Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Jamieson of the Vancouver Province,
The Canucks feel they have got some good preparation for Chicago goalie Antti Niemi in the first round of the playoffs.
That would be playing against the L.A. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, who’s about the same size, gets low to take away the bottom part of the net and in is in his first NHL playoffs.
The Canucks are also hoping to see the same proclivity for giving up juicy rebounds that Quick exhibited, some of which allowed Vancouver to light up the Kings goalie for 21 goals in the six-game series.
“We’ve talked about him having a lot of the same tendencies as Quick,” said Canucks defenceman Shane O’Brien.
“That should help us going in here, but he’s had a great season and obviously won the first round. We’re going to have to make life miserable for him. We’re going to get as much traffic as possible in front of him and get pucks to the net and challenge him. We’ll see how he deals with it.”
from Ken Daniels at DetroitRedWings.com,
I discovered again last night, I don’t enjoy watching hockey!
Ok, before you say, “for the love of Nicklas Lidstrom, what are you talking about?”
I don’t enjoy watching the team I love to work for, when I should be working! It’s just too intense. Now I know how most of you feel.
Once again, that NHL network some of you get, and some of you don’t, put Mickey Redmond and me on the sidelines – something it can do with its exclusive broadcasts two times in the second round – and it will do so again for Game 2, and then FS Detroit takes over as long as the series goes. And if you listened to San Jose coach Todd McLellan during his post-game conference last night, he said, “This is just one game, with six to go”. Oops. He let the cat out of the bag. This thing is going seven. For Red Wings’ fans, at this point, that’s great news! Almost as great as the news that Jiri Hudler will return next season. But back to Game 1.
Aside from Caps owner Ted Leonsis, the biggest losers are the Caps Russian superstar Alexander Ovechkin and sports marketing powerhouse IMG. Ovechkin and IMG singed a deal about 5 months ago hoping to cash in on Ovechkin’s global appeal. This will be harder now. With the Penguins still in the hunt the playoffs are all about Sidney Crosby, who will be plastered all over Versus, the NHL Network and NHL.com.
-Michael K. Ozanian of Forbes.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Back in November, 1994, during the first NHL lockout, I was sent to Fort Wayne, home of the famous Komets, to do a story on life in the International Hockey League….
First, though, Franke (owner of the Komets) wanted to talk about the first period, which saw the Komets fall behind. Unsolicited, he went through a laundry list of what he saw as bad decisions and bad strategy by his coach. Like Leonsis, Franke never mentioned the coach but the meaning was clear.
When I returned to the press box for the start of the second period, I ran into Doug MacLean, who was an NHL scout at the time. I told MacLean what the owner said about his coach and said I didn’t like the coach’s chances of hanging on to his job. MacLean agreed it is never a good thing when an owner starts second-guessing the x’s and o’s on a coach.
Sure enough, the coach didn’t make it to Christmas.
His name? Yep, tough guess. Bruce Boudreau.
added 2:38pm, via Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,
Pressed on his coach’s status, McPhee added: “Bruce is a really good coach. He’s a really good coach. He’s going to be here a really long time. No need to raise those issues because he’s not going anywhere.”
from Chris Iorfida of CBC,
When you think about NHL hockey teams from the 1970s, the top three teams that likely come to mind are the high-flying Montreal Canadiens, the big, bad Bruins from Boston, and the Broad Street bullies from Philadelphia.
The Bruins and Flyers were arguably the two toughest teams ever to lace up skates, and they brought skill to the table as well. Boston and Philadelphia met four times in the playoffs in five years — a 1974 Stanley Cup final that heralded a new era in hockey, and three semifinal series that followed.
When Boston and Philadelphia face off in this year’s Eastern Conference semifinal, almost improbably it will be the first post-season meeting of the franchises since those days. The Bruins and Flyers have been in the same conference for most of the three decades since, but haven’t crossed paths.
Here’s a look back at the four memorable playoff battles from the 1970s:
from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,
After lunch at my favorite pizza and sub sandwich restaurant, Carnival Spot in Pompton Plains, I met Vanderbeek for coffee today at Greenberry’s in Morristown.
“A couple of things bother me,” Vanderbeek said of the Devils’ first-round loss to the Flyers. “Losing in the first round. Losing at home. Losing the final game without scoring a goal. And on top of that, losing in the first round for the third year in a row. I felt our fan base had embraced this team.
“I don’t believe in coincidences. You have to ask yourself the hard questions.”
He is not happy. Because of the early exit, the Devils will lose money this season.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Glob and Mail,
...the annual deliberation between who might be the league’s dominant player, Alex Ovechkin or Sidney Crosby, seems even more heavily tilted in favour of the latter at the moment.
It isn’t just because Crosby is captain of the defending champions, or the player that scored the winning goal in overtime to clinch gold for Canada in the 2010 Olympics. Those are compelling arguments on his side of the ledger.
But Crosby is also the first of the two archrivals to understand that greatness cannot be a singular pursuit in a team sport; and what ultimately forges a player’s legacy is his ability to channel his own personal skills into larger team successes.
from Rick Sadowski at NHL.com,
Playing 48 hours after completing a grueling seven-game series against Phoenix wasn’t a problem for the Detroit Red Wings.
“Zero,” was the effect, coach Mike Babcock said following the Red Wings’ 4-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion on Thursday night in the teams’ Western Conference semifinal series opener.
The same couldn’t be said for special-teams play.
from Lindsay Applebaum of Capitals Insider,
After a stunning first-round playoff exit in seven games against Jaroslav Halak and the Canadiens, the Capitals are left wondering about their future. And everyone has an opinion on what went wrong. Personally, I like to blame everything on global warming. It’s edgy.
continue for many pointers on what went wrong….
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
Halak! Halak! Halak! People already are calling him another Ken Dryden, winner of six Stanley Cups in eight seasons. Another Patrick Roy, who led the Canadiens to their last two Cups.
You don’t volunteer for greatness. You earn it, as Dryden and Roy did leading their teams to the summit. But for now, Halak’s excellence in this first round had more than a touch of magic to it.
Remarkably, Halak stopped 131 of the 134 shots he faced in the last three games. The Canadiens scored eight times on their 66 shots.
How do you top that? Halak didn’t merely give his team a chance to win, he carried it on his slender shoulders - just as he did bringing the Canadiens into the playoffs. On the other hand, another number should tell you that his supporting cast was there for him.
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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