Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Here along the edge of the Detroit River in the place they call Hockeytown is where making history and repeating history intersects.
The Detroit Red Wings (desperate to recapture some Stanley Cup magic in the face of a string of playoff letdowns) and the San Jose Sharks (desperate to make good on Stanley Cup expectations instead of becoming the Ottawa Senators of the West) find themselves deadlocked at two games apiece with a pivotal fifth game set for Saturday afternoon.
from the CP via the Sporting News,
“Once you’ve experienced it, winning the Stanley Cup is something you can never get enough of,” Draper said. “We’ve been fortunate to win three Cups in the last 10 years.
“Ask anyone in this dressing room and the guys who have won it want it more and the guys who haven’t won it want to experience it for the first time. That’s what makes this time of year so great, given the opportunity that sits there right in front of you.
“When you do win, it’s the most rewarding feeling a hockey player can have. Two months of traveling and playing every other night, the sacrifices you make and your family makes and, when the moment arrives when you’ve got that Stanley Cup, everything is worthwhile.”
SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks announced today that Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals between the Sharks and Red Wings on Monday, April 7 is TBD at 6 or 7 p.m (Pacific). and will be broadcast on FSN-HD.
The exact start time is conditional to the New Jersey and Ottawa game on Saturday evening. Should New Jersey win on Saturday, there will be a Game Six between Ottawa and New Jersey on Monday. In this situation, the Sharks and Red Wings game will begin at 7 p.m. (Pacific).
Should Ottawa win the series on Saturday, the Sharks game on Monday will start at 6 p.m. (Pacific).
fro the Detroit Free Press,
Maltby, whom the Wings have signed to a three-year extension worth $2.65 million, joined the Wings on March 20, 1996, almost three years after Draper was acquired during the summer of 1993….
“Both of us enjoy playing with one another,” Draper said. “There’s a real trust factor, especially playing in these big games in these situations.”
thanks to a KK member for the heads up!
from the Hockey News,
• Sharks winger Mike Grier during a second intermission interview with TSN: “We’ve got to get back to playing hockey.”
Glad he cleared up his contractual obligations.
• At this point in the playoffs, whenever I hear a broadcaster use the words “regulation time” during a one-goal game in the late stages of the third period, I wish a small pox (thought not smallpox) on him.
• And, right on schedule, Robert Lang scores with 34 seconds left. Damn you, Chris Cuthbert!
more observations from both games last night…
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
On his goal, Lang said Rivet’s decision to back off surprised him.
“Definitely, it gave me a little more time and space. I think he just didn’t want to risk it, that I would pass it and then Johan [Franzen] would have a breakaway. But he made a split-second decision and I think he made the right one for me.”
Sharks’ coach Ron Wilson was unhappy with his team’s defensive play on the tying goal, by Lang. Without naming names, he suggested his players were cheating on the offensive side of the puck, instead of paying attention to their assignments. For the record, the Sharks’ forwards on the ice for the winning goal were Patrick Marleau, Bill Guerin and Rismiller.
“We blew the game in the last minute,” said Wilson. “They’re a damn good hockey team and they were desperate. We need a couple of guys to wake up in the series, or it’s going to be over….”
Mathieu Schneider scores in OT on the power play to tie the series at 2-2.
Now a best 2 out of 3 series with two games in Detroit and one in San Jose.
from the San Jose Sharks,
Holmstrom is notorious for sitting directly in front of the netminder, and while it may ultimately be the goaltender’s problem, Nabokov is simply the last line of defense and the blueliners and forwards can help deter any potential problems as well.
“He gets there as early as possible,” said Hannan of Holmstrom’s offensive position. “You can get in front of him or lift his stick.”
Being in front of Holmstrom to stop a shot, prevents the goalie from being screened. Working his stick keeps the Red Wings forward from grabbing any rebounds or tipping for a redirect.
“You can’t allow any second chances,” said Hannan. “He’s good at tipping the puck. He knows where to screen and how to tip.”
While the sailor is busy covering ground in record time, I thought I would do a little Wings update.
Red Wings Corner reports Lang needs more ice time and has the possible line combos for tonight’s game. Looks like Hudler is out.
from the San Francisco Chronicle,
Nabokov’s playoff numbers are solid, but in comparison with his contemporaries, not spectacular. Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo and Anaheim’s Jean-Sebastien Giguere have better save percentages, and six of the eight surviving goalies (Luongo, Giguere, Detroit’s Dominik Hasek, the New York Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist, Buffalo’s Ryan Miller and Ray Emery of Ottawa) have better goals-against averages.
Wilson, awash in bias, endorsed his guy without hesitation.
“I’ve seen some soft goals in some of the other series, but Nabby hasn’t let in a soft goal since the playoffs started,” he said. “He’s not just making saves, he isn’t making any mistakes. I don’t think he’s had to steal a game for us, but he’s been error-free.”
more... I normally do not outwardly cheer for the Wings, but since they are my home team and Wilson did bring it up, tonight is the night for a few of those “soft” goals.
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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