Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from Damien Cox of the Spin at the Toronto Star,
ll the negative stories in the world - the corporate brawl over the Phoenix Coyotes, the absurd non-suspension of Carolina’s Scott Walker - couldn’t obscure the fact that two games Monday night, the Canucks-Hawks thriller and the OT contest between Washington and Pittsburgh, delivered as much of everything as a hockey fan could want.
You can take your 1-0 and 2-1 games if you want them. Me, the 5-4 Caps win and the 7-5 Chicago triumph represented hockey at its best, a terrific combination of skill, hitting and passion that produced an entertainment package that no other sport could match if the NHL could ever find a way to deliver it on a consistent basis.
It’s the greatest game on earth, particularly when it’s allowed to be.
We’ll leave the Caps and Pens for now since there’s another game in that series to be played. Chicago, meanwhile, roared back from a 4-3 third period deficit and in so doing obliterated the myth of Roberto Luongo for now, if not for good.
from Dan Steinberg of D.C. Sports Bog,
I mean, that was the biggest goal that I scored in my career so I didn’t know what to do,” David Steckel said. “I just started jumping around.”
“I couldn’t get over the boards quick enough,” Mike Green said.
“Just an eight-inch vertical leap,” Coach Bruce Boudreau said, describing his own reaction. “It’s getting higher. Each game that’s more important, I leap a little bit higher.”
“To be honest I just turned around and saw the nearest guy,” Laich said. “It was Tom Poti, and I just about leveled him, the poor guy. It might have been the hardest hit he took tonight. I left my feet, so it would have been a penalty, too. Just elation and excited, grab the nearest guy and hug him to death.”
“Well, it was fun, you know?” said Viktor Kozlov, aka Nice Drago, whose face showed more fun than his quotes. “I’m very excited with everybody else.”
from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Tribune,
“At the end of the game, the last five minutes, I’ve never been in a building that I’ve heard so loud,” said Adam Burish, who scored a third-period goal. “I’ve been to concerts, sporting events—there’s nothing I’ve experienced as loud as that.
“We couldn’t hear what coach (Joel Quenneville) was saying. Guys were relaying it. It was like a game of telephone on the bench. Guys were relaying what he was saying all the way down the bench. There was a time when they were playing some kind of loud rock music. You couldn’t even hear what song was playing. It was pretty cool.”
The Hawks are going to the conference finals for the first time since 1995, and it’s hard to overstate what that means for a franchise that was all but dead until the last few seasons. But suddenly, on the wings of a young roster and a marketing plan that brought the franchise into the 20th Century (yes, I know it’s the 21st), the Hawks will soon be one of the four teams left in the NHL playoffs.
Lead by the youngsters Patrick Kane (3 goals) and Jonathan Toews (2 goals), the Blackhawks defeat the Vancouver Canucks 7-5.
David Steckel deflects a shot from Brooks Laich and we move on to game 7 in Washington.
One more thing, Bruce Boudreau needs to bet some better collar stays to prevent his shirt collar from pointing upwards.
added 10:44pm, Game highlights via Versus can be watched below…
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Update from Monday’s late afternoon practice at the Honda Center: Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski participated in his first practice in 12 days, said he felt good and will be a game-time decision for Tuesday. Rafalski has missed the first five games of the series with an undisclosed upper-body injury.
“If the coaches and myself feel I can contribute in any way, then there’s a good chance I’ll play, but we’ll see what happens,’’ Rafalski said. “Until I get on the ice, I can’t really tell when I’ll be able to play. Practice went well today, skated well yesterday for 25 minutes (with the reserves before the game), a little longer today.’‘
continue for more on the Wings…
from Curtis Zupke of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
Carlyle mostly had his team put Game 5, a 4-1 loss, behind them. He had the club scrimmage with opposite-handed sticks for the first part of practice to lighten the mood.
“How are we going to lift the spirits of people other than go back to some of the goofy things you did when you played hockey (as a kid)?” Carlyle said.
“Wrong-handed scrimmage and ball hockey are all things that they remember, and you could see a lot of smiles on the faces, a much lighter approach.”
from SnapShots at Mlive,
May 11, Fox Sports Detroit: RED WINGS GAME 5 VICTORY SETS RATINGS RECORD FOR FOX SPORTS DETROIT
Detroit-Anaheim Game Achieves 17.1 Household Rating / 35 Share in Metro Detroit
FOX Sports Detroit attracted an all-time record audience for Sunday’s Game 5 of the NHL Western Conference Semifinal series between the Detroit Red Wings and Anaheim Ducks.
Based on data received from Nielsen Media Research, the 5:00-7:45 PM telecast registered a 17.1 household rating / 35 share in the Detroit metro area, an average of nearly 330,000 homes (one rating point equals approximately 19,270 households).
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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