Kukla's Korner Hockey
After picking the winning team in six of the eight first round series it is time to make predictions for the second round set to face off tonight already as the Montreal Canadiens visit Boston to take on the Bruins at 7:30 p.m. EST on NBCSN, CBC, and RDS
Boston Bruins over Montreal Canadiens in 6
After eliminating the Lightning in four games the Canadiens have at the longest out of any of the second round teams. Boston, predicted by many to be cup favorites, took out the Detroit Red Wings and exposed them as a young team that still needs to smooth out their game before contender status can be given back to those in the Winged Wheel.
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Well what a night that was! Three Game Sevens and now we start the second round later today.
Before the second round starts let’s take a look at how we did predicting the first round.
Huge night for hockey fans out there! Kings, avs and rangers are my picks!— anthony brodeur (@abrodeur30) April 30, 2014
I will put my own predictions up to bat:
Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Welcome to the late late show!
Having three series extend to the full seven games it meant a lot of meaningful hockey last night and it all started at 7 p.m. EST and ended at …
So how did the teams do last night?
Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks, NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
from Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post,
All Avalanche center Paul Stastny has riding on this game is $20 million. Or is it $30 million? And if an athlete refuses to choke on such immense pressure, doesn't he deserve to be richly rewarded?
This is Stastny's time to be a money player.
By its very definition, Game 7 of an NHL playoff series is a must win.
But nobody needs to beat the Minnesota Wild more than Stastny. He will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. Who knows? If the Avs lose, Stastny could be wearing a Colorado sweater for the last time.
"You don't know. I don't know, either," Stastny said Tuesday. "Sometimes you think about it a little bit ..."
Here's the truth: During the final year of his contract, new Avalanche management needed to win over Stastny more than the veteran center needed to prove his worth. If not for a remarkable team turnaround, there would be little chance for Colorado to retain Stastny.
from the CP at TSN,
...Roy's reminding his youthful team of one simple thing: Enjoy the moment.
"How good is this?" Roy said. "They're excited about it and they should be. ... We're playing Game 7 in our building, in front of our fans."
In this series, home ice is a pretty big deal. All six games in this tightly contested matchup have been decided during the waning moments, with the home team capturing each one.
Wild coach Mike Yeo has a stirring pregame speech all prepared for just the occasion, a few well-chosen words to put into his players' ears before they hit the ice and hear the clamour of the crowd.
Care to share the highlights?
"Then it wouldn't be very inspirational," Yeo joked.
Minnesota will try to neutralize the noise with another sizzling start. The Wild have scored the first goal in four of the games.
For all the magic of this Avs season – and no matter what happens Wednesday, it’s been a fun one – this team still has no real killer instinct. They should have finished that team off tonight, but got a little self satisfied after that great second period. They need to find a way, in the future, of winning games easier. You can’t wait ’til you’re down in games all the time before you really start playing. You can’t pull the goalie late in games and get away with it all the time.
-Adrain Dater on the Colorada Avalanche after losing game 6 to the Minnesota Wild. Read more from Dater on this topic at All Things Avs.
from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,
The Wild must move on. Must-win Game 6 Monday night at 8 at the X.
That’s why Mike Yeo absolutely took the right tack in his postgame presser after the Wild’s back-breaking 4-3 overtime loss tonight in Game 5 of the Western Conference quarterfinals.
Nathan MacKinnon, held to no points and three shots in Games 3 and 4, capped another 3-point night by becoming the second-youngest player in NHL history (18 years, 237 days) to score a playoff OT winner (Don Gallinger was 17 years, 339 days when he scored an OT winner for Boston on March 21, 1943 against Montreal.) He now has 10 points in three home games.
The Wild coach could have come in screaming and yelling about Paul Stastny looking offside (eerily for the second time this season against the Wild on a Colorado goal), this time leading to P.A. Parenteau’s tying goal with 1:14 left to force overtime.
Below, watch the questionable tying goal by Parenteau and the OT game-winner by MacKinnon...
The main topic tonight is the Matt Cooke suspension plus a few other topics...
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
What a lost week that was for this team. The Avs came to St. Paul up 2-0 in this series, against a team that just made a goalie change, with grumbling about the coach and all those underperforming big-money stars and…now the Wild are looking like the greatest team on earth, while the Avs look like a shabby jalopy belching exhaust, just trying to get to the gas station for a few bucks of unleaded.
What’s going on? The Wild adjusted their defense, that’s what. They are “tracking” the puck carriers of the Avs much better, going at them with a couple checkers, with a third forward just on the outside ready to take away the puck if the other two teammates get it loose. The Wild defensemen hung back a bit too much in the first two games, but now they are higher in the neutral zone, getting to Avs puck carriers higher in the ice and making it an obstacle course for Avs forwards to fight through just to get the pucks on their dump-ins — many of which don’t get through because the lead dump guy is being challenged right at the red line.
There are so many other problems hurting the team right now, most having to with injuries. Damn injuries – they always spoil all the fun. Matt Duchene still isn’t ready yet. John Mitchell can’t do much more than just stretches with a long rubber band. He has not attempted to skate since getting hurt at the end of the year.
Of course, no Tyson Barrie anymore. That 6-on-4 at the end sure would have been a good place to use a Barrie, eh? He’s not here anymore, though, because of gutless puke Matt Cooke.
from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,
Matt Cooke, suspended seven games for injuring Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie with a knee-on-knee hit Monday night, addressed the media this afternoon.
Cooke didn’t field questions but made an unwritten statement.
“First and foremost, I want to say that I’m disappointed and sorry that Tyson Barrie can’t play for the Colorado Avalanche tonight. I wish that he could. Unfortunately, it was not my intent to collide with him knee-on-knee. It was my intent to finish my check. Playoffs are a hard and physical time and it’s my job to be physical. I’ve led my team in hits in all three games and it’s an intense time. I’ve led my team this year in hits and in this series.
“Since March 20, 2011 (the elbow to Ryan McDonagh that resulted in a 17-game suspension), I’ve been a changed player. I’ve approached the game differently, I think differently about the game. That stats that I’ve collected over those three seasons prove that I’m a changed player and the plays that I make and the plays that I don’t make prove to that point as well. At the end of the day, this situation was not my intent.”
Cooke has until tomorrow night to decide if he will appeal his suspension to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. Cooke didn’t respond when I asked if he would.
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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