Kukla's Korner Hockey
With Mother’s Day weekend many were out with family. I, myself, spent yesterday at my mom’s house getting asked by my family for hockey updates and being asked to recap the playoffs thus far. Here are some hockey highlights (or low lights depending on what way you look at it).
In case you missed it Friday kicked off the start of the preliminary round for the IIHF World Championship taking place in Minsk, Belarus.
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from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Andrew Cogliano glanced over during pregame at the 20-year-old goalie about to start in their biggest game yet of the season, and the Anaheim Ducks forward was amazed.
John Gibson had the look of a kid who could have just as well been anywhere else in the world but at Staples Center before his first-ever NHL playoff game.
"I've never seen a goalie like him, really," Cogliano said. "He's really calm. Before the game, it looked like he was getting ready for a preseason game.
"You get a little scared when you're looking at him preparing," Cogliano said, chuckling. "And then he goes out and plays like that."
And then he goes out at 20 years, 330 days old and becomes the youngest goalie in NHL history to record a shutout in his playoff debut and the youngest to win a playoff game since Montreal Canadiens star Carey Price did back in 2008, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
continued and below, watch Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau talk to the team after the 2-0 victory...
from Mark Masters of TSN,
Ryan Getzlaf breaks into a big grin when asked about the agitating antics of his longtime linemate Corey Perry.
"What? You want me to talk about that?" the Anaheim Ducks captain asks chuckling.
After some gentle prodding Getzlaf opens up.
"That's part of Perry's game. I mean, he's always going to play hard, play hard between the whistles and, you know, there's always a little extra stuff going on and it's stuff he's been doing his whole career. It's part of his makeup and things that fuel him to be a better player on the ice and I thought he was unbelievable [in Game 3]."
On the ice, Perry is in the middle of everything. Rarely will a shift go by without him getting engaged physically with someone.
"He is what he is," said Getzlaf. "He's not out there chirping at every guy that skates by or anything like that. He's just a bit of a rat out there, I guess, if you want to call him [that]. He stirs the pot and he does the things that he does and that helps make him a better player."
from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
The Anaheim Ducks took the day off Friday to rest up and wait for the goalie to arrive who wasn’t officially coming, but actually was.
In fact, as we write this, John Gibson is probably finding out from Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau whether or not, after getting off the flight from Norfolk, Va., where he’s been lighting it up in the nets for Anaheim’s farm team, he’s going to be starting in goal in a pivotal Game 4 against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday evening at Staples Centre.
The forecast is “unlikely”, but gusting to “with Boudreau, you never know.”
He has done it before, benching Jose Theodore and starting rookie Semyon Varlamov in Game 2 of the Washington Capitals’ playoff series against the New York Rangers, which the Caps rallied to win in seven.
He has already started a rookie, Frederik Andersen, over veteran Jonas Hiller for most of these playoffs, though Hiller played the first two games vs. the Kings, both losses, and came off the bench for the third time in the post-season Thursday night when Andersen appeared to wrench his knee in the third period of the Ducks’ 3-2 series-salvaging victory.
from Derek Van Diest of the Edmonton Sun,
It has been said the definition of insanity is doing the same things and expecting different results.
In many cases, it holds true.
Yet, the Anaheim Ducks would be crazy to overhaul their approach heading into Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinal series against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday, despite being down 2-0 in the series.
The Ducks are looking to replicate what they’ve done in the first two games of the series, hoping the law of averages kicks in and changes the final result.
“That’s exactly the way it is,” said Ducks winger Corey Perry after a spirited practice Wednesday. “We talked about a couple of different things that we wanted to do differently going forward into Game 3. There are a couple of things that we need to work on. But, for the most part, if we do a lot of the similar things in our D-zone and working our way out, we’re going to be all right.”
from Rich Hammond of the Los Angeles Register,
Kings coach Darryl Sutter, noted hockey sage, once broke down a best-of-7 playoff series this way: “You don’t get nothing for three.” Wins, that is, and in a technical sense, he’s correct.
