Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Elliotte Friedman of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
A regular game day for the coach of the Montreal Canadiens consists of two separate media availabilities. The first comes after the team skates, and is open to everyone. Gainey sits behind a table and answers questions in both English and French. Sometimes, it takes more than 20 minutes, with two languages, close to 50 reporters and plenty of interest.
According to another journalist, today’s lasted 3:09 - which has to be some kind of record. He wouldn’t reveal his starting goalie, wouldn’t talk about his lineup. He told everyone to “watch the warmup” - which comes 30 minutes before puck drop.
The second briefing is for rights holders only, about two hours before game time. It’s a longer process for the coach of the Canadiens than anyone else in the league. First, you do RDS, the French TV broadcaster. I’m not sure what happens behind that door, but there are about 400 people in the room with him.
Then, it’s back-to-back tapings with CKAC (French radio) and CJAD (English radio). After that, we usually get a couple of minutes to chat.
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
Right now the Ducks are in the show-me stage, but with each passing victory the rest of the playoff teams will begin to take them more seriously. And if they knock off the Sharks, who knows how far they can go. Confidence can be a real driving force.
So while it has been a chaotic year, any team that has Pronger, Niedermayer, Whitney and Francois Beauchemin on defence; Getzlaf, Perry, Ryan, Teemu Selanne, Rob Niedermayer and Todd Marchant up front can’t be all bad.
The Ducks are starting to believe in themselves at the same time the Sharks are suddenly looking for answers. Sounds like the perfect formula for an upset.
from Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily-Herald,
It was Bowman, while coaching in Detroit, who made Red Wings left wing Tomas Holmstrom the best in the game at screening goalies and causing havoc in front of the net.
“That’s why Holmstrom is so effective - he stands outside the line,” Bowman said. “When I was in Detroit we had a lot of goals called back and I would say to him, ‘You can’t make it close (for the referees). Don’t make it close.’
“I’d say, ‘If that’s the line, Tomas, you do a better job when you’re out a foot. You block his view more and the goalie can’t look around you.’ We were tough on him because when he first started he would tumble into the goalie.”
Bowman thought Hawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin would do a good job handling any crease pressure from Calgary because he doesn’t come outside the blue paint.
“There are some goalies that come out a lot, but the further you’re out you can’t expect to have protection,” Bowman said. “Nik is not far from the goalline.”
Montreal, Washington and Calgary are all down 0-2. Will they get back into the series with a win tonight?
from Brian Compton of NHL.com,
Three games into their best-of-7 series against the New Jersey Devils, the Carolina Hurricanes have yet to grab a lead in regulation.
One way to change that disturbing fact would be to get things going on the power play. That’s exactly what the ‘Canes intend to do when they host the Devils in Game 4 on Tuesday night at the RBC Center.
“We gave it to those guys something fierce today,” Carolina coach Paul Maurice said Monday afternoon after conducting a video session. “There are things we think we can do better—bringing the puck up the ice—that we have to improve on. The power play is ebb and flow. When you have confidence, you have more motion and more quickness. When it’s not going, it’s stagnant and standing, and I think we’re at that point in the offensive zone. We just remind them of what it is that when our power play is good what it looks like.”
via Chris Kuc of Icing at the Chicago Tribune,
The Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane is questionable for Game 3 of the Western Conference playoffs against the Calgary Flames tonight.
The second-year winger wasn’t on the ice for the morning skate at the Pengrowth Saddledome and afterward Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said Kane was “resting” and a decision on whether he’ll play will be made shortly before the game.
added 8:48pm, Kane is out with the flu.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
We take you for a moment from your regularly scheduled face wash and ridiculous after-the-whistle scrum for the first installment of What We’ve Learned So Far In The Playoffs:
• Unless the San Jose Sharks start moving their feet and taking advantage of their superior speed and skill, they’re going to be cooling their heels in the next couple of days.
• Scott Niedermayer isn’t anywhere close to being done at 35. He’s playing so well, it was almost worth enduring how he jerked the Anaheim Ducks around while still under contract two years ago.
• Never, ever, ever doubt Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland. Prior to the playoffs, Holland could have sacrificed one of his young prospects to get proven goaltending help in the playoffs. If you remember, that was right around the time Chris Osgood was doing a spectacular job of avoiding getting hit by pucks. Holland argued at the time that Osgood had the best playoff pedigree of any goalie out there and insisted he would tie his team’s playoff fortunes to Osgood’s ability to rebound once the post-season began….
“He is the guy who wants to win more than anybody, and sometimes he has the tendency of trying to do everything by himself. That’s just something that we have to talk to him and say, ‘Hey, Alex, you’ve got 19 other guys here to help you.’ His personality is to want to do everything so hard and so well and you can’t fault him for that. You just have to reel him in sometimes.”
-Washington coach Brude Boudreau on Alexander Ovechkin. More on the Caps/Rangers from the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs Blog at CBC.
from Puck The Media,
So this is an interesting one. According to SportsBusinessDaily (reg. required), NBC’s coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs had a mixed weekend. While the network’s Saturday coverage of Rangers/Capitals Game 2 drew a mere 1.0/3, flat with last year’s comparable Predators-Red Wings game, Sunday’s telecast of the Penguins-Flyers Game 3, drew a huge (for hockey) 1.7/4, NBC’s highest hockey ratings since the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day, and likely tied for the highest non-Finals/Winter Classic rating on NBC in the network’s history.
continue with some local numbers…
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Their fans will be partying outside the Pengrowth Saddledome, where a series of Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff impersonators – decked out in the home red jerseys of the Calgary Flames – will be getting fuelled up in the ‘Get Red Zone’ in advance of tonight’s third game of the Western Conference quarter-final.
The key, from the real players, inside the dressing room, will be to give those spectators something to celebrate.
The Flames go into tonight’s must-win game against the Chicago Blackhawks knowing the road back into a series in which they trail by two games is a long one.
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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