Kukla's Korner Hockey
Eric and Jordan Staal are about to go where only the Espositos, the Plagers and the McCrearys have gone before.
When the puck drops Monday night on TSN for the opening game of the Carolina Hurricanes/Pittsburgh Penguins series, it will mark only the fifth time in NHL history that siblings have skated against each other in the Conference finals. The last time a brother act such as this occurred was in 1974 when Phil Esposito’s Bruins faced Tony’s Blackhawks. The rarity of the occurrence was not lost on the Staals.
“This is the best time of the year to play hockey,” said Eric in a conference call held by the NHL on Friday. “When brothers are playing against each other in the Conference finals it’s exciting not only four yourselves but for the rest of your family for sure.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
We should know better by now than to underestimate the young bucks from Chicago (we picked Vancouver in seven), but this isn’t about shortchanging them. This is about two greatly talented teams being separated only by experience. The young Edmonton Oilers of the 1980s took down the veteran New York Islanders in their second crack at it. This is Chicago’s first crack at the Big Red Machine. Wings in seven.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
This one is going to be a ton of fun to watch; but, in the end, the Canes don’t have an adequate answer for Crosby and Malkin. As long as Fleury doesn’t completely lose his mind, the Pens should be able to dictate how things go in this one. Penguins in six.
much more on this series too…
The National Hockey League today announced the dates for the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoff Conference Finals, which begin in the Western Conference on Sunday, May 17 when the Detroit Red Wings host the Chicago Blackhawks. The Eastern Conference Final will match the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Carolina Hurricanes and will start on Monday, May 18.
Scott Walker with the OT goal and the Canes move on to face the Pittsburgh Penguins.
What two teams will be playing Chicago and Pittsburgh in the Conference Finals?
from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,
What’s left to be said? Not a lot. The Hurricanes either win tonight and keep the Stanley Cup in their sights, or they have a bittersweet ending to their season and start facing the speculation about who returns and who won’t for next season.
“It’s Game 7. You want to play in those games,” Staal said. “Obviously, we wanted to finish it off when we could, but it didn’t happen. We look forward to Game 7, look forward to the challenge. You dream of playing in those games growing up as a kid, and it’s going to be fun.”
When they led 3-1 in the series, the Canes talked about theurgency of winning Game 5 andand finishing off the Bruins in Boston.
Now, the common refrain—as if the Canes were trying to convince themselves of it—is that that they gladly would have accepted and embraced a one-game, winner-take-all scenario before the series began against the Eastern Conference’s top seed.
Imagine losing power at 3:00am this morning and the first thing that comes into your mind is how in the heck am I going to watch the game 7’s tonight?
Thankfully power was restored about ten minutes ago and all is well.
I am sure many of the fans who have teams involved in game 7 tonight are trying to make the hands of the clock spin faster. It is a day of anticipation, both in a good and bad way and I hope you are dealing with it in the best way you can.
from Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe,
Claude Julien’s skaters are attempting to do what no Bruins team has done in 20 previous tries: come back to win a series after trailing, three games to one. Milt Schmidt’s Bruins couldn’t do it in 1947 against the Canadiens. Bobby Orr and Friends couldn’t do it against the Rangers in ‘73. Cam Neely and Ray Bourque couldn’t make it happen in ‘95 against the Devils.
So it’s up to Chara and Tim Thomas to boldly go where no Bruins have gone.
“From the time we fell behind, three games to one, our goal was to create Game 7,” said Julien (who enjoyed one of those Bill Belichick nights in which everything he touched turned to gold). “We’re there now. We need to decide what we’re going to do with it.”
On to Boston for game 7 on Thursday, game starts a little after 8:00pm ET.
added 10:29pm via Fluto Shinzawa of Bruins Blog at the Boston Globe,
Claude Julien said Marc Savard will be good to go in Game 7. Savard left the game at 6:12 of the third period with a knee injury.
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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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