Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
From Ben Kuzma at The Province,
Like Sgt. Rock of comic-book fame, Willie Mitchell should be chomping down on a cigar and tugging on a machine-gun trigger while leading his troops to victory.
The Vancouver Canucks defenceman not only battled back from an early injury Friday in a 2-1 double-overtime win over the Anaheim Ducks, he expects a similar effort today in the Western Conference semifinal series now even at one game apiece.
“We’ve got more in the bag,” said Mitchell. “We’re underdogs I guess and a lot of people were writing us off after Game 1. They were saying that [Ducks] team is too much for us, and that’s motivation.
from the CP via Yahoo,
The Vancouver Canucks are frustrated with the way the Anaheim Ducks have been crashing into goaltender
Roberto Luongo in the first two games of their NHL Western Conference semifinal series.
Canuck general manager Dave Nonis is taking up the issue with the NHL prior to Sunday night’s Game 3 (8 p.m. ET). The best of seven series is tied 1-1.
“We’ve got some issues with the officiating that I’m not sharing with you,” Canuck coach Alain Vigneault said after practice Saturday. “The professional thing is to deal directly with the NHL.
“Obviously we had some issues with last night’s game. Dave is bringing it up with them.”
from the Daily Breeze,
“At times we skated too much,” Carlyle said of last spring’s playoff routine. “We changed our travel schedule. Now we’re staying over and traveling the next day.”
Teemu Selanne and a number of other veterans asked Carlyle to make the change, mindful of the need for more rest….
Selanne then complained with his tongue planted firmly in his cheek that Carlyle doesn’t listen to any of his suggestions. So when he has one, Selanne said he tells teammate Chris Pronger and Pronger asks Carlyle about it.
“He goes there and (Carlyle) says, ‘Why not?’ ” Selanne said. “You have to keep mother (Pronger) happy. If the father is unhappy you can still have a happy family. But if the mother is unhappy, forget it.”
from the Hockey News,
Seconds after the Sabres secured a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers in Game 2 Friday, Ruff blew a gasket as he flew off the Sabres bench to complain to game officials about a blown offside call in the final six seconds—which led to a Rangers desperation shot on goal—and about a Rangers too-many-men-on-the-ice infraction that was botched by the referees in the dying minutes.
Ruff was waving his arms and screaming at anything dressed in black and white stripes….
God bless you for scoring, Jeff Cowan. And god bless you, too, J-S Giguere, for allowing a goal at such a strange angle.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
Judging from the Ducks’ 5-1 win in Game 1 in which Selanne was the third star despite linemate Andy McDonald scoring three goals, the Finnish Flash has the best chance to take himself off the loser list.
“For sure this is my best chance,” Selanne said after practice yesterday.
“You never know what is going to happen.
“It’s so hard to win one. But the feeling is there. These last two years have been the most fun I’ve had in my career.”
From Josh Peter at Yahoo! Sports,
This just in: Roberto Luongo is mortal.
Casual fans might be asking, “Roberto who?” But the puckheads among us must be asking, “Roberto Luongo is mortal? You can’t be serious, can you?”
We’re serious. Very serious.
The Anaheim Ducks did more than beat the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday in the Stanley Cup playoffs. In a 5-1 victory, they dispelled the myth that Luongo, Vancouver’s splendid goaltender, can single-handedly carry the Canucks into the Western Conference finals. The Ducks did this in astonishing fashion, too.
Note: No disrespect to the Ducks—their goals were well-earned, and Luongo has struggled against them all season—but Mr. Peter’s entire article seems to be prefaced on the idea of The End of Luongo. Well, Luongo got scored on 4 times in regulation in the first game of the Dallas series as well. Just because he didn’t dominate in Game #1 of the 2nd round, doesn’t necessarily mean he’s out of this series. (Just thought I’d point that out. Hmph.)
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