Kukla's Korner Hockey
Two teams will be up 2-1 in the series after the game tonight.
Which two is the question.
from Randy Hahn of the Seagate Broadcaster Blog,
As you scroll through this section you will notice that none of the broadcasters have chimed in yet on how the Sharks season ended a week ago. There’s a perfectly good explanation, or two, for that.
First of all, what do you say? The greatest expectations in the 18 year history of the franchise went crumbling to the ground before our very eyes. It ended way too soon. It hit Rusanowski, Baker, Remenda and I with the same “kicked in the gut” feeling that many of you had and still have. It was brutal. There’s not much else you can say about it….
So I went to the well again. I asked my Facebook “friends”, how they felt about the Sharks now that the “raw emotions” have worn off. Here’s what they said.
I’m still disappointed, especially watching other teams still playing. It still hurts, but I’m over the worst part. I trust in DW (Doug Wilson) to do whatever is necessary to prevent this from happening again. I agree when he says it’s going to be a painful summer.
This surprises me: Ovechkin and Crosby’s matching hat tricks is only the fourth such occurrence in Stanley Cup playoff history. The other three times were:
April 25th, 1996 - Trevor Linden, Vancouver and Joe Sakic, Colorado
April 26th, 1993 - Ray Ferraro, NY Islanders and Al Iafrate, Washington
April 14th, 1983 - Paul Reinhart, Calgary and Mark Messier, Edmonton
added 9:42am, from Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post,
“When Crosby gets one, then Ovie comes back with a couple, and then Crosby gets another, and Ovie gets another,” Capitals forward Brooks Laich said. “It’s unbelievable to see two of the best going at it like that. . . . In the biggest moments, usually your biggest guys step to the front. That’s what Alex did tonight.”
In the Pittsburgh locker room, the Penguins said the same about Crosby. Thus, in the series’ first two games—both won by Washington—unmatchable hype is being matched, because the two best players have four goals apiece and are delivering the kind of performances that forge true rivalries.
With the recent stick saves by Luongo and Varlamov, TSN counts down the Top 10 Stick Saves…
from George Johnson ot the Calgary Herald,
As we sift through the fallout of the latest comeuppance, there’s been growing chatter from apoplectic fans about the
Flames perhaps considering the unthinkable—dealing one of the four cornerstones in the club’s foundation—captain Jarome Iginla, defencemen Dion Phaneuf and Robyn Regehr, along with Kiprusoff—while market value remains high.
From Sutter’s tone Monday, that ain’t happening….
“If you’ve only got four of them,’’ he argued, “then all you’ll be doing is fighting to get into the playoffs every year.’‘
Phaneuf, at 24, the ideal You-Tube age defenceman—heavy on the highlights, light on the consistency—has come in for the most flak. And justifiably so. He was highly erratic most of the regular season, and then beat to blazes come playoff time. His upside is such that not investing at least one more year of time and effort, despite the inherent frustrations, seems foolish. A lot of people believe what he needs is a good-sized cowboy boot (old junior coach Brent Sutter’s favoured brand, perhaps?) upside the rear end to knock him off his high horse and get him to listen.
from Dan Wood of the OC Register,
For their next trick, the Ducks and Detroit Red Wings will toe the starter’s blocks Tuesday night at Honda Center, just 52 hours after having completed a marathon three time zones away.
Whatever effects linger from Sunday’s 4-3, triple-overtime Ducks victory at Joe Louis Arena could go a long way toward determining which team takes a 2-1 lead in Game 3 of the best-of-7, second-round Stanley Cup playoff series.
“That’s a factor in playoff hockey,” Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer said. “You play these long games and you have to bounce back, be ready to go in two days. Everyone has to deal with it – us and them. That’s part of the challenge.”
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
Thanks to blowing a 2-0 lead, giving up five consecutive goals, and losing 6-3 at home to Chicago in Game 2, the Canucks come here where the Blackhawks are unbeaten in the playoffs and where the environment is expected to be like it hasn’t been for a hockey game in Chicago since the Blackhawks used to play across the road in the now-levelled Chicago Stadium.
“All the way home it’s all everybody was talking about,” said Hawks’ Adam Burish of the charter flight from Vancouver.
“It’s going to be louder than ever. From the way it’s been building and the way it was for Game 5 against Calgary, it’s going to be the same kind of atmosphere as everybody says it used to be around here when it was the loudest rink in the NHL,” he said of Chicago Stadium, where the little hairs on the back of your neck stood at attention during the national anthem.
from Gary Loewen of the Toronto Sun,
Forget about the Phoenix Coyotes heading back to their Winnipeg roots.
Asked on ESPN Radio what he planned to do with the Coyotes, commissioner Gary Bettman said, “We’re gonna fix them. That’s what we do when we have franchises in trouble.”
So, take that Kansas City and Las Vegas and Hamilton/Waterloo.
As for those who believe that the NHL is a Canadian game:
“If you think back to the late ‘90s early 2000s, there were numerous articles suggesting Canadian franchises other than the Maple Leafs couldn’t make it and there would be only one team left in Canada,” Bettman said.
“But we don’t buy into that hysteria.”
from Damien Cox of The Spin at the Toronto Star,
So I’m watching the Caps and Pens tonight, and I see Pittsburgh score the first goal of the game on a power play, an effort aided by the fact Washington penalty killer Brooks Laich had his stick broken by a shot just before the goal was scored by Sidney Crosby. Nothing looks more awkward than a fellow trying to kill a penalty with no stick….
But, I says to myself, a penalty killer doesn’t necessarily need the benefits these fancy new carbon fibre/plutonium/kryptonite weapons give your everyday player when he’s trying to score or shoot.
He just needs to kill the penalty.
So why not wood? Why wouldn’t guys on the PK use wooden sticks, far less likely to be broken, and then switch back to the uranium models they usually use for 5-on-5 play or power play duty?
from Elliotte Friedman of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
On Monday night in Washington, Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin pushed one another to the highest of levels, raising their games to places only the best can reach. Maybe it wasn’t a Game 7. Maybe it wasn’t the Stanley Cup final. But it was something special, something spectacular, something we can only hope to see again.
When it was over, the home crowd booed as Crosby, who did not appear, was named the second star. I was disappointed in that, and hope those people reconsider. Crosby deserved respect for his brilliance in defeat, as much respect as Ovechkin deserved for his greatness in victory.
The Crosby vs. Ovechkin debate should be retired after this one. If you love sports, you can like both. You can recognize that these are the best young players since Gretzky and Lemieux.
added 7:16am, from John Buccigross of ESPN,
In the opening scene of “Batman and Robin,” Chris O’Donnell (Robin) and George Clooney (Batman) fight Arnold Schwarzenegger and his legion of ice-skating villains. At one point, Robin turns to Batman and says, “This is a hockey team from hell.”
Playing against Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals in D.C. can sometimes feel like that. Ovechkin, feeding off the energy of the home crowd like a solar panel, becomes a hockey player from hell. On ice. You can tie your CCMs with those laces of irony.
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are Pittsburgh’s Batman and Robin fighting Ovechkin and his waves of teammates. Pittsburgh has complementary pieces, but make no mistake, the Penguins will only go as far as Batman and Robin will take them.
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