Kukla's Korner Hockey
Bruins with only 19 shots compared to 35 for the Flyers, win 4-1 to go up 3-0 in the series.
from George Johnson of the Calgary Herald via the Vancouver Province,
A solemn vow that everything, and everyone, would be scrutinized in minute detail. Right down to body-cavity searches, if need be.
Well, the boardroom meetings are long concluded. The exhibits, for both defence and prosecution, admitted into evidence. Closing arguments presented to ownership.
And. . . . So far, silence.
No news is good news. Or bad, depending on whether you believe this is an aging, capped-out, draft-depleted, prospect-challenged franchise clearly at a crossroads.
Days, weeks, have passed since the bizarre, Rod Serling-ish media conference co-chaired by King and general manager Darryl Sutter, designed to placate a populace on the verge of revolt.
It would be an exaggeration to say the Wings and Pens were eyeballing each other from a distance. The sense that they were the NHL’s most desirable matchup in the Cup final might have been the case the past two years, but not this season.
They aren’t really even rivals. But Detroit has set a standard for excellence, and the Penguins have gradually pulled themselves up over the past few years to not only equal the Wings, but surpass them.
There’s great respect between the two organizations. From a Pittsburgh point-of-view, there’s admiration for the fact that not only have the Wings won it all four times in the past 12 years, which may constitute a hockey dynasty these days, but also that in the years when they didn’t succeed and lost in the first or second round, it didn’t produce organizational upheaval or an alteration in philosophy.
That ability to stay the course has sustained the Wings’ excellence, and the Pens want to be consistent in the same way.
-Damien Cox of the Toronto Star. More on this topic at The Spin.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Jack Johnson (Ann Arbor, Mich./Los Angeles Kings/Univ. of Michigan) was today named captain of the 2010 U.S. Men’s National Team that will play in the upcoming International Ice Hockey Federation World Men’s Championship, May 7-23, in Cologne, Gelsenkirchen and Mannheim, Germany….
In addition, four alternate captains were named, including Nick Foligno (Buffalo, N.Y./Ottawa Senators), Matt Greene (Grand Ledge, Mich./Los Angeles Kings/Univ. of North Dakota), Eric Nystrom (Syosset, N.Y./Calgary Flames/Univ. of Michigan) and Kyle Okposo (St. Paul, Minn./New York Islanders/Univ. of Minnesota).
more at USA Hockey…
It’s been a long time since the Leafs last won the Cup.
Sharks-Bruins is at least on the radar screen now as a possible Stanley Cup final, given Boston’s lead in its series against the Philadelphia Flyers and wouldn’t that be a dramatic conclusion - Thornton, the ex-Bruin, trying to prove that Thomas Wolfe was wrong. Maybe you can go home again after all.
-Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail where you can read more on Joe Thornton and the Sharks.
from Christopher L. Gasper of the Boston Globe,
The irony didn’t occur to many of the 17,565 in attendance, as they joyously jumped up and down celebrating yet another one-goal playoff win by the Bruins Monday night at TD Garden by serenading their skating idols to the strains of the Standells’ “Dirty Water.’’ Yup, it’s still not safe to sip the H20 around town, but it is encouraged to drink in the playoff run of the team that plays on iced-over aqua.
The Bruins are now two wins from their first conference final since 1992, when Mario Lemieux was the star of the Penguins and not the team’s owner.
The Bruins have tapped into the passion for pucks in this town, which had been dormant this season, much like the beat-up and belittled Bruins, and it’s overflowing with goodwill with the Bruins up two games to none in their best-of-seven second-round playoff series with the Flyers.
from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,
Dynasties are what draw people to a sport, not parity. The NFL is the exception because gambling plays a big role in its popularity, but what would baseball be without the Yankees and Red Sox? Can you imagine the NBA ever giving the cold shoulder to the Lakers or Celtics? Even most European soccer leagues revolve around two or three teams each (Chelsea, Barcelona, etc.).
And think about your hockey history: There’s a treasure trove of memories built up around the early-1980s Islanders, the mid-’80s Oilers and the Canadiens of the 1970s. No one ever waxes rhapsodic about ‘that amazing stretch when Detroit, Dallas, New Jersey, then Colorado won Cups.’ No disrespect to any of those teams, but it’s tough to build much mythology out of that. And it won’t bring in the casual fan.
But the Red Wings do. Everyone knows the Winged Wheel, even if it’s just because of Cameron in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It actually would behoove the NHL to have Detroit back in the final for a third consecutive year, or at least meet Patrick Kane’s Blackhawks in the conference final.
more including some tinfoil talk…
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Playoff teams need contributions from everyone. It’s just that not everyone has their contributions receive the same attention, at least nationally. So, we bring you five defensemen whose contributions in these playoffs deserve more attention; they’re our unsung heroes, if you will:
1. Douglas Murray, San Jose Sharks: The 30-year-old Swede continues to fly under the radar on a national level, but he’s the granite the Sharks’ blue line is built on. He leads San Jose defensemen with 30 hits in the playoffs and his hard-nosed style is especially noticeable. He doesn’t give an inch and pulverizes any opposing forward that gets near him. Not bad for an eighth-round pick (241st overall) in the 1999 NHL draft.
from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,
Maybe the NHL needs a new TV commercial. “What if Nick Lidstrom’s stick hadn’t blown up in Game 2?... History wouldn’t be made without a composite stick.”
Usual Suspects has noticed more explosions than The Hurt Locker when it comes to composite sticks in these playoffs. Lidstrom’s stick shattering on San Jose’s winning goal Sunday is the latest and most spectacular example of stick frailty creating game-changing plays. The ice is regularly littered with broken RbKs or Eastons—and broken chances.
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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