Kukla's Korner Hockey
Some times you can take a person out of the environment where bad habits were created and new habits will take that place; then there are times that those old habits return.
Tonight in the Minnesota Wild vs. Colorado Avalanche Game Three this was exactly what happened with Matt Cooke.
from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,
The Wild was in the driver’s seat, up 4-2 in Game 1 until with less than 13 minutes left, Kyle Brodziak burps up a puck to Ryan O’Reilly, Jamie McGinn scores and the rest of the night was pandemonium. The Wild, 5-10 all-time at home in the playoffs, went from potentially being up 1-0 in the series to now being in a 2-0 hole with Game 3 tonight (6 p.m.) at the X.
For the first time in his Wild career, Brodziak will be a healthy scratch tonight. Justin Fontaine and Dany Heatley draw in, Stephane Veilleux and Brodziak come out.
Darcy Kuemper will make his first career playoff start and fourth playoff appearance against Semyon Varlamov. It’s Kuemper’s first start since a concussion and first start since March 27 in St. Louis. Before the injury, the second-half savior won once in his final eight starts, allowing three or more goals in six of those games. He stopped all 14 shots he saw in relief of Ilya Bryzgalov in Game 2, but starting in the playoffs is a different mentality than just getting thrown in. He’s got all day to think and … not freak out.
First, Alex Steen with a goal early in triple OT...
Then below, some magic from Paul Stastny...
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Columbus Blue Jackets
When you're making just your second playoff appearance in franchise history, "dark horse" is a label that applies. If they are somehow able to take down the Metropolitan Division-winning Pittsburgh Penguins, we'll upgrade them to Cinderella status. Could it happen? When you have the defending Vezina Trophy-winning netminder in Sergei Bobrovsky, that's a good place to start....
Detroit Red Wings
When was the last time you heard "Detroit Red Wings" and "dark horse" in the same breath? Still, that's what they are, as they will face the NHL's top regular-season team, the Boston Bruins, in the first round. This has been a difficult season for the Red Wings, who have gone long stretches without top players Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen and Jimmy Howard. But a new generation of Red Wings has emerged, led by scoring sensation Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurco and Riley Sheahan, which has more than picked up the slack. With Datsyuk back in the lineup and Howard back to form after a rocky season, the Wings don't look like a wild-card team....
We're going to start charging Wild GM Chuck Fletcher for our services. The team has been on a tear since we wrote that the common belief was the Wild would boast the NHL's worst playoff goaltending and certainly the worst goaltending of the eight Western Conference playoff teams. The goaltending remains a potentially fatal flaw for a Wild team that has shaken off late-season stutters to play some of its best hockey of the season....
more on each of the three teams...
Here is the video explanation on the suspension...
via Wes Walz tweets,
listening to self proclaimed "hockey experts" call MIke Rupp a goon is wrong! MR never susp EVER and has been honest player his whole career
Tough play with Osh last night,love him as a player BUT don't forget 2 weeks ago when Blues wanted to "send a message" to Wild #livebysword
Moral of the story....play hard ALWAYS and be a TOUGH team to play against but do so....quietly. #headsupwhenheadingintoforest
via Jeremy Rutherford tweets,
Hitch: “The comments by Wes Walz, knowing the (Wild) coaching staff the way I do, I don’t believe they would condone those comments.
Hitch cont'd: "... and quite frankly with a player getting hurt like that, they’re just disgusting."
If you missed the hit from Rupp on Oshie, watch it here...
Mike Rupp will have a phone hearing today with the NHL for this hit on T.J. Oshie.
Oshie is listed as day-to-day byt the Blues.
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
John Curry knew Zach Parise before he was an NHL star and U.S. Olympic captain.
“We played together three years for the Minnesota Blades, plus I remember playing against him in squirts when he was with Bloomington and I was with Minnetonka,” said Curry, 30, a Shorewood native and seventh goaltender to dress for the Wild this season. “You never know for sure when you’re young, but everyone knew back then that he would be one of the best players of our age group.”
Parise laughed last year when Curry, a familiar face from his past, joined the Wild organization on a minor league deal. That contract was turned into an NHL deal in February just in case the Wild ran into injury problems. Of course, the team has with Josh Harding, Niklas Backstrom and Darcy Kuemper on the shelf.
“Twenty years ago, he was a stand-up goalie,” Parise said. “But he was good. He was really good.”
Said the 5-11 Curry, who was a huge North Stars and Jon Casey fan as a kid, “I was a weird style goalie for sure. I’ve always had probably a little different style. When I grew up, they were still teaching skate saves, so there was no butterfly theory yet.”
thanks to a KK member for the pointer
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
For the record, Ilya Bryzgalov is now 4-0-1 since we wrote that the Minnesota Wild would have the worst goaltending in the Western Conference going into the playoffs, and maybe the worst goaltending of all 16 playoff teams regardless of the final grid.
We're not necessarily backing off that suggestion -- rookie Darcy Kuemper is an untested element and slumped before being sidelined by an injury, and we have seen Bryzgalov up close in the playoffs and let's just say the results were not sterling.
Still, kudos to Bryzgalov for stepping into the breach and delivering the kind of starts many believed were beyond him. His current streak includes back-to-back shutouts, including a 1-0 blanking of Winnipeg on Monday in which he stopped 24 shots. Bryzgalov has allowed just five goals in this five-game span that has seen the Wild all but lock up the first wild card spot in the Western Conference.
read on for Custance on John Gibson and the Ducks, LeBrun on the Canucks and Strang on the Devils...
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
Monday night was a good night for the Minnesota Wild. Not only did they land the most sought-after college free agent in defenseman Christian Folin, they earned two huge points in Los Angeles with a 3-2 win over the streaking Kings.
Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov continued to prove his worth as a trade deadline addition with his fourth win with the Wild (4-0-2) and Matt Moulson, another deadline addition, tied the game with his third period goal.
The Wild are in the process of locking down one of the two Western Conference wild card spots, and while their first-round match-up won't be much of a reward -- likely the Blues, Ducks or Sharks -- the Wild proved again they can play with anyone when things are going well.
read on for Burnide on a few topics, LeBrun on the Ducks and Strong on the Devils...
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org