Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News,
“The network guys aren’t going to like you for this,” coach John Stevens was told after the Flyers handcuffed the Washington Capitals yesterday, 2-0, at times making the raucous Verizon Center sound more like the nearby Smithsonian.
Stevens smiled that Cheshire cat grin of his and walked on. From the moment Friday night’s 5-4 shootout ended, he had defended his game plan, blaming the number of goals and the Flyers’ third-period meltdown on “self-inflicted wounds” and “poor execution.” What transpired in front of him yesterday - huge stretches when the high-flying Caps did not have a shot, a neutral zone that often resembled the drive-time Schuylkill and not the European autobahn of Friday night - was what he envisioned happening on Friday.
from Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe,
White-towel-waving bleu, blanc et rouge fans poured into the Garden as soon as the gates opened and chanted “Go Habs, Go!” before anyone came out for an early skate. There were many customers Standing On Guard For Thee during Rene Rancourt’s stirring rendition of “O Canada”.
“I don’t remember playing here in Boston and having that many fans from Montreal,” said Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau. “They wouldn’t have had the courage to wear the sweaters in the old Garden.”
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
In what is surely one of the stupidest and most ignorant moves going, somebody with the Senators organization decided to cover a wall near the Penguins dressing room in Scotiabank Place with a large mural. It’s a photo of the Senators shaking hands with the Penguins after the Senators eliminated them in their first-round matchup last spring.
It’s positioned so it is about the last thing the Penguins will see as they make the turn from the main hallway to enter their dressing room.
It’s right in an area where the visiting teams have been known to play their warmup game of “Keep Up,” bouncing a soccer ball around from player to player, trying to keep it from hitting the ground.
“That’s what they’ll be looking at when they play soccer,” said another player, with a shake of his head.
As if you need to give a team any other reason or motivation to want to beat you at this time of year.
from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,
On a Sunday night that will live in franchise infamy, the Sharks repeated their familiar and lousy act of playoffs past. They wasted away their excellence. Again. They didn’t respond well to a physical challenge. Again.
And they are halfway to an early playoff exit. Again.
“We got off to a fantastic start,” Joe Thornton said, “but we just didn’t really play well from then on in.”
They didn’t really play well?
Here’s a better phrase: They totally and completely blew it.
from Adrian Dater at All Things Avs,
I’ve definitely noticed it, and so have the players. Simply put, the Pepsi Center has been too much like an art gallery this year. Too much wine and cheese, and not enough nachos and beer. What happened to the wild and crazy Avalanche crowd that used to make a legitimate difference in games?
Why is it that, when Peter Forsberg skated back onto the ice for the first time this year, it was like the reception at a Dennis Kucinich rally? Why were there too many times this year that the Avs game-night entertainment staff had to flash the lame “Make Some Noise” banner on the Jumbotron?
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Jean-Sebastien Giguere has been, ahem, hard to hit. Ryan Getzlaf is supposed to be the next big thing, but so far in this series he hasn’t been.
Todd Bertuzzi, on his best days, still takes a dumb penalty for every good play he makes. Scott Niedermayer, one of the best skaters in the history of the NHL, has been caught out of position more than once.
These aren’t the same Ducks, of course.
They’ve made enough changes to add players like Mathieu Schneider, Doug Weight, Jonas Hiller, Bryan Sutherby and Bertuzzi that while the core of the team remains the same, there are some different individual dynamics at work. Team chemistry is a fragile thing and doesn’t necessarily transfer from one season to the next, and so far the Ducks just don’t look as cohesive and focused as they were last spring.
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
In relief, the Flames turned to Curtis Joseph and right then it seemed as if this was going to be a long and painful evening for the Flames. Only it was Marleau who was left feeling the pain.
On a hit that changed the complexion of the game, not to mention Marleau’s, Sarich caught Marleau in his own end of the ice along the boards with his head down. It was a monster collision that brought the crowd alive and left Marleau dazed and bleeding.
“We were down 3-0 and I was just trying to make something happen,” said Sarich. “I hit him and followed through. They [the referees] called it right. I didn’t think it deserved a penalty.”
Watch the hit below…
added 8:11am, Sharkpage breaks down the Sarich hit…
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette via the National Post,
If you want to sell the National Hockey League, you don’t need more scoring, bigger nets or smaller equipment for goaltenders.
All you need are more games played with the same intensity as Sunday night’s war between the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins.
Neither team gave an inch as they battled for more than 69 minutes before Marc Savard scored on a delayed penalty at 9:25 of the first overtime to give Bruins a 2-1 win. This was old-fashioned playoff hockey which kept the sellout crowd of 17,565 on edge all night.
continued... A game recap but I know many US viewers were blacked-out of this game…
from Ted Leonsis at USA TODAY,
It does feel great to be able to lose a game and NOT have the season be over. We have basically been in a situation where we have been playing Game 7 eliminations during the regular season. We know now that we could lose three games this series and still move on to the next round—so no need to panic quite yet.
It is a series now. We go play Games 3 and 4 in Philly—we had the ‘Red Out,’ they will have the ‘Orange Crush.’ NHL playoffs are so much fun but so tense and hard to predict.
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
Two games into the quarterfinals, Gaborik has no points and three shots. He has been smothered by the Avalanche defense, which was supposed to be its weakness.
“There’s not a lot of room out there, so I’ve got to try to create room by skating, by changing my game up a little bit,” Gaborik said. “I have to find the room. I have to. There’s always an Avs sweater on you. I have to work for [space].”
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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