Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News
, In fact, here’s what you have to do for the rest of this series - don’t start watching the games until the third period.
It’s quite bizarre, really, because so far in the first round, the Avs and Wild have done everything they can to put you to sleep early in the evening, then keep you on the edge of your seat as the night goes on and Monday night’s game was no exception.
For two periods in this series, the Wild generally spends most of its time skating backwards through the neutral zone, not bothering to forecheck even on the power play and pretty much choking the life out of the game
from Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post,
Let the mugging begin.
It’s the only way the Minnesota Wild can win.
To advance in the NHL playoffs, the Avalanche must embrace the darkness. When playing this goon-it- up Wild bunch, hockey is a no-holds- barred battle of attrition, not skill.
The only good thing that can be said about Minnesota’s 3-2 overtime victory against Colorado was the game lasted so deep into the night that it ended past the bedtime of most kids who could be frightened by the way the Wild mauls all the beauty from the sport.
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
Pierre Marc-Bouchard’s goal at 11:58 of OT won it for Minnesota, which was the stronger-looking team in the extra session. The goal was the result of the Avs’ Jeff Finger taking the wrong path behind the net to a puck that should have been icing. The puck further took a crazy bounce to Brian Rolston in the right corner, and he fed a wide-open Bouchard for a wrister to the top shelf.
“The puck took a funny hop and we made a mistake on the other side of the net,” Avs coach Joel Quenne-ville said. “They had some good chances in OT.”
Watch the OT Game winner and this play may be proof why no-touch icing won’t work…
from Adrian Dater at All Things Avs,
I’ve definitely noticed it, and so have the players. Simply put, the Pepsi Center has been too much like an art gallery this year. Too much wine and cheese, and not enough nachos and beer. What happened to the wild and crazy Avalanche crowd that used to make a legitimate difference in games?
Why is it that, when Peter Forsberg skated back onto the ice for the first time this year, it was like the reception at a Dennis Kucinich rally? Why were there too many times this year that the Avs game-night entertainment staff had to flash the lame “Make Some Noise” banner on the Jumbotron?
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
Two games into the quarterfinals, Gaborik has no points and three shots. He has been smothered by the Avalanche defense, which was supposed to be its weakness.
“There’s not a lot of room out there, so I’ve got to try to create room by skating, by changing my game up a little bit,” Gaborik said. “I have to find the room. I have to. There’s always an Avs sweater on you. I have to work for [space].”
via All Things Avs,
Sorry to inform you, Minnesotans. I mean, we in Denver know you’re so much smarter about hockey than us Cowtown folk, but last I checked hooking is against the rules. We know, we know. It can’t happen in the last minute of a game. That’s “not right.” That’s not hockey.
So, suck it up, get the pacifiers out of your mouths and LET’S….PLAY…HOCKEY!
from Tom Powers of the Pioneer Press,
Knuckles still white? Oh, and did you think you had curses like that inside of you?
Up and down and round and round she goes. Welcome to the Stanley Cup playoffs. Pass the antacids. Heck, pass the bottle.
It’s tough to imagine going through four series like this. But that’s what the eventual Stanley Cup champion will have to do. And then it’s time for a summer of therapy. Not for the players, but for the fans. This is nuts.
“Oh yeah, we feel it too,” Eric Belanger insisted after the Wild’s 3-2 overtime victory.
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
Could this be Joe Sakic’s last postseason before retirement?
Could this playoff run — however long it lasts — be the last Avalanche fans see of him in a Colorado uniform before he stands at a podium, likely wipes away a tear or two, and says it was fun while it lasted?
Sakic has always had that knack of avoiding crushing contact — not running from it, but minimizing it with deft and instinctive maneuvering. That’s one of the secrets of his longevity, resilience and long-term effectiveness.
He has the same sense of anticipation for oncoming questions.
From John Branch at the New York Times (Wednesday edition),
“I wish I had played 40 games instead of 9, but that’s just the way it is,” Forsberg said in the locker room Sunday. “On the other hand, I should be pretty rested coming into the playoffs.”
Ploy or not, fans have found themselves attracted, again, to Forsberg’s rare blend of grit and artistry. He played his first nine N.H.L. seasons with the franchise, helping lead it to Stanley Cup championships in 1996 and 2001. His vaunted place in local lore was cemented when, during the 2001 playoffs, he had his ruptured spleen removed after helping the Avalanche clinch a spot in the conference finals.
from Adrian Dater at All Things Avs,
I’m officially picking the Wild in six games over our brave boys.
How could I pick the Wild after I dared to poke some fun at Marian Gaborik and rip the wondrous skills of Derek Boogaard? First of all, settle down all you Wild lovers. It’s a hockey blog for crying out loud. Let’s have a little fun now and then, sheesh.
But I’m picking the Wild because of three guys some of you may never have heard of ’til now: Stephane Veilleux, Branko Radivojevic and Mikko Koivu. Along with being one of the all-time hard-to-pronounce lines, they’re the Wild’s checking line, and I just think they are the major difference over the Avs.
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.
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