Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
As a team, the Flames need to get quicker and hungrier up front; one of the issues in the Detroit series was they simply couldn’t get in on the Red Wings’ defence hard enough or fast enough to turn the puck over. The infusion of youth and speed may address that issue; it also means that many, if not most of, their 30-something forwards (Darren McCarty, Byron Ritchie, Marcus Nilson, Amonte, Friesen and depending upon his wishes, Primeau), may be seeking employment elsewhere next season.
It’s a different story on defence, where the Flames will almost certainly bid to retain one or both of Roman Hamrlik and Brad Stuart, a pair of minute-munching rearguards, for whom there are no replacements waiting in the wings.
more… *including thoughts on Jim Playfair’s coaching future with the Flames
From Jim Kelly at Sportsnet.ca,
The Flames disgraced themselves and the game they profess to love. They didn’t play hard, they played dirty ... and stupid. If it weren’t for their magnificent talent in goal, Game 6 would never have existed. Kiprusoff also extended their good fortune into overtime Sunday when he kept the Red Wings off the board after Craig Conroy received a double minor for striking Tomas Holmstrom in the face with his stick.
continued… *more on Calgary, and the NHL’s response
Update 4:49pm ET:
John sent this photo, seen below. Thought it might be an amusing addition (for some of you) to add to this post.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
There was some debate among Canadian analysts that perhaps Playfair, who was fined $25,000 by the league on top of a team fine of $100,000, should have been removed by GM and former coach Darryl Sutter after the Flames were outclassed in Games 1 and 2.
There shouldn’t be much debate now given how the Flames disintegrated into ash in the blink of an eye as Detroit’s 2-1 double-overtime win Sunday eliminated Calgary from the postseason in six games.
more...plus “Code” talk, Sean Hill and GM talk…
from the Calgary Herald,
While Miikka Kiprusoff dragged his Calgary Flames around for six playoff games, a much more subtle, equally impressive show of domination was being exerted by Nicklas Lidstrom.
The Detroit Red Wings captain was matched against Calgary captain Jarome Iginla throughout this Western Conference quarter-final series.
Apart from the fact Lidstrom’s team won four times and Iginla’s side twice, there’s a small mountain of evidence that supports the quality of Lidstrom’s performance.
The Hockey News comments on yesterday’s action…
•I’d imagine the Lightning’s loss will mean one of their big three (Richards, Martin St-Louis, Vincent Lecavalier) will be on the move this summer. Tampa GM Jay Feaster can’t go into the 2007-08 season so top-heavy in payroll and he needs to improve his defense.
•I don’t buy the theory that older teams tend to wear down during overtime or late in a series. The Red Wings looked young and strong throughout the overtime of Game 6, the seventh-plus period of hockey they played in about 33 hours. A younger Calgary team looked wasted at times. Durability is all about conditioning and drive, not age.
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
They couldn’t do it last year at home against Anaheim and they definitely couldn’t have done it in Detroit, where the Flames were made to look uglier than the city.
Oh sure they put in a gusty effort last night—a showing that did them, the city and the fans proud.
But in the end their admirable refusal to die made for a more heartbreaking end to a frustrating season.
That said, a win would only have made the Game 7 loss harder.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
There’s no doubt that Kiprusoff will be a priority in terms of signing him to a longer term deal, but are whispers out there that the Flames may entertain the concept of trading Iginla as early as this summer. Maybe there’s need for a chemistry shakeup in Calgary and there is no question that if a player like Iginla might be available, there will be an awfully lot of potential suitors.
Finally a road team wins. Franzen with the goal in 2OT.
If Vancouver wins tomorrow, Wings will play San Jose at home on Thursday or Friday.
If Dallas Wins, Wings will play the Stars, again either Thursday or Friday at home.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Playfair said he wanted his team to channel the emotion they showed at the end of Game 5 in a more positive manner.
“All that stuff has got to be strictly brought into the first period and restructured into competitiveness,” said Playfair, “where we keep sticks down on the ice and we’re doing things right – getting pucks behind their defence and getting to their goaltender. That is what it is. That’s the competitive spirit of the players.
“If you look around the playoffs, that’s not an infrequent deal at the end of games like that. The most important thing is to realize, that’s not winning hockey games. Bringing that energy to the game in the right manner gives you a better chance.”
via Darren Dreger at TSN,
The National Hockey League has delivered a message to the Calgary Flames.
Sources say Jamie McLennan has been suspended for five games for his slash on Detroit’s Johan Franzen in Game 5 of the Western Conference quarter-finals.
McLennan’s slash was part of an undisciplined display from Calgary that included a Daymond Langkow uppercut to the face of Brett Lebda following a Lebda hip-check, along with a Jarome Iginla butt-end, leading to a late game crosscheck on Red Wings veteran Mathieu Schneider.
Brett Lebda will not play tonight for Detroit because of injury. Lebda is said to be suffering “headaches.”
added 2:31pm, Playfair fined $25K and the organization $100K, per NBC broadcast.
added 2:32pm, NHL Release
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.
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