Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
Assuming Glen Sather is still running the New York Rangers next season, he might want to find a bona fide No. 1-line player or two for his team.
Currently, the Rangers have none; good team, but no star forwards or defencemen.
Outside of goalie Henrik Lundqvist—the only reason New York is even in a Game 7 in the first round against the Washington Capitals—the Rangers do not have a single established player they can claim to be a front-liner.
Not Scott Gomez. Not Chris Drury. Not Markus Naslund.
Two solid second-liners on a good team and a guy who scores on occasion, but rarely stands out in a game that matters.
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
Steve Mason, the brilliant young goalie of the Columbus Blue Jackets, could become only the fifth NHL player to win the Vezina and Calder trophies in the same year.
But he’ll have to beat out the Minnesota Wild’s Niklas Backstrom, and Tim Thomas, whose league-leading goals-against average was a driving force for the Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins this season.
from Capitals Outsider,
ESPN just retracted on SportsCenter, stating that Mike Green and Donald Brashear have not been suspended, yet. However they both now have a hearing at 1pm today. This is according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.
added 11:16am, via TSN,
Sources tell TSN Betts suffered a broken orbital bone from the Brashear hit and is likely done for the playoffs.
from Mark Purday of the Mercury News,
It hurts to do what the Sharks did Saturday night.
But they need to hurt some more tonight.
It hurts to go where the Sharks went Saturday, sending their bodies toward the net where they know sticks and body checks are waiting, or skating to exhaustion on every shift, or taking a painful hit to make a pass that might lead to nothing but also might lead to a goal.
But the Sharks need to go there again tonight for 60 minutes or more.
Otherwise, the Sharks will go straight from hurt to home. The Anaheim Ducks will win the series.
“This next game is going to be the hardest we’ve had all year,” said Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle, who knows hard.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Coaches often talk about the importance of the game within the game. For the Ducks on Sunday, the most significant aspect of their day was the meeting within the meeting.
While players gathered at the Honda Center to discuss strategy for Game 6 of their playoff series against the San Jose Sharks and their second chance to upset the NHL’s top-seeded team, right wing Teemu Selanne and center Andrew Ebbett held their own private chat.
The topic: turning the scoring chances they have produced into goals for Selanne, who has been held to a single assist in the first five games of the series.
“He’s not going to stay scoreless for very long,” Ebbett said.
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
Be it tonight at home or Wednesday in Chicago, the Flames appear destined for their fourth-straight, first-round exit.
As easily predicted by their late-season disintegration and injuries woes, the Flames are once again on the brink, having nothing left to show for an otherwise solid NHL regular season.
Credit the Blackhawks for taking it to the Flames in Game 5 with an awesome display of controlled aggression, skill and poise far beyond their years.
Shame on the veteran Flames for coming out flat and failing to come up with an emotional response to the beatdown.
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
In this series, there has been one goaltender at the center of just about everything.
From his complaints before the first game was ever played to his histrionics after Game 4 to his preposterously good performance in Game 5, Martin Brodeur has gotten all the attention.
After Cam Ward stopped 28 shots for the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday in a 4-0 win over the New Jersey Devils to stave off elimination and force Game 7 on Tuesday in Newark, the winningest goalie in NHL history may have to share the spotlight.
“Quite honestly, it doesn’t matter to me, as long as we win hockey games,” Ward said.
from Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star,
First, we had the case of Pittsburgh’s Maxime Talbot starting a fight with Philadelphia goon Daniel Carcillo on Saturday afternoon.
According to almost everybody at Hockey Night In Canada, the fact that Talbot started a fight knowing he was going to be clobbered somehow inspired his teammates to overcome a 3-0 deficit and win the series.
Though analyst Gary Galley first said the fistic defeat would probably spell the end for Pittsburgh, he later agreed with his colleagues that Talbot’s impression of a punching bag had indeed changed the course of the game….
But here’s where the confusion comes in. That evening, the Blackhawks jumped out to a 5-1 second-period lead over the Flames.
They were dominating the Flames the way the Flyers had dominated the Penguins in the early going. Amazingly, Calgary defenceman Adam Pardy went on a Talbot-like suicide mission and attacked Chicago tough guy Ben Eager. The results were the same as Talbot’s strategic gem, a one-sided defeat – with one exception. The Flames didn’t score another goal and are now on the verge of elimination.
from Kelly Carter at USA TODAY,
Brodeur shares his travel tips and highlights with USA TODAY.
Q: What’s the most surprising/unexpected place you’re ever visited?
A: Warsaw. I played a game there during a hockey tour in 2004, and I didn’t expect anything of it. But the food, the people, everything was really nice. We stayed in Warsaw for a day and a half, not that long. I didn’t expect Poland to be a special stop for us. We went to Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Czech Republic. I visited 10 countries in 17 days during that tour. The people just appreciated us.
Former NHLer Mariusz Czerkawski was the host and he took care of us as well as any other host that we had.
from Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post,
The New York Rangers can’t hope to consistently out-skate or outscore the Washington Capitals, so their strategy is to outfight and out-argue them. Throughout the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series, they’ve counted on belligerence as a neutralizer, but it’s an approach born of inferiority, and they don’t seem to have a Plan B. You know they’re desperate when they’re reduced to whining about foul language.
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