Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.”
The Sabres players took part in the final pre-series press conference.
Q. Ryan, can you comment on the comparisons to Hockey Town and Buffalo, having known what Detroit is all about and just beyond ?? exciting is beyond anything you’ve ever saw there in?
RYAN MILLER: I got a chance to go to a lot of games but not around the time they were playing for the Cup, but the affiliation with the team and the city and the way they feel about hockey there, yeah, this town definitely is from what I’ve seen, I think this town is actually a little crazier so, it’s been a lot of fun.
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
The Buffalo Sabres finished No. 1 overall during the regular season with inoa franchise-high 113 points. The Detroit Red Wings matched them. Anaheim, with 110 points, led the Pacific Division. Ottawa, after a terrible first half, finished with 105 points, only two behind New Jersey.
Get the picture? No surprises. In a league that almost always delivers upsets during the playoffs, it’s only right that the NHL’s Big Four have made it to the finals in the East and West.
Now the fun really begins.
from Loose Change at the Hockey News,
And all we wanted was the Detroit Red Wings to (a) embrace their spineless-ly Poker-ish ways and fold early and (b) realize that two of their key cogs in the bid for a championship were, at one time, deck hands on The Ark. Now you have the Red Wings getting unexpectedly vital contributions from players with names ending in “son”, “ov”, “berg” and “Datsyuk” and they really have this belief that a route to the Cup doesn’t necessarily require taking the Yzerman Parkway.
more on all of the teams in the CF…
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
The Sabres coach was quick and sharp when asked about comments made by Ray Emery, who said in Tuesday’s Sun that he’s not thrilled about having to spend off-days in Buffalo and joked on TSN’s Off The Record that he might pass his spare time this week hanging out at TGI Friday’s.
“He’ll find things to do,” Ruff said with a chuckle after the Sabres practiced yesterday.
“Rent a Hummer truck ... go for a ride, go for a drive, drive around a little bit.”
more on the Sens/Sabres…
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
The two teams still alive, the Sabres and Senators, are the perfect models for post-lockout success.
We’re not talking about the salary cap here. That’s for accountants and Gary Bettman’s sycophants to worry about.
No, we’re talking about pure hockey, playing the game the way it can be played now that restraint has been minimized.
Scott Burnside of ESPN breaks down the WCF,
Many preseason prognosticators believed this was the Ducks’ season. For those who like their foul West Coast style, Anaheim has done nothing to disappoint. The team is 8-2 through the first two rounds and hit the Western Conference finals for the second straight season, well-rested and hungry to take that next step to the Stanley Cup finals.
Now onto the ECF,
At the start of the playoffs, this looked like an absolutely perfect matchup for the right to go to the Stanley Cup finals. And now that it’s here, there’s nothing to suggest this won’t be anything but a terrific showdown between the two best teams in the conference.
Earlier today, Buffalo Sabres’ coach Lindy Ruff and players Thomas Vanek and Teppo Numminen participated in a media teleconference:
Q. Just wondering after the stuff in February, the head-to-head games between you two guys, do you think that’s forgotten or is it a non-factor in this series in terms of all of the speed and matchups and the stuff that happened during the season, is that in the background? Is it a factor?
COACH RUFF: I don’t think it’s a factor. That may be in the background, but there’s a lot of other stuff there’s going to take the forefront over that.
Q. If I can follow that up, just in terms of both teams and the amount of offense, potential offense there, is this—do you see it as exciting as the fans might see it; that there’s a potential for both teams to score a lot?
fromm Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
A team that was poised, relentless, blessed with timely (and reasonably proficient) scoring, defensively sound play and soundly physical play in eliminating Nashville in five games seemingly has chucked all of the things it did well in that series. The Sharks haven’t just lost their bite; they’ve gone belly-up in the face of a Detroit attack that has been neither withering nor relentless.
In fact, the Red Wings have pretty much been fortunate given the number of injuries they’ve had before and during this series.
more... plus some Sabres/Sens talk…
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
Next up for Drury and the Sabres: the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference finals.
Run the oft-advanced theory past Drury, now 30, that the Avalanche’s regression began the day he was traded, and that Colorado has yet to recover, and he is genuinely embarrassed.
“Oh, I don’t know about that.” Pause. “That’s a pretty strong statement.” Double pause. “I guess I don’t really have a comment.”
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