus, Ryan Miller hasn’t been as good as Henny Lundqvist either.
I expect the Blueshirts to win tonight in Chicken Wings Village on Lake Erie and then gift-wrap the series on Sunday at the Garden.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
This being professional sport, the best team doesn’t necessarily always win, but this time, it surely did. Vancouver had no answer for Pronger, for Ryan Getzlaf, for Corey Perry. The Canucks didn’t have an answer for Travis Moen. And when the best player on the ice from Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, was Sami Pahlsson and the three runners-up all played for your team, well, that’s not exactly a recipe for success.
That it stayed as close as it did for as long as it did had everything to do with Luongo’s will. That bend-but-don’t break philosophy served the Canucks so well after Christmas, when they went on their second-half run to put away all the Northwest Division challengers and made them a legitimate Stanley Cup dark horse.
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
But alas, it was just a passing whim. By Game 2, with very few exceptions, playoff hockey reverted to what it has traditionally been — a battle of defenses. So far this postseason, the favorite score is 2-1. We’ve seen that 11 times going into Thursday’s action.
But even though the games are still being decided by defense, there is a change. This is not always your grandfather’s defensive formula. Or even your father’s defensive formula. For that matter, it’s not even your older brother’s defensive formula.
From the Washington Capitals today,
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals will send four reporters to Moscow to offer hockey fans unprecedented coverage of the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship. The Capitals have partnered with Clearspring Technologies to deliver audio, video and written content to WashingtonCaps.com, Caps fans and local, national and international media outlets.
“I am proud that we are able to bring coverage of this prestigious tournament to our fans on WashingtonCaps.com and others around the world,” Capitals chairman and majority owner Ted Leonsis said.
You can follow their IIHF coverage here on the Caps’ website.
from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
The expectations of ownership were met. That’s why Atlanta Spirit co-owner Bruce Levenson said that Thrashers general manager Don Waddell and coach Bob Hartley will be back next season.
“They are the coach and GM today,” Levenson said by phone on Thursday afternoon. “Don and Bob took us to within one games of the playoffs our first season and the second season they made the playoffs. That’s in line with the expectations that we’ve expressed to them. I’d expect them to continue to improve on that.”
continued (reg. may be req.)
Jim Hughson has been doing play-by-play duty for CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada in these playoffs, to great acclaim by hockey fans everywhere. He’s currently covering the Anaheim Ducks / Vancouver Canucks series and was good enough to speak to Paul and myself immediately after the pre-game skate today, from sunny Anaheim.
You can download the audio file here, or play it on the video player below.
Even before he suffered two concussions in a 12-day span during March, Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro was playing hurt for the final two months or so of the regular season. Earlier this week, DiPietro underwent successful arthroscopic surgery to repair a labral tear of his left hip.
For the next two weeks, DiPietro will be on crutches, and he is required to rest for the next four to six weeks.
from Bill Clement at MSNBC,
There are more reasons to change the NHL’s playoff overtime format than there are reasons to leave it alone.
The negatives of teams playing two, three or even more extra periods outweigh the positives. More people are complaining about multiple overtime games than are embracing them.
For the fan the journey between when overtime begins and a goal is scored is often less than pleasurable as the quality of play becomes very defensive and very conservative significantly diminishing the entertainment value of the game.
fro the Detroit Free Press,
Maltby, whom the Wings have signed to a three-year extension worth $2.65 million, joined the Wings on March 20, 1996, almost three years after Draper was acquired during the summer of 1993….
“Both of us enjoy playing with one another,” Draper said. “There’s a real trust factor, especially playing in these big games in these situations.”
thanks to a KK member for the heads up!
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