Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com,
This was not the way things were supposed to turn out after Boston won its first five games of the postseason, including a 4-1 shellacking of Carolina in Game 1. But there is no denying that Boston has been the second-best team to the Hurricanes in each of the past two games.
As a result, the Bruins face their first crisis of confidence this spring. How they react will determine the legacy of the Eastern Conference’s best regular-season team. It’s a sobering fact for a team that has known nothing but success for so long.
“It was real already, but it’s time now; the reality is our backs are against the wall right now,” said goalie Tim Thomas, who made 38 saves but was helpless to stop a rebound conversion by Jussi Jokinen just 2:48 into the extra session.
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
PHOENIX – The bankruptcy hearing that will determine the future of the NHL in Phoenix and Hamilton hadn’t even commenced Thursday when more motions were filed, showing the bad blood that exists between the two sides.
Lawyers representing Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes disputed the NHL’s claim that Moyes had been removed from all positions of authority and said the NHL was violating the proceedings by attempting to appear in court as “owners” of the club….
It’s also clear from the court filings earlier in the week that Balsillie and Moyes intend to fight tooth and nail — using every legal avenue possible — to complete the sale and move the franchise north where it would most likely play the 2009-10 season in Copps Coliseum.
The NHL is doing what it can to stop the sale, and prevent Balsillie from completing his long-awaited dream of bringing a seventh NHL franchise to Canada, one close to his home in Waterloo, headquarters of RIM.
added 2:34pm, from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
No matter how tempting it might be to blame NHL commissioner Gary Bettman for the mess that is currently the Phoenix Coyotes, it wouldn’t be right to do so.
There are two primary villains in this saga and neither one is named Bettman.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Altogether, Vancouver has a 7-0 cumulative scoring edge in the first 30 minutes of the first three games, heading into Wednesday’s pivotal fourth game, with the Canucks ahead in the series 2-1. The Blackhawks understand they’ve been playing with fire too long and need to do a better job off the start tonight, or else risking falling behind by two games, and leaving the Canucks with three chances to wrap it up, two at home.
“The starts are critical in the outcomes of games. You can’t expect to come back from 2-0 and 3-0 every night and win hockey games,” said Blackhawks’ coach Joel Quenneville. “It’s not the recipe for success, whether you have an older team or a younger team. Getting off on the right foot and staying out of the penalty box is what we’re going to stress - and coming with more energy at the start.”
“We’ll try to get a lead,” assessed the Blackhawks’ chatty centre Adam Burish. “Then guys will settle down and relax and play the right way. Playing from behind like we have been, you’re having to force and having to create.
from Curtis Zupke of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
Babcock, like San Jose coach Todd McLellan, is staying the course in attempting to break through offensively.
“We’re getting to the net, but we’re not getting second chances,” Babcock said.
“When you’re shooting the puck and you’ve got people at the net, I’m a big believer, over time, that you’re going to get a tip that goes in, or you’re going to get a rebound that comes to you eventually. Right now, that’s not happening, but that’s just part of the process. Stay with it, things will go your way.”
Of course, San Jose stayed with it, and things went all the way to an early vacation.
from Shawn Windsor of the Detroit Free Press,
It is, he said, “an unreal life. A dream life. I can remember when I was 12, 13, 14, we had this garage. I don’t know what you call it—you drive in, it had pillars.”
“Yeah, a carport. And it was yellow. I would sit out there by the hours. I had 10-15 tennis balls, just slapping them. My mom would scream from the window because every time I missed the net, there was the tennis ball mark.
“My mom would go out—probably she should’ve sent me to clean it—but my mom was an eager beaver. She loved to clean. She’d be wiping down all these tennis ball marks. Next day I’m out there pounding tennis balls, and I’m pretending I’m this one ... I’m that one, and all of sudden you wake up one day and you’ve spent your whole career in hockey.”
from Damien Cox of The Spin at the Toronto Star,
Great to see the country’s “national newspaper” has taken on the task of being the propaganda arm for Jim Balsillie. Normally businessmen of that stature have to pay for such services.
The way that media outlet talks it is as though southern Ontario hockey fans are some great oppressed people straining under the rule of the tyrant Bettman, with the liberator Balsillie prepared to set them free. Guess the NHL commissioner’s trips to Calgary and Edmonton in recent months to push for new arenas to support NHL teams in those cities was also about somehow denying Canadians their national birthright.
And here I was just thinking it was about the business of hockey.
Will the Ducks and/or the Canucks go up 3-1 tonight?
from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star,
In the United Center crowd the other night, a couple of intrepid fans – crashing the Blackhawks’ party – were seen hoisting Roberto Luongo-cum-Jesus Christ posters.
Informed about this, the Vancouver goaltender lifts his eyes upward in an altogether doleful Messianic expression. “Must be because of my looks, not because of my play.”
Well, there is that.
It is perhaps to Luongo’s misfortune that he does so eerily resemble Christ, at least as portrayed by artists through the ages: the long, mournful face, the dark shoulder-length tresses, an appearance of suffering. A Vancouver artist actually rendered Luongo-as-Christ in a painting this year, which was not well received by serious religionists.
The flip side is a hint of satanic features in the visage, a bit of Charles Manson.
As saviour, however, the metaphor is rich.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
The Ducks have been outshot in each of their nine playoff games and by 375-249 overall, including 145-93 by Detroit. That they upset San Jose in six games and hold a 2-1 edge entering Game 4 tonight at the Honda Center is a tribute to Hiller, but the escalating quality of Detroit’s late shots makes the Ducks’ high-wire act appear ever more precarious.
The Red Wings believe the Ducks are due for a fall.
“When you’re shooting the puck and you’ve got people at the net, I’m a big believer over time you’re going to get a tip that goes in or you’re going to get a rebound that comes to you eventually,” Detroit Coach Mike Babcock said Wednesday.
“Right now that’s not happening, but it’s a process. Stay with it.”
Marian Hossa, whose apparent tying goal was disallowed during the Red Wings’ 18-shot third period Tuesday, credited the Ducks’ defense for limiting rebounds but said that won’t last forever. The Ducks have been outshot in the third period in eight of nine playoff games and in this series have been outshot, 80-34, after the second period.
“There’s lots of loose pucks and we have to keep after them,” Hossa said, “and sooner or later rebounds are going to come to us and we’re going to put it in.”
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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