Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
On Thursday evening, a rickety old contraption pulled up in front of the Anaheim Ducks’ dressing room and someone yelled, “Redemption bus, all aboard.”
And pretty much every Ducks player, who had been lousy or invisible or yanked or hurt or not even playing in this series, jumped on board.
The redemption bus that carried the Ducks to this strange and somewhat improbable 5-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings wasn’t necessarily a thing of beauty. Much like this game, it had its warts, noisy springs and a bit of a foul smell about it. Think “Partridge Family” meets “Christine” and you’re close to understanding this conveyance.
Ducks even up the series with a 5-3 victory over Detroit tonight.
Now a best two out of three series, with 2 of those games in Detroit.
Watch the post game interviews (will become available shortly after the game).
added 5:36pm, from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
McLennan said: “Holmstrom has unbelievable moves. They’re not in your face. It’s guarding. It’s like – and here McLennan put his palm an inch from my face, completely blocking my view and said, in a children’s mocking, sing-song voice – ‘not touching you, not touching you.’”
Pre-game Q & A with Babcock and Carlyle…
Q. Do you try to do anything to exploit the fact that Pronger is not there or could you just play your game?
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: You always know who’s on the ice, who you’re playing against. We’ll do the same as always. What I found in this playoffs, if you go through our group, you know, we’re missing lots of people. I’d say we’re missing two of the top three on our team.
To me, they’re going to use that as a rallying thing. We’re going to use it as it doesn’t make any difference, we got to keep playing, playing hard, playing intelligent, keep our composure, get after them.
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
It is almost sacrilege to suggest, but it is nonetheless patently clear that this Detroit Red Wings team is far better team now that icons and legends Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan are gone.
This is not to diminish in any way the contributions both these players made to the Red Wings. Both are Hall of Fame material—Yzerman a first-ballot Hall of Famer to be sure. Both were crucial elements of three Stanley Cup teams between 1997 and 2002. Yzerman was the playoff MVP in 1998.
Each was, in their own way, a significant part of the team’s identity through the 1990s, a time when the Red Wings were the toast of the Motor City and the envy of other NHL franchises.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
It’s the kind of decision that could easily cost the Ducks Game 4 on Thursday. And if it costs them Game 4 it will give Detroit a 3-1 series lead and hence almost certainly cost the Ducks the series. And by extension, a loss to Detroit Thursday will likely cost the Ducks a trip to the Stanley Cup and the Cup itself.
If there has been a suspension handed down to a more high profile player than Pronger, a former Hart Trophy winner and nominated once again this year for the Norris Trophy, at a more crucial time of the season in recent memory, we couldn’t recall it.
But that’s the point of the matter, isn’t it?
read on, including Brian Burke comments…
added 8:37pm, more on this from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail…
from Scott Morrison at CBC,
What to do with Anaheim Ducks defenceman Chris Pronger, that is the question being pondered today?
It says here Pronger should be suspended for at least one game, maybe two.
Pronger is a great player to be sure, but he made a mistake Tuesday night, and it could have been a great big mistake, when he drove Tomas Holmstrom’s head into the glass in the second period of an eventual 5-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings, the Ducks trailing by four at the time.
added 12:07pm, from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Speaking of Niedermayer and Pronger: both deserve at least a one-game suspension for their tag-team assault on Detroit’s Tomas Holmstrom. But I won’t be surprised if neither player receives supplementary discipline, mainly because Daniel Alfredsson got away with a similar cheapshot on Henrik Tallinder in Game 2 of the Sabres-Sens series.
from Mike Brophy at the Hockey News,
Since the game started at 6 p.m. Anaheim time, the seats were quite empty at the start of the contest as fans battled awful traffic trying to make it to the Honda Center. However, of those who made it in time for the game, many chanted “Red Wings Suck! Red Wings suck!” repeatedly a minute into game. Not exactly what I’d call classy.
more on the game…
from The Spin, a blog by Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Pronger’s hit was to the head, it was from behind, it drew blood and it had fans in Anaheim baying for more blood given that the Ducks had got Holmstrom, probably the most troublesome Detroit player in the series so far.
Understand this. The NHL adores mayhem. It likes blood. It wants to see players like Holmstrom have their heads split open and bleeding, and to have those “highlights” shown on television throughout Canada and the U.S. It wants hockey to be seen as a sport in which Wes Craven would feel welcome.
from Randy Youngman of the OC Register,
The referees stopped play to mete out punishment — surprisingly, Niedermayer received a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct, even though it seemed Pronger had more to do with Holmstrom’s face being bloodied — but the cheering continued, unfortunately.
It’s OK to applaud a big hit by the home team, but it’s not all right to keep cheering lustily when an injured opponent lies motionless on the ice, bleeding from the forehead, as Holmstrom was after being sandwiched by Niedermayer and Pronger.
Too bad the penalty box wasn’t large enough to accommodate all of the spectators who were guilty of poor sportsmanship on this night.
more on the game…
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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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