Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the StarPhoenix,
Milt Kerpan's vantage point of Dustin Tokarski has changed. What he's seeing from the goaltender through his television has not.
"Watching him play as a youngster, he found a way to stop the puck," said Kerpan, who coached minor hockey in Watson for 22 years. "It was sometimes a bit unorthodox; sometimes very cool and calm. He would never get rattled. He would just focus and keep on going. "I kept thinking back to what I had seen as he played through his minor hockey and midget and junior." Tokarski, 24, has created plenty of buzz after guiding the Montreal Canadiens back into their Eastern Conference final series against the New York Rangers on Thursday night. He made 35 stops in a 3-2 overtime victory in Game 3. The Watson native was called into duty by the Canadiens after Carey Price was injured earlier in the series.
He's gone from being the third-stringer keeper to all the rage in the farming community - especially for Habs fans like Kerpan. "To have one of our own kids from town playing for Montreal is just tremendously exciting," Kerpan said. "Everyone in town is talking about it.
Everyone in town is following it to see how he does.
"You want to see him play well. You want to see him enjoy the experience. You just keep cheering for him and cheering for him."
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
Good work, NHL. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it as long as this nonsense keeps happening: The NHL needs guys like Brandon Prust and Dan Carcillo to keep its players safe from guys like Brandon Prust and Dan Carcillo. And the NHL and its culture of violence is every bit as culpable for all of this as the perpetrators were.
Was Carcillo guilty of an enormous brain cramp when he whacked Driscoll with his stick? Yes, but it should come as no surprise because the guys like him who are employed to keep the temperature down are the ones who cause the vast majority of this kind of stuff. Did Prust intend to hurt Stepan or did he target Stepan’s head? No, but players like Prust make their living doing things like, among other things, “finishing their checks” which is code for making them pay for carrying the puck or making a pass.
The league maintains that the Prust his was not a headshot in the classic sense – that the hit began at Stepan’s chest and landed on his jaw without intent to target his head. That’s why he wasn’t suspended under Rule 48. We get that. But when four officials are on the ice and either don’t see that or the game is too fast for them to make a decision on it, then it’s time the video replay department in Toronto took control over the decisions the way they do with disputed goals.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Two games. This is the uh, price, of an eye for eye in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Two games. This is the woeful response of the NHL to an act of frontier justice that injures an opponent.
Two games for the Canadiens’ Brandon Prust for breaking Derek Stepan’s jaw with a late hit from the blindside that caught the Blueshirts center in the face just 2:55 into Thursday’s Game 3 at the Garden … a hit for which the Montreal winger was not penalized by the grossly incompetent officiating crew, featuring referees Kevin Pollock and Marc Joannette.
added 9:13am, from Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun,
The slow motion really does show how fluid this game really is.
Here is the explanation of the two game suspension.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Imagine Dustin Tokarski's reaction had someone suggested to him seven days ago that he'd be leading the Montreal Canadiens to an overtime playoff victory at Madison Square Garden in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.
"I'd think they had a little too much to drink," the humble kid from Humboldt, Saskatchewan, said with a laugh. "But you know, that's what the sport is all about. You never know what can happen and I'm just taking it all in right now."
Channeling his inner-Steve Penney circa 1984, Tokarski inserted his name into NHL playoff lore Thursday night, stopping 35 of 37 shots with Montreal's season, for all intents and purposes, on the line as the Habs prevailed in a thrilling 3-2 OT affair, cutting the New York Rangers' series lead to 2-1.
"Dustin Tokarski was phenomenal tonight," said Habs head coach Michel Therrien. "He's a battler, and most important thing, he's a winner."
With each impressive save Thursday night, Tokarski gave his teammates more and more reason to believe they can still win without injured star goalie Carey Price.
No penalty on the play.
No doubt about it, Montreal needs to win tonight in New York in order to have any chance to win this series.
Down 0-2, the Habs will need to play desperate hockey tonight and also try to solve the goaltending of Henrik Lundqvist.
It certainly can be done but the Rangers may have to say something about it.
Enjoy and as always, feel free to comment on the game or anything hockey related.
The puck drops just after 8:00pm and you can watch on NBCSN, CBC or RDS.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
When times were good in Montreal, there was some talk that the Canadiens might actually consider bidding for Vanek in free agency. Now, it seems highly unlikely, given what a negligible impact he’s had on their run to the semi-finals.
But will Minnesota welcome him now, after making inquiries at the deadline, but ultimately settling for Matt Moulson, because the acquisition cost and the dollars out were more affordable? Moulson wasn’t a great fit in Minnesota and the New York Islanders would do well to try and kiss and make up, after dealing him for Vanek in the first place. Minnesota has the great good fortune of having Dany Heatley’s $7-million cap hit disappear after this season, but committing that money to Vanek, a player of questionable playoff pedigree, seems ill-advised at this stage. The Wild seem to have a good thing going, with the group they’ve assembled now. Sitting out free agency this summer makes the most sense for them.
more hockey topics including the Pittsurgh Penguins and Mike Ricards...
from Dave Stubbs of Hockey Inside/Out,
Here is my talk with Geoff Molson, edited only for clarity:
• If your team’s season ends in the next few days, after three rounds in the playoffs, would you classify it as a success?
A: Success comes in phases. During the regular season, there are periods when you want to be successful so you can make the playoffs. That’s Step 1. Once you make the playoffs, well, two of the four teams still playing had fewer points than us.
If we get to the Stanley Cup final, and if L.A. gets to the final, we’d have home-ice advantage. Once you make the playoffs, anything can happen. I’ve seen it twice in my short tenure here.
The way Marc is building this organization gives me more confidence. My definition of success is the confidence that we’re building one heck of an organization here. Building is the key word. Building and developing. (Three rounds in) 2010 was awesome. It was a great ride. People were falling in love with the team.
But we all sort of knew deep down inside that, even though it was amazing, it wasn’t really meant to happen. Our organization, the way it’s being built now, we’re going to be a team that’s going to be able to make the playoffs every year and it’s going to be less amazing if they do really well because it’s going to be a strong organization, strong with the people who are building it.
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.
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