Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Wise of the Washington Post,
He knows the creases in his forehead are deepening at the same time his speed is declining. Nothing can hide the obvious. Not the chic red ski cap he wore after practice yesterday—not the Ferrari, not the Maybach, not the European designer jeans and certainly not his tentative Game 1 performance in a 4-3 loss to the Rangers.
In pro-athlete parlance, Sergei Fedorov is old. And so there is a genuine feeling around the organization it might be good to see the Russian legend now, in these final weeks of the 2009 season, because you never know when the great ones will go—and Fedorov more than qualifies….
He concedes the life of an NHL veteran is getting old. “I don’t mind preseason, but I guess the travel, long schedules eventually get to you somehow,” Fedorov said. “It’s probably when you’re younger you kind of digest that. It’s a little bit easier. When you’re older, you’re a little bit, you know, battling.”
more and the one thing I remember about Fedorov in his prime was his strong skating ability. He was so strong on his skates and could find that extra gear when needed. Watch a highlight of Sergei below…
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail (Saturday edition),
Statistics compiled by John Dellapina at NHL.com argue that the winner of Game 2 has a remarkable 381-150 record in the playoffs, a winning percentage of .718. Game 1 winners haven’t had quite the success, though the winning percentage there is still an impressive .691.
Game 2 victors who rebounded from a Game 1 defeat have gone on to a 127-113 record (.529). So if you only win one of the two opening matches, the odds are better if you can take the second….
“We’ve got to find a way to break the game open,” says Christopher Higgins, who scored one of the two Montreal goals last Thursday. Kovalev had the second.
How they do this is the question. The Canadiens played admirably, but it wasn’t enough. They checked hard, but Higgins would argue not hard enough.
“Don’t let ‘em breathe when they get the puck,” is his solution for fore-checking the deep and physical Boston defence led by Norris Trophy candidate Zdeno Chara.
Sports Illustrated posted an AP story which basically states Caps Coach Bruce Boudreau is leaning towards starting goale Jose Theodore tomorrow.
from Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star,
Though it’s a team game, Rick Nash knows if he doesn’t win his personal battle the war we’ll be lost for his Columbus Blue Jackets.
For within the Jackets playoff series against the Detroit Red Wings, there is going to be the game within the game.
“It is quite different,” said Nash of lining up against the same guy for potentially seven straight games.
“Little rivalries start even if there already is one.
“You’re playing each other every other night pretty much. Guys start battling one another. “Guys start remembering what you did in the last game. It’s going to be fun and be tough.”
In Detroit’s 4-1 victory Thursday, round one of the battle went convincingly to the Wings as they held Nash to four harmless shots and kept him to the perimeter.
from John Glennon of the Tennessean,
Predators general manager David Poile said Friday he’s agreed to a new one-year contract through June of 2010.
Last summer Poile decided to sign year-to-year contracts as a safeguard against unforeseen circumstances like ownership change. His current contract would have expired this June….
“I’ve been here since day one and to me, it’s a little unfinished business,’’ Poile said. “At different times I’ve felt we were really close, especially a couple years ago and then that went (downhill) with Craig selling the team.
“So the last two years under new ownership, we’ve made a commitment to sign some of our existing players and we’ve drafted real well. It’s my goal and hope that we’re not too far away from being a top team again — getting this thing right, making Nashville a hockey city and winning some playoff rounds, getting a Stanley Cup.’’
from Dan Wood of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
With the San Jose Sharks having received six power-play opportunities to his team’s four Thursday night at HP Pavilion, Ducks coach Randy Carlyle anticipated visiting with Kay Whitmore, the supervisor of officials assigned by the NHL to the clubs’ opening-round Stanley Cup playoff series.
“He’s from Sudbury, so I know him,” said Carlyle, who also hails from the Ontario city.
Despite his club’s 2-0 victory Thursday, Carlyle probably has more pressing matters to discuss with Whitmore, a former NHL goaltender.
One of the Ducks’ power-play chances came late in the third period, after the game had essentially been decided, which meant that referees Dave Jackson and Kelly Sutherland handed out two of every three man-advantage opportunities before then to the Sharks.
from the CP via TSN,
Komisarek was amused with Chiarelli’s assertion that his actions may have warranted a suspension.
“That’s a bit of a ridiculous statement,” Komisarek said. “I don’t know if the kid has gentle skin or what.
“It’s playoff hockey, but I’ve never been like Larry, Moe and Curly and tried to poke someone’s eye out.”
Kostopoulos insists he wasn’t head-hunting when his elbow came up on Hunwick.
“We got a little frustrated and we let it show,” he said. “We were just trying to finish our hits.”
more and watch some of the action at the end of the game below (French language)...
from Gary Peterson of the Mercury News,
The home crowd booed its way to the exits. The Sharks seemed somewhat less affected.
“We’ve got a good veteran club here,” Joe Thornton said afterward. “You know, we lost Game 1 last year against Calgary.”
The outcome went over poorly with the home crowd in part because the prelude was so delicious. The final strains of the national anthem were still echoing through the building when the two sides began pounding one another like brothers
from Larry Brooks,
The Rangers have signed Boston University free agent defenseman Matt Gilroy, winner of the Hobey Baker Award as college hockey’s best player, The Post has learned.
Gilroy, the 24-year-old who led the Terriers to the NCAA title last week, received serious bids from a half-dozen teams, notably including the Devils, Maple Leafs and Lightning.
It’s believed the Long Island native, whose father, Frank, played basketball for St. John’s from 1997-81, signed a two-year deal for between $4-5 million.
“I was thinking about this this morning after watching the tape. I don’t think Detroit would do anything in drag racing, because they would never pass the Christmas Tree test. The would be red-lighted (for a false start) every time because their wingers cheat,. So we’re going to cheat just like they are. The power-play goal they scored, their winger went in on the move, good for him. We’re going to do the same thing. It’ll be interesting to see who gets kicked out first.’‘
-Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock via Ansar Khan of Mlive.
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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