Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Paul Hoogkamp of TSN,
The Chicago Blackhawks may be in the midst of the longest Stanley Cup drought in the NHL, but it has also been more than a few years since the other three teams in the Conference Finals have enjoyed an up-close look at hockey’s Holy Grail.
The Blackhawks have not won since 1961, a stretch six years longer than that of the playoff-challenged Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Philadelphia Flyers changed the face of hockey and their opponents, using intimidation to win the Cup way back in 1975.
It’s been 17 years since the Montreal Canadiens had a parade down Rue Ste.-Catherine, which is an eternity for the most storied franchise in the league.
And while the San Jose Sharks have yet to win the Cup since joining the NHL in 1991, with recent playoff failures, some feel the organization is overdue to win their first title.
Will we see a repeat of the 1973 Stanley Cup Final when Montreal, coached by Scotty Bowman defeated Chicago 4 games to 2?
I am old school and it is time for an Original Six Final, the first since 1979 when the Canadiens defeated the Rangers.
So, that is my pick for the SCF, what about you?
National rightsholders NBC and VERSUS in the United States and CBC, TSN and RDS in Canada will provide exclusive national broadcast coverage of the Conference Finals. Every playoff game also can be heard on Sirius XM Satellite Radio.
Date Time (ET) #1 San Jose vs. #2 Chicago Network
Sunday, May 16 3:00 p.m. Chicago at San Jose NBC, TSN, RDS
Tuesday, May 18 10:00 p.m. Chicago at San Jose VERSUS, TSN, RDS
Friday, May 21 8:00 p.m. San Jose at Chicago VERSUS, TSN, RDS
Sunday, May 23 3:00 p.m. San Jose at Chicago NBC, CBC, RDS
Tuesday, May 25 * 9:00 p.m. Chicago at San Jose VERSUS, CBC, RDS
Thursday, May 27 * 8:00 p.m. San Jose at Chicago VERSUS, CBC, RDS
Saturday, May 29 * 8:00 p.m. Chicago at San Jose VERSUS, CBC, RDS
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
This time, there can’t be any doubt.
There is no culprit for why the Chicago Blackhawks walked into GM Place and won all three games of this series, the final one a 5-1 paddling in which the score was precisely indicative of the play.
This wasn’t about the refs, the league, or a goalie. Though that 12-year deal for Roberto Luongo that begins next season isn’t exactly looking like a steal right now.
This was about the Blackhawks running away with the series, for the second consecutive year.
“They were the better team,” confirmed Kyle Wellwood.
“I don’t think they’re a better team than us,” countered Luongo. “But maybe just a smarter team that knows how to win.”
Chicago defeated Vancouver 5-1 tonight and was impressive in doing so.
No word yet on when the series will start.
Feel free to drop in and discuss tonight’s game which starts a little after 9:30pm EDT.
My thoughts- Game 7 in Chicago on Thursday night.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
In a startling development after their Game-5 loss on home ice, the Chicago Blackhawks admitted they’ll be carrying a considerable amount of baggage into Vancouver for tonight’s Game 6.
No, really. A lot more baggage. Tons of it. After failing to close out the Canucks on Sunday, you see, the Hawks had to pack for the return flight to Vancouver and a possible week-long stay in San Jose for a Western Conference semifinal which might start as soon as Friday.
You have to admit, that’s a lot of stuff to be carrying around after one loss – socks, underwear, the haunting memory of Sunday night coupled with the spectre of facing a reborn Roberto Luongo at GM Place.
It just remains to be seen if the burden, in the literal or metaphoric sense, will actually begin to weigh down the high-flying Hawks.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
John Madden knows something about the nuances of defensive hockey, having served the majority of his NHL career in New Jersey, where, for decades, the Devils mastered the art of smothering the life out of a game.
So Madden, now the Chicago Blackhawks’ checking-line centre, knows exactly what happened to his team in Sunday’s unremarkable 4-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks, a defeat that prevented them from clinching their Western Conference playoff series.
The Canucks ripped a page out of the Devils’ book and slooooowed everything down.
from David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune,
“We’ll get ticked off about it and get ready for the next one,’’ Jonathan Toews said.
Easy, captain. You could argue that getting too agitated too often during Game 5 made it necessary for the Hawks to play the next one. So Toews and Co. may want to find a more productive way to channel whatever anger they muster.A not-so-funny thing happened to the Hawks on their trip home from western Canada. They lost their focus and apparently their poise on a night defined by missed chances and needless penalties.
Byfuglien didn’t deserve to be put in the box on the play that left O’Brien with stitches, but Big Buff was a big disappointment later in the second period with two unnecessary penalties. A guy already cast as the series villain must avoid any temptation to mix it up enough to put his team a man down – especially after he wounded a Canuck, accident or no accident.
The Canucks’ third goal came on a power play when all Byfuglien could do was watch from the penalty box. It wasn’t just Byfuglien. Marian Hossa also committed two of the Hawks’ seven penalties.
Canucks played their best game of the series, while Chicago just could not generate the offense needed to win the game.
Luongo was steady and it was important for the Caucks to get the opening goal tonight to take the Chicago crowd out of the game.
added 10:49pm, Sami Salo of the Canucks took a shot to the groin right as the first period ended. He was taken to the hospital and no update as of yet.
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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