Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Windsor Star,
Barring a last-second setback, Detroit Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg declared himself ready to play in Thursday’s opening game of the Western Conference quarter-final against the Calgary Flames.
Zetterberg, who hasn’t played since Feb. 24 because of an inflamed disc in his back, participated in a full practice for the first time Monday at Joe Louis Arena.
“I feel better than I did last week,” Zetterberg said….
Babcock said Todd Bertuzzi, who was diagnosed with a mild concussion after colliding with goalie Chris Osgood in a game last Thursday, will be re-examined by doctors later this week before he’s cleared to play.
“I think he will (play), but I don’t know for sure,” Babcock said.
from Mark Herrmann at Newsday,
The one who makes the franchise go - and made it go beyond logic Sunday - is the man behind the bench.
You can tell the players know it. They violated hockey tradition and their own instincts after that heart-stopping, last-second Devils goal and the heart-thumping shootout win Sunday. Instead of jumping immediately onto the ice, which is what hockey players do when they are on the bench and something remarkable happens, they stood right where they were. They all had to congratulate coach Ted Nolan.
“That was unexpected,” Nolan said yesterday.
added 7:02am, also from Newsday,
Although he hopes to participate in the playoffs, DiPietro said he first must be able to resume playing hockey in practice without symptoms before he even can take the neuro-psychological test he must pass in order to be cleared to play.
“The test is a few more steps away,” DiPietro told Newsday yesterday. “It’s an interesting process, but there’s a lot of things you need to do and be symptom-free before you go back to take that test. I’ll be doing some stuff on my own [today]. I think it depends on how I feel. It’s definitely a frustrating deal.”
from the Vancouver Province,
Talk softly and carry a big stick. Players often preach that credo, but few put it into practice like Sami Salo.
As the owner of one of the NHL’s most feared slapshots—the Vancouver Canucks defenceman was ranked third in a Sports Illustrated players poll—Salo can make a difference in a chess-match playoff series with the Dallas Stars that may be settled by special-teams execution.
“They’re going to be hard-battle games and special teams are going to be crucial,” predicted Salo, who scored five of his 14 goals this season on the power play. “And they’re not going to be high-scoring because both teams have great goaltending and play their systems well.
from Dave Dye of the Detroit News,
According to a report Saturday on CBC-TV’s Hockey Night in Canada, around 2,500 Wings season-ticket holders declined to buy playoff tickets.
“I couldn’t tell you either way,” Hahn said when asked about the report. “I don’t know who they got that number from.”
As for an estimate on the number of tickets available, Hahn said, “I don’t have a specific count.
“But there’s less available for Game 1 than Game 2 and 5 and 7, and there’s more for Round 2 than in Round 1.”
added 6:54am, Make sure to read IwoCPO’s take on this at A2Y.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Murray told reporters that if Therrien wants to try to intimidate the Senators in the best-of-seven series that starts tomorrow at Scotiabank Place, then the Penguins can expect Ottawa to push right back.
“However we’re treated, we’ll treat the other team. If they give us 10:30 (a.m.) ice times, we’ll give them 10:30 (a.m.) ice times. If they run our goaltender, we will look after that area of the game as well,” said Murray. “That’s the way I have always tried to operate: You do to something to us and I’m going to make sure my team does the same thing. We’re not going to take a back seat to anybody.”
from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Five reasons they can win it-
Heart. It’s not going to be easy to drive a stake through this team, which is among the best in winning percentage when trailing after the first or second period. Those young legs help in comeback situations, and no player in the league has a bigger heart than veteran winger Gary Roberts.
Five reasons they can’t win it-
Faceoffs. Don’t laugh. Consider the game eight days ago in Toronto, when a lost faceoff in overtime led directly to the Maple Leafs’ winning goal. The Penguins have been the worst faceoff team in the NHL all season and do not have a go-to guy.
read on for all of the other reasons…
From San Jose Mercury News,
Craig Rivet never found much to celebrate when spring rolled around during his 11 seasons in Montreal.
The weather was still miserable in April, and it usually matched the mood of the Canadiens’ fans and media who sometimes seemed personally offended by anything less than perfection.
“It’s not a good thing,” the veteran defenseman said. “It’s a very tough place to play. ... That’s Montreal for me. It’s a city of, ‘What can you do for me right now?’”
During his first six weeks with the San Jose Sharks, Rivet has been reintroduced to the simple joys of professional hockey…
via Russo’s Rants,
The Wild originally believed its playoff series against the Ducks would start on Thursday. On Sunday, however, the team was informed that it would play Wednesday at Anaheim.
Coach Jacques Lemaire simply said, “you don’t want my comment,” when asked for his reaction. This isn’t a surprise. Preparation is one reason for Lemaire’s success so you had to figure when he got the call Sunday about the schedule there were a few choice words tossed around.
If Lemaire had known the Wild would play Wednesday he would have had his players on the ice Sunday. Instead, he gave them the day off. As a result, Lemaire ended up having to cover more ground during Monday’s practice than he wanted to.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
According to Regehr, Datsyuk can present “a lot of challenges sometimes. He’s an extremely good one-on-one player. He’s probably top-10 in the NHL in that department. If you get caught watching the puck on him, you’re in a lot of trouble.
“There’s also his passing — he’s a very good set-up man. It depends upon who Detroit has playing with him, but if those guys get open, he’s extremely talented and able to find them with good passes, so you’ve got to make sure you’re on him all the time quickly and be very physical on him to try and take away those options.”
All this presupposes that Regehr will be available for the opener. He injured his leg in the first period of last Thursday’s loss to the San Jose Sharks and hasn’t played since.
from Pierre Lebrun of the CP via the Globe and Mail,
The NHL has no plans to expand the playoff pool to more teams.
The Colorado Avalanche were 13 games over .500 and couldn’t find a spot in the competitive Western Conference playoff party and the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens and Carolina Hurricanes had decent seasons but commissioner Gary Bettman is satisfied with the current format which sees 16 of 30 clubs make it to the post-season.
“The fact is that you wouldn’t necessarily have these exciting races in the regular season if you expanded the number of teams in the playoffs,” Bettman told The Canadian Press on Monday.
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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