Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
The war of words between the Calgary Flames and the Chicago Blackhawks has caught plenty of attention around the NHL.
But not to the point the league has fired off a memo to all parties involved to cease and desist.
A published report stated the NHL’s senior executive vice-president of hockey operations, Colin Campbell, sent a letter to both teams to curb the on-ice chirping and post-whistle scrums.
Only problem, it didn’t happen.
“I did NOT send one,” Campbell replied yesterday in an e-mail.
from Curtis Zupke of Ducks Blog,
Earlier this year, the depressed economic climate was enough for the Ducks to freeze ticket prices for next season.
But fans are feeling the pinch more than ever this season.
That was the main factor for the Ducks’ playoff sellout streak ending at 20 games Tuesday, according to Tim Ryan, executive vice president and chief operating officer.
“You don’t have to look any further than the economy,” Ryan said.
from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,
This evening, as the Sharks attempt to even the series, Marleau must again be the impact player he was in the Game 3 victory two nights ago. As a leader, he also must help push the team’s collective thermostat up a notch higher.
But with the soft-spoken and even-keeled Marleau, there is always the question about whether he has the passion to spearhead a playoff charge. I think the passion simmers beneath the sunscreen. We’ll find out if I’m correct soon enough.
from Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Is Fleury’s brilliance in frustrating the snot out of the Flyers better described as a miracle of elastic athleticism, or a celebration of athletic elasticism, and shouldn’t that second one be elasticity, as elasticism is more likely one of the thousands of ancient Eastern religions?
Happily, what Fleury did to the Flyers in a South Philadelphia cauldron called Game 4—stopping 34 shots in the final two periods, 16 of them on the power play, some via whirling, spinning, impossible reactions only he can imagine—always emerges in the hockey glossary in one of only two spots.
Again, you have the option.
Was it a case where “he stood on his head?” Or was he simply “unconscious?”
For help with this option, you may refer to this rough transcript of our conversation yesterday, starting with your reliably annoying columnist.
“Can you stand on your head?”
Fleury: “I could try.”
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
Sixteen years, including the lockout year, have passed since the Canadiens won it all in 1993. Gainey had joined the organization as an executive vice-president and general manager in 2003. It was a year in which the Canadiens had failed to make the playoffs for the fifth time since they had won their 24th Cup in 1993 - with the promise of a five-year rebuilding plan.
At the time, he had said: “I can’t separate myself from my history. I was with some great teams in Montreal in the ‘70s and the ‘80s. Those of you with better memories will remember I was with some not so good teams in the ‘80s. But this is new. The city has changed since I left Montreal. The team has changed. I’ve changed. We’re gonna have to get to know each other again.
“We’re going to take the younger players and we’re going to improve them and we’re going to make them better. We’re going to push the players to do the things that need to be done to be a good team. It’s about tomorrow,” he said. “It’s not about the 1970s ... the 1980s or the 1950s!”
Gainey’s ‘tomorrow’ has come and gone. The dream is in tatters.
from Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News,
Figuratively and literally, it would seem that Sid the kid crossed the line the other night. Maybe it was just me, but I think he was surprised his goal counted.
Anyway, here was “The Situation Room” explanation of why Sidney Crosby’s goal was allowed: “Play was reviewed to determine if the puck was batted in by the glove of Pittsburgh forward Sidney Crosby . . . The review determined that the puck went off of Crosby’s stick, then his body, there was no batting motion - call on the ice for good goal stands.”
Yesterday, the Flyers were still digesting that. So were fans, and, yeah, me, too. Hockey’s annual spring tournament is rivaled only by March Madness for its surprises and exciting endings. But among the nuances of sports, only the NBA salary cap is a greater irritant than the NHL’s annual and seemingly unending tinkering with its own rules.
from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,
Goloborodko, a native of Russia, admits to throwing his third octopus in the past four seasons in Nationwide Arena on Tuesday during the closing minute of the Red Wings’ 4-1 win in Game 3 of a Stanley Cup playoff series.
He lobbed a 2 1/2 -pound octopus nicknamed “Homer” over the Plexiglas and onto the ice. Yes, Goloborodko names his octopuses for Red Wings players—the latest in honor of forward Tomas Holmstrom.
Goloborodko said he was detained by arena security, threatened by angry Jackets fans and enjoyed a chance encounter with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman before being escorted from the building.
“As I was being held downstairs, Gary Bettman and his security guys walked by,” Goloborodko said. “Like any good hockey fan, I recognized my commissioner and yelled out, ‘Hey, Commissioner.’
“I heard Bettman say, ‘I’m not happy about this one bit.’ I don’t know if he was responding to me or talking about something else.”
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
In a corner of the dressing room, the towering Chara sat quietly and with little animation. He is finishing his third season as captain, and this is the first taste of real success he has experienced since coming aboard for a deal worth $37.5 million over five years.
If a team takes on the attitude of its captain, then it will be a sense of calm that follows the Bruins the rest of this spring.
“I don’t think we should be satisfied and happy,” said Big Z. “This is just the first step in that road. We realize it only gets tougher from here. The farther you go, the harder it gets.”
from Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Blackhawks players filed into the locker room as Johnny Cash’s ‘‘Ring of Fire’’ blasted out of the stadium speakers and flames shot out of the scoreboard at the Saddledome.
The Hawks got burned, all right. Torched, in fact. They could have all but locked up their first-round playoff series by completing a remarkable rally in what became a 6-4 loss Wednesday to the Calgary Flames. Instead, the Hawks return home with the series very much in doubt.
This could have been the wooden stake through the Flames’ heart. Nobody comes back from this. No team could blow a three-goal lead and come back from a 3-1 series deficit. Game 5 on Saturday at the United Center would be nothing more than mopping up. But it didn’t work out that way.
added 8:09am, from Tim Sassone of Between The Lines,
It was a disappointing effort from most Hawks in Wednesday’s 6-4 loss, a game that was there for the taking.
Nikolai Khabibulin was fighting the puck all night and looked very ordinary. That’s two poor games in a row for him.
Martin Havlat was minus-4 and no factor at all. Where was the jump?
Duncan Keith was minus-3 and looked slow. Is he hurting?
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Oh, you’ll hear all these critiques of the Caps again—too much perimeter play, not enough traffic in front of Lundqvist, blah, blah, blah. Stop it. Ovechkin was a monster Wednesday night, his highlight-reel goal in the third period the only dividend of what was another passionate performance. The guy had 11 shots on goal—that’s more than what the entire Rangers team mustered in the final 40 minutes, when it was outshot 30-10.
“When you outshoot a team 19-5 in a period in their own building and they come out of it with the one goal, you know the goalie at the other end is doing something right,” said Washington coach Bruce Boudreau.
Folks, don’t overanalyze this baby. The seventh-seeded Blueshirts are one victory away from upsetting the second-seeded Caps because of one man.
“Lundqvist did an unbelievable job,” an obviously frustrated Ovechkin told reporters.
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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