Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle,
So now that the Sharks are out of demons to slay, what comes next?
I mean, they don’t have heart? Cross it off. They don’t want to do the hard stuff? Cross it off. Joe Thornton isn’t a big-game guy? Cross it off. Not enough depth? Crossed off long ago. Can’t beat Detroit in Detroit when it matters? Cross it off. Can’t beat Detroit, period? Cross it off, almost. Evgeni Nabokov? Crossed out. Patrick Marleau? Cross out the question in pencil, in case it needs to be reinstated.
We are assuming here, of course, that the Sharks will not somehow blow a three-to-doodley-squat advantage in the Western Conference semifinals, which continue tonight in Detroit, if only because the odds shriek against it.
from Kenneth Kidd of the Toronto Star,
When the chorus starts up halfway through the second period, Sara Mastroianni is in full throat amid a sea of Habs sweaters, all eyes glued to the blaring French-language broadcast of RDS.
“Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole.”
It’s the kind of scene replicated up and down Montreal’s Crescent St. on game nights.
Except that Mastroianni, a 25-year-old Quebecker, is sitting in Kilgour’s Bar on Bloor St. W., having googled “Habs-friendly bar in Toronto” from her home in Thornhill.
She needn’t have travelled quite this far.
Habs fever, the passion that once dared not speak its name in the heart of Leafs Nation, is everywhere in Hogtown.
from Rick Morrissy of the Chicago Sun-Times,
It might seem like a silly discussion after the Hawks jumped to a 2-0 first-period lead in a 5-2 victory over the Canucks in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals. But it’s one of hockey’s strange quirks that come playoff time, teams discover the pacifist within.
When the Hawks’ Dave Bolland and Vancouver’s Daniel Sedin received roughing penalties after a scuffle late in the first period, it was the first time officials had called roughing in this series.
Sequined twirler Johnny Weir might actually survive an NHL playoff game.
I’m fairly skeptical of the idea of Yzerman leaving Michigan, even in the name of Steven Stamkos. Yzerman is one of the six or seven icons in Detroit sports history. Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch pays his people well. It’s hard to believe Yzerman lathering up with sunscreen to turn the Lightning around.
But if you connect some dots, it’s easy to see why Yzerman might be tempted. He recently said as much to ESPN, saying he wants to be a GM, but would probably have to go somewhere else to be one.
-Martin Fennelly of the Tampa Tribune. Read more about the idea of Stevie leaving Detroit for Tampa.
First off, I am old-school and thought Dustin Byfuglien went a little too far with his goal celebration (2nd of the night) tonight. (let the video run to the end)
But what I think doesn’t matter, so what do you think?
via James Murphy of NESN,
Reports coming out of Philadelphia claimed that Krejci had a broken wrist and was done for the season. Obviously, that’s hard news to take, but this Bruins team just seems to chew it up and spit it out.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
McLellan believed he was ready. He paid his dues. The Western Hockey League’s Coach of the Year in 2000, McLellan led the Houston Aeros to the AHL’s Calder Cup title in 2003 before his apprenticeship in Detroit.
Red Wings University is never a bad place to upgrade your skills.
“It’s like leaving high school and going to college. I got to go to Harvard,” McLellan told ESPN.com during a sit-down interview Wednesday. “The people around here, the tradition that exists, you’d walk into the coaches’ office after a game and it’s like the Hall of Fame, but they’re all there in person. To hear Scotty Bowman talk about his past, Stevie [Yzerman], Pat Verbeek, Mr. Howe, Mr. Lindsay, Mr. Delvecchio—they’re all around all the time. You can’t help but listen and learn. I was real fortunate that way.”
Wilson and McLellan had never met before they sat down for the interview in early June 2008. By then, the Sharks GM had spoken to 20 other candidates. It didn’t matter. Wilson was sold right then and there.
Hockey fans clamoring for a three-peat of a Penguins/Red Wings Stanley Cup Final are perilously close to seeing that possibility disappear. Barring a historic comeback, the Red Wings, down 3-0 to the San Jose Sharks, will be eliminated, thus removing any chance to see the Wings advance to their third consecutive Stanley Cup Final. The Wings won the Stanley Cup over the Penguins in the 2007-2008 season but were defeated in the 2008-2009 season by the Penguins. However, only the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and the 1975 New York Islanders have successfully come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series.
It certainly has dampened the spirits of sports betting enthusiasts, who may have recently plunked a considerable amount of money on the three-peat possibility, especially earlier in the playoffs, when the Penguins and Red Wings had both won their respective first round matchup. Chances are still decent for the Penguins, who are winning their Eastern Conference Semi-final series over the Montreal Canadiens two games to one. But unless the Wings can sweep the remaining four games over the Sharks, the chances for the three-peat finals will be gone.
from Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily-Herald,
Is there another team in the NHL that complains as much as the Canucks?
The newspapers here on Wednesday were filled with stories of the Canucks getting all worked up about how Blackhawks forwards such as Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien, Adam Burish and Ben Eager treated goalie Roberto Luongo in Game 2.
Ladd elbowed Luongo, Byfuglien bumped him, Eager and Burish gave him a snow shower.
“O’Brien disgusted by Hawks’ crashers,” read a headline in the Vancouver Province.
Bruins with only 19 shots compared to 35 for the Flyers, win 4-1 to go up 3-0 in the series.
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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