Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Eric Stephens at the LA Times,
The sight of Perry taking part in a couple of drills was encouraging for the Ducks as it appears their leading goal scorer this season could be in position to return sometime during the Western Conference quarterfinals against Dallas.
Perry skated for the first time since his right quadriceps muscle was severed just above the knee when he was cut by the skate of Colorado goaltender Jose Theodore in a game March 6.
“Today, it felt great,” Perry said. “That’s why I stayed out and did a couple of drills with the team. If it continues to be like that, it could be quicker than everybody thinks.”
*Plus more from the LA Times on expectations of a rough series between the Ducks & Stars
From Ian Winwood at The Guardian,
Brendan Shanahan tells a great story about the attitude of hockey players when it comes to the play-offs. The gritty superstar (translation: a goalscorer also capable of beating someone up) was talking about the time the Detroit Red Wings, for whom Shanahan then played, reached the Stanley Cup Finals. The year was 1998, and the Wings - who just a decade previously were dubbed ‘The Dead Things’, so awful was their play - were on their way to capturing their second consecutive championship, sweeping the Washington Capitals in four straight games. Every game was crucial; every player wanted to play.
One player in particular - Martin LaPointe, if memory serves - wanted to play very badly indeed. The physical (translation: homicidal) winger, however, was injured, and rather badly at that; the muscles in his groin were shredded like so much beef jerky.
from Fire & Ice,
[Jamie Langenbrunner] had on his official “Rock Your Red” T-shirt for this morning’s media availability at The Rock following a team meeting and did several television interviews with it on. “I’m Rockin the Red,” he said, though he had to endure some ribbing from his teammates.
More than one player expressed displeasure that fans have to buy the T-Shirts and won’t be get them for free at the game tonight. Their first concern, obviously, is with gettign ready for the Rangers tonight. All of them, including the coach, were itching for the puck to drop.
“I’m anxious to get going,” Sutter said. “I wish this game would have been played last night, our first game. I’m like everybody on the team, just anxious to get it started. You go through a whole season, an 82-game season, and there’s ups and downs, peaks and valleys, to set yourself up to play playoff hockey and we’re there now and I’m excited about it, anxious to get it going and I’m excited for the players. That’s what it’s all about.”
more on the Devils…
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
Make no mistake, this is going to get ugly.
It has to, or the Calgary Flames have no chance.
Round 1 of what is shaping up to be a slugfest goes tonight at HP Pavilion, where the underdog Flames will begin their attempts to get the league’s hottest team off its game.
And what better way to do it than by waving some chum named Eric Godard around the Shark Tank and seeing who bites first.
“Oh, I think you’re going to see some fights. That’s kind of the way the team makeup is this year,” smiled Craig Conroy, whose club has nine players with at least three fighting majors this season.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
There has been a lot of talk about the importance of experience in this series and both teams offer a mix of seasoned veterans and raw rookies. Much has been made of the fact that the Habs have 10 players with no NHL playoff experience and that group includes 20-year-old goaltender Carey Price.
But the Bruins have 11 players looking for their first playoff experience and folks might be surprised to learn the group includes No. 1 goalie Tim Thomas, 33, and Marc Savard, who is the team’s leading scorer.
Price never seems to get rattled and he said yesterday that, while he expects to be nervous when the puck is dropped tomