Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Arash Markazi of Sports Illustrated,
Then again, Chelios isn’t you’re average 47-year-old NHL defenseman. He’s the ringleader of the “Malibu Mob,” an exclusive gang of athletes and celebrities that live in Malibu and hang out together during the summer. The Mob currently includes John Cusack, John McEnroe, Tony Danza, John C. McGinley, D.B. Sweeney, Laird Hamilton and Gabrielle Reece.
“I’m going to take credit for the name,” said Chelios. “Tony Danza and myself were the original two guys that came up with that and, slowly but surely, we built a little clan with most being Irish. It’s a cool thing. We are like a mob. We travel in a pack whether it’s for sports or dinners or family outings we’re all together for two months out of the years.”
The name actually arose because Chellios would constantly point to the fact that most everyone in the group was Irish and that it was like hanging with the “Irish Mob” even though they would usually meet at Taverna Tony, a famous Greek restaurant in Malibu.
from Al Balderas of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
While fans of the Red Wings have legitimate reasons to be proud of their team, 11 Stanley Cups doesn’t give them the right to talk out of their backsides….
Rest assured, a Detroit victory Thursday will have all the myopic fans breathing easy — perhaps a few will say they knew it would work out this way all along. But a Game 7 loss at Joe Louis Arena could be devastating. How could the flawless Red Wings lose to a team from (gasp) Southern California?
What will these people do? Go watch the Tigers and Lions?
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
“I’ve spent well over five years on this and more millions than anyone will know,” said Balsillie, who spent an hour Thursday with writers and editors of the Toronto Star and Hamilton Spectator. “It started out as fun, but segued right into who I really am.”
Balsillie made no apologies for trying to purchase the Coyotes and move them to Hamilton through bankruptcy proceedings, after being rebuffed twice in his efforts to buy other teams.
“There was no front door to get this team here. I looked. I checked every which way. I’m so inside in every which way. I know a lot of these owners,” said Balsillie.
from Brian Compton of NHL.com,
“I’m preparing that I’m going to play,” said Draper, who hasn’t been in action since April 9 against the Nashville Predators. “When the docs come in, hopefully I get that green light. That’s what my preparation’s going to be. I hope to be a part of it (Thursday).”...
Team physicians will determine before the game whether Draper is ready to play. Then, it will be up to coach Mike Babcock to write Draper’s name on the lineup card. On Thursday morning, though, Babcock wasn’t prepared to answer the question as to whether Draper will dress.
“I don’t make those decisions,” Babcock said. “When the doctor makes those decisions at game time, then I can get involved. I said to Nick Lidstrom last night, how many (Game 7s) has he played in, and he said, ‘Four, maybe five.’ It’s an unbelievable opportunity and should be a lot of fun, so Draper probably wants to play and I don’t blame him.”
from Damien Cox of The Spin at the Toronto Star,
So if the Stanley Cup playoffs ended today because Gary Bettman needed to spend more time working with Jim Balsillie, Sidney Crosby would be the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as MVP, right?
There would be other candidates. If Anaheim can sneak past Detroit tonight Jonas Hiller will start to get mentions. If it goes the other way, you can’t ignore goal-machine Johan Franzen. Should Carolina prevail in Boston tonight Eric Staal will be viewed as a big reason behind the Canes’ third conference final appearance in six years. Chicago? Right now, the list of candidates is too long, with youthful captain Jonathan Toews possibly leading the pack.
What two teams will be playing Chicago and Pittsburgh in the Conference Finals?
from George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press,
Hossa is 0-for-3 in his NHL career playing in Game 7 (all three with Ottawa) and said he was “looking forward to turning it around” and advancing this time. He has no goals and two assists in previous seventh games.
“Other games you have a chance, but this—the series is tied and one game you go home or you go further,” Hossa said shortly after the team landed at Metro Airport on Wednesday afternoon. “It’s a huge game. We have to get prepared. You cannot get it in your head.
“It’s an important game, but it’s another game. Just try to win that game because it’s huge.”
Hossa isn’t surprised that the series is coming down to a seventh game. “Both teams are really good and strong and it comes down to the last game,” he said.
from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,
What’s left to be said? Not a lot. The Hurricanes either win tonight and keep the Stanley Cup in their sights, or they have a bittersweet ending to their season and start facing the speculation about who returns and who won’t for next season.
“It’s Game 7. You want to play in those games,” Staal said. “Obviously, we wanted to finish it off when we could, but it didn’t happen. We look forward to Game 7, look forward to the challenge. You dream of playing in those games growing up as a kid, and it’s going to be fun.”
When they led 3-1 in the series, the Canes talked about theurgency of winning Game 5 andand finishing off the Bruins in Boston.
Now, the common refrain—as if the Canes were trying to convince themselves of it—is that that they gladly would have accepted and embraced a one-game, winner-take-all scenario before the series began against the Eastern Conference’s top seed.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Detroit winger Dan Cleary claimed the Ducks “took liberties on certain players that aren’t known to fight,” specifically Datsyuk and defenseman Brian Rafalski. The Ducks felt the Red Wings took liberties with Niedermayer, who has absorbed more than a few cross-checks to the back of the neck and his face.
Asked if the emotions will carry over to today’s game, Cleary hedged. “We’ll see,” he said. “We’ve got to be aggressive on them, got to force them to play good defense, got to be physical on Niedermayer, Getzlaf, Perry, these guys. We’ve got to be hard on them, got to hit them.”
First, they have to catch them. The Ducks’ style is to play an up-tempo game with emotion. Passion alone won’t be enough for them to overcome the Red Wings’ superior skill, but it has given them another chance to prolong a season that appeared nearly dead two months ago.
“Those guys are competitors,” Cleary said. “It’s playoffs. We’re trying to battle for every inch of the ice. You’ve just got to want it more Thursday, that’s all.”
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