Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Category: NHL-Playoff-Talk

All Sidney Crosby

Sidney Crosby took part in an NHL tele-conference today…

Q. I think everybody knew that the Penguins with the young talent they had were going to be good, but I don’t think anybody knew they would be good this quickly. Can you give us your idea why the Penguins have come together so quickly with the young players they have?
SIDNEY CROSBY: I think it’s been a long time. Starting in goal, I think you have to have a great goalie in order to be successful. Marc has done a great job. Jocelyn, when he’s had the chance to go in, has. Starting there, I just think the young guys that we have really put the pressure on themselves to learn quick. I think everyone has the right attitude on our team, you know, just put a lot of pressure on themselves to learn faster than maybe typically younger guys would have to learn. They’ve really made an impact at a young age. Our veterans, guys like Recchi, Gonchar, Roberts, guys like that have really stepped up and led the way. I think it’s been a combination of things, but all those things combined.

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Ranking Playoff Goaltending

from Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,

So in evaluating each goaltending tandem, here are some different elements to consider:
Who has the biggest drop-off from their starter to their backup? Not surprisingly, that would be New Jersey and Vancouver, as Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo, respectively, render their goaltending partners to paid observer status. If either was ever hurt, could any of us really expect the little-used Scott Clemmensen of the Devils or the equally inactive Danny Sabourin of the Canucks to win a game, never mind a series?
Conversely, teams such as the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks have nearly interchangeable excellence between their two netminders.

more

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The Playoff Officials

from TSN,

The NHL has selected the 20 referees and 20 linesmen who will work the 2007 Stanley Cup playoffs, with one veteran referee surprisingly left off the list.
54 year-old Kerry Fraser, the longest serving referee in NHL history, did not make the cut this year.

read on for the list of officials…

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Welcome The Celebs

NEW YORK (April 9, 2007) – Starting today on NHL.com, celebrities from the television, motion picture and music industries will write exclusive blogs and provide original video content to offer fans a unique perspective of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Through NHL.com, the official web site of the National Hockey League and the leading online community for hockey fans, each celebrity will offer insight on their favorite team’s quest for the Stanley Cup. In addition, using Pure Digital’s new Flip Video™ - the only camcorder that connects directly to YouTube – the bloggers will capture and instantly share the original video content on YouTube at youtube.com/nhl. The Playoffs begin Wednesday night.

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The Playoff Schedule Builder

from NHL.com,

When the NHL’s schedule doctor, Steve Hatze-Petros, begins the first drafts of what the playoff schedule will look like about a month before the season comes to a close, there are almost 30 teams still alive in the race….
Hatze-Petros sat down with NHL.com during his busiest and most hectic time of the year to talk about what he goes through in constructing the playoff schedule every spring.
How do you go about organizing the playoff schedule?—“We start keeping track of potential matchups in the playoffs about 30 days in advance. When you’re 30 days out, you wind up seeing probably every combination that could possibly happen. Our preparation on a daily basis is getting a new schedule out with the possible matchups.”

read on

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Wings In Six

As long as Spector keeps on picking the Wings, his blog at Fox Sports will get linked, lol!
Actually, I try to stay away from many of the predictions, since we all have our own opinion your picks are as good as the “experts”.
But do check out Spector’s picks, very well done and a lot of thought put into them.

Filed in: NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Breaking Down The Matchups

Scott Burnside of ESPN breaks down every first round matchup and has this to say about the Ottawa/Pittsbugh series…

It might not be what the big brains at the NHL would like to see, but the Senators’ experience and talented back end prove the difference in a surprisingly short series. Ottawa in five.

more on that matchup plus you will find links to every series on the right sidebar of that page…

Filed in: NHL Playoff Talk, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Playoff Matchups Set

The Stanley Cup Matchups.  Details at ESPN.com.

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Detroit Red Wings vs Calgary Flames
Anaheim Ducks vs Minnesota Wild
Vancouver Canucks vs Dallas Stars
Nashville Predators vs San Jose Sharks

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Buffalo Sabres vs New York Islanders
New Jersey Devils vs Tampa Bay Lighting
Atlanta Thrashers vs New York Rangers
Ottawa Senators vs Pittsburgh Penguins

(Complete schedules forthcoming.)

Updated 12:30pm EDT:
From NHL.com,

The National Hockey League today announced the dates, times and national broadcast information for the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoff Conference Quarterfinal round, which begins Wednesday, April 11.

2007 FIRST ROUND PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

 

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Wings Convinced They’re Ready

From the Detroit Free Press,

Every issue that bothered the Wings last season has been addressed. In goal, they went from untested Manny Legace to proven Dominik Hasek. Up front, they added grit and size by trading for Todd Bertuzzi and Kyle Calder. Leadership-wise, Lidstrom took over the captaincy with expected fluidity. "We're a better team than we were last year, even though we don't have as many points," forward Dan Cleary said. "I like our team. I just feel that, top to bottom, we can skate and we're a lot more physical. I think we're more gritty as a team. I believe we're more playoff-ready."
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Pointing Fingers In Montreal

Via Sportsnet and CP,

"The bottom line is we're not in the playoffs, and it started two months ago," said captain Saku Koivu, referring to a February slump that saw Montreal lose six consecutive games and begin a second-half slide that crushed the team's playoff hopes.
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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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