Kukla's Korner Hockey
Will Anaheim and/or Carolina be able to steal home ice advantage today?
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
Paul Maurice stood waiting next to the news conference podium as a technician laboriously counted off, from one into the high teens, trying to get the sound right.
“I thought he was counting off our turnovers,” the Carolina Hurricanes’ coach said when he finally was able to take his seat behind the microphone.
If that were the case, Maurice would still be waiting. And waiting. And waiting, because there were too many for anyone to count in Friday’s 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins to open the second-round playoff series.
After playing some of their best—and most emotional hockey—to beat the New Jersey Devils, the Hurricanes produced a turn-back-the-clock performance against the Bruins, playing the way they did when they struggled earlier this season, not when they succeeded this spring.
The Bruins will have had nine days off since dispatching Montreal in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference quarter-final last week. With questions about rust being asked, the Bruins can look to Vancouver’s Game 1 last night as a working blueprint. The Canucks, who also swept their first-round opponent (St. Louis), scored three straight goals against Chicago and held on for the win.
“Everybody’s wondering whether we’re going to be rested or rusty,” head coach Claude Julien said.
“I think Vancouver is a great example to take. They came out and played well in the first period. I’m expecting our players to feel the same way - that we can come out and play the way we know we can. Put all the excuses aside.”
continued with more on both Boston and Carolina
San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan and Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien, who led the NHL’s top two teams this season, and Andy Murray, who lifted the St. Louis Blues to a surprising Stanley Cup Playoff berth, are the three finalists for the 2009 Jack Adams Award in voting by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association.
I saw enough of Roberto Luongo in the opening round sweep of St. Louis to determine that no conference opponent will defeat the Canucks four times in seven games. That task will be left to the Boston Bruins during the Stanley Cup final, and the Beantowners will prevail.
-Howard Berger of Fan590. Read more from Howard…
Bruins Blog at the Boston Globe has more information on the series of ads the Bruins have been running.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
In a corner of the dressing room, the towering Chara sat quietly and with little animation. He is finishing his third season as captain, and this is the first taste of real success he has experienced since coming aboard for a deal worth $37.5 million over five years.
If a team takes on the attitude of its captain, then it will be a sense of calm that follows the Bruins the rest of this spring.
“I don’t think we should be satisfied and happy,” said Big Z. “This is just the first step in that road. We realize it only gets tougher from here. The farther you go, the harder it gets.”
Kevin Mio of Habs Inside/Out writes,
What’s Next: A summer full of questions and searching for answers as to what went wrong during the centennial season. The Canadiens have a long list of unrestricted free agents and the 2009-10 edition of the team could look vastly different.
added 10:34pm, from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
If the Canadiens were going to win this series, their hopes had to rest on goaltending but Carey Price never looked like the second coming of Patrick Roy or Ken Dryden.
Check that. Price did do a fair imitation of Roy when he stopped a shot by Mark Recchi from just across centre ice with a little more than four minutes remaining in the second period. The sellout crowd greeted the stop with an ovation that dripped with sarcasm and Price responded by throwing his arms in the air.
When coach Bob Gainey was asked why he didn’t use Jaroslav Halak, who was limited to 20 minutes of perfect relief work in Game 2, he suggested that it wouldn’t have been fair to the Slovak because he hadn’t started a game in 7-10 days and that it wouldn’t have been fair to Price, who had carried the load coming into the playoffs.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette (Wednesday edition),
Montrealers like to think of themselves as fair, classy people but there’s nothing classy about the disgraceful conduct of the fans at the Bell Centre who booed the singing of the United States national anthem prior to Monday’s game between the Canadiens and the Boston Bruins.
It was impossible to hear Charles Prévost-Linton’s rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner because most of the sellout crowd of 21,273 drowned out his voice with boos or chants of Go Habs Go….
There is no excuse for the current booing. It is a simple matter of bad manners.
Bob Gainey, the Canadiens’ coach and general manager, addressed the issue yesterday when he said the boorish behaviour stemmed from confusion on the part of the fans.
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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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