Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
The Ducks have been outshot in each of their nine playoff games and by 375-249 overall, including 145-93 by Detroit. That they upset San Jose in six games and hold a 2-1 edge entering Game 4 tonight at the Honda Center is a tribute to Hiller, but the escalating quality of Detroit’s late shots makes the Ducks’ high-wire act appear ever more precarious.
The Red Wings believe the Ducks are due for a fall.
“When you’re shooting the puck and you’ve got people at the net, I’m a big believer over time you’re going to get a tip that goes in or you’re going to get a rebound that comes to you eventually,” Detroit Coach Mike Babcock said Wednesday.
“Right now that’s not happening, but it’s a process. Stay with it.”
Marian Hossa, whose apparent tying goal was disallowed during the Red Wings’ 18-shot third period Tuesday, credited the Ducks’ defense for limiting rebounds but said that won’t last forever. The Ducks have been outshot in the third period in eight of nine playoff games and in this series have been outshot, 80-34, after the second period.
“There’s lots of loose pucks and we have to keep after them,” Hossa said, “and sooner or later rebounds are going to come to us and we’re going to put it in.”
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Many have marvelled this week at the terrific playoff series between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins, and with good reason.
There are stars and characters galore on these two entertaining, well-managed and well-coached teams, and clearly these are two cities which are passionately behind their clubs.
But if the same logic had been applied to the Caps and Penguins a few years ago that many are now urging must be applied to the bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes, neither team would be in their current city.
Would the NHL be better for it? Probably not.
Folks, this is why it’s important during this ongoing debate over the future of the Coyotes not to be distracted by extraneous, irrelevant issues.
This, you see, isn’t about popularity contests between Gary Bettman and Jim Balsillie or meaningless website gimmicks….
This is about a business, the NHL, that sells professional hockey. So let’s get a few facts straight.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
If the Bruins were your laptop computer, ever trusty and full of answers, you would have turned it on last night, watched the screen come aglow, and within a few minutes you would have been convinced that it picked up a mysterious and potentially deadly virus.
A few more minutes, and you no doubt would have been tapping the space bar, really tapping the space bar, in hopes of fixing it. Yes, sir. Tap, tap, tap.
If you grew up in the world before cable television (Google UHF antenna and aluminum foil), you next would have employed the foolproof method of smacking the side of the screen maybe, oh, two or three or four times. And if that failed, the only option would have been to heave the sucker clear across the kitchen and curse the bleepin’ thing back to working order. That ever work for you, bunky?
All in all, that had to be how Boston coach Claude Julien felt after watching his misguided wanderers flub and stumble their way to a 3-2 overtime loss last night to the hard-charging Hurricanes.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Many of us are defined by the work we do, and Taylor Pyatt of the Vancouver Canucks counts himself in that group as well. Pyatt was back at work for the first time in a month on Tuesday — and it was exactly the right thing to do at this moment of his young life.
Pyatt lost his fiancée, Carly Bragnalo, just over a month ago to a traffic accident in Jamaica, where she was vacationing. It was a tragedy that turned his life upside down.
“For the first few days, I wasn’t sure if I would even get back on skates this season,” Pyatt said yesterday after the Canucks’ practice. “As time passed by and the weeks went by, and I got back to Vancouver, I just took it one step at a time.”
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
When Eric Staal lifts his team and puts it on his shoulders, there’s no telling how far he can take it.
There were plenty of Game 3 heroes for the Carolina Hurricanes, from Jussi “The Finnisher” Jokinen scoring yet another winning goal, to Cam Ward making a save on Milan Lucic to open overtime, to Sergei Samsonov scoring his first goal of the playoffs against his former team.
But on a night the Hurricanes did just about everything but score yet still found themselves trailing the Boston Bruins, Staal again made himself the difference.
from Mike Wise of the Washington Post,
When the other guys outshoot Washington 42-23 and make sensational Simeon go up, down, in, out and back again—until the Caps’ kid goalie conducted an aerobics class in the crease—something had to get through. Outhit, outhustled and completely outplayed, the Caps couldn’t have justified going up 3-0 in this increasingly entertaining Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Karma in playoff hockey would not exist if the Penguins lost Game 3. Desperate as they’ve been since they were eliminated in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals by the Detroit Red Wings a year ago, they responded in overtime with what was most likely a series-saving win on their home ice.
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
It was Bettman, sources have said, who went to Moyes on Tuesday and presented a conditional offer from Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf that would have paid down a portion of the team’s indebtedness as long as Moyes walked away.
Moyes walked, all right. He went right to Balsillie and finalized a $212.5-million (U.S.) transaction — with another $17-million for bridge financing — that would ensure every creditor got paid. That has put Bettman between a rock and a cactus, and those in the know say he’s not happy about it.
The thing is: That unhappiness is certain to spread among the owners, some of whom have begun to question Bettman’s handiwork, along with his vision. For example: His decision to have NHL games broadcast in the United States on Versus has been a spectacular dud, despite claims to rising viewership. His decision to keep teams in their current marketplaces no matter how much money they lose has created all manner of stress and strain throughout the league.
“Bettman’s smart,” a source said, “but he’s under tremendous pressure, maybe the most he’s ever felt.”
Phoenix area newspapers, business journals, TV and radio stations are all reporting on the current financial situation of the Phoenix Coyotes.
Maybe if they provided this much coverage on the team itself, you know, during the regular season, the Yotes would not be in this situation.
from Dan Wood of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
A 2-1 series lead over the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings would be cause for at least some sense of accomplishment in many NHL locker rooms.
The Ducks had far too many areas for concern to harbor any such sentiment Wednesday as they prepared for Game 4 of their second-round playoff matchup Thursday night at Honda Center.
Dealing with repeated inquiries regarding referee Brad Watson’s quick whistle that wiped out what would have been a tying goal by Detroit’s Marian Hossa late in the third period of Tuesday night’s 2-1 Ducks victory was only the start.
“We got a break,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said, boiling down the controversial call into simple, short truth.
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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