Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
“Overtime, boys. This is where legends are born.”Alex Burrows made that speech in the dressing room Tuesday night after regulation time of Game 4 ended in a 2-2 tie….
Bad goal? Weak goal? Series-winning goal, that’s all the matters, just as the four wins strung together to make a sweep obscured the closeness of the battle. The bottom line is everything.
Maybe that’s why the Blues’ dressing room was still closed 40 minutes after the game, in violation of league rules, and no one beat it down. Maybe they were crying in there, for Mason, who played so well and then let in a softie. Or for themselves, having gone 9-1-1 to close the regular season, only to be blunted by Roberto Luongo and a Vancouver Canucks squad that had an answer for every question they posed.
from Randy Youngman of the OC Register,
During my quarter-century of invading smelly locker rooms in Southern California under the auspices of The Orange County Register, I have covered a lot more NBA playoff series than NHL Stanley Cup playoff series.
The “Showtime” Lakers of the 1980s were a must-see dynasty, with Kareem and Magic and Big Game James and Byron the stars in a decade of dominance that netted five NBA championships. The Shaq-and-Kobe Lakers that three-peated in 2000, 2001 and 2002 also were memorable title teams.
But the NBA playoffs usually are a showcase for individual stars: Magic, Bird, Michael, Shaq, Kobe and, perhaps someday soon, LeBron.
The NBA postseason is entertaining, but the NHL postseason is absolutely riveting. It’s my favorite playoff sport, a feeling driven home again in the span of three days this week after covering Game 1 of the Lakers-Jazz series at Staples Center and Game 3 of the Ducks-Sharks series at Honda Center.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
It’s almost time for the Canadiens to take out the trash, the wonderfully talented, splendidly coached Boston Bruins just one victory from dusting the Habs and ending their 100th season, also known as the world’s longest funeral.
When the Bruins knock off the Canadiens, a fairly safe assumption, Boston will have won eight series against their historic rival in 32 meetings since 1929. A sweep would be their third, the first over three games in ’29, the other over four in ’92.
Nothing has worked for the Canadiens against this Bruins squad, and there’s no reason to believe tonight’s fourth game will be any different.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
When it was over and the non-sellout crowd of 16,277 had filed out of the Honda Center, the top-seeded Sharks could claim several victories: they had cut the Ducks’ series lead to 2-1, ended the Ducks’ penalty killing streak at 14 over two-plus games, and had continued a trend in the series by winning on the road.
They got help from the Ducks on each of those counts.
“It’s ridiculous. It’s almost like hitting yourself in the head,” Ducks winger Teemu Selanne said of his team’s unbreakable habit of parading to the penalty box.
“Why? You’ve done a great job killing penalties. Why keep forcing things? You can make winning so much easier if you stay out of the penalty box. There’s no team in the league that if they’re going to get 20 power plays in three games, they’re [not] going to score eventually. No question. If you don’t learn that you’re stupid.”
from Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,
It might have been the most boisterous Tuesday night in the city’s history. It didn’t seem to matter to anyone that the Red Wings had easily disposed of the Jackets in the first two games in Detroit. The Columbus franchise had to get through 658 games to get here. It was time to relish a moment in the city’s sports history….
Most of the 19,219 who had tickets made it inside the arena early, but the party was just beginning. A video of season highlights was played on the scoreboard and the fans went crazy. John H. McConnell II, grandson of the team’s late owner, carried the flag and the fans went crazy. The Blue Jackets took the ice and the fans went crazier, maybe offering up the loudest ovation in the building’s history.
It was a grand party, at least until the game started. One minute, seven seconds in, while most of the fans were chanting “Let’s go Jackets” in their outside voices, Tomas Holmstrom scored to give the Red Wings a 1-0 lead.
added 10:35am, from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
But with their playoff debut Tuesday night, and the buzz filling the area leading up to it, the city made it clear it has embraced the Blue Jackets. And playoff hockey.
“I think we’re turning a corner here as a franchise. . . . The buzz in this city is that we matter a little more now, we’re more in the fabric,” Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We have our time of the season like OSU has their time. We matter right now. That’s huge.”
There was no doubt they mattered when the packed house provided a vibrant, loud atmosphere during early action. There was also no doubt there’s still a long way to go on the ice.
from Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times,
If Keenan wants to know why the Hawks are engaging in less-than-gentlemanly tactics, he should consider the pushing and shoving his team is doing after the whistle. The halos he has placed above his players’ heads have been dented and tarnished in the first three games. Bourque was penalized for slashing three times in Game 3 and could’ve been called for more.
‘‘At the end [of the game], we said enough is enough,’’ Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said. ‘‘We were down two goals. It’s out of line to go out there and hurt anybody, but the message was we’re not going to take it anymore.’‘
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
The Flyers, facing a 3-1 series deficit, didn’t like it (imagine that) and believed Crosby had impeded Biron’s ability to make a save in his net.
“The guy makes a pass across the crease, I think I got a stick on it and it might have hit me and hit [Crosby] and his momentum carried him and threw me into the net,” Biron said. “It’s a dangerous play if you’re kicking a puck around the crease where the goalie is and it’s a dangerous play when you’re sliding in, both feet first toward a goalie who is trying to get to the puck. I didn’t really like that. It’s not the first time where he’s done that and drives the net.”
more and you decide, goal or not…
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
The people who are still employed by the organization (Craig Billington, Michel Goulet, anybody else) are under strict orders not to say a word to the media right now. I mean, not a word. It is common knowledge around the Avs that anyone who breaks such an order - at least when it comes to the machinations of the GM search process - will be terminated.
I don’t agree with that, of course. I mean, somewhere along the line, the dissemination of hockey information became equated to that of nuclear secrets. It’s ridiculous. It’s absurd. It’s arrogance too, is what it is. It’s “We don’t need to talk to you little people.”
I have news for Pierre Lacroix and any other person in the hockey world: guys, you’re just not that important. You’re not. You are in the business of grown men trying to put a piece of hard rubber past other groups of grown men, into a net. This is not that important. It’s entertainment.
Alex Burrows scored the game winning goal with 19 seconds left in the first OT.
from Michael Arace of Puck-rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,
Tonight, the Detroit Red Wings put a 4-1 whipping on the Jackets at Nationwide Arena. With that, the Wings took a 3-0 lead in the series. It is, for all practical purposes, over.
The Jackets know what they are up against. They’re not going to quit. They’ll come out hard in Game 4 Thursday night. No one would expect anything different.
“We’re down 3-0 and we’ve got a lot of things to clean up,” forward R.J. Umberger said. “It’s not over yet. You’ve got to win four games. We still need the first playoff win in franchise history. The crowd here deserves a win. They need to see it. This city needs to see it. . . .
“Crazier things have happened.”
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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