Kukla's Korner Hockey
The Vancouver Canucks will not have forward Mats Sundin for Game 3 of their series with the St. Louis Blues with what the team is a calling a ‘lower-body injury.’
Sundin, who is averaging just over 15 minutes per game in the series appeared to injure himself half-way through the third period of Friday night’s Game 2 victory. Although he finished the game, he received a great deal of treatment following the win.
TORONTO - Boston Bruins’ forward Milan Lucic has been suspended for one game as a result of a blow to the head in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series last night against the Montreal Canadiens.
Lucic was assessed a match penalty for highsticking Montreal forward Maxim Lapierre at 15:28 of the third period.
“While it is unclear whether Lucic’s glove or stick makes contact with Lapierre, what is clear is that he delivered a reckless and forceful blow to the head of his opponent,” said NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell.
In case you missed the incident, watch it here...
from Dan Wood of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
Entering Sunday’s game, the Ducks are 10-5 in their previous 15 visits to HP Pavilion, including a 1-2 mark in three regular-season games this season, and are 24-19-3 all-time in San Jose. By contrast, the Ducks are only 18-22-5 all-time against the Sharks in Anaheim, with losses in two of three games this season.
Home ice, then, doesn’t appear as if it will be a critical factor in this series.
“I think it’s just that they’re such tight games,” Ducks right wing Teemu Selanne said. “Every game is like a playoff game, even during the regular season. I don’t think it matters where you play.”
from Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Luongo has stopped 55 of 56 shots in this series, and if you include Vancouver’s final three regular-season games, he’s allowed only two goals in the last 145 shots fired at him. When a goaltender is this bulletproof, he emboldens his entire team.
That’s why it was comical to see all of the Canucks’ posturing and taunting in the first two games, especially near the end of Game 2. The Canucks haven’t outplayed the Blues; the Canucks just happen to employ the world’s hottest goaltender at the moment. And they’re riding him. Basking in his glory.
That’s the unfortunate part of this match-up from a St. Louis perspective: in Round 1, the Blues came up against an opponent that’s just as hot as they were. And that team, Vancouver, has the one NHL goalie sizzling at a higher temperature than the Blues’ Chris Mason.
from Larry Wigge of NHL.com,
When he came off the ice (after the morning skate), Kariya was asked if he’d be in the lineup to help the Blues who had only one goal in the first two games, said, “We’ll see.”
Not, “No way.” Not, “Maybe.”
So a question was posed to St. Louis coach Andy Murray: What does it say to you if Paul Kariya says, “We’ll see.”
The coach got a big smile on his face and didn’t hesitate in saying, “If Paul tells me he can play ... he’s in.”
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
Lacroix, who deserves considerable gratitude for what he did to help energize this market and make hockey a big-time draw and participant sport in the region, should have been given the first crack to clean up the mess.
But that means stepping back in and running the franchise on a day-to-day and long-term basis, and not merely biding time before elevating someone in the organization into the GM’s role. Although Craig Billington is a savvy hockey man and wouldn’t be a bad choice, even that would come off as similar to the approach that was just repudiated.
Stan Kroenke should tell Lacroix he must either step in to try to further secure his legacy with a rescue and a turnaround, or accept the owner’s thanks and an honorary title — president emeritus — and allow Kroenke Sports to hire the sort of strong and proven GM who likely would be reluctant to work under Lacroix on an organizational chart.
Will Pittsburgh make the series 3-0?
Can St. Louis find a way to beat Luongo?
With a victory, the Devils can re-gain home ice advantage. Will they?
Will panic set in if San Jose loses to the Ducks?
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
You think you’re frustrated with the Buffalo Sabres? Rene Robert feels your pain and then some. The only difference between you and him these days is, well, the former right winger played on one of the famed lines in NHL history and his No. 14 hangs from the rafters at HSBC Arena.
Well, it’s up there for now, anyway.
To say he’s frustrated is an understatement. Robert has grown increasingly angry and disgusted from watching his former team, your favorite team, miss the playoffs in two straight seasons after building a contender. He also wanted fans to know they weren’t alone.
“If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t say a word,” he said. “I’ve been frustrated for I don’t know how many years. I want nothing other than to see this team to succeed and do well.”
from GZ Expat of Nucks Misconduct,
I love the expat life. I love the job…I love the cultural experiences we endure and learn from. I love the food…the weather. I don’t love the crowds, nor the pollution. Every now and then you are surprised with the life that it brings you, like coming home and finding the neighborhood kids (Dutch, Danish, French, Filipino, American, Australian) in front of the house playing a hearty game of road hockey.
But there are challenges, and trying to follow my favorite team from 5,000 miles away has been an ongoing challenge for me the past 5 years. Here is a list of some of the challenges and triumphs that I find and use to get my addiction of Canuck hockey fed…
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
He’s a nice guy, fun to be around. Sweet hands. Big body. Good teammate. Doesn’t ever play the “I’m a star” card.
But when the light goes on for the playoffs, it’s like he gets stage fright. Does he have it in him to be a lead dog in the playoff race, like Vincent Lecavalier, another highly talented centre, was with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004? Or the mild-mannered but zealously competitive Joe Sakic for all those years in Colorado?
Admittedly, it took Steve Yzerman 14 years before he carried his first Stanley Cup in Detroit and legitimized his career. Super Mario Lemieux didn’t win until he was seven years along the NHL trail in Pittsburgh. But this is Thornton’s 11th NHL season. His legacy continues to be that of a wonderful player in the regular season, a guaranteed top-10 point-producer.
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.
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