Kukla's Korner Hockey
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…
from Chris Stevens of the Midland Daily News,
Fans in Canada, knock yourselves out. You’ll be right there, watching every second of the Senators’ games. Hockey is in your blood.
For 99.8 percent of Americans, the season ended last night when the Red Wings were eliminated.
Maybe the Red Wings should play the Buffalo Sabres in an alternate Cup series. That actually has some intrigue.
But the Ducks vs. the Senators?
Another writer and probably not the last who cannot appreciate the game itself. I have a feeling many more MSM types will take the easy road and blast the finals too.
from Pierre McGuire at NBC Sports,
The Ducks and Pronger are going to be in for a tough series against the Ottawa Senators. If the Ducks do win the Cup, you can bet that Pronger will have played a major role. With Chris, nothing is ever boring, and this Final will be no exception.
No matter what happens it is amazing to see how a young boy has grown over the many years since he turned pro in 1993. That boy is now the man many people hoped and wanted him to be. What a ride it has been. He is now a proud husband and a father. Number two in 1993 is clearly more important than No. 1, and Pronger is just scratching the surface.
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
If the Senators are going to win a Stanley Cup, they are going to have to step over the body of a Norris Trophy winner to do it.
Not that that should intimidate them.
So far, the Senators have beaten arguably the best player in hockey (Sidney Crosby of the Penguins), arguably the best goaltender (Martin Brodeur of the Devils) and the best team in the regular season, the Sabres.
So, why not the game’s best defenceman, too?
from the Edmonton Journal,
The Oilers general manager was pulling for the Ducks to hold on against the rallying Detroit Red Wings. When the Ducks prevailed 4-3, the last piece of the Chris Pronger trade puzzle was completed and the Oilers secured a first-round draft pick in 2008 because Anaheim won the Western Conference title.
Lowe held out for an extra first-rounder last July after Ducks GM Brian Burke agreed to give up a first-round choice in this June’s draft in Columbus. If Anaheim won the West in 2007, the Oilers would get a first-rounder next June. If they won in 2008, it was a first-round pick that year. If not, the same scenario held for 2009.
via USA TODAY,
Selanne and Pronger ripped the refs for calls in the third period, when the Ducks were penalized three times, the Red Wings none.
Said Selanne, “When you have to beat the referees, too, it’s tough.”
Added Pronger, “When we’re getting penalty after penalty on pretty weak calls, a lot of guys were talking about conspiracy theories.”
added 11:31pm, from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
Hang around the NHL long enough, especially an NHL locker room and you start to wonder where they store all those crosses that the players invariably bring out when they think they’ve been wronged by the referees.
Now that’s normal in sport in general, but it goes to absurd lengths in the NHL, especially during playoff time.
Case in point: Tuesday night in Anaheim and the Ducks, between sips of celebration for having won the Campbell Trophy and a berth in the Stanley Cup final couldn’t help but argue that the referees had it out for them in the end.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Selanne supplied the tears of joy.
Todd Marchant supplied the blood after he was struck on the nose by a high stick in the third period and, in typical hockey-player fashion, returned within minutes.
Every member of the Ducks supplied the sweat, building a 4-1 lead and then scrambling to protect it against the late-surging Red Wings.
All offered without hesitation for the chance to embrace that big silver cup.
“This is a very special moment for me,” said Selanne, who will be 37 in July. “I’m going to enjoy every moment of this.”
He earned that right. So did every one of his teammates.
more (reg. req.)
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