Kukla's Korner Hockey
PERRY POWERS DUCKS’ THIRD-PERIOD COMEBACK
Down 2-1 after 40 minutes, the Ducks scored three unanswered goals in the third period – including the tying and winning markers by Corey Perry (2-2—4) – to grab a 1-0 lead in their First Round series against the Jets.
* The Ducks’ third-period comeback continued a trend from the regular season. In 2014-15, Anaheim set an NHL record for wins when trailing at any point in the third period (18). The Ducks also matched a League record with 12 victories when trailing after two periods (12-23-0).
from Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
The Penguins, who started what figures to be a short spring, showed up in Gotham as a convincing facsimile of the Penguins you've come to know and mourn.
"We didn't do it early enough tonight," Penguins defenseman Ben Lovejoy said in the losing dressing room. "But we feel we have the guys in the room to do it."
Well, that's one of us.
A team that hasn't scored four times in the same hockey game since March 12 scored its usual one or two, this time one to be precise, and only the functional brilliance of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, particularly in a second-period cadenza in which he turned back all 14 New York Rangers shots, kept the inaugural episode of their Eastern Conference playoffs from reaching its fully prescribed ugliness.
So much for the working theory that the Penguins, removed from their customary brain-locking Stanley Cup-or-bust postseason approach, would benefit from the urgent simplicity of just trying to, you know, win a hockey game.
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
Most pro sports view acts of wanton violence as a failure, to be lamented and erased from memory as quickly as possible; in hockey, they can become cultural touchstones.
Call it a manifestation of the game’s lizard brain: Talent can be countered by brutishness, and the beauty is it works almost every time.
In a wider sense, to be a key offensive performer in the NHL is to suffer the democratizing effects of ill treatment. Skill players tend to be phlegmatic about it.
“It’s part of the expectation of playoff hockey, right? Guys on the other team trying to make it extremely difficult in a physical way on the other team’s skill forwards – and we’re trying to do the same for them,” said Ottawa Senators centre Kyle Turris, a dynamic player who is often singled out for rough handling.
The dominant narrative from Ottawa’s series opener with the Montreal Canadiens focused on Sens sniper Mark Stone’s health following a slash from the Habs’ P.K. Subban. He wasn’t the only player targeted in the game.
from Martin Fennelly of The Tampa Tribune,
The first shot he faced in his Stanley Cup playoff career, nine minutes into the game, got past him. Not really his fault. The fourth shot he faced in his Stanley Cup playoff career, eight seconds into the second period, that beat him, too. Not really his fault. The third one, on the 12th shot, the game-winner, he has to stop. Bad goal.
I’m not saying Ben Bishop lost Game 1 for the Lightning.
But he didn’t win it, either.
He had a lot of company in that regard as his team dropped Game 1 to the Detroit Red Wings, 3-2 at Amalie Arena.
Where was That Line, Johnson, Kucherov and Palat? Where was Steve Stamkos? Where was the power play? Where were the Lightning with all those chances?
But you can’t get around the fact that at one point in the third period, the Red Wings had taken 12 shots on Bishop, and three of them had gone in. That’s one out of four.
Reminds us of when John Tortorella lambasted keeper John Grahame after Grahame allowed four goals on 17 shots against Ottawa in an ’06 playoff game, saying he was tired of “the 25 percent rule.”
The bottom line is that the Red Wings gave up 46 shots, more than they did in any game this season, and took only 14, the fewest they’d taken all season — and they won.
added 8:28am, from Tom Jones of The Tampa Bay Times,
from Mark Whicker of the Los Aneles Daily News,
Whether NHL players actually sleep during the playoffs is debatable. It’s classified information anyway. But it’s doubtful that the Anaheim Ducks were walking the floors when they got home from their 4-2 win in Game 1 of this first-round Stanley Cup playoff series.
At least not without a couple of ice packs.
The Winnipeg Jets brought the lumber to Honda Center from the very first shift of this game. It was playoff hockey that you could hear, not just see. It was a contact sport, in boldface. And there were times in the early going when the Ducks were getting rid of the puck prematurely in order to dodge all those hits.
You can take or leave the “hits” statistics that NHL teams compile. Generally, if you’re piling up a lot of hits, it means you don’t have the puck very much. But sometimes it is useful to show the general state of play.
In this game, Winnipeg had 37 hits and the Ducks had 46, including eight for the Jets’ Mark Stuart and six for the Ducks’ Andrew Cogliano, who needed a stepladder to deliver a shot to 6-foot-8 defenseman Tyler Myers but gave it a try anyway.
from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
The Minnesota Wild played fast and the Blues couldn’t quite catch up, falling 4-2 in Game 1 of this best-of-seven series.
This was not how Blues coach Ken Hitchcock envisioned his team starting the postseason. They controlled stretches of the first period but fell behind 1-0 — and then they fell apart in the second period, taking penalty after penalty, falling behind 2-0 while getting outshot 14-4.
Fans who were roaring during the stirring pregame presentation were booing as that frightful period wound down.
The Blues staged a spirited third-period rally, twice getting within a goal. But they couldn’t quite undo the second-period damage.
How could this happen? The Blues knew what was coming in this series. The battle lines between these teams couldn’t be clearer.
The Wild want to play with speed, breaking out of their zone with crisp passes and sending their forwards into the offensive zone with control. They are at their best creating scoring chances off the rush.
The Blues want to stay on top of the Wild defense, force turnovers with their forecheck and tilt the ice with sustained pressure in the offensive zone. They value puck possession, cycling the puck down low to create havoc and scoring opportunities at the net.
Sportsnet with their version, just under 2 1/2 minutes...
Below, the NHL's version of the nightly recap...
The schedule and channel listings are below and feel free to discuss the games or anything hockey related.
I say two games go to OT tonight.
via the YouTube channel of the NHL,
Sights and sounds from the first night of Stanley Cup Playoff action.
from Tom Powers of the Pioneer Press,
He's one of the nicest guys you'll ever come across -- smiling, polite and with choir-boy good looks. He's also a very talented and hard-working hockey player out of Spring Lake Park High School and Minnesota State Mankato.
Yup, he's a local boy and a proud former Olympian. Oh, and one other thing about him: Minnesota hockey fans hate his guts. Just the sight of him gets their blood-pressure rising and their pulses racing to dangerously high levels.
He's David Backes, captain of the St. Louis Blues. And he is Public Enemy No. 1 during this first-round series.
"I take that as a vote of confidence that I'm doing my job," Backes said. "That's part of the business, and I'm hopefully going to be Public Enemy No. 1 this summer. That's my goal."
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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