Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News,
It’s lip service if they continue to pretend that Connolly can lead a team to the Cup. The Sabres have a young, promising team, but they won’t begin to grow up until Connolly is out of here.
Fans are fed up with Tiny Tim. Management is clearly disillusioned. From what I hear, several of his teammates are down on Connolly, too. Yes, he was coming back from a broken foot in the playoffs. But that’s no excuse. His play was flat and unspired, as it’s been during long stretches when he’s actually healthy.
In my NHL.com blog today, a few hockey observations.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Michael Cammalleri (he told reporters in Montreal on Monday he prefers it to Mike, but really doesn’t care) has been on fire with eight postseason goals, one off the league lead as of Monday morning. He has scored in six of nine postseason games, including two goals in the Habs’ big 3-1 win over Pittsburgh on Sunday that tied the series at 1.
It’s a stark change from a year ago, when Cammalleri had one goal in six games for Calgary in a first-round loss to Chicago….
The 5-foot-9 forward said he doesn’t really understand the idea that the size of the Habs’ small forwards, often referred to as “Smurfs,” would be a factor in the playoffs.
“It’s hockey,” Cammalleri said. “The puck’s on the ice. Sometimes I don’t understand that notion. It’s not basketball where the net’s 10 feet in the air, but what can I tell you?”
from World Tennis Magazine,
I am Derek Sanderson, a Boston Bruins hockey player.” He was one of the NHL’s most productive offensive players of that era, won Stanley Cup twice in 1970 and 1972!
I thought to myself: “Gee, this is unbelievable; such a star is sitting next to me!” We engaged in a conversation and discussed many topics – hockey, tennis… and suddenly I remembered: Damn, my brother-in-law and the skates! Should I ask Derek about it or should I not? Wouldn’t it be embarrassing?
At last I pulled the courage and asked: “Listen, would you be able to help me with something?” “What do you need?”
I explained to him that my brother-in-law was also a hockey player and needed some decent skates; at that he said: “Look, that’s not a problem. You give me your racket, I’ll give you skates.”
from Marc Antoine Godin of cyberpresse (translated),
Hal Gill had the chance to play good hockey markets like Boston, Toronto and Pittsburgh. Each of these cities has its own personality.
“Montreal is probably the largest crowd dynamics of the league, says the gentle giant. But if you make a mistake, people let you know! In Toronto, it’s full every night, but it’s very quiet. And Pittsburgh, it was not always full, but it’s a younger crowd, usually very busy.”
Michael Cammalleri is still not in regard to experiences hyperactive crowd. “Hockey at the University of Michigan is a spectacular experience, said Cammalleri. When there is a punishment to an opponent, the whole crowd murmur “Ooooohhh” as the player approaches the penalty box. Then the noise increases ...
“And when the guy entered the penalty bench, the 7000 people - even little old ladies and children - cried the worst insults in the showing of fingering!”
thanks to Habs Inside/Out for the pointer
from Stu Hackel of Slap Shot at the NY Times,
Tuesday night at 10 Eastern, HBO will broadcast its latest installment in its “Sports in the 20th Century” documentary series, “The Broad Street Bullies,” on the Philadelphia Flyers of the 1970s. (It will be rerun multiple times on HBO and HBO2 and is available on demand starting Wednesday for viewers caught up watching either the Penguins-Canadiens game or the Sharks-Red Wings playoff games if either or both reach overtime.)
Hockey is an infrequent subject of HBO sports documentaries, and this is the first time they’ve profiled an N.H.L. team, although their “Do You Believe In Miracles” portrait of the 1980 United States men’s Olympic hockey team might be the best, and certainly the most affecting look at that team ever produced.
I happen to be old enough to remember this Flyers team. Nasty, dirty, win at any cost and entertaining are words I would use to describe the Broad Street Bullies..
from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,
As the Red Wings take the ice tonight for Game 3, down 2-0 to the unexpectedly confident Sharks, suddenly many things seem uncertain for the most successful franchise in the NHL for the past decade and a half. But there’s some assurance: Babcock is cocksure he knows the answers. He will be direct in telling players what they must do. And, while considerate of their points of view, his unqualified, singular concern is winning.
Since he began coaching 22 years ago, at Red Deer College in Alberta, Babcock has succeeded at every level. His consummate confidence and intensity are sometimes confused with arrogance, even conceit, according to some former colleagues.
But as players and others come to know him, they usually understand Babcock is fiercely knowledgeable of the game, intensely competitive and utterly fearless of difficult decisions or dire straits—like being down a couple games in a playoff series.
from Rich Hofmann of the Philadelphia Daily News,
To play well enough to win both games on the road but to win neither of them - it is the kind of thing that could crush some teams. As captain, that is now part of Richards’ burden, too. Bedeviled by inconsistency all season, the Flyers get one more chance to bounce back - and Richards did his best to draw a road map while standing on a little interview riser in the Flyers’ dressing room.
“All year, it seems like when we’ve taken steps backward, we come back with a great effort,” Richards said. “Especially at home, we’ve done a lot of great things. Maybe a little bit inconsistent throughout the year, and [we] lost some games in a row, but we’ve always seemed to bounce back, especially at home. We’re going to have to do that. It’s going to be a gutsy effort in Game 3, and we’re going to need it.”
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Lucic hasn’t been horrible this season, but he hasn’t been anywhere near the tower of glower and power that he was his first two seasons in Black and Gold. A broken finger and an ankle sprain deprived him of two critical tools — the finger cutting back on his fight game, the ankle diminishing his skating game.
The day before Game 6 of the first-round series against Buffalo, coach Claude Julien said Lucic just had “to get his head around things.’’ In other words, it was time for the big lug to start moving his feet, smacking people into the boards, getting back in touch with the inner beast that unexpectedly won him a spot on the Boston roster in his first training camp in September 2007.
Lucic was far more himself last night, even before the nifty dipsy-doodle in the slot, the quick half slap, the delightful dance amid the roar of the building. He finished with two shots and three hits, and linemates David Krejci and Miroslav Satan combined for 3 points.
more and watch his game winning goal below…
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman held a media availability before Game 2 of the Canucks-Blackhawks series Monday night, although there was no formal announcement on his part. It was a just a chance for local media to have a crack at him, just like it was two weeks ago in Los Angeles.
Three items that caught our attention:
The officials: Bettman was also asked about the officiating in the playoffs—a sensitive topic judging from ESPN.com message boards—and whether the games are being called differently in the postseason.
“It’s not the case,” Bettman said. “They haven’t been given a different set of instructions. The game is played a little differently, and the officials have to react to that. And there are adjustments that go on in the course of a series that you don’t see over the course of the regular season, two teams will play and play different teams the next night.
“The games now are probably a little more intense. ... But no, they’re told to call it just the way they did [in the regular season]....
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.
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