Kukla's Korner Hockey
Lindy Ruff and Daniel Briere took part in an NHL tele-conference today…
Q. Both teams had quick series. How was the layoff for the Buffalo Sabres? How did you deal with it?
LINDY RUFF: Well, we took one day off. We took the Saturday, anticipating the series may start as early as Wednesday. We had a light day on Sunday, two good practices leading into Wednesday. It worked out that we anticipated playing Wednesday.
Q. When I looked at the stats, it’s been a while since you met the Rangers. I guess you were all involved in games early on in the year, three of those in overtime, one shutout. We all know that a four-game series can be close. What do you expect from the Rangers?
LINDY RUFF: Well, I expect them, as they played in the playoffs, finished off the regular season, to be a very tough opponent. They’ve proven here in the four games they played Atlanta that they’re a different team than when we played them in December. Even though when we played them previous to that we won in shootouts and I think three of them went to overtime, that right now they’re a different team. They’re deeper. They have offense coming from deeper in their lineup. Their goaltending has been fabulous. It’s going to be a tremendous test.
Dan Marouelli, in his 24th season, was not among the 12 referees selected to move on to the next round. This marks the second straight year that Marouelli has been dropped after the opening round.
Also dropped from the first round rotation was veteran Mick McGeough, who worked the Stanley Cup final last year, along with Eric Furlatt, Mike Hasenfratz, Mike Leggo, Wes McCauley, Dan O’Rourke and Tim Peel.
Bill Watters on Leafs Lunch- “The Sharks will handle the Wings with relative ease.” He sees no toughness from the Wings.
Remember, Watters also picked the Flames to beat the Wings too.
Ryan Smyth will not be back on the Island. Money will not matter, the ability to win the Cup will.- Pierre McGuire
more playoff talk from Pierre at NBC Sports...
from Kara Yorio of the Sporting News,
A consistent set of rules is great, but does it mean taking the “feel of the game” element out of officiating? And is that best? A penalty may be a penalty, but what about a situation such as when the referee momentarily loses sight of the puck near the goalie? Would a “feel” ref, who might wait to see if the puck still is moving before blowing his whistle, mean the difference in a game or possibly a series?
And what about a series that is teetering on the brink of chaos? Wouldn’t it be better to call things a little tighter early so the players get in line and don’t turn that inch they’re given into a mile?
Not an issue, Walkom says. There is no longer such a thing as the game being called tightly or loosely. It’s called by the rules. At least that’s the hope. Walkom admits it doesn’t always happen—and that’s another good reason, he says, for moving officials around.
from the San Francisco Chronicle,
More than a decade later, the skate is on the other foot as many expect San Jose’s physical advantage to prevail for a potential monster conference showdown against Anaheim in the third round.
“We just focus on the game we play, just like we did against Nashville,” coach Ron Wilson said.
The Sharks won three of four during the regular season against Detroit. However, the two teams were done playing each other by early January so the Wings didn’t see the Sharks with forward Bill Guerin or defenseman Craig Rivet, and San Jose didn’t see Detroit with forwards Todd Bertuzzi and Kyle Calder, all of whom changed addresses at the trade deadline.
“We know we can compete with Detroit and we know we stack up well against them,” McLaren said. “But on the other side, it’s been a while since we’ve played them.”
from the Atlanta Thrashers,
Atlanta Thrashers captain Scott Mellanby announced today that he has officially retired from the National Hockey League.
“I’ve been fortunate to live my dream for the past 21 years, and it’s with a heavy heart that I’m retiring from the National Hockey League,” said Mellanby. “I’d like to thank all of my great teammates, the fans who have supported me, and all the wonderful people I have met along the way.”
from The Maven,
By rights, I should never let emotion get the best of me when it comes to predicting Stanley Cup playoff series.
Granted, I lost it the other night, suggesting that the Rangers will sweep the Sabres.
That’s a stretch; but there’s no doubt in my mind that the Blueshirts will beat Buffalo – and I’ll make it in five games.
The Rangers have better goaltending – Henny Lundqvist over Ryan Miller – and have jelled at the right time.
from The Brown Daily Herald,
The intensity in the arenas of established hockey teams during the postseason cannot even be compared to the NBA - and even my beloved MLB - whose fan base has become frustratingly commercialized, superficial and corporate over the past few seasons….
Analysts have suggested that HDTV will make hockey a more appealing television product. I concur fully. The resulting HD picture is sharper than Jay Mariotti’s eyebrows, and there’s no longer a “need” for Fox’s FoxTrax of the mid-1990s. Although, I do admit that I sometimes get nostalgic for Kevin Dineen slapping around the glow-puck in a Hartford Whalers sweater.
Hockey is also blessed to have an incredibly talented corps of announcers that rival the likes of baseball’s Kalas, Scully and Gary Cohen. In fact, Doc Emrick is the best play-by-play man in all of sports. It is unreal how he can verbalize so much information so quickly, accurately and clearly and still exude such energy and passion for the game.
from the CBC,
Hockey Night In Canada analyst Scott Morrison makes his picks and predictions for the second stage of the Stanley Cup playoffs….
ANAHEIM (2) vs. VANCOUVER (3)
Key Player: J.S. Giguere has to be as good as Roberto Luongo. Simple. No reason, after getting to the finals a few years ago, that he can’t. But the way Luongo is playing, there is a smaller margin for error for the Ducks goaltender.
Key player: Markus Naslund has to step up and take charge, to assert himself and rediscover his offensive form – not just for a night, but a series.
Prediction: Ducks in six games.
thanks to a KK member for the pointer…
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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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