Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Puck The Media,
From VERSUS’ NHL Twitter Feed:
Versus coverage starts at 5:00PMET w/ ANA at DET! Go to versus.com/nhl & scroll to the bottom to find your VS channel!
The only problem is the game is not on Versus. The game is on regional networks in the US, plus the NHL Network, TSN and RDS.
from Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com,
Sunday morning, Claude Julien dipped into the universal bag of coaching tricks and started casting aspersions at the hurricanes, the team that happens to hold an unexpected three-games-to-one lead on his heavily favored Bruins entering Sunday night’s Game 5.
Early in his Sunday morning presser, Julien accused Carolina of playing the trap—as ugly an accusation as he could come up with, I guess—to such great effect in taking control of the series. Then, he further the attack by suggesting it was hypocritical of Carolina Maurice to adopt such a cynical defensive system after railing against it during his tenure as the coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“They played four guys back and they just wait for us in the neutral zone,” Julien said. “That’s something a little surprising from Paul because I know he used to complain about that last year when he was in Toronto—us killing them with the trap. They’ve created a pretty tough situation for us getting pucks in, but we have to find a way to get pucks in and play more in their end.”
The Hurricanes, by the way, haven’t played the trap in this series.
What team has a happy flight to Anaheim after the game today?
Will the Bruins find their game and win to extend the series?
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• In this era of over-hyping everything, the Sidney Crosby-Alex Ovechkin show is surpassing any and all expectations. Haven’t seen anything this much fun at that speed since Calgary-Edmonton in the mid-1980s.
• Another team certain to be against Balsillie’s bid to move a team to Hamilton—the Detroit Red Wings. The Wings, who want out of the Western Conference, would not agree to any team moving from West to East.
• Why the NHL playoffs are so much more compelling than the NBA playoffs: The home team wins too easily in the NBA and to date, more than half the playoff games have been blowouts.
more hockey notes…
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
• Patrick Roy could be making a return to the Rocky Mountains.
League sources say Roy is ready to assemble a coaching staff that could include ex-Colorado coach Bob Hartley and former Quebec/Chicago forward Michel Goulet as his assistants.
• Talks to keep Chicago RW Martin Havlat from becoming an unrestricted free agent on July 1 are ongoing, but the 27-year-old’s play in the post-season is driving up his value. The Blackhawks are talking about a deal that could be up to 10 years long for the Czech native, who made $6 million (all terms US) this season.
• While the Flyers’ interest in UFA G Ray Emery is genuine, it might also be a bargaining ploy to put pressure on G Martin Biron to stay for less. He made $3.5 million last season and Philly is tight for cash. The Flyers are one of three teams involved in discussions with Emery’s agent, J.P. Barry. An offer from one of those teams could be tabled this week. The Blues, Oilers and Kings are all looking for goaltending help.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
“It probably would have been pretty easy for him to stay in Chicago, watch the game on TV and wait for Game 6 back home,” said Kane of Bowman putting himself through a four-hour flight for one hockey game.
“He’s 76 or 77 years old and he still really wants to be a part of it, he still wants to be there. He’s a really special person.”
Bowman won’t be 76 until September, but Kane is right. Bowman may be in the background and intentionally keeping out of the spotlight, but he’s still Scotty Bowman.
“I talk to him almost every day,” said Kane.
“I’ll just see him in the hallway. He’s just got such a great hockey mind, it’s great to have him around.”
Jonathan Toews said Bowman has become a study for the young Hawks.
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
The renaissance of the Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks has been fantastic for the game of hockey, because the poor management of these two Original Six teams hamstrung the NHL for too long. The league is lucky those markets were dormant, not dead.
The NHL needs strong teams in those cities, and thankfully, Bruins fans voted with their feet, forcing the Bruins to join the 21st century.
With a Harvard-educated Canadian lawyer as general manager, the Bruins spent big money to bring Zdeno Chara to Boston, outbid other teams for the services of 21-year-old free agent Blake Wheeler last summer and have a strong core of young players.
So bravo to the Bruins for bringing hockey back to life in Boston, but let’s stop it there. Their fans deserve a title, no question about it, but the city of Boston has had more than its share lately.
It’s time for the Hurricanes to say the same thing to Boston teams that anyone stuck sitting on a plane next to a Red Sox fan has been saying for the past five years: Enough.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
From what Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle was saying Saturday, it didn’t matter so much that the Red Wings juggled their lines in Game 4 to put Marian Hossa with Johan Franzen and Valtteri Filppula, forming an explosive trio that produced four goals and seven points in a series-tying victory.
As Carlyle saw it, the Red Wings could have sent out Ted Lindsay, Alex Delvecchio and Gordie Howe—average age over 80, though Lindsay probably still throws a mean elbow—and might have won because the Ducks were so woeful defensively, especially around their net.
That’s not an insult to Hossa, a dynamic winger who’s so intent on winning the Stanley Cup that he took less money last summer to play in Detroit than he might have gotten elsewhere.
“No matter who they put together, we know they have world-class players to put in and out in those situations,” Carlyle said Saturday.
from Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Well, aren’t you glad the Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin played last night? Didn’t that make the Penguins’ 4-3 overtime win that much more fun? Isn’t it better to beat him in his own house and put his team on the edge of playoff elimination than to do it with him serving a suspension and giving the Capitals some sort of lame excuse?...
“Definitely, it’s better,” Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik said in the immediate, joyous aftermath of teammate Evgeni Malkin’s winning goal, just 3:28 into the extra session.
It was pretty clear all of the Penguins thought that way after this throbbing Game 5 win, their third victory in four nights in the series. It gave them a three games-to-two edge and the chance to turn out the lights on the Capitals’ season in Game 6 tomorrow night at Mellon Arena.
Much work remains to be done, of course.
Much, much work.
from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,
When the Red Wings, Canucks and Bruins swept first-round playoff series, their fans were presumably thrilled. Paul Kelly, the executive director of the NHL players’ union, was not.
“We were a little bit troubled to see three sweeps,” Kelly told the FAN 590 last week. “From our standpoint, from a business perspective ... we like to see six- and seven-game series.”
These ears, and call them overly sensitive, were troubled to hear one of the game’s most influential power brokers advertising his wish for longer post-season series. Yet there was Kelly in Washington last Monday, before Game 2 of the second-round beauty between the Capitals and Penguins, making no bones about his wish to see the Penguins tie the series 1-1, no matter what his cheerleading might suggest.
“If the suggestion is somehow you’re telling players to blow games to extend series, number one we would never say that, we’re not saying that, and even if we did say that, players would ignore us. I mean, these guys are out to win,” Kelly said the other day. “I’m stating the obvious, which is, when we have large-market clubs in the playoffs and we have six- and seven-game series, it generates more revenue for us and particularly in a year like this one, that’s a good thing. I don’t think there’s anything controversial about it.”
continued with a ‘conspirecy theory’...
from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles at the Chicago Daily-Herald,
There aren’t enough superlatives to describe how well the Hawks’ defensemen are playing against the Canucks.
Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Brian Campbell, Cam Barker, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Matt Walker are deciding the series, just as they did in the first round against Calgary. Keith and the rest of the defense are too fast for the slower Vancouver forwards. They’re moving the puck out of trouble and getting it to the forwards, taking the punishment in the process.
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