Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
As Patrick Roy was to the 1993 Montreal Canadiens, little Danny is becoming to the 2008 Flyers – the one who is there when it counts the most.
There are long stretches in the Wachovia Center when his presence on or off the ice goes unnoticed, but never so in Montreal, where the fifth game in this best-of-seven series will be played tomorrow night.
It is a game Montreal must win to survive. It is a game where Brière wants “to finish them off” so the Flyers can move on to the Eastern Conference final.
When the red-hot playoff scorer so much as touches the puck in Montreal’s Bell Centre, the booing is roughly the equivalent of a Quebec response to a federal power grab.
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
To be sure, there have been a handful of NHLers who’ve recoiled when confronted with the stark realities attached to the inevitable increase of aches and pains and slowdowns in speed. But there’s something about the team nature of hockey that’s made it possible for many of the game’s all-time greats to accept a lesser role than their resume would dictate.
And some have been fortunate enough to have their sacrifices rewarded with the gift of a lengthy playoff run.
Look no further than Dallas’ Mike Modano for a prime example. The first ballot Hall-of-Famer, who’ll turn 38 in June, was rumored to be in line for a toe tag at the end of last season after he was stripped of the Stars captaincy and a severe knee injury limited him to 43 points in 59 games.
Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero will be the guest on the NHL Hour today, hosted by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. The show is on from 4-5 p.m. ET today on XM Satellite Radio (Channel 204) and NHL.com. NHL Hour is an interactive talk radio show that is hosted by a rotation of League executives, and co-hosted by XM sports host and former NHL player Bill Clement.
At show time, you can try to listen live at this link, but it didn’t work last week (despite still being posted here) likely due to the switchover to NHL Network Online. And there’s no permalink available for the show at the Network site, but you can find it at show time by clicking here then on the “NHL Livewire” link in the left column, and the show will then be accessible in the right column.
* While on the air, listeners can call into the show at 1-877-645-6696, or send questions/comments via this email address: email@example.com.
**Archived shows available for download via a podcast on NHL.com.
added 4:00pm ET (Paul), You can try this link to get to the new player at NHL.com to listen, but I am not having any luck getting the audio…
added 4:06pm (Paul), The link I just posted is now working…
Update 2:42pm ET: Some comments from Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail, who notes that hockey writers and players actually agreed on these selections. A rare event.
From the NHLPA Press Release:
TORONTO (May 1, 2008) – The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) announced today that Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames, Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals are finalists for the 2007-08 Lester B. Pearson Award. The Lester B. Pearson Award is presented annually to the “most outstanding player” in the NHL as voted by fellow members of the NHLPA.
from George Vecsey of the NY Times,
Is this the next great dynasty? That is the only logical reaction after seeing the brilliance of Sidney Crosby, 20, and Evgeni Malkin, 21, in the same uniform or, good grief, on the same power-play unit.
This rave is not merely about hockey. This is about talent, the kind of chemical reaction that happens when two potent forces are mixed together. Martin and Lewis. Torvill and Dean. Nuclear fusion. Something that wasn’t there before.
From the Globe & Mail:
Chris Drury is in pain with what is thought to be bruised ribs but the New York Rangers centre expects to play Tuesday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
But the Rangers will be missing checking centre Blair Betts and winger Sean Avery when they try to avoid elimination from the NHL playoffs Tuesday night at the hands of the Penguins. The Penguins lead the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-final 3-0.
P.S. I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume the writer—David Shoalts, I believe—meant “Thursday night.” Tonight.
Update 2:22pm ET: More help for the Blueshirts. From Larry Brooks at the NY Post,
Lauri Korpikoski (center), the 21-year-old out of Finland who was the 19th overall selection in the 2004 Entry Draft, is expected to make his NHL debut tonight vs. Pittsburgh.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
(Gary) Roberts will take his regular spot at left wing on the fourth line. Adam Hall, who replaced Roberts when he was injured, will probably move to centre on that line to fill in for Talbot, with Georges Laraque at right wing.
While he was not happy about sitting out on Tuesday, Roberts said he understood.
“Obviously, the way this team is playing, it’s a tough lineup to crack,” he said. “Unfortunately for Max [Talbot], he broke his foot and it’s an opportunity for me to get back in and help the team.”
more on the Pens…
from the 2008 Stanley Cup Blog at CBC,
Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau has painted himself into a dilemma with his decision to start Jaroslav Halak in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinal against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Halak played well, and when you consider the circumstances under which he was making his first career playoff start, he was exceptional.
The game was played in about as hostile an environment as you will ever see with 19,872 orange-clad Flyers fans hurling obscenities in his direction at the Wachovia Center, and the Canadiens were in desperate need of a victory to knot up the series at two games apiece.
via Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press,
“We get to follow the NHL more in Europe while growing up than what was probably the case 10 years ago,” said Kronwall, from Sweden. “We grew up only knowing how to play a certain way. But now the younger European players are more comfortable playing a more physical style because they’ve seen it more.”
“The league has grown into a more global league than when I first started 15 years ago,” said Lidstrom, also from Sweden. “You didn’t see as many European players in leadership roles. But everybody’s watching now (in Europe). They’re up to date. They’re more aware of what’s going on. I think that’s why you see some of the younger European players having an impact right away.”
from Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News,
It’s frustrating, obviously,” Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said. “We just lost three games and I can’t sit there with the coaching staff and try to change things or the way we play tactically. We are playing great. We have scoring chances and we don’t give too much, but we lost the game. Biron is on top of his game right now. Whether he’s lucky or good or extremely good, he is making the saves . . .
“I’ve played with one guy that made those kind of saves that were silly sometimes.”
He means Ed Belfour back when Carbonneau won a Stanley Cup with Dallas, and silly is just the perfect word for it. He’s right. His team has not played badly, not at all. Their greatest fault lies in their attempts to be too perfect, too pinpoint, trying to be too impossible for Biron to stop.
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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