Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jessica Hopp of the Tennessean,
Today, in front of a national NBC audience, the Predators host the Red Wings in Game 6 with a chance to again tie the series. But to parlay recent playoff success into a larger fan base and greater national recognition, observers say the Predators need to do one major thing: defeat Detroit.
“The big step for them is they have to win this playoff series,” said Pierre McGuire, a national hockey television analyst who won two Stanley Cups as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins organization in 1991 and 1992. “This gives them huge collateral going forward.”
For now, in Nashville, at least, hockey fever has taken hold.
from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Game 6 or bust. That has to be the Flyers’ mantra after they were outhustled and outsmarted here in Game 5. The Caps’ 3-2 win may have been the last wild punch of a beaten team desperate to save face with its home fans. Or it may have been more proof that these young Capitals have figured out how to play in the postseason and have taken control of this series.
The best and perhaps only way to prevent that is to win Game 6 tomorrow night at the Wachovia Center.
“Maybe I’m crazy,” said coach John Stevens, who is not. “But I always start at seven and work backward. If you are able to sweep the series, that’s a bonus for you, but I always go into a series thinking we are going to play seven. If we have an opportunity to finish it in less than seven - we had that opportunity today - good.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
You would have thought the NHL would have been delighted to welcome back Scott Niedermayer, a champion at every level of the game and a wonderful ambassador for the sport, upon his Dec. 15 return to the lineup following the early-season sabbatical he was granted by the Ducks.
Of course, you would have been wrong.
Slap Shots has learned that instead, the league has sought to punish Niedermayer by fining him approximately $500,000 of his $6.75M salary for missing training camp, unilaterally invoking Article 15.3 (f) of the CBA that reads, “For each day a Player does not report to Training Camp without his Club’s permission, his pay will be reduced by 1/275th of his annual . . . salary . . . “
From Jerseys & Hockey Love, Tapeleg puts his feelings into poetry:
(but in a manly way)
And from Jim Souhan at the Star-Tribune:
“When I look at the effort that our guys put on, you can’t ask for much more,’’ Lemaire said. “Except goals.’‘
Unfortunately for the Wild, the NHL czars insist on keeping score that way. With goals.
from Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News (Sunday edition),
He’s slightly less imposing in the net than in 2003, no longer a Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man in oversized pads. In a crackdown on equipment, the NHL downsized Giguere and other goaltenders following the lockout.
He remains a significant obstacle, almost always in position. Giguere has stopped 71 of 75 shots in Anaheim’s two victories in this series. Stylistically, he represents the polar opposite of his athletic Stars counterpart, Marty Turco.
Stars forward Steve Ott called Giguere a “blocking-style goalie.”
Said Turco: “He knows how to take away as much as you can.”
How does that game grab you (NHL box score) hockey fans?
Six goals in the 3rd, five in a little over 7 minutes!
Bruins force a game 7 against Montreal with a 5-4 victory.
And for all of those supposed fans that can’t find Versus, you lost out, big time!
added 10:09pm, from Kevin Mio at Habs Inside/Out,
For their first time in their history, the Boston Bruins have forced a Game 7 after trailing a series 3-1 after the defeated the Canadiens 5-4 in Game 6 on Saturday night in Boston.
For the second straight game, the Bruins have scored five goals against the Canadiens and rookie goaltender Carey Price.
from Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post,
Whatever happens, the Capitals have had a season to celebrate and gained experience that will help define their future. However, if they are to salvage this series and ruin their chances of enjoying even one moment of Washington’s lovely spring time, then the most gifted of all their young players—Ovechkin—must join the experience-gathering party.
The experience he needs tomorrow, and perhaps Tuesday as well, is the same one that he has enjoyed his entire hockey life. Whether he’s shadowed by Kimmo Timonen or not, the Great Eight needs to start making that familiar red light go on again.
more (reg. req.)
from the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs Blog at CBC,
There’s still some mystery surrounding Arnott’s ailment, which the Predators have at times described as flu-like symptoms and possible food poisoning. But Trotz on Saturday didn’t rule out the possibility that Arnott is suffering from post-concussion syndrome, dating back to the end of Game 3 when he collided with Alexander Radulov while celebrating the game-winning goal.
Arnott didn’t play in the 3:48 of that game, after which Trotz said the captain suffered some “whiplash.’” Arnott did play in Game 4.
“Before I become a doctor I am going to let the doctors make that decision. ... I am not going to speculate on that,’’ Trotz said.
more on the Wings and Predators…
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
There have been few more bitter pills for the Devils to swallow now that their year has been suffocated by the Rangers. The five-game playoff defeat will stick in the Sutter-ites craw for a long, long time, but more than anything, it will result in significant changes on many levels and just about everyone connected with the team is aware of that.
“The club needs a playmaking center,” says MSG analyst Glenn (Chico) Resch who has followed the Devs as closely as anyone. “That is, if such a center is available in the off-season.”
via Ted Leonsis at Inside the Owner’s Box at USA TODAY,
We arrive at the arena and my son and I go shake hands with our coaching staff. We see Sergei Fedorov in the hallway. He stops his stretching and comes to see me, shakes my hand and says “thank you — this is so much fun.” I say “No, thank you — I appreciate all you have done and will do for our team.” We hug and he has a twinkle in his eye. He says, “We have great fans — and I love playing in this building”.
more on today’s game…
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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