Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
Paul Maurice stood waiting next to the news conference podium as a technician laboriously counted off, from one into the high teens, trying to get the sound right.
“I thought he was counting off our turnovers,” the Carolina Hurricanes’ coach said when he finally was able to take his seat behind the microphone.
If that were the case, Maurice would still be waiting. And waiting. And waiting, because there were too many for anyone to count in Friday’s 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins to open the second-round playoff series.
After playing some of their best—and most emotional hockey—to beat the New Jersey Devils, the Hurricanes produced a turn-back-the-clock performance against the Bruins, playing the way they did when they struggled earlier this season, not when they succeeded this spring.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
The shot that should be remembered is Nicklas Lidstrom’s pouncing on his own rebound, miraculously alone in a shifting sea of bodies, and rifling the puck past Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller with 49.1 seconds left in the third period to give the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 victory Friday in the opener of the teams’ second-round playoff series.
The shot that will resonate for the remainder of this matchup between the last two Stanley Cup champions is Mike Brown’s first-period hit on Detroit’s Jiri Hudler, which left Hudler bleeding profusely from his forehead and the Red Wings furious over an infraction they believe merited more than the five-minute penalty and game misconduct Brown got.
from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers,
Ryan Salmons, who helped inspire the Blue Jackets and became a hero to scores of the club’s fans, died today (Friday).
Salmons, who fought a long battle with cancer, was 19 years old. He died at Nationwide Childrens Hospital this afternoon just hours after Jackets forward Jason Chimera had stopped in for a visit.
Salmons, a fan of hockey and Corvettes, asked to be put under sedation, his father Brad said.
“His last words were, ‘Dad, I want to go to sleep, I want to go to heaven and I want to park my Corvette in front of the Pearly Gates,’” his father said.
Brad Salmons believes the Jackets’ outreach and team’s bid for its first playoff berth helped keep his son alive the past month. The Jackets signed him to a one-day contract several weeks ago and he was able to attend both playoff games in Nationwide Arena.
Around 11:00am yesterday, I had a bit of a medical emergency and spent about 10 hours at the hospital. I returned home last night just in time to see Lidstrom score the game winning goal.
I suddenly felt much better!
I also want to thank Alanah for her work on KK Hockey yesterday, it was much appreciated.
Anaheim Ducks forward Mike Brown was ejected from Game 1 against the Detroit Red Wings for a hit that bloodied Jiri Hudler.
Hudler passed the puck and was defenceless when Brown hit him, appearing to land an elbow to his head during the first period on Friday night.
The game was delayed briefly while Hudler was helped off the ice and blood was scraped off it. A towel was pressed against a big cut above Hudler’s left eye.
Video (via YouTube):
Update 10:14pm ET: From Bob McKenzie at TSN—
It’s really up to the National Hockey League to decide what is it that they want to do. I think the NHL is going to look at it and say it’s a five-minute major, it happened midway through the first period, Mike Brown is out of this game, there was no severe injury to Hudler other than the blood, he came back and he’s playing, and the Ducks had to play with 11 forwards the rest of the game. There may not be a suspension in this case.
added 5/02/09 at 8:11am (Paul), from Damien Cox of The Spin at the Toronto Star,
Mike Brown’s vicious blindside hit on Jiri Hudler left Hudler in a pool of blood and should, if there’s any consistency in Colin Campbell’s world, land Brown a five-game suspension just as it did Washington’s Donald Brashear for his hit on Blair Betts of the Rangers last week.
From Tim Wharnsby at the Globe & Mail:
San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan, nominated for the Jack Adams Trophy today, spent the three previous NHL seasons as an assistant coach under Detroit Red Wings bench boss Mike Babcock.
The Wings coach acknowledged that he phoned McLellan on Thursday for advice on dealing the Ducks, who upset the Sharks in the first round. But Babcock would not divulge what sort of counsel he received from McLellan.
The Bruins will have had nine days off since dispatching Montreal in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference quarter-final last week. With questions about rust being asked, the Bruins can look to Vancouver’s Game 1 last night as a working blueprint. The Canucks, who also swept their first-round opponent (St. Louis), scored three straight goals against Chicago and held on for the win.
“Everybody’s wondering whether we’re going to be rested or rusty,” head coach Claude Julien said.
“I think Vancouver is a great example to take. They came out and played well in the first period. I’m expecting our players to feel the same way - that we can come out and play the way we know we can. Put all the excuses aside.”
continued with more on both Boston and Carolina
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail:
Here’s a thought for the Calgary Flames to ponder, as they enter another off-season answering the same old questions about their future, both short-and-long term, and why they’re always good enough to make the playoffs but never good enough to win any rounds. Would they consider moving Dion Phaneuf, a 24- year-old defenceman, only one season removed from qualifying as a Norris Trophy finalist?
It would be a counterintuitive move on one level because if Phaneuf ever matured into a dominant defenceman, a la Chris Pronger, it is a decision that could backfire in a big way.
However, it is hard to imagine the Flames standing pat with their current core, given that they haven’t been able to win in the playoffs with the group they’ve got.
From Mike Zeisberger at Sun Media:
Heading into his upcoming showdown against Sidney Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins, the NHL’s most electrifying superstar is getting the support of NBA royalty.
If Alexander Ovechkin was wondering who might be in his corner in this star-studded second-round showdown between his Washington Capitals and the Penguins, he received his answer this morning courtesy of a gift from LeBron (The King) James.
James, whose CIeveland Cavaliers await the identity of their second-round opponent in the NBA playoffs, sent The Great 8 a personally-signed Cavaliers jersey.
“To Alexander The Great. Keep Up The Good Work. King James,” it said, scrawled across the jersey’s white numbers in James’s personal handwriting.
San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan and Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien, who led the NHL’s top two teams this season, and Andy Murray, who lifted the St. Louis Blues to a surprising Stanley Cup Playoff berth, are the three finalists for the 2009 Jack Adams Award in voting by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association.
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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