Kukla's Korner Hockey
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
On the NBC pre-game chat, Brett Hull & Ray Ferraro pointed to the top of the Flames organization today. Both mentioned it was a classless display last night and called for the NHL to suspend those who deserve a suspension and also make the Flames open the checkbook. This type of play is not what the NHL wants and they need to let the Calgary Flames organization know that.
from Mike Brophy & Edward Fraser of the Hockey News,
Two questions immediately spring to mind: Why the heck was Iginla on the ice in the first place? And what was Calgary coach Jim Playfair thinking? Maybe he should change his name to Playdirty.
The Flames are a very good hockey team, but they showed no class in losing on Saturday.
more and some Stars/Cahucks talk too
from the Calgary Sun,
While suspensions are more likely for teammates Jamie McLennan and Daymond Langkow, there’s a slim possibility Iginla could miss a game, too. Pierre McGuire, the NBC colour man who was parked between the benches yesterday, saw what he thought was Iginla butt-ending Schneider during their battle. He said as much on the air.
There weren’t any replays available in the press box but Iginla—known as a fierce competitor on the ice but maybe one of the most docile men off it—swears he would never do that.
“I don’t think I’ve tried to butt-end a guy, ever,” Iginla said, adding he was trying to use his arms to get a better position on Schneider.
added 7:55am, In case you missed the slash on Franzen.
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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