Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Morrison at CBC,
What to do with Anaheim Ducks defenceman Chris Pronger, that is the question being pondered today?
It says here Pronger should be suspended for at least one game, maybe two.
Pronger is a great player to be sure, but he made a mistake Tuesday night, and it could have been a great big mistake, when he drove Tomas Holmstrom’s head into the glass in the second period of an eventual 5-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings, the Ducks trailing by four at the time.
added 12:07pm, from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Speaking of Niedermayer and Pronger: both deserve at least a one-game suspension for their tag-team assault on Detroit’s Tomas Holmstrom. But I won’t be surprised if neither player receives supplementary discipline, mainly because Daniel Alfredsson got away with a similar cheapshot on Henrik Tallinder in Game 2 of the Sabres-Sens series.
from Mike Brophy at the Hockey News,
Since the game started at 6 p.m. Anaheim time, the seats were quite empty at the start of the contest as fans battled awful traffic trying to make it to the Honda Center. However, of those who made it in time for the game, many chanted “Red Wings Suck! Red Wings suck!” repeatedly a minute into game. Not exactly what I’d call classy.
more on the game…
from The Spin, a blog by Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Pronger’s hit was to the head, it was from behind, it drew blood and it had fans in Anaheim baying for more blood given that the Ducks had got Holmstrom, probably the most troublesome Detroit player in the series so far.
Understand this. The NHL adores mayhem. It likes blood. It wants to see players like Holmstrom have their heads split open and bleeding, and to have those “highlights” shown on television throughout Canada and the U.S. It wants hockey to be seen as a sport in which Wes Craven would feel welcome.
from Randy Youngman of the OC Register,
The referees stopped play to mete out punishment — surprisingly, Niedermayer received a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct, even though it seemed Pronger had more to do with Holmstrom’s face being bloodied — but the cheering continued, unfortunately.
It’s OK to applaud a big hit by the home team, but it’s not all right to keep cheering lustily when an injured opponent lies motionless on the ice, bleeding from the forehead, as Holmstrom was after being sandwiched by Niedermayer and Pronger.
Too bad the penalty box wasn’t large enough to accommodate all of the spectators who were guilty of poor sportsmanship on this night.
more on the game…
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
To suspend or not to suspend.
If Pronger is suspended, for no more than one game, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. The score of the game and the fact it was an elbow from behind doing some damage to Holmstrom’s head and that it was also perceived as payback for earlier events will work against Pronger and the Ducks.
If Pronger isn’t suspended, well, that won’t be a huge shock either. Holmstrom apparently did not suffer serious injury on the play, it’s the Western Conference final and there have been hits like this one that have in the past gone unpunished.
The big thing, though, is that the Niedermayer-Pronger-Holmstrom convergence partially obscures the real story here – Detroit totally handing Anaheim its lunch on Duck ice in what should have been a statement game for the Ducks.
added 8:06am, from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Q. Do you feel your team lost its composure in the second period?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: Well, obviously things really spiraled down quickly for our group in the second. I think we must have taken five penalties in a row or something like that.
Obviously, our frustration level got up there, and we didn’t show the necessary discipline that’s required. It just seemed to have a snowball effect. What else can you say?
Did we lose our composure? I’d have to say that it left lots of room for improvement.
Wings take it to the Ducks, win 5-0, go up 2-1 and get back home ice advantage.
Watch the post game interviews.- Link will become active shortly after the game is over.
Rob Niedermayer and Chris Pronger decided to plant Holmstrom’s head against the glass.
Niedermayer received a five minute major.
added 11:06pm, Holmstrom on the ice for the 3rd.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
Tonight, they go into Game 3 at home tied 1-1 with the Detroit Red Wings, believing they should be up 2-0 and with a confidence about them, but not a swagger, of a team which thinks they can get it done and maybe be the first NHL team from the West Coast to win a Stanley Cup.
“We’re a very confident group and a very tough team to beat now,” is how goaltender J.S. Giguere describes the difference.
“One year later is a big difference because we’ve got that one year under our belt. Our young guys are better. The young guys know what the playoffs are all about.
“Mostly we know what it takes to win and how much it hurts to lose.”
from Red Wings Corner,
Forgive me, for I am a stranger in a strange land. But in Orange County I’m not seeing the signs of hockey culture. (An oxymoron, I know.)
I have not seen any kids play hockey on a driveway or move nets to the curb when someone shouts, “Car!” I have not heard any locals dissect the local NHL team. And I do not see anyone outside of the Ducks’ arena wear anything with the word Ducks, colors of the Ducks or anything resembling a cartoon Duck not named Daffy in these parts.
So forgive me if it surprises me that this is the place from which Detroit was attacked as not being the hockey town that it once was.
One day before the start of the Western Conference final between the Anaheim Ducks and Detroit Red Wings the Los Angeles Times printed a column by Helene Elliott that assailed Detroit as having lost its status as Hockeytown because the Red Wings have not been able to sell out a single playoff game this spring.
Let’s get the terminology straight first. There’s a difference between the upper-case Hockeytown and a lower-case hockey town.
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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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