Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Helene St. James at the Detroit Free Press,
Any team that wins the Stanley Cup always gets a few lucky breaks along the way; and if the Stars could upset the Canucks, that means the Sharks and Ducks get to beat up on each other in round two, leaving the winner bruised and battered for the Conference Finals. The Sharks and Ducks are widely considered the two best teams in the West, for while they won fewer games than the Wings, they played in a much tougher conference (division).
from the Calgary Herald,
While Miikka Kiprusoff dragged his Calgary Flames around for six playoff games, a much more subtle, equally impressive show of domination was being exerted by Nicklas Lidstrom.
The Detroit Red Wings captain was matched against Calgary captain Jarome Iginla throughout this Western Conference quarter-final series.
Apart from the fact Lidstrom’s team won four times and Iginla’s side twice, there’s a small mountain of evidence that supports the quality of Lidstrom’s performance.
I have to be honest with you, as a Wings fan, we normally don’t hear the phrase, “The Wings are running the goalie in every game.”
In a way, that is the type of team Detroit fans have been waiting for, but I really don’t see much of the “goalie running” everyone is talking about.
Do the Wings really run the goalie? What do you think about that fans, both Wings and fans of the other teams.
The Hockey News comments on yesterday’s action…
•I’d imagine the Lightning’s loss will mean one of their big three (Richards, Martin St-Louis, Vincent Lecavalier) will be on the move this summer. Tampa GM Jay Feaster can’t go into the 2007-08 season so top-heavy in payroll and he needs to improve his defense.
•I don’t buy the theory that older teams tend to wear down during overtime or late in a series. The Red Wings looked young and strong throughout the overtime of Game 6, the seventh-plus period of hockey they played in about 33 hours. A younger Calgary team looked wasted at times. Durability is all about conditioning and drive, not age.
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
They couldn’t do it last year at home against Anaheim and they definitely couldn’t have done it in Detroit, where the Flames were made to look uglier than the city.
Oh sure they put in a gusty effort last night—a showing that did them, the city and the fans proud.
But in the end their admirable refusal to die made for a more heartbreaking end to a frustrating season.
That said, a win would only have made the Game 7 loss harder.
Finally a road team wins. Franzen with the goal in 2OT.
If Vancouver wins tomorrow, Wings will play San Jose at home on Thursday or Friday.
If Dallas Wins, Wings will play the Stars, again either Thursday or Friday at home.
OK, who is still around?
Will it end in 2OT?
via Darren Dreger at TSN,
The National Hockey League has delivered a message to the Calgary Flames.
Sources say Jamie McLennan has been suspended for five games for his slash on Detroit’s Johan Franzen in Game 5 of the Western Conference quarter-finals.
McLennan’s slash was part of an undisciplined display from Calgary that included a Daymond Langkow uppercut to the face of Brett Lebda following a Lebda hip-check, along with a Jarome Iginla butt-end, leading to a late game crosscheck on Red Wings veteran Mathieu Schneider.
Brett Lebda will not play tonight for Detroit because of injury. Lebda is said to be suffering “headaches.”
added 2:31pm, Playfair fined $25K and the organization $100K, per NBC broadcast.
added 2:32pm, NHL Release
Behind the Jersey has done some deep digging this morning… via the Daily Tribune,
Holland screamed at an NHL official following Detroit’s 5-1 victory over the Calgary Flames in Game 5 of the Western Conference quarterfinals, a contest that turned testy in the final minutes on Saturday at Joe Louis Arena. …
After the game, an angry Holland confronted NHL executive Frank Brown in the hallway outside the Red Wings locker room.
“You tell us to pussy-foot around the media,” Holland yelled. “Give them some (expletive) suspensions.”
from Mike Brophy & Edward Fraser of the Hockey News,
Two questions immediately spring to mind: Why the heck was Iginla on the ice in the first place? And what was Calgary coach Jim Playfair thinking? Maybe he should change his name to Playdirty.
The Flames are a very good hockey team, but they showed no class in losing on Saturday.
more and some Stars/Cahucks talk too
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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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