Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Shannon Kari of the National Post,
The National Hockey League moved swiftly last week in declaring that it had taken control of the Phoenix Coyotes from Jerry Moyes and that he had no right to file for bankruptcy protection or sell the team to Jim Balsillie.
More documents in support of the league’s position will be filed Wednesday in federal bankruptcy court in advance of a hearing in Phoenix on May 19.
But despite its firm public statements, the NHL has admitted in another court case that the powers of professional sports leagues are not that clear.
The right to impose league-wide rules on everything from team Web sites to who can buy a sports franchise is a legal “morass” that is “mired in ambiguity and confusion,” NHL lawyers wrote in a U.S. Supreme Court brief in January.
from Darren Eliot of Sports Illustrated,
Is it a reach, however, to see this team in the Stanley Cup Final?
Kane is healthy after an ankle sprain slowed him in the second half of the regular season. His quickness and darting capabilities are back in full force, as evidenced by his Game 6 performance for the ages. Beyond the goal scoring, though, the Blackhawks have shown a resilient nature and the ability to win in a variety of ways. As a group, they push back when pushed physically. On the blueline, they have the mobility that teams covet in today’s game. Plus, the Blackhawks have veteran goaltender Nik Khabibulin backing them up. For all of their youthful ways, they have experience where it’s needed most.
from Adam Brady of AnaheimDucks.com,
As much as these Ducks will go into this one knowing it could be the last game of their season, Ducks fans need to approach it the same way. Forget about the annoying influx of red jerseys sprinkled throughout the arena tonight—this place needs to be electric and it needs to be loud. Every Anaheim rush, every Wings penalty, every battle for the puck that goes the Ducks’ way—heck, even the introduction of the starters—needs to be met with a deafening roar. Every attempt at a pro-Wings chant needs to be drowned out by an even louder Ducks one. It’s on you, Ducks fans. As much as anyone, you need to show up tonight too.
Chicago, IL (May 12, 2009) – Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most comprehensive Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Playoffs coverage in HD, delivered its highest Blackhawks rating ever last evening (May 11)—a 7.82 household rating for its live coverage of the Blackhawks Game 6 second round clinching victory over the Vancouver Canucks.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
It is difficult, in today’s NHL, to effect immediate and massive changes in a short period of time, which is why Gillis’s moves were restricted to a handful of changes on the periphery. He signed Pavol Demitra as a free agent, away from the Minnesota Wild. He wooed and eventually coaxed Mats Sundin to sign with his team mid-season. He claimed Kyle Wellwood off waivers. The rest of the improvements – from out of the playoffs to the third seed in the Western Conference standings and the fourth best record overall and putting the receipts for five home playoff dates into the coffers of owner Francesco Aquilini - came mostly from the holdovers, including coach Alain Vigneault, who he inherited and ultimately retained.
From now on, however, Gillis’s managing skills will be put to the test, with the Sedin twins poised for unrestricted free agency, the same as Sundin and the same as Mattias Ohlund.
from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
What a waste of the Penguins’ stirring 4-3 overtime win at the Verizon Center in Game 5. Now, they must beat the confident Capitals again in their building, a tough assignment under any circumstances, let alone without, in all likelihood, Gonchar.
Good luck with that.
You had better believe the Penguins are going to need every bit of their character and resiliency.
They’re still planning on showing up, though.
“The composure level of this team is pretty high,” defenseman Brooks Orpik said. “Everybody stays on board.”
from Al Balderas of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
Sure, there were still about three weeks remaining in the regular season but the Ducks needed to start winning in the middle of March just to get a chance at playing in the real playoffs.
Nearly two months later, one has to wonder if their “unofficial” playoffs are taking their toll now that that Ducks are in the thick of the real playoffs. Their 6-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings in Game 4 and their lazy Sunday afternoon effort in Game 5 serve as strong indicators that the Ducks might have finally hit that proverbial wall.
“You never know. Hopefully that’s the case,” said defenseman Niklas Kronwall, one of several Red Wings who aren’t taking any chances. “They’re not going to say that, and we can’t say that because we don’t know how they’re feeling but we feel like we have four good lines in here and have to just keep rolling those four lines. They’ve got some guys in there like Getzlaf and some of the other guys that are playing big minutes in all key situations. Hopefully we can continue to do a good job with Ryan down low and make them tired that way.”
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo blamed himself for the demise of Canada’s last club in the Stanley Cup playoffs last night.
The Canucks’ captain, considered one of the game’s premier goalies, couldn’t stop enough pucks to force a deciding seventh game against the young and restless Chicago Blackhawks, a team that battled back to overcome two separate one-goal disadvantages to take the six-game series with a madcap but entertaining 7-5 victory.
“I let my teammates down,” said a choked-up Luongo, who cut short his postgame interview because his emotions were getting the best of him.
“It was pretty wide open, but I had to make the saves.”
added 8:14am, Video of Luongo with the media after the game…
from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,
“Right now we feel more energy and more excited than Pittsburgh,” the flamboyant Russian said after last night’s 5-4 overtime win at Mellon Arena.
“It’s going to be hard for (the Penguins) to come back because those fans (at Washington’s Verizon Center) are going to be crazy and we’re going to be flying out there.”
It’s never wise to question Ovechkin, who has seven goals and six assists in the six games of this series, but given the swing in momentum thus far, don’t place too much stock in it either.
The vast majority of the series has seen the teams glued to within a goal of each other, three have gone to overtime and only one has had a winning margin of more than one goal.
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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