Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Buffalo News,
They stood 180 feet apart Monday night, but let’s just call it 3,000 miles. That was the distance separating Anaheim Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere from Ottawa Senators netminder Ray Emery when the postseason began. The Stanley Cup finals did little to close the gap.
You look at Giguere and see an allworld goalie. He’s 30 years old, calm, unflappable, dependable. You look at Emery and find a guy from another planet, a newbie still finding his way, a mistake waiting to happen. Eventually, for better or worse, every player is exposed in the playoffs.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Pronger said it was tough to watch the game “when you don’t have a say in it, when you can’t really go out and perform in those types of games that are as big as this one was tonight. It was tough and nerve-racking. Certainly, when your team plays as well as they did today and the guys step up.”
What makes Pronger so effective (and what made him attractive to the Ducks) is that blend of skill and menace. If he played any differently, would he still be Chris Pronger?
So last night, the Ducks took to the ice without him. Defenceman Joe DiPenta drew in, but Scott Niedermayer, François Beauchemin and Sean O’Donnell picked up all or most of Pronger’s minutes
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
The Ducks posted their 12th one-goal win and the third of the final in a 3-2 triumph over the Ottawa Senators in Game 4 Monday night. The winner came early in the third period when a Chris Phillips skate problem led to a 2-on-1 that was easily converted by Ducks winger Dustin Penner.
Phillips, whose skate had essentially blown up on the previous shift, lost an edge on his second pair of skates and it forced him to go back to the Senators bench with Teemu Selanne and Penner bearing down with the puck. A surprised Wade Redden had to jump onto the ice to replace Phillips, but couldn’t track Penner down quickly enough. Penner was coming on for Brad May for the Ducks and drove straight to the net.
“I wasn’t expecting to go on,” Redden said, “but still, I have to make a better (expletive) decision.”
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Daniel Alfredsson stopped, aimed and fired in the direction of Scott Niedermayer, missing the defenceman, but possibly killing his Ottawa Senators in the process.
It was a decision he will come to regret over time, if he doesn’t regret it already.
It was a decision that he will lie about and it will become famous over time, when the debate turns to hockey and how the Senators lost the Stanley Cup.
From the CP via CBC,
It might be time to turn out the lights on the Ottawa Senators’ dream season.
Only the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs have ever erased a 3-1 lead in the Stanley Cup final and these Senators don’t have the look of a team about to join them in the history books. Ottawa thoroughly outplayed Anaheim in the first period of Game 4 on Monday night before going completely flat in a 3-2 loss. “It’s hard to explain,” said forward Mike Fisher. Indeed, none of the Senators seemed to have any explanation for what had just happened.
from the CP via TSN,
Chris Pronger a backstabber? Corey Perry a headhunter? Chris Neil a villain? Dean McAmmond a faker?
Accusations and insinuations ruled the day Monday following Pronger’s one-game suspension for a shot to McAmmond’s head in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final.
The most heated talk was from Neil, the feisty Ottawa Senators winger who was accused by Anaheim GM Brian Burke of trying to take Ducks forward Andy McDonald’s head off with an elbow. McDonald was not hurt on the play.
I learned something this morning while glancing at page 4 of the LA Times Sports section: not only is hockey still played professionally but the team from Anaheim is actually in the Stanley Cup Finals. Who knew? And the game is on NBC tonight.
I don’t know a single guy who plays for the Ducks (apparently they dropped the “Mighty” from their official name) but I’m going to watch. Hopefully a lot of other people will too, because hockey really deserves more respect than it’s currently getting….
Why the Times can’t give a (sort of) local team that is 2 wins away from the championship better coverage than page 4 is also a mystery (but just one of many mysteries at the Times). [Note: below the fold on page 1 of the sports page thee is a column about a guy named Pronger who plays for the Ducks, but the actual series coverage is buried on Page 4.]
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Niedermayer and Beauchemin will probably both approach 35 minutes in ice-time, about five minutes more than what Niedermayer is accustomed to, while O’Donnell will be well into the 20s. But at this point in the season, Carlyle is not worried about wearing anyone out.
“I would liken it to putting all the bullets in the gun,” Carlyle said. “You can’t put any in the holster at this time. There’s four games left in the series. That’s four games left in the season and you’re going to utilize all the personnel you see fit.
“Are you going to worry about overusing someone? You worry about tonight.”
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
They call it playing on the edge.
But it’s getting awfully close to slitting their own throats.
The Ducks have now received three suspensions in these playoffs – two to Pronger and one to winger Brad May. They’ve had to defend against 5-on-3 situations on 13 occasions, including three in this series, and have had only one such advantage themselves. They’ve been short-handed 18 times in the Cup final while enjoying 11 power plays.
If the Ducks don’t win the Stanley Cup it won’t be because they weren’t good enough.
It will be because they threw it all away to prove they’re the meanest SOBs on the block.
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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