Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Paul Kukla at his NHL.com blog:
Goaltending is always under the microscope during the playoffs and holds especially true in the Wings-Stars series. Chris Osgood must be steady and avoid the “how did that one get by him” question, while Marty Turco must continue to be outstanding. You can be sure both teams will be trying to get to the opposing goalie and rattle their cages a bit. Whichever keeper maintains his focus the most should win this series.
more… on each series
Plus more from Paul at Hockey.com:
Never have I done something like this — as a matter of fact, I despise the prediction side of this business. But this time, I feel it in my bones, in my head and in my heart.
Pens/Wings will meet in the Stanley Cup Final.
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
I don’t like to beat around the bush on Seventh Avenue and 33rd Street, so I’ll get right to the point.
On the assumption that Jaromir Jagr will NOT be a Ranger next season, Shanahan must be invited back for another term.
However, if management learns in a reasonable amount of time that Jagr wants to be back on Broadway for 2008-09, then Shanny must be given a fair “adieu.” No more, no less.
As far as The Maven is concerned, there’s no room on an invigorated—and, yes, it WILL be invigorated by younger aces—roster for two elder statesmen. One is enough.
From Fernando Pisani at The Hockey News:
Hockey players often take their health for granted. That all changed for me in 2005 when I started feeling sick.
I knew something was wrong with me, but I was kind of embarrassed to see somebody about it. As time went on and I began to feel worse, I knew I needed to get well and had to see a doctor. I finally did and that’s when I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.
I was able to continue playing, but last July all the symptoms started coming back, only worse this time. I was going to the bathroom 20-30 times a day, losing a lot of blood and a lot of weight.
from Rob Parent of the Delco Times,
Essentially, a fractured bone near the ankle had left him with one halfway good leg, with pain radiating up and down the other. Yet Hatcher has found the strength to return for a springtime renewal of a Flyers team that spent the prior spring bogged down in humiliation.
So, how is a guy a month shy of 36 supposed to renew his broken body to go along for the ride? Maybe it’s something you learn the longer you’re around.
“Just everyday wear and tear,” Hatcher said. “It hasn’t really had the chance to heal the way it should. And I don’t mean my ankle … more the rest of my body. I mean, from my hip flexors to my everything else. Coming back for me, it was like going zero-to-60 on a track.”
Remember Dion Phaneuf turning down Team Canada because he needed to rest and heal from a tough playoff series?
Well, he sure is resting (with video)!
Ed Snider talks about his Flyers…
from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Daily News,
They don’t seem to have anything in common except for their hometown of Gatineau, Quebec.
Danny Briere is a quick, skilled hockey player. If he is arguably the most talented player on the Flyers, he is certainly the smallest.
Hugo Girard has won the title of Canada’s strongest man five times and was the subject of the 2003 documentary Strongman. He is 6-foot-3 and 330 pounds with, he is quick to point out, “about 10 percent body fat.”
from the Dallas Morning News,
We may never know how many people really eyeballed Brenden Morrow’s series-clinching goal at 1:24 a.m. Monday. But we do know how many Dallas-Fort Worth homes were tuned into the game on Fox Sports Net Southwest from 1:15 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.
The television rating for that quarter hour was a 3.9 with an 18 share. The rating translates into 94,988 homes, according to Nielsen Media Research. The 18 share means that 18 percent of all homes with televisions in use were tuned to the final minutes of the Stars’ 2-1, four-overtime victory over the San Jose Sharks.
Overall, the game scored a Stars playoff-high 4.4 average rating (107,166 homes), with an 11 share from 8 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. It peaked in the third period from 10:30 p.m. to 10:45 p.m. with a 6.0 rating (146,136 homes).
more TV talk…
from Greg Logan of Newsday,
For the past 20 years, Chris Botta helped the Islanders navigate through a public-relations minefield replete with revolving owners and controversial personnel decisions that threatened their existence as a viable NHL franchise. But that relationship ended yesterday when the Islanders’ vice president of media relations announced his resignation for personal reasons. “It was my dream job, and it’s been an incredible ride,” he said yesterday. “But it’s time to end it.”
from Carl Steward of Inside Bay Area,
Seriously, at this point is extraordinary effort enough from the Sharks if it doesn’t deliver victory and playoff advancement beyond the first round?
Blunt answer: No way, San Jose. This conference semifinal “Groundhog Day” elimination routine is getting old for fans, and it should be getting embarrassing for the Sharks, who are becoming the Atlanta Braves of hockey. Of course, the Braves won a World Series and got to a couple more, so maybe they’re not even on that level.
Something significant has to change with these guys, because mere minor tinkering to achieve the same sour result next year is foolhardy, and that’s precisely what will happen if the Sharks try to maintain the status quo. They’ll still get the sellouts, they’ll still win their share of games, but they’ll never get a sniff of the Stanley Cup.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org