Kukla's Korner Hockey
Earlier today, Anaheim Ducks’ coach Randy Carlyle and player Ryan Getzlaf participated in a media teleconference:
Q. We know that you don’t know who you’re going to be facing yet, but in winning two series in five games, is there anything that you want to see your team do better than they have done throughout the tournament?
COACH CARLYLE: Well, I think there’s always areas of improvement. I don’t think that you could ever say that we’re completely satisfied with our whole team game. I think there’s been parts of our game as a group that we went for stretches where we’ve been very ineffective. We turned the puck over far too many times, and I guess the hugest area of concern for us right now would probably be our penalties. I don’t think that we can continue to take the penalties at the rate that we have in the first two series to continue to have success here as we go forward.
Q. You guys were heavily penalized throughout the regular season; is there a bit of a changing of the gears that your team needs to EMBRACE here in the playoffs where things are more magnified?
from the OC Register,
No Vancouver players were conspicuously absent from the traditional postgame handshake line. Canucks coach Alain Vigneault made a point of congratulating Ducks counterpart Randy Carlyle and his staff. Vancouver general manager Dave Nonis went to Carlyle’s office after the game to commend Ducks coaches and management.
“I expected nothing less from Dave Nonis and Alain Vigneault,” said Ducks general manager Brian Burke, who formerly held the same position with the Canucks….
“We got beat by a better team. It’s as simple as that,” Vigneault said. “The games were tight, but overall they had more speed. They were better than we were.”
from the LA Times,
And because Luongo took a chance and allowed his focus to falter, he was in the losing locker room.
“After the hit, I thought it was an elbow and I looked at the ref for a split second,” said Luongo, who had never advanced to the playoffs in his previous six NHL seasons.
“When I turned my head, the puck was coming and I couldn’t stop it. It was a mistake that I made there and it cost us the game.”
His teammates recoiled at the thought that Luongo would assume blame for a loss that they were so sure would be averted.
more (reg. req.)
Jim Hughson has been doing play-by-play duty for CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada in these playoffs, to great acclaim by hockey fans everywhere. He’s currently covering the Anaheim Ducks / Vancouver Canucks series and was good enough to speak to Paul and myself immediately after the pre-game skate today, from sunny Anaheim.
You can download the audio file here, or play it on the video player below.
from the Hockey News,
What’s that sound you ask? That’s the din of the Canucks playoff hopes blowing up exactly one second after Travis Moen smacked a rebound past Roberto Luongo early in OT to give the Ducks a death-grip on this conference semifinal.
But why was that pop so loud? Well, that’s because a whole lot of air had been pumped into Vancouver’s Cup dreams in first 54 minutes and 18 seconds of this contest.
read on and Sabres/Rangers talk too…
from the OC Register,
Game 4 is tonight at GM Place, and the Canucks are not about to back down.
“The main thing is what we believe in this locker room,” Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo said. “There’s going to be speculation outside the locker room, but the most important thing is we believe in our group and we believe we can get the job done. We’ve proven that we can play with these guys. Apart from the first game, they’ve been all tight games. We’re just going to keep plugging away.”
While many in the media, particularly those from Vancouver, might have been guilty of writing off the Canucks after the first game of the series, the Ducks certainly did not fall into that category.
from the Vancouver Province,
For the Canucks, possibly the most dismaying part of being down 2-1 in their series with Anaheim is that the Ducks have taken the lead while their two biggest defensive stars have been, well, average.
There hasn’t been much in the way of magic, dominance or impact—as of yet—from Chris Pronger and/or Scott Niedermayer, the best defensive pairing since Mean Joe Greene and Jack Lambert….
Part of the reason the Ducks have so easily weathered any mini-slump by their defensive superstars is the fact that—as Yoda once put it—there is another.
Enter Francois Beauchemin, who has all the skills and none of the hype. He is the George Harrison to his Paul McCartney-and John Lennon-like teammates.
from the Vancouver Sun,
In the eyes of Canuck coach Alain Vigneault and his players, they are the not- so- mighty Ducks. And the Canucks figure they can prove it, if only they can get their special teams act together.
The Canucks outplayed Anaheim at even- strength Sunday night, but another subpar performance by their power- play and penalty- kill units allowed the Ducks to skate to a 3- 2 win and a 2- 1 lead in their best- of- seven Western Conference semifinal series.
“I thought five- on- five we were good again, but the difference was obviously special teams,” Vigneault said. “Theirs were better than ours. It was a tight game and we had some chances at the end, but couldn’t get it done.”
fromm the Hockey News,
• I heard Monday Night Football commentator Tony Kornheiser say the NFL is just more fun when the Chicago Bears are good. I think the same can be said for the Rangers, or any Original Six team for that matter. For some reason, things are just more interesting when a classic club is in the mix.
• The Canadian anthem singer puts me in the mind of Adam Sandler’s “Opera Guy” character from Saturday Night Live. Somebody should get Sandler to do an anthem. Yes, really.
• Ducks win, but we’ll leave you with a one question. A) Is Chris Pronger hurting? He doesn’t look like the dominating, peak-of-his game Chris Pronger on this night. We suspect we’ll see a different Pronger as the series matures.
From Lonnie White at the LA Times,
Getting production from the Ducks’ grinders is important in this series because Vancouver uses a four-line rotation. That might have played a role in the Ducks’ Game 2 defeat.
Each Canucks forward had at least 22 shifts and more than 13 minutes of ice time, while the Ducks stuck with a three-line rotation and their forwards seemed to tire in the second overtime.
“We have to go out and play physical and create some energy; that’s our job here in the playoffs,” Thornton said. “Whatever we can chip in offensively would be a big help to the team.”
That has not been a problem for the Canucks, who won Game 2 on fourth-line winger Jeff Cowan’s overtime goal.
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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