Kukla's Korner Hockey
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."More
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.Continue reading
From the Ft. Worth Star Telegram,
"We are different this year," Stars forward Stu Barnes said. Of course, that is what they all said last season. Whether this is actually true is impossible to predict, and barely matters anyway. What they will ultimately be judged by is the foolproof "Did they finally win the first round for the first time since 2003?" barometer. I honestly do not know if they can.More
A four seed and undecided about who your goalie is to start the playoffs? Probably not what Barry Trotz expected. It would appear he's going with the vet.
But there's little doubt now that Tomas Vokoun will be the team's playoff starter. He started for the sixth time in the Predators' last seven games on Saturday against Colorado, stopping 29 of 31 shots in a 4-2 Nashville victory. "We've been trying to get (Vokoun) in a little rhythm,'' Trotz said. "And one of the strengths of (Mason) is that he is able to come off the bench a little easier, so to me, he doesn't need as many rhythm kind of games. I think Tomas does a little bit.''More from the Tennessean
From the Pittsburgh Tribune Review,
Picture the Penguins' playoff series against the Ottawa Senators as a 200-yard dash. Now, picture the Senators crouched at the starting line in winter clothes, each man tethered to a half-ton boulder. Picture the Penguins standing there in gym shorts and tank tops, eagerly awaiting the pistol. There couldn't be a matchup pitting teams of more dissimilar emotional mind-sets.More
Via the Toronto Sun,
Mats Sundin has watched Martin Brodeur eliminate his Maple Leafs from the playoffs on two different occasions this decade. Now, he is hoping the all-star goaltender of the New Jersey Devils can actually help the Leafs squeeze into the post-season. Sundin's Leafs need a Devils victory over the New York Islanders this afternoon in order for Toronto to lock up a spot in the Stanley Cup.Continue reading And more from the New York Post,
The Devils have won the last six meetings with the Isles this season, but if the Islanders win today, they'll leapfrog the Leafs and capture the final berth. Lamoriello said he'd rest players if he deems that best for his team, whether or not the verdict mattered to other teams. "My responsibility is to do whatever is right to get our team ready for the playoffs," Lamoriello said. "Anything else should not even enter into what we're doing."
Via the Rocky Mountain News,
Elimination came Saturday night with a 4-2 loss to the Nashville Predators before 17,462 at the Pepsi Center, ensuring the Avalanche would have no chance to catch the Calgary Flames for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference. "It's a very bad feeling right now," Avalanche captain Joe Sakic said.More
From the Calgary Sun,
Despite a 3-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers last night in their regular-season home finale, the Flames had their playoff ticket punched for them. They clinched the spot thanks to the Nashville Predators, who beat the Colorado Avalanche earlier in the night. Still, nobody cared about backing into the playoffs. "We put ourselves in this situation and deserve to be where we are," said centre Matthew Lombardi. "We worked hard all season. "We came out strong, guys had good energy and we were excited in the room. We played well the first half of the game, we'll take that out of it and we'll move on to the next game."Read more
#2 Anaheim vs #7 Wild
#3 Vancouver vs #6 Dallas
#4 Nashville vs #5 San Jose
#1 Detroit vs #8 Calgary or Colorado
added 11:26pm, Colorado losses in regulation to Nashville and is elminated. Wings face Calgary.
All we know as of this moment, Ottawa will be playing Pittsburgh
added 9:43pm, Canadiens eliminated after Leafs beat them 6-5.
added 9:54pm. Ottawa secures #4 spot and will play #5 Pittsburgh
added 10:07pm, #2 New Jersey vs #7 Tampa Bay
#3 Atlanta vs #6 New York Rangers
from the Bleacher Report,
If you’re thinking I’m one of those north-of-the-border types who have no idea how irrelevant hockey can seem in the United States, think again:
I was born and raised in Northern California.
Hockey has jumped atop my list of favorite sports in recent years—and no, it’s not because the media’s convinced me, or because my company has a cushy skybox to throw around.
The NHL is my favorite new league because it earned the top spot—one goal, forecheck, and fight at a time. And for those of you in the U.S.A. who aren’t jazzed about the Stanley Cup Playoffs, here are four simple reasons to start paying attention.
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