Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ian Winwood of the Guardian,
The differing on-ice fortunes of these two franchises can of course be contributed to decisions of personnel. With captain Joe Sakic, Ryan Smyth and the recently returned Peter Forsberg (who these days is a Swede so ineffective the Av’s may as well have signed the chef from the Muppets), the club from Denver have grown old and unreliable. Like a German automobile, the Red Wings have become just the opposite. Players such as Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk are the present and the future of the franchise, not its past.
So decisive does this all appear to be that the Avalanche are beginning finally to resemble the freshman that 12 years ago they actually were. It’s almost as if this were a tale of two cities - expanding, affluent, attractive Denver against brutish, dangerous, shrinking Detroit.
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
With the exception of Game 2 in Detroit, the Avs have competed, scrapped, persevered, been resilient and not embarrassed themselves. But the problem is, only in part because of their continuing injury problems, they’re just not anywhere near as good as the Red Wings.
That might be almost as galling to the Avalanche loyalists as the site of all those Red Wings jerseys in the Pepsi Center seats.
The latest unofficial count is that 324,000 former Michigan residents now live in Colorado; and sometimes it seems that 323,284 of them claim to have had been at every Red Wings game until they moved.
But that’s not the Red Wings’ fault.
Colorado has a tiered roster, finished out with grit.
The Wings have skill throughout, and that’s why they’re about to end the Avalanche season.
via Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
The officiating in this Game 3 is god-awful, and two good teams like these deserve better.
Peter Forsberg’s goalie interference penalty in the second period was one of the worst calls I’ve seen in a long, long time. What’s the penalty, competing to try and get your stick on the puck and score a goal in front of the net?
Henrik Zetterberg was called for a phantom interference penalty in the second, and Cody McLeod was called for high-sticking in the first period when his stick never touched….anybody.
I also thought Samuelsson dove on that “high-stick” of Forsberg’s in the second, giving the Wings a four-minute PP.
note: added by Dater sometime overnight to his blog…
Update: OK, I guess Sammy lost a tooth on that play. I didn’t see that at first, and should have pointed that out. But I still don’t think Forsberg’s stick was very high. It was more of an accident to me than a high stick.
Cudos to Adrian doing the update he did in blogger fashion. Too many time bloggers decide to sneak in or delete a line or two, hoping they won’t be caught.
Noted by Rick Sadowski in the Rocky Mountain News:
Red Wings forward Darren McCarty is convinced Forsberg will play.
“I’m pretty sure, unless Forsberg’s leg’s going to fall off, he’ll probably be in there for Game 3,” McCarty said. “They’re a veteran team. They’re well-coached and they’ve got guys that have been in different situations like this before. It’s not like they’re a young team.”
from the National Post,
Prior to Game 3 in Colorado, the 36-year-old spoke to the Post about the Avalanche-Red Wings rivalry, the lack of original nicknames in the NHL, and possibly replacing Mark Messier as the new spokesman for Lays potato chips.
National Post Is it different playing in Joe Louis Arena as a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets than as a Colorado Avalanche?
Adam Foote Yeah. [The Jackets] just didn’t have the history that [the Avalanche] had. That’s probably why. It seemed that both teams approached it the same way. [The Detroit-Colorado rivalry] was fun, it was exciting, it was intense. It was as close as you’re going to get to things like that without getting in trouble by the law. There was some pretty nasty stuff going on. It was a very intense series.
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
He entered the zone of diminished returns.
There is no turning back.
Forsberg has become more trouble than he is worth. His unreliability is demoralizing.
It raised eyebrows when he was in and out of the lineup down the stretch of the regular season after signing with Colorado on Feb. 25.
This raises doubts.
At this time of year, in the most relentlessly testing of professional sports’ postseasons, any skepticism — even subconscious — about a teammate’s resolve is a major problem.
from Jason Kay of the Hockey News,
At what point does secondary scoring become primary?
That’s the question we asked ourselves as “second-liners” Johan Franzen (three goals) and Valtteri Filppula (one) helped propel the Detroit Red Wings to an easy 5-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche Saturday afternoon.
For Franzen, it was the second consecutive multi-goal contest, giving him the team and league lead with seven. And the talented Swede can score them in a variety of ways.
continued & some ref talk too…
added 8:22pm, from the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs blog at CBC,
“He’s got a hot stick right now,” Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville said. “Everything he touches seems to be going in. I think we need to be a little tighter around the net and make it a little more challenging in that area.”
Yeah, just a little. The Avs were thoroughly embarrassed in this one, getting outshot 40-20. The team has lost six straight to Detroit this season, and four straight in the playoffs since 2002.
“We’ve got to regroup, and figure out how we’re going to get better,” said captain Joe Sakic, who has no points in the series.
from the CP via TSN,
Colorado Avalanche forward Wojtek Wolski will not play in Game 2 against the Detroit Red Wings and likely will miss the rest of the second-round series because of an upper-body injury.
Wolski was hurt in Detroit’s 4-3 win Thursday night.
Star forward Peter Forsberg, who was scratched from the series opener with a groin injury, is questionable for Game 2.
Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville expects Jose Theodore to play Saturday after being pulled and sent to the hotel during Game 1 because he was sick.
from Duffer’s Dabbles,
As a youngster in Calgary, Colorado’s Ryan Smyth grew up watching the heated Battle of Alberta between the Flames and Edmonton Oilers in the 1980s and then got to experience it as a member of the Oilers. Though admitting it’s a close call, he goes with Edmonton-Calgary as the nastier feud than Detroit-Colorado. “That’s tough,” Smyth admitted. “Back in the day, we saw a huge rivalry (between the Flames and Oilers), but over the course of the mid-nineties, these guys, Detroit and Colorado had some wars. It’s comparable, but I think it’s a little different in Canada.”
more on the Detroit/Colorado series…
from Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star,
In the roiling cauldron that was Joe Louis Arena, where fans were alternating covering their eyes or leaping to their feet, Detroit goalie Chris Osgood was oblivious to the stress.
His so-called fun peaked with 8.4 seconds left in game when John-Michael Liles had the game on his stick and 20,066 fans had their hearts in their mouths.
However, Osgood plucked the puck and a victory out of mid-air to give the Detroit Red Wings a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche Thursday in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal at Joe Louis Arena.
thanks to a KK member for the pointer…
Watch the above mentioned save by Osgood…
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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