Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Calgary Herald,
Finnish defenceman Joni Pitkanen pulled out of the IIHF world hockey championship with a knee injury, but he wasn’t getting a lot of sympathy from head coach Doug Sheddon.
“I wouldn’t put a gun to anyone’s head to play for their country,” said Sheddon, who is convinced the injury wasn’t all that serious.
“The commitment has to be better and I didn’t see a whole lot of commitment from him,” Sheddon said.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
Kopitar will face two of his L.A. teammates, Dustin Brown and Patrick O’Sullivan on Team USA Sunday. Today he faces Kings’ assistant coach Mike Johnston.
“He’s a star player,” says Johnston, a veteran of seven world championships. “If you are looking for a player to build a team around, he’s that kind of guy. He’s a key guy to what we’re trying to put together in L.A. He’s already capable of dominating games. He has size, poise and maturity.”
Kopitar’s goal of holding Canada to five goals?
“Don’t believe him. He’s going to go out and try and control and dominate the game,” said Johnston
Canadian captain Shane Doan sees a lot of the young Slovenian playing against him with the Phoenix Coyotes.
“He’s big and strong and he has a great shot. Even though you have guys on him, he’s capable of beating them. He creates space for the guys he plays with.”
ESPN hockey analyst Barry Melrose breaks down the action from last night.
from the Sault Star,
He didn’t come out and say the words. But Ted Nolan didn’t have to.
His looks and body language said all you needed to know: Nolan’s future as head coach of the New York Islanders is far from certain. Having completed Season 2 of the three-year contract he signed in 2006, the 50-year-old native of Garden River will apparently enter the 2008-2009 NHL season as a lame duck bench boss.
“It’s a tough situation,” Nolan said Thursday, prior to serving as a guest speaker at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships awards banquet at Steelback Centre. “But I’ve faced a lot of tough situations before. I just want to go into next season, concentrate on fulfilling my contract, do a great job and make sure I get another contract somewhere.”
from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,
They must accomplish the near-impossible on their own, by rallying from what still is a 3-1 deficit to win the series.
They might. Odds say they won’t. In fact, I wouldn’t bet half a glass of half-priced beer on them to do so. As several of us pessimists have noted, only two NHL playoff teams in 152 attempts have recovered from an 0-3 start to win a best-of-seven series.
Plus, over the past 20 years, of the 68 teams that fell behind 3-0, none has rallied to even reach a Game 7.
But know what? Phooey on the odds. Phooey on the record book. Otherwise, why would we even watch the rest of the games? Let’s try to build a case for the Sharks and concoct a scenario in which they could pull it off.
Here are four ways it could happen:
1. The Sharks go out for three straight games and play every period the way they played the third period Wednesday. In so doing, our beloved Los Tiburones rediscover the groove from their 11-game winning streak in late February and early March.
from Tracey Myers of the Star-Telegram,
“We don’t care if it’s in Alaska or on a pond somewhere. We just need one more,” Stars goaltender Marty Turco said. “We know we can do that. We just need a lot more of the same and we need some heroes.”
The Stars do want to change one thing, however; they want more discipline. They got into early penalty trouble for the second consecutive game, and it proved costly in Game 4.
Still, the Stars have been focused through these first two rounds. They’ve relied on that team concept, and their past adversarial situations. This is just one more opportunity to apply the lessons learned.
“Everybody’s willing to take the responsibility every night,” coach Dave Tippett said. “In the ideal situation, you get everybody up and play very well. We’ve had that more than not. That’s why we’ve gotten through so many situations.”
from Rick Sadowski of the Rocky Mountain News,
After playing nine of a possible 19 games during the regular season, Forsberg sat out for the third time in 10 playoff games Thursday night as the Avalanche was eliminated by the Detroit Red Wings.
Groin problems prevented Forsberg from being on the ice in the finale, but he said a chronically sore foot was the root of the problem.
“I’d like to continue to play, but it’s getting to a point where if it’s like this, I go out on the ice and I pull groins,” he said. “It’s tough to play like that and not play at your best.”
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
He was the greatest player I ever saw in person, in his prime. I never got to see Gretz or Bobby Orr in person play in their prime, but I did with Foppa, and he was the best I ever saw.
Shaking hands with him tonight, it definitely felt it was for the last time. For a second, I thought I might even choke up. Listen, I’m objective about things with the Avs, but after you’ve known and covered a guy most of the last 13 years, you’re human and to me he was just Peter, a guy I’ve spent a large portion of my life around in those years.
I guess Forsberg got his wish too, remember him saying he didn’t want to play in Detroit? Well, he didn’t!
from John Kreiser of NHL.com,
Three teams had the chance to sweep their second-round Playoff series. The Detroit Red Wings were the only ones to succeed — and they made it look easy.
The Wings completed a sweep of the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night with an 8-2 victory. Johan Franzen had his second three-goal game of the series and Henrik Zetterberg added two goals and two assists as Detroit blew the game open with three goals in less than four minutes beginning late in the first period.
Watch the highlight goal by Zetterberg below and added game highlights too…
from the AP via Yahoo,
Malkin’s night ended in the final minute when he was assessed a misconduct following a scrum that started when he twice kicked the skate of defenceman Paul Mara.
“It’s a classless act by a superstar and there is no need for that in the game,” Mara said. “It’s not like it was just a little slew foot, it’s actually a full kick. We’ll put that in the back of our minds.
“We got a huge win, and hopefully we’ll carry the momentum over to Sunday.”
more on the Rangers win tonight against Pittsburgh…
added 12:24am on 5/2/08, from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
And so it was that captain Jaromir Jagr, evoking a time when he was the dominant player in the NHL, pulled the New York Rangers one tiny but crucial step back from the abyss.
The big forward broke a 0-0 tie with a virtuoso goal, added a power play assist and an empty-net goal as the Rangers shut out the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0 Thursday night. They still trail this Eastern Conference semifinal 3-1 but as the Madison Square Garden faithful sent Jagr to the dressing room chanting his name over and over there was at least the hint of something approaching optimism in the building and in the Ranger dressing room for the first time in this series.
from Lynda Klym at Black Athelete,
Georges Laraque had just checked into a hotel in Calgary. Hadn’t even unzipped his bag when a secretary of a friend called his cellphone. Everybody gets Georges’ cell number.
“She asked me if I could come to Edmonton,” he said. “There was this kid who was going to die. He had a couple hours to live, they thought, and his last wish was to see me.”
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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