Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Because the Penguins are blessed with a handful of the game’s most talented players, the coach’s role in the team’s successes will always be undersold. “Ah, anyone could coach those guys,” the radio call-in guys will suggest. But if the team falters, the blame will fall squarely on Therrien’s shoulders.
“I’m not afraid to make changes and keep the players on their toes, too,” Therrien said. “To be a Stanley Cup champion, it’s demanding.”
He’s trying to teach his players that.
“They’re young. They could easily lose their focus because they’re young,” Therrien said.
So he’s on them. Constantly.
from Jim Reeves of the Star-Telegram,
Subsequent playoff failures, when the fickle finger of blame found itself, more often than not, wagging in Turco’s direction changed his outlook, changed his approach, even changed his persona.
Like most of us, he simply didn’t know then what he knows now.
“For me, the complete understanding of what I need to do for this hockey club has come to me,” Turco said in San Jose, where the Sharks threw everything they had in his direction and it still wasn’t enough. “I’ve always known that stopping the puck and moving it and giving these guys confidence is what I’ve wanted to do, but I’m just at a better place now.
“You always wish you’d known more things when you were younger, but there’s nothing I would change now that got me to this point.”
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
Just throwing this out there, but do you think Price might have an injury to his catching hand? Either that or maybe he’s breaking in a new catching glove and it’s not going well at all. In any event, Price appears to have forgotten how to keep the puck in his glove and his rebound control has gone out the window, as well.
Canadiens apologists can talk all they want about how Price, perhaps, didn’t have a clear view of the Flyers’ first two goals, but the fact remains the Canadiens are simply not getting the kind of goaltending they need to win this or any other playoff series. You outshoot a team 34-14 and all your goalie has to do is not lose the game for you. Price lost the game for the Canadiens, simple as that.
Of course, he’s not alone in accepting blame for the Canadiens troubles, since the passenger car seems to be accepting more and more occupants as the playoffs go on.
from the Contra Costa Times via Inside Bay Area,
It was just minutes after their embarrassing 5-2 come-from-ahead Game 2 loss Sunday night to the Dallas Stars, and the Sharks were grasping for hope—or a Stanley Cup lifeline.
What they grabbed onto reminded me of a scene from the movie “Animal House” when it looked like the animalistic Delta house was going to be shut down. Two fraternity brothers discussed the crisis.
“What are we going to do?” one asked the other.
Moments later, they arrived at the answer together.
There you have it.
That’s the Sharks’ lifeline, the No. 1 answer to their hockey crisis, the key reason why they believe they can climb out of this two-games-to-none hole they’ve dug and get back into the series.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
The 65-year-old Quinn, who led Team Canada to gold at the U18 world championships earlier this month in Russia, told the Sun yesterday he’s healthy, happy and “not ready to retire.”
“I’m on the record as saying if there’s an opportunity, I would welcome the chance to coach in the NHL again,” said Quinn, whose last NHL coaching stint ended after the 2005-‘06 season, when he was fired by the Toronto Maple Leafs. “I’m not ready to retire. I still feel good. My health is good and if there’s an opportunity I’m not going to pass it up.
“I’m not sure what’s happening in Ottawa and I haven’t had any discussions with anybody there. I do know they’ve got a strong team there and a talented group. I know the people there and I know how hard they’ve worked and what a great job they’ve done. I’ve never been the type of person to go canvassing for a job, that might have to be something I consider.”
from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
It happened in the neutral zone, away from the puck.
Avery, the New York Rangers’ resident coward, came up from behind—as cowards often do—and took two chopping slashes at Crosby’s left wrist….
In a quieter moment after yesterday’s media session, I asked Crosby if he thought Avery was trying to injure him.
“He wasn’t going for the puck,” Crosby said. “He was going for my wrist.”
A call to the Rangers’ media relations office yesterday seeking comment from Avery wasn’t returned.
Carefully choosing his words, Crosby went on.
“Obviously, he was trying to make me feel it a bit,” he said. “I don’t know if it was a direct intent to hurt me or anything. ... I guess he was just letting me know that he’s there.”
from Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News,
Derian Hatcher has arguably been the Flyers’ best defenseman in the playoffs. If not, then Kimmo Timonen has. So far in this series with Montreal, we have seen a sucker punch with intent to injure on Timonen go unpunished, and in last night’s harrowing 3-2 Flyers victory, we watched Hatcher get thrown out of the third period of a playoff game for a boarding penalty that occurred almost simultaneously with Tomas Plekanec’s blatant attempt to injure the Flyers’ R.J. Umberger by taking out his knees away from the puck….
Can’t wait to see what’s in store for tomorrow night.
This series is just three games old, and already there is way too much circumstantial evidence to support the perennial theorem embraced in the lower 48 at this time of year.
Namely, that Canada looks out for its own.
from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,
I didn’t pick the Dallas Stars to win the Stanley Cup. Heck, I didn’t pick them to get out of the first round. Not many did. After three straight first round exits, I’m guessing Modano’s Nana had the Ducks in five.
But with each passing game, with each convincing victory, I’m starting to get this funny feeling it is their year.
It’s the way they are winning, and the character traits they are showing that make you believe something special is going on here. Here’s your Stars’ Playoff Personality Profile:
This is the biggie. Remember how it seemed Anaheim won every little battle last year? How they got to the puck a fraction of a second faster, fought a little harder in every corner, played every second like overtime in game seven? That’s what these Stars are doing. The poster boy for this is captain Brendan Morrow, who would be my round-and-a-half Conn Smyth pick.
from Bob Duff of the Windsor Star via the National Post,
Windsor native Stan Matwijiw operates the Bandits Goalie School in Novi, Mich., and back in 2004, was charged with the task of deconstructing Osgood.
It proved to be a reclamation project of Humpty Dumpty-like proportions.
“I got a call from Chris the second week of August the summer before the (2004-05) lockout,” Matwijiw recalled. “When he first came to me, I was a little unsure about what he was looking for.
“This was an NHL goalie with 11 years of experience. I didn’t know whether he was just looking to fine-tune some things, so we talked about it. To my surprise, he said, ‘I want you to completely tear my game apart and rebuild it.”
from Puck-rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,
The West is so diluted Dallas might reach the finals. I was watching a game from the Colorado-Detroit series recently and, uh, oh wait that was a rerun from ESPN Classic. These are your father’s Red Wings and Avs.
Anyway, the best young talent in the West is on developing teams: Chicago, Phoenix, even Los Angeles. Will the big money clubs such as Detroit retool? No doubt. But in the salary cap era they can only do so much.
Translation: The Jackets have never been on a more level playing field. Let’s see if they can take advantage.
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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