Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
For the Canadiens, tonight will be the first time they face a possible season-ender. The Bruins, however, have been fighting to extend their season for quite some time….
Montreal swaggered into the series with all the confidence expected of a club that had claimed all eight meetings with the Bruins this season. Their chests ballooned even bigger when they took Games 1 and 2 at the Bell Centre, riding hotshot goalie Carey Price and the stick of world-class talent Alex Kovalev, who netted a seemingly back-snapping overtime goal to give Montreal a 2-0 series lead.
But four games later, Montreal looks like a broken team that’s staggering at the wrong time.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
We interrupt this regularly scheduled programming – otherwise known as the Stanley Cup playoffs – for the Maple Leafs’ pursuit of Brian Burke.
It begins today. Officially, that is. Unless Gord Kirke has presented the MLSE board with an entirely different game plan, Burke has been the No.1 target of the Leafs since John Ferguson was fired in January and he’s still the No.1 target.
This thing is now going to heat up quickly.
“It’s going to go from 33 1/3 rpm to 45 rpm in a hurry,” one source said.
Update 2:33pm ET: More on the “Burke to Toronto” stuff from Bob McKenzie at TSN.
George James Malik writing about Detroit Free Press columnist Drew Sharp,
But there’s a saying I learned in Manitoba: if you give a blind man a paintbrush and enough paint, and put him in the middle of a cornfield, he’ll eventually hit the side of a barn.
read on at Snapshots…
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
Luongo has played two seasons with the Canucks. In the first he played like Superman and got the Canucks to the second round of the playoffs. In the second season he was average by his standards and the team didn’t make the playoffs.
Add it up and it would appear that Luongo is good enough to make a below-average team average but, even at his best, isn’t good enough to take it to the Stanley Cup.
If that, in fact, is Aquilini’s assessment of the team it then follows that Luongo should be moved for players who can legitimately change this franchise.
Again, that presupposes there’s a plan in place. We shall see.
from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,
It’s cardiac time in Montreal. Grab the heart pills, Mabel, make sure Daddy has taken his Valium, pull up a seat within dialing distance of your 50-inch HDTV and get ready to sweat 50-calibre bullets.
Game 7. And how many of you had already made other plans for tonight, assuming the blue-blood Montreal Canadiens would have taken care of the upstart Boston Bruins long before now?
They’re running the marathon in Boston today and this postseason already seems like a marathon - not for the teams, but for the fans who are home chewing their lips off. It’s so bad, Jewish guys are saying Hail Marys at Passover and Catholics are bowing to Mecca. Down on Crescent St., Milan Lucic is the new Darcy Tucker.
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Now, there was more to Detroit’s role in the victory than just luck. They unloaded a barrage of rubber (43 shots, to be exact) at Ellis – out-shooting Nashville 21-4 in the second frame – and Chris Osgood was up to the task in net for them when he had to be, stopping 20 Preds shots for his 11th career playoff shutout.
But this is also not to say the Red Wings come out of the series closely resembling a can’t-miss Cup contender. Their streakiness was again exposed and may a higher power help them if Osgood falters in the same way Dominik Hasek did in Games 3 and 4.
from the Tennessean,
“This moment is kind of lousy,’’ Freeman said. “Ultimately you just want to win. In the bigger picture I think everybody, and I mean everybody, has done a nice thing for the city. I think the city has found a hockey team they genuinely like.’’
Freeman recalled a moment last summer when NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman asked him why he thought he could make the NHL work in Nashville when Leipold could not.
“I told him this city, given a second chance, would realize how important this franchise was and how lucky we were to have the NHL. I felt this particular team was perfect for this season and this city,” Freeman said. “The city seems to have really wrapped their arms around them and seems to love these guys. They are a great group of guys to love and it hurts to see them lose.’’
from the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs Blog at CBC,
“The most consistent effort, as opposed to complete effort,” said Flames head coach Mike Keenan. “We’ve had some good efforts, but consistency has hurt us a little bit, but that was the most consistent performance we’ve had to this point.
“We have the opportunity to play Game 7 and we’re looking forward to that opportunity. Hopefully we can used our experience and use our composure to play consistently well in San Jose.”
Now the onus is on San Jose to put away a Flames team that was seventh in the conference, well back of their No.-2 seeding.
from Jim Reeves of the Star-Telegram,
Who knew that five years could feel like an eternity?
The Stars’ 4-1 triumph eliminating the Anaheim Ducks, the defending Stanley Cup champs, in six games, released a torrent of emotions for the Stars, some they’ve never felt before.
All of the above and then some.
“To see the look in our guys’ eyes, how important it was and how good it felt…,” said goalie Marty Turco. “It was gratifying. I personally had never won a series here at home….”
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
One moment, they were the defending Stanley Cup champions.
The next, just another losing team on the wrong side of the handshake line at the end of a playoff series….
“When you have won there’s a little bit [of] satisfaction inside your body. You try hard but when you’re a little bit off here and there, that’s why you can’t win,” Selanne said.
“You need every player’s commitment and work ethic and all the tools every player can bring. If you can’t, even if you’re off a little bit here and there, you can’t do it.”
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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