Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
You would have thought the NHL would have been delighted to welcome back Scott Niedermayer, a champion at every level of the game and a wonderful ambassador for the sport, upon his Dec. 15 return to the lineup following the early-season sabbatical he was granted by the Ducks.
Of course, you would have been wrong.
Slap Shots has learned that instead, the league has sought to punish Niedermayer by fining him approximately $500,000 of his $6.75M salary for missing training camp, unilaterally invoking Article 15.3 (f) of the CBA that reads, “For each day a Player does not report to Training Camp without his Club’s permission, his pay will be reduced by 1/275th of his annual . . . salary . . . “
from Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News (Sunday edition),
He’s slightly less imposing in the net than in 2003, no longer a Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man in oversized pads. In a crackdown on equipment, the NHL downsized Giguere and other goaltenders following the lockout.
He remains a significant obstacle, almost always in position. Giguere has stopped 71 of 75 shots in Anaheim’s two victories in this series. Stylistically, he represents the polar opposite of his athletic Stars counterpart, Marty Turco.
Stars forward Steve Ott called Giguere a “blocking-style goalie.”
Said Turco: “He knows how to take away as much as you can.”
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Before the game, Selanne said he saw only “one way” for the Ducks to go—up.
“I really believe this is the group that can do it,” he said.
“It’s going to be tough, but there’s teams that have done it before, so that’s a good sign.”
He had extra incentive Friday, because the end of the season could also bring the end of his glorious NHL career.
After a 48-goal season and splendid playoff performance, he retired after the Ducks won the Cup last June. The timing seemed perfect. What better ending could there be than going out on top, surrounded by friends and family and knowing that your name will soon be engraved on that great shiny trophy?
from the Dallas Morning News,
Turco was at his sprawling, acrobatic best against the Ducks, stopping 27 of 28 shots, and coming within 7.6 seconds of a shutout as the Stars beat Anaheim, 3-1.
“If it wasn’t for him,” said Stephane Robidas, “we would’ve been out of the game in the first period.”
Turco’s performance gave Dallas control of the series – three games to one – while the Stars won at American Airlines Center for only the second time in nine playoff games.
From the AP via KTEN.com
Anaheim right wing Corey Perry said he probably will play in Game 4 of the Ducks’ playoff series against the Dallas Stars.
After a morning skate-around, Perry said he felt good but acknowledged it will be a game-time decision whether he will play Thursday night. The Ducks’ top goal scorer hasn’t played since March 6, when the quad tendon above his right knee was lacerated by the skate of Colorado goalie Jose Theodore.
Fellow right wing Rob Niedermayer did not make the trip to Dallas for Thursday night’s game, remaining home with concussion-like symptoms. He also missed Game 3.
From Eric Stephens at the LA Times,
In the first two games of their Western Conference quarterfinal series against the Dallas Stars, the Ducks saw a Chris Pronger they don’t want to see. The invisible one.
They prefer the hard-skating, occasionally nasty one who scored two goals in Game 3.
Good or bad, the 6-foot-6 Pronger always draws attention. And in his drive to win, he sometimes crosses the line, as evidenced by his eight career suspensions, including an eight-game punishment toward the end of the regular season.
But Pronger’s performance Tuesday night showed why such reprimands by the NHL are something to simply accept.
From Tom Cowlishaw at the Dallas News,
Repeat after me. In the National Hockey League, there is no home-ice advantage.
I think we all know the Stars’ sad numbers since moving from their cozier digs at Reunion Arena. They have won one home game in their last seven playoff tries against Colorado, Vancouver and now Anaheim.
I find this trivia question rather amazing.When’s the last time the Stars won a playoff series on their home ice?
Think about it for a second. That’s long enough.
from Mark Spector of the National Post,
He is combative, Harvard educated, and opinionated, with facts at the ready to back up his particular stance. He is also armed with enough self-confidence—yes, ego—to very likely believe that he could succeed where so many others have failed as the general manager of the woeful Toronto Maple Leafs.
“I’ve known Brian since he was 16, and I stay in contact with him,” New Jersey’s Lou Lamoriello, the dean of all NHL general managers, said yesterday. He wouldn’t speculate on Burke’s career path, but as a fellow GM, Lamoriello likes Burke’s qualities.
“He’s not afraid to make a decision, not afraid to make a mistake. He works at the job and is intelligent. They should be qualities everybody in hockey has, and most people do. Yet there are those who don’t,” Lamoriello said.
from Jim Reeves of the Star-Telegram,
The Stars brought their infamous Sybil act to center ice Tuesday night at the AAC. Or was it Three Faces of Eve?
Whoever it was, she didn’t go over a bit well with the sellout crowd of 18,532. The fans showed up in black, as requested, expecting to see the same team that had played almost flawlessly in two impressive victories in Anaheim last week.
That Stars team must still be touring Magic Mountain or Knott’s Berry Farm. It certainly didn’t show up for Game 3, which didn’t break Anaheim’s heart at all.
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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