Kukla's Korner Hockey
You can sit and pick apart a team when they move to the second round, but I believe the Penguins will need to be a lot better than they have been. Pittsburgh has been relying on timely scoring from Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby and great goaltending from Marc-Andre Fleury, but as a team they are not playing as well as they did leading up to the playoffs.
-Bob McKenzie of TSN. More from Bob plus a bit on the Tortorella suspension.
from Neil Amato at the Star-Ledger,
Seven years ago, when the Carolina Hurricanes advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals, the series was billed as Motor City vs. Mayberry, Red Wings vs. Rednecks. Some fans reject the stereotype; others embrace it.
“Opie loves hockey; that’s us,” said Hurricanes fan Josh Sessoms, quoting one hand-lettered sign from playoffs past.
The Triangle area—Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill and a number of leafy suburbs—has undergone sprawling growth, thanks to what was a vibrant economy and what still is a nice place to live.
“While it is a difficult decision to suspend a coach at this point in a playoff series, it has been made clear to all of our players, coaches and other bench personnel that the National Hockey League cannot—and will not—tolerate any physical contact with fans,” NHL Senior Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell said. “We do not take this action lightly. It is the result of an entire day of investigation and evaluation that included the retrieval and review of videotape of the incident and discussions with Mr. Tortorella, other Rangers’ bench personnel and a number of other people, including the security personnel at the Verizon Center.
added 11:04pm, The Rangers issued a one line statement on the suspension- “We disagree with the suspension and will have no further comment.”
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
In the nearly two weeks since being fired as general manager from the Avalanche, Francois Giguere has mostly stayed quiet. While he hopes to work again in NHL management, Giguere believes getting away from it all awhile longer might not be a bad thing.
“Being a manager in the NHL is a job you do 2 4/7/365. That’s the way it was for three years for me, so I realize maybe taking some time away and being with my family more might be good for me,” Giguere said.
Giguere, 45, said he holds no bitterness toward the Avalanche. He called the dismissal “a surprise, but not a shock” because of the team’s poor performance this past season.
“When you have a year like we did, you know there might be a change,” he said. “It was just one of those years. But most everything good that has happened to me in my career in hockey has happened with the Avalanche organization, so I still have nothing but good memories.”
The turning point of the game, Flyers up 3-0, Maxime Talbot of the Penguins battles Daniel Carcillo of the Flyers and Penguins go to work from then on.
One of the examples of why fighting needs to stay in the game. This fight had some meaning.
from Luke DeCock of Talking Points at the News & Observer,
The Hurricanes are playing a dangerous game with Martin Brodeur. Consider these comments from Joe Corvo and Cam Ward on Brodeur’s 44-save shutout in Game 5.
Corvo: “He played well last night, but I think on the other hand a lot of pucks just hit him and he had no clue where they were. … I think Cam played just as good or better than Marty yesterday.”
Ward: “I’m not going to sit here and whine about being bumped once or twice.”...
The Canes are obviously, whether consciously or otherwise, trying to tear down the mythology associated with Brodeur after what may have been the finest playoff performance in Brodeur’s legendary career.
That may help with Carolina’s mentality — it’s the opposite of standing around saying “Will we ever score on this guy?” — but it’s also giving Brodeur mental ammunition.
read on & thanks to a KK reader for the pointer…
from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,
Boudreau on whether he can feel a shift in momentum: “During a game, yes, but there’s always too much time to regroup [between games]. Every team seems to regroup. Even after Game 1, we regrouped and had a much better Game 2. We had a lot better Game 3, they had a lot better Game 4, we had a lot better Game 5. So I don’t think over a series, momentum really means anything.”
Backstrom on Henrik Lundqvist: “We saw that Lundqvist is just a human being, so that’s good.”
Ovechkin on the water bottle-throwing incident: “Good job by our fans. Our fans are one more player for us. They do what they have to do for us. They scream and they’re loud. Maybe it was too much to [throw] beer or water or whatever. But sometimes that happens. And maybe that’s going to happen tomorrow against us, too. You never know.”
more from and on the Capitals…
from Scott Cruickshank of Flames Insider,
Craig Conroy, Daymond Langkow and Rene Bourque are all in tonight.
The three injured Flames skated this morning at the United Center and pronounced themselves fit enough for Game 5 at the United Center, even if coach Mike Keenan, in full playoff coach-speak mode, wasn’t definitively giving his blessing (all the better to throw those wily Hawks off their game and keep ‘em guessing, one would assume).
“They are game-time decisions, but I SUSPECT they’ll will be there,’’ Keenan said at his morning media availability.
from Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald,
“Was I fired up? Yeah I was fired up,” the captain said. “I still think I’m fired up, and I think all of our guys are fired up as far as wanting to win this series.”
But the captain said he is fuelled by the chance to take a 3-2 lead in the series—not a chance to silence incessant trash talk.
“In our dressing room, we do whatever it takes within as close to the rules as we can to win,” he said.
“That’s what it’s about. You get out there, and you know that every team in the playoffs wants the same thing. We’re definitely very hungry for it.”
As for his flash of rage in Game 3?
“It’s part of competing,” he said. “Sometimes, sure, there are moments when you don’t act with the best control.
“But the identify of our team is to be very aggressive, to a man, each guy, to compete and find that balance with your emotions.”
Pittsburgh and Anaheim can move on to the conference semi-finals with a victory, while the Flames/Blackhawks series is tied 2-2 going into the game tonight.
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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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