Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,
As sure as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, you’re going to hear a tale of woe about the 2007 Stanley Cup Final because “big market” teams aren’t competing.
Hockey fans will be watching and we’re going to see some of the NHL’s best players vying for the Cup. The excellence of competition goes well beyond the name of the city a team calls home. It’s too bad that elementary lesson is lost so quickly.
from Loose Change at the Hockey News,
And so it begins. Endgame. The glorious battle set in motion. On one side, a warrior, a gladiator - a Senator. On the other, uh… a Duck.
The two best teams face off for the rights to Lord Stanley’s Cup. The right to hoist it aloft. The right to drink champagne from its bowl. The right to take it home, share it with friends and family, dress it up in women’s clothing and refer to it as Penelope, sweet sweet Penelope.
I am looking for your pics and videos. Let’s start the party!
from Kevin Allen at USA TODAY,
Goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s ability to make crucial saves at the right time this postseason could end up helping his bank account as much as his Anaheim Ducks team.
Giguere, 30, will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, and his stellar performance this spring puts him in position to ask for a contract worth more than $5 million a season. Nashville Predators goalie Tomas Vokoun received a four-year extension worth $5.7 million a season, and his playoff resume isn’t as impressive as Giguere’s.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
The Senators coach stopped short of accusing goalie J.S. Giguere of wearing illegal equipment, but confirmed he’s already asked the NHL’s pad police if the Anaheim Ducks’ goalie is complying with the league’s tight restrictions. The Senators will open the Stanley Cup final Monday in Anaheim.
“It’s got to be illegal,” said Murray with a laugh. “It’s legal, I know that. I was there, it’s questioned all the time. It’s measured all the time and it was approved all the time. But, he does wear it well doesn’t he?”
from the Toronto Star,
The Stanley Cup final is coming here, south of the Hollywood Hills, in the shadow of Disneyland, among the palm trees, sprawl and smog of Orange County.
But the folks in coffee shops are far more likely to be talking about Phil Spector’s murder trial than the remarkable success of the Anaheim Ducks, who dispatched the Detroit Red Wings in six games to claim the NHL’s Western Conference title.
Here in the outskirts of the world’s entertainment capital, hockey remains a tough sell. But not an impossible one, thanks to the plucky Ducks.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
The Anaheim Ducks would be smart to stop complaining about things that they can’t control, namely the officials.
In fairness to the Ducks everyone points out the fact that Anaheim was the league’s most penalized team during the regular season, but there is a reason for that. They fought more than anyone else. They haven’t been fighting much in the playoffs but they have been taking a lot of penalties.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
A declaration in this space two weeks ago that the Ducks would defeat the Red Wings in the Western Conference finals — and that Detroit could no longer call itself Hockeytown because games at Joe Louis Arena weren’t selling out — generated hundreds of impassioned responses.
Some were even free of obscenities….
The Ducks eliminated the Red Wings in six games and advanced to the Stanley Cup finals, but the idea here isn’t to gloat.
It’s to suggest that the unprecedented torrents of anger sent this way are better aimed at Mike Ilitch, the Red Wings’ owner, and the club executives who set playoff ticket prices too high for an area that has been gut-punched by the auto industry’s decline, the departure of Comerica Bank’s headquarters for Texas and growing unemployment.
read on (reg. req.)
friom the CP via Metro News,
The Ottawa Senators send the best line in the playoffs against the NHL’s best trio of defencemen when they face the Anaheim Ducks in the Stanley Cup final.
Game 1 goes Monday night in Anaheim (8 p.m. ET). Centre Jason Spezza and wingers Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley have been the best line in the playoffs, combining for 23 goals and 58 points in 15 games.
The Ducks counter with Chris Pronger, Scott Niedermayer and Francois Beauchemin at the blue-line, who have each averaged more than 30 minutes of ice time per game in the post-season.
added 7:22pm, from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
The 2007 Stanley Cup finals pairs a juggernaut with few discernible flaws with a could-be juggernaut with a penchant for self-destruction. In other words, the clash between the Ottawa Senators and the Anaheim Ducks has all the makings of a classic. That is, unless the Ducks lose their collective minds, which they have shown the ability to do, and the Senators have their way with them.
At the start of the regular season, there were many who believed Anaheim was capable of arriving at just this point—the Stanley Cup finals. Not so many thought the Ottawa Senators would get here. But how the teams arrived here has dramatically changed the perception of both heading into the finals.
from Stats Blog,
Since the beginning of Anaheim’s 2003 run to the finals, no two teams have more playoff wins than the Ducks and Senators.
Most Wins in Stanley Cup Playoffs, 2003-2007 Playoffs
Ana. . . .36
Ott. . . .31
NJ. . . . 27
TB. . . . 24
SJ. . . . 22
more on the matchup…
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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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