Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeffrey Simpson of the Globe and Mail,
A Senators fan finds it hard to admit the following: Ducks fans are good fans, even nice and knowledgeable ones. Walk around the Honda Center in a Senators sweater and nobody is abusive. A few drunks shout “Ottawa sucks,” but compared with the reception in New York, Philadelphia, Boston and especially Toronto, Anaheim is a team party.
Very few people lorded their team’s triumph over us battered Senators souls. Most Ducks fans, like most Americans, have only the vaguest notion of things Canadian, but they do sense that hockey counts up north.
Maiers certainly does. She’s been to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto three times, a game in Montreal and the draft in Vancouver. She knows about hockey being hard-wired into the Canadian psyche, but she’s sorry: “I want the Cup.”
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Giguere is finishing a contract that paid him $3.99 million this season. Winning the Cup, and perhaps a second Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs, would make him a very popular person the second that the free-agency period opens July 1.
Even if he isn’t the playoff MVP, he is destined to become a very, very rich man. The question is whether his paychecks will have a Ducks logo on them.
The NHL’s salary cap is expected to rise from $44 million to about $48.5 million next season, but the Ducks have a lot of high-priced players to get in under that limit.
They’re obligated to pay Chris Pronger $6.25 million and Scott Niedermayer $6.75 million and they’ll surely want to bring Teemu Selanne back after his 48-goal season.
more (reg. req.)
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
But rather than reflecting the “old” NHL, where teams like New Jersey used to lie back in the neutral zone, grab onto opposing players as they tried to gain the offensive zone and thus limiting much offensive creativity, the Ducks seem to have found the perfect hybrid of the old and the new.
Under Anaheim GM Brian Burke’s tutelage—and making good use of prospects acquired by Murray when he was Ducks GM—Anaheim has achieved success by using a lethal blend of size and speed to shut down the Senators.
As Burke is fond of saying, he wants a team that can do it all—play with speed, punish opposing teams and, if push comes to shove, drop the gloves.
Q. I was just wondering, in last night’s game, one of the keys seems to be that Sammy Pahlsson, not only did he score the goal, but he was pretty dominant in the face-off circle. Tell me a little bit why you think when he’s on like he was last night, he’s such a good face-off man.
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: I think at times face-offs are a collective stat. It’s is not just the one guy. As you notice in a lot of the playoffs, certain center icemen, they have the tie-up mode going on and the wingers jump in and help recover all the loose pucks. I think that has a loot to do with the percentage also.
And the stats dictate. But it’s not just one individual that’s competing for the puck off the face-off, there’s a group of players. Sammy has his share of secrets and techniques that he likes to use. And every good face-off guy does.
And he hones those skills on a day-to-day basis in practice. He does lots of work on it after practice, and we think those little things pay off in the end. And surprisingly you would think he’s a small-bodied guy, but he’s over 210 pounds and six-one. So he’s a bigger, thicker-bodied individual than he appears on the ice.
from the AP via the NY Post,
“Knowing the intensity and the atmosphere that’s created in Canadian cities with the culture of the game, we thought it was in our best interests that we moved and got away from downtown,” coach Randy Carlyle said. “We think it’s time to focus. We can sacrifice our interaction with the public and focus on the task at hand.”
In other words, this is a business trip for a determined Anaheim team that holds a 2-0 lead over the Senators in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup finals, which resume at Ottawa on Saturday night.
The resort - about a 30-minute drive from Scotiabank Place - also happens to have its share of good luck. It’s the same place the New Jersey Devils stayed when they eliminated Ottawa in seven games in the 2003 Eastern Conference finals.
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
Somehow, in the wake of these two games, the space between these two teams seems much, much greater than the difference on the score sheet.
With all excuses about a long layoff and poor officiating stripped away in Game 2, the Senators were once again outmatched in every meaningful element of the game.
Outhit, outworked, outchanced and outshot. They keep this up and it’ll soon just be “out.”
frm Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
The old cliché is that you haven’t lost a playoff series until you’ve lost a game at home.
It seems a little weak if you apply it to the Stanley Cup final between the Anaheim Ducks and the Ottawa Senators.
Given the way the Ducks are beating the Ottawa Senators, one could argue that even if the Sens don’t lose a game at home in this best-of-seven affair they still don’t win the Stanley Cup.
The Ducks aren’t just good at home, they are outstanding.
from Randy Youngman of the OC Register,
But what about a nickname for the line? Don’t Pahlsson, R. Niedermayer and Moen deserve one now?
Hmmm. How about “Crash, Bang and Boom”?
Or how about “The Swede, The Farmboy and The Other Brother”? (Pahlsson obviously is the Scandinavian, Moen is the farmer who spends his summer working on the family’s 3,500-acre cattle and grain ranch in Saskatchewan and Rob Niedermayer is often overshadowed by brother Scott, the Norris Trophy winner and captain of the Ducks.)
Or how about “The Plowboys?”
from Mike Brophy of the Hockey News,
Let’s see, if Ottawa’s Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson are supposed to be the best line in the NHL, and they are being thoroughly outplayed by Samuel Pahlsson, Rob Niedermayer and Travis Moen, doesn’t that make the Anaheim trio the best line in the league?
If you missed the game and want to catch the highlights…
From Press Telegram,
Jean-Sebastien Giguere won the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to the playoff MVP, in 2003, but the honor felt a little hollow because New Jersey, not the Ducks, lifted the Stanley Cup.
Now, Giguere seems on the verge of celebrating with both pieces of hockey hardware.
In a tense, tight-checking game, Giguere made 16 saves Wednesday for his first shutout of these playoffs as the Ducks earned a 1-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
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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