Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla and I had a chance to speak briefly with Kelly Hrudey of Hockey Night in Canada. From his CBC television bio:
Hrudey became a full-time hockey analyst during the 1998/99 NHL season, after providing stellar commentary during the previous four playoff seasons alongside Ron MacLean. And during the 1999 NHL playoffs, Hrudey’s segment Behind the Mask became a regular feature on Hockey Night in Canada.
During his 15-year NHL career with the Islanders (six years), Kings (seven years) and Sharks (two years), the former Medicine Hat Tiger compiled a record of 271-265-88, with a goals against average of 3.43, with 16 shutouts.
The conversation can be downloaded here, or listened to on the player below. Our sincere appreciation to Mr. Hrudey for taking the time to chat with us about the Conference Finals now underway.
from Espo on the Playoffs at the National Post,
To tell you the truth, the way they played on Thursday night, it looks like this could be one of the shortest series of the season. Looks can be deceiving and I’m not predicting that kind of outcome. But you tell me, where do the Ottawa Senators look vulnerable? When you find something, you let me know.
from the Buffalo News,
Daniel Briere was silent Thursday night. The Buffalo Sabres’ top scorer was idled by Ottawa during a 5-2 loss to open the Eastern Conference finals. The cocaptain, who led the Sabres in scoring during the regular season and is pacing them in the playoffs, didn’t register a shot. It was the first time he was kept at zero in the postseason and just the 10th time in the 94 games since October.
He left HSBC Arena without comment despite media requests.
added 9:38am, from the Hockey News,
Seems like falling behind by a couple goals is tantamount to a collective whiff of ammonia for the Sabres. Their nostrils flare, eyes widen and they start to get real serious about things. It’s too bad they’ve often got one skate in the grave when they come to…
Not sure if Daniel Briere is hurt or what, but he looked like the only person in Buffalo who didn’t care whether the Sabres won Game 1 or not. My advice to him would be up the intensity or start asking Maxim Afinogenov about which press box seats have the best sight lines…
more on the game last night…
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
What’s with all this booing?
Buffalo and Ottawa shouldn’t be Stanley Cup rivals; they should be twin cities.
Both exist because of the border — blue-collar Buffalo because it was so close to it, and national capital Ottawa because it wasn’t. Both have almost exactly the same regional population. Both have hockey teams that went bankrupt and were sold, rink included, for about the price of a new puck. Both are connected to canals. Both had significant political assassinations: President William McKinley in Buffalo and Father of Confederation Thomas D’Arcy McGee in Ottawa. Both cities have had exactly 58 mayors, Byron Brown holding the office in Buffalo and Larry O’Brien the new mayor in Ottawa.
And both, of course, can’t win the big ones.
from the Ottawa Citizen,
Daniel Alfredsson’s first period power-play goal came after Kalinin had taken a hooking penalty, while trying to prevent a second Fisher breakaway.
“It was disappointing,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. “We were not very good with the puck and he was one of them. I don’t have to get in his face. Everybody saw it. We won as a team and lost as a team all year.”
Again, Kalinin stands out on a rough night all around. The official giveaway count was Sabres 19, Senators 8.
“Overall, five-on-five, we weren’t too bad,” said Jason Pominville.
“But we have to improve the turnovers and the special teams.”
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
The Sens only allowed 20 Sabre volleys to be directed at Emery last night, an extraordinarily low total from the NHL’s highest scoring team, and only 10 of those came after Buffalo erased an early 2-0 lead with a goal off the stick of low-scoring defenceman Toni Lydman in the game’s 29th minute that tied the game 2-2.
That, you could argue, was the most important result of last night’s 5-2 Ottawa victory, that an early lead was surrendered and yet the Sens didn’t cave. In the opener of a second-round series between the clubs last year, after all, favoured Ottawa blew a big lead and lost a 7-6 overtime decision from which it really never recovered.
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
Each of the NHL’s final four teams is battling a burden, fighting a perception, attempting to overcome bad karma that to some extent can add to the otherwise significant pressure.
t’s one more reason that when the Sabres, Senators, Ducks or Red Wings gather on the ice with the Stanley Cup and pose for the celebratory picture, they will have passed the most testing playoff process in sports.
WGR Radio in Buffalo has created “The Ottawa Song”.
from the Buffalo News,
Local hockey fanatics who want to see the Buffalo Sabres in person still have options — including driving 680 miles round-trip, scouring the Internet for tickets or even dabbling in a commodities-like futures market.
Those options have one thing in common for desperate fans — opening their wallets pretty wide.
from Wes Goldstein at CBS Sportsline,
In other words, these are teams that don’t really like each other and have a pretty good idea what lies ahead. Still, don’t expect things on the ice to get out of hand no matter how much tempers might flare. With a trip to the Stanley Cup dance on the line, something that Ottawa has never been part of and Buffalo missed by one game last season, getting even isn’t really a primary concern.
“I don’t think it’s a factor,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff. “That might be in the background, but there’s a lot of other stuff that’s going to take the forefront over that. The big prize is one team is to go on to play for the Stanley Cup. Penalties for retaliation for something that happened a couple of months ago, if you’re going to take those at this time of year, then I think your mindset is in the wrong place.”
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org