Kukla's Korner Hockey
Milan Lucic with a crosscheck to the head of Maxim Lapierre.
added 10:36am, According to Darren Dreger of TSN, Lucic has a hearing with the NHL today.
from Anthony J. SanFilippo at CSNPhilly,
As Danny Briere said Saturday, “We can’t win four games tomorrow.”
Nor three, nor two, nor … well … depends on your perspective.
See, the Flyers, as they have been all season, are very difficult to read right now. They can be the team that is energized by a fantastic effort that fell short, and use it to fuel them even more in front of the home crowd in Game 3.
Or, they can just as easily have their confidence completely decimated because they left their guts on the Mellon Arena ice, weren’t rewarded, and will now be a shell of themselves and go meekly into the April air.
They’re saying all the right things.
“We’re healthy, we’re in the series here, just inches from winning the game [Friday],” said Mike Knuble. “We’re right there, it’s just a question of getting a bounce or two. We still feel we have room to grow.
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
A day after the Blues’ 3-0 loss to Vancouver, television highlights continued to focus on the postgame tirade of head coach Andy Murray on the team’s bench.
Murray was incensed because after Vancouver scored its empty-net goal, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault put his physical fourth line of Darcy Hordichuk, Ryan Johnson and Rick Rypien on the ice….
“I didn’t particularly like the line that (Vigneault) sent out,” Murray said. “I could have sent out Brad Winchester and B.J. Crombeen. We were alerted by the league that there’s no messages to be sent at the end of the game.”
Murray was witnessed screaming at Vigneault from the Blues’ bench, telling the Canucks’ coach to “Use your head ... Use your head.”
“I didn’t get it at the time and I still don’t get it today,” Vigneault said Saturday. “All I know is (later in the game) I was looking at Crombeen jumping Kevin (Bieksa) from the back, obviously an instigator, and then all of a sudden something on the side got my attention.”
a bit more on the Blues, including Paul Kariya will take the morning skate but will not play tonight…
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
When the regular season ended Sunday, some 350 NHL players completed the final year of their contract, an average of just under 12 free-agents-to-be per team.
What does this portend for the days leading up to and including the June draft, as well as the start of free agency July 1?
Three general managers (two off the record) provided mixed opinions. Locally, Boston boss Peter Chiarelli noted that there was a lot of talk about trades prior to last June’s draft, but talk did not turn into much action.
many more NHL topics discussed…
Trouble is, Bob (Gainey), in Montreal, Carey Price has already been anointed the future of goaltending. Even if the glass slipper doesn’t fit, you’re going to force it onto his foot.
-Mick Kern of NHL Home Ice XM204. Read much more from Mick.
The Hotstove on HNIC last night touched on numerous subjects including John Tavares, the next Edmonton coach. the Minnesota Wild, Jim Nill & Steve Yzerman.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
He is fighting shots and fumbling pucks. “Shaky” is the age-old hockey term. The thing is, the Wings seem to have the puck all the time, and when they don’t, their defensive bearing has been superb. The ice has tilted. The shots Osgood is facing are coming uphill.
Osgood faced eight shots in the last 40 minutes of Game 1. He faced 15 shots in the first 40 minutes of Game 2. His teammates have erected a force field in front of him. They have flipped the switch. Their keepaway game has given them a physical advantage against a bigger team. The Jackets might be finishing their checks, but the puck is usually gone by the time the hit is made.
from Steve Rosenbloom of RosenBlog at the Chicago Tribune,
Your best players have to be your best players.
Not only have the Blackhawks’ best players been their best players against Calgary, but they have been the best players in this first-round playoff series. Period.
Start with Nikolai Khabibulin and Martin Havlat in Game 1. Then it was Nik At Night again in Game 2 on Saturday, but this time he was joined by Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and the obviously recovered Patrick Sharp.
For a kid with exactly 60 minutes of Stanley Cup playoff experience before Game 2 – no wait, 60 minutes and 12 seconds – Toews certainly looked like he was familiar with meeting the moment. When his team desperately needed a power-play goal to break Calgary’s early domination for the second straight game, Toews delivered.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• The more playoff hockey there is on television, the more replays we see, the more the game is being micro-managed by referees, media and the NHL. The endless debate on every call is getting annoying.
• Why save percentage is a flawed statistic: When Marc-Andre Fleury steals a goal from Jeff Carter with a quick leg kick, it just counts as another save. It doesn’t tell you that one stop changed a playoff series.
• Strange firing of Doug Risebrough in Minnesota: In a troubled economy and dollars growing ever tighter, don’t you retain a cheapo GM like Risebrough, who has short arms and deep pockets? But then, what would you expect from a clueless owner like Craig Leipold, who did what Gary Bettman told him and left all that Jim Balsillie money on the table in Nashville.
• Anybody who compares Washington’s Mike Green to Paul Coffey never watched Coffey in his prime. Green doesn’t even belong in the same sentence with Coffey.
more hockey topics mentioned…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
There’s no better example of the NHL’s intention to turn its referees into automatons programmed by VP of Officiating Stephen Walkom than the decision not to use Kerry Fraser in the playoffs. It’s sad, indeed, to see this signature referee treated with such disrespect by Gary Bettman and the league office.
Why didn’t they just slap him across the face at center ice then send it Toronto for video review?
It’s sadder, still, when people like Bill McCreary—who failed to see Scott Hartnell throw his stick at the puck when Petr Sykora was winding up to shoot in Game 2 of the Penguins-Flyers series—and Dave Jackson get the call to work the postseason instead of Fraser.
more plus some Leafs and Messier talk…
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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