Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
Adrian Dater of the Denver Post feels the Sharks would have been a better matchup for the Avs instead of the Wild.
Watch Adrian in action…
from Adrian Dater at All Things Avs,
The Avs no doubt are saying their prayers that a guy like Boogaard will be in the lineup a LOT in this series. He’s slow, not skilled and if he wants to fight guys all night and/or take dumb penalties, the Avs will take that all night long.
I don’t know what to think about the Wild. They’re a very good team, fast, with some good skill. But their defense isn’t overpowering. I mean, this is a D that suits up a has-been like Sean Hill, a soon-to-be has-been like Keith Carney and, lest anybody in Denver forget, Martin Skooooo(no, those are boos)la.
But I got a whiff tonight of a team that talks a little too much for one that has won the square root of Sweet Fanny Adam in this league.
from Adrian Dater at the Denver Post,
A lot of people on the Avalanche don’t have a contract for next season — including the coach, Joel Quenneville. Avs general manager Francois Giguere said Thursday it is too soon to discuss the future of Quenneville or any of the other potential high-profile unrestricted free agents.
“When the season’s over, we’re going to sit down and really evaluate all our guys,” Giguere said. “We have coaches, we have players (unsigned), but I’m not in a position where I want to discuss those things.”
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
Because of the NCAA Frozen Four at the Pepsi Center, the Avs will start a first-round series on the road, even if they win the division and gain home-ice advantage - still a possibility. For that to happen, the Avs will need to beat Minnesota in regulation Sunday in their season finale, and have Calgary win in regulation tonight against the Wild but then lose to Vancouver in the Flames” final game.
Giguere said a schedule hasn’t been finalized with the NHL should the above happen, but most likely the Avs would have a 2-3-1-1 format, with a seventh game at the Pepsi Center.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org