Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,
They made Roberto Luongo, by and large, look ordinary in the Vancouver net, and at even strength controlled the tempo. Their defencemen fearlessly ventured deep into Canucks territory or fired long stretch passes through the neutral zone. Their forwards won all of the small races for the puck, and made Vancouver seem a bit tentative, a bit slow, back on their heels, reacting.
The really striking part, though, was the Blackhawks’ poise.
Young teams, with the bulk of their roster dipping a toe for the first time into the postseason, are supposed to be at least a little bit intimidated, and franchises that make great leaps forward during the regular season often fall back in the playoffs.
But as the folks in Calgary already know all too well, this is a special group of Hawks, apparently not the least bit shaken by the situation or by unfriendly surroundings.
from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles at the Chicago Daily-Herald,
The more you see the Vancouver defense, the more ordinary it looks. And now the Canucks might be without defenseman Samu Salo, who apparently hurt his back scoring his power-play goal two minutes into the first period. Salo left the game and never returned.
Kevin Bieksa acts all tough, but Dustin Byfuglien blew by him much of the night like he was one of those orange practice cones.
Go inside the locker room following Game #2 of the Western Conference semi-finals vs. Chicago, followed by Vigneault’s media Q & A
This won’t last long so watch now…
That John Tavares to the Toronto Maple Leafs story may have legs after all.
Pierre LeBrun of Hockey Night in Canada says the New York Islanders may be leaning toward choosing Swedish defenceman Victor Hedman with the first pick in the NHL amateur draft in Montreal on June 26-27.
If that happened, LeBrun said on Saturday night’s Hot Stove segment, the Tampa Bay Lightning, holders of the second pick, might be interested in either trading their choice outright or choosing Tavares and then flipping the London Knights’ star.
from Jim Baumbach of Newsday,
Still, Wang says he is proud that he was able to save the Islanders from leaving Long Island nine years ago, and that it was important to him that the Island’s only professional sports team got a legitimate shot to succeed. Before Wang’s purchase of the team, many area public figures asked him to step in - an action that the financial documents show has cost him close to $300 million.
“I knew going in,” Wang said, “that I was going to lose money.”
National Hockey League Commissioner William Daly said the league is aware of Wang’s losses on the team. “His numbers are real,” Daly said. “Yes, we’re aware the Islanders lose money, a significant amount of money. And it goes back to the team’s need for a new arena.”
more on Wang and the Lighhouse project…
added 11:59pm, The Versus version of the save can be watched below…
from Craig Custance of The Sporting News (Sunday edition),
In Game 1 against the Red Wings, Hiller made 34 saves against the high-charged Detroit offense but left the arena feeling like the Ducks missed an opportunity to beat the Red Wings.
He got a taste of what the series will be like: plenty of bodies in front of him, namely Tomas Holmstrom, and shooters with pinpoint accuracy.
“They’re good players, but it’s not much different than the series against San Jose,” Hiller told reporters after the game. “I’ll have to do a better job next time.”
Don’t be surprised if he does a better job today. After all, he has done it before.
much more on Hiller…
added 10:10pm, from Helene Elliott of the LA Times (Sunday edition),
Saturday came and went and the NHL didn’t suspend Ducks forward Mike Brown, known in Hockeytown as The Baddest Man On Skates, for his hard hit on Detroit’s Jiri Hudler during the Red Wings’ 3-2 victory in the opener of the teams’ second-round playoff series.
Now, maybe they can get back to playing hockey today at Joe Louis Arena instead of playing victim and maligned villain.
“This is the script- You have a major market. You have transcendent players on both teams. I don’t know if there has ever been a team with three centers as good as Crosby, Malkin and Staal. And this is the most evenly matched series I’ve ever seen in the playoffs. You compare the stars, the lines, the goalies.
“This will go seven games. I don’t know how. But it will.”
-Capitals Owner Ted Leonsis after today’s game. More on the Caps/Pens series from Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post.
from Don Brennan of Off The Posts at the Ottawa Sun,
It was suggested to me this morning by a friend in the business that the Senators and Sharks might want to consider a 1-for-1, high-profile trade that would give each team a significant shake on the heels of a disappointing season: Jason Spezza for Joe Thornton.
Spezza, who is 25, is listed as 6-foot-2, 206 pounds. He has 418 points in 404 regular season games. He has 39 points in 40 playoff games. He’ll make $8 million for each of the next four years.
Thornton, who is 29, is listed as 6-foot-4, 235 pounds. He has scored 842 points in 836 regular season games. He has 53 points (and just 12 goals) in 76 playoff games. He’ll make $7.2 million for each of the next two seasons.
My opinion: The younger Spezza has more upside. But if the cap goes down, as expected, that salary could be a real handicap.
from Dan Wood of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
...The more immediate concern for the Ducks is shoring up some breakdowns that cost them Friday night. Cutting down on penalties, minimizing turnovers, lessening congestion in front of Hiller, making it more difficult for the Red Wings to penetrate their blue line and challenging Detroit goalie Chris Osgood with more shots and traffic are among “a few points of emphasis.”
Another is faceoffs. The Red Wings piled up a monumental 36-15 advantage in the circles, providing a huge leg up with the puck-possession style they employ so effectively.
“There are a few things we can do to change that,” Carlyle said. “They did a better job of supporting their centers in those situations, as far as that loose puck. Their winger or their defenseman got to it before ours did. Their mandate is that they’re going to jump one of their wingers into the middle. You can call it cheating. You can call it aggressive, whatever you want to call it. That’s up to the linesmen to control. I don’t call it cheating.”
This save deserves two calls, one from NBC and the other from CBC.
Watch both below…
added 6:22pm, Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insiders quotes a few players and both coaches on the save,
Sidney Crosby: “I don’t need to discuss [the big stops]. You don’t want to waste those opportunities. You want to take advantage of it. You end up losing the game, 3-2, and you don’t want to look back and say, ‘What if?’ The fact is, it happens in the game. As a player, you have to forget that quickly.”
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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