The fourth victory is all that matters – just ask the San Jose Sharks – but under the proper circumstances, three can be soul-draining. Two years ago, on their way to the Stanley Cup, the Kings won the first three games of every series, including Games 1 and 2 on the road. Now they’re up to their old tricks.
The Kings lead the Ducks, 2-0, in this second-round series, going into Thursday’s Game 3 at Staples Center. Having won two tight games on the road, the Kings don’t want to cede any of the turf they won at Honda Center.
“We know how quickly a series can change,” defenseman Drew Doughty said Wednesday. “It just takes one moment sometimes. It could be a fight or a big goal or anything. So we’ve got to keep our foot on the gas pedal. We can’t let them back in the series.”
from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
"I'm the first to dodge hits," the Los Angeles Kings' most indispensable skater said Wednesday, when the topic of being targeted by the opposition was raised.
"I'm not going to take a hit for no reason. If it's taking a hit to make a play, I'm going to do that, but if I can make the play and then dodge the hit, I'm going to do it every time. I really don't care what anyone says about that."
It's no news to the 24-year-old defenceman that the Anaheim Ducks, who trail their playoff series 2-0 with Game 3 Thursday night at Staples Center, figure their best chance of reversing the tide is to keep pounding away at Doughty, and Anze Kopitar and Jonathan Quick, in the belief that the punishment will eventually take its toll.
For that reason alone, the extra day off between games was especially welcome for the Kings, whose defensive corps is down a couple of bodies, with veterans Willie Mitchell and Robyn Regehr both out. Doughty has played just a hair under 60 minutes of the first two games.
from Mark Whicker of the OC Register at the Los Angeles Register,
“They’re getting the types of goals on us in this series that we got on them in the regular season,” Andrew Cogliano said. “Like on that goal, we had two chances to get it out, and it winds up in our net. And then they score on the first shift, which shouldn’t happen. But it seems like the roles have been reversed.”
“No matter how hard you’re trying to get it deep in the forecheck, they know how to close the door,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said.
The Ducks are now left with two days between games, and perhaps they will use a water gun, like the ear doctor uses, to get Quick out of their heads. Cogliano picked a puck from Doughty and had a close-in chance and backhanded it against his skate, and then had another shot at it and couldn’t find the net.
It seemed as if Cogliano had built a theory for beating Quick, postgame. Whether he can breathe life into that blueprint is not that clear.
“He just comes out and challenges you,” Cogliano said. “Hopefully you can get it behind him, maybe give him a fake, but he’s so aggressive that if you don’t show some puck-savvy and some patience, you’re not going to score.
“He puts everything on you. If you make a good play you’ll beat him, but if you don’t, he’ll beat you every time.”
added 8:41am, from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Ah yes, Corey Perry... The first video was shown last night but happened in game 1...
Last night, Jonathan Quick welcomed Perry to his crease...
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
"Not going to go anywhere with Regehr or Mitchell," said Sutter. "It does me no good to talk about our injured players, just helps the other team."
What we do know is that Regehr and Mitchell are injured -- two-thirds of the left side of L.A.'s defensive corps -- two playoff-savvy veterans who are hard to replace. And that void represents the most obvious difference between this Kings team and the 2012 champs.
Amazingly, Los Angeles used the same six defensemen during their 20-game run to glory in 2012, avoiding a single injury and throwing out the same three pairs night after night. That's certainly not going to be the case this spring, which means the Kings have adversity to overcome if there's another deep playoff run in their near future.
"It's not so much that they've lost high, high-end defensemen, it's what they're putting in,'' an NHL head coach from a Western Conference team told ESPN.co Sunday. "Matt Greene is limited. And whether it's Jeff Schultz or Andrew Campbell going in, either way, they don't trust those guys as much. Where the biggest disadvantage comes for L.A. is that Anaheim will continue to play four lines. So over time it will be become taxing to the Kings' top guys.
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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