Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the Ny Post,
The only way for the Rangers to ensure that they maintain control over their destiny is to defeat the Canadiens tonight at the Garden in the franchise’s most critical regular-season game since the lockout.
Leading Florida by only the victory tiebreaker (40-39) in the contest for the East’s final playoff spot with three games remaining for each team, the Blueshirts’ magic number for clinching a fourth straight playoff berth stands at six points.
If the Rangers run the table with victories tonight, on Thursday in the home finale against the Flyers and then on Sunday in the season finale in Philadelphia, they’re in, regardless of how the Panthers fare tonight in Philadelphia, Thursday in Atlanta and at home on Saturday in their finale against the Caps.
But one slip, one defeat in either regulation or extra time, and control would be ceded to Florida.
from Lindsey Hall of the N.C. State University Technician,
If you’ve never been to a hockey game, here’s a word of advice – go. If you’ve carried that anti-hockey, “It’s a boring sport” sentiment around, just give the game a chance. We have a successful, winning team just down the road from campus. They just set a franchise record Saturday with 11 consecutive home wins and have won 8 games in a row.
A whiteboard in the hallway leading to the Canes bench dons the message “Good teams find a way to win.” This team is more than good, and they’ve certainly found a way to win. Good things are happening in the RBC Center.
The ever-growing fan base in North Carolina knows a little bit about Southern hospitality, and the hell of a time that’s called tailgating.
I’m an 18 year old kid, and I think a lot of people get stuck with the idea that I’m some freak of nature that lives and breathes hockey and eats pucks all day or something, but I just like to have fun and do normal teenager stuff like play video games and hang out.
I just have a bit of a different lifestyle, but other than that I like to think I’m pretty normal. Even when I play video games I’m more into war games. I don’t even play NHL09 any more because I scratched the disk. I’m more into Call of Duty and games like that. No SOCOM though. The guys on the team that play that are losers. They all have their PSPs with their headsets and they all talk to each other. What a bunch of dorks. I don’t even have a PSP.
much more or just click if you want to find out who it is…
The defence corps for the Montreal Canadiens took a major hit Monday, as TSN learned that the Habs will be without leading scorer Andrei Markov for three weeks and Mathieu Schneider’s season is over.
from Steve Soldwedel of the Blue Seats at the NY Post,
Even if they squeak into the playoffs this year, does anyone—even the most starry-eyed idealist among the Garden Faithful—believe the Rangers can compete for the Stanley Cup? Measuring them against potential opponents that have put on far better performances, and against rivals of equal quality like the Panthers, to favor the Blueshirts in any series is either great hope or boundless delusion.
Negative critiques are often met with the harshest criticism, but it’s about time the fans lobbed some harsh criticism of their own at the Rangers franchise. Put pride and loyalty aside for a moment to see how people like James Dolan and Glen Sather have hoodwinked the fans, proving P.T. Barnum right year after year. The only reason the Rangers continue to be a poor performer is because the fans enable it. So long as fans continue to shell out money and throw their support behind a disappointing team, the people counting the cash will have no reason to change their tactics.
Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail answered emails from hockey fans-
Hi Eric, enjoying your work this season, as always. Is it safe to assume that San Jose and the Red Wings will meet in the Western Conference final?
Eric Duhatschek replies: Is it logical to assume that? Yes. Is it safe? No. I saw both the Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks play live in Calgary on back-to-back Mondays and those two teams perfectly illustrate why everybody loves the NHL playoffs and especially why everybody loves the first round. They are both excellent teams, and at different times can be wildly entertaining, but each has a potential Achilles heel; in Detroit, it’s goaltending; and in San Jose, it is the weight of heavy expectation.
from Randy Youngman of the OC Register,
Referees Dan O’Rourke and Chris Lee, the guys wearing the decorative orange armbands Sunday night, apparently had a plane to catch.
Or maybe they had to be escorted to a local hospital for emergency surgery to have small metal objects removed from their digestive systems.
What other reason could there be for the refs ignoring the muggings outside the San Jose goal crease in the closing seconds of the Ducks’ 3-2 loss to the Sharks at sold-out Honda Center?
They must have swallowed their whistles.
added 9:55pm, from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
No supplementary discipline has been imposed against the Ducks or San Jose Sharks for their misdeeds at the end of the Sharks’ 3-2 victory Sunday at the Honda Center, and it’s likely no suspensions or fines will be imposed at all.
A league executive who requested anonymity because he didn’t want either team to view him as biased in one direction or another said he didn’t see anything that crossed the line that most concerns the NHL now: injuries to the head. The final say will come from Colin Campbell, if there’s anything to say, which there might not be.
from Paul Branecky of CarolinaHurricanes.com,
There’s a very real chance the Canes can climb up to fourth place and play their first two playoff games at the RBC Center, but they would need a little help. Even if they win all three of their remaining games, they would need Philadelphia to lose one of their remaining four contests. In that scenario, the teams would be tied on points but Carolina would have the total wins tiebreaker.
Given the way the team is playing at in their own building, home ice should be something to strive for at this point, even if Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, who the Canes would be likely to play in that scenario, would represent two of the tougher potential match-ups.
“We’re trying to win as many games as we possibly can and stay on our roll,” said Coach Paul Maurice. “We want to do everything that we can to climb as high as we possibly can. Clearly we would like to have home ice advantage, but if that doesn’t happen we’re still charged with the same task to win in the first round.”
NEW YORK (April 6, 2009)—Montreal Canadiens right wing Alex Kovalev, Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin and St. Louis Blues center David Backes have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Apr. 5.
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
Outside of Boston (Thomas), San Jose (Evgeni Nabokov), Carolina (Cam Ward) and Vancouver (Roberto Luongo) among teams that are certain to be in the playoffs, which teams feel secure about their goaltending?
The defending champion Detroit Red Wings? I happen to think Chris Osgood is a very competent goaltender, but based on his play this season, which has been decidedly inconsistent, he’ll need to make huge strides if the Red Wings are to win back-to-back Cups. Osgood insists he’ll be fine when the playoffs start, but I’ll believe it when I see it. His backup, Ty Conklin, has blown numerous opportunities to steal the No. 1 job away from him.
The Washington Capitals are hoping this is the season they take a huge step in the playoffs and with the probable MVP in Alexander Ovechkin and best defenceman in Mike Green, you’d have to think it is a distinct possibility.
But can they do it with Jose Theodore in net?
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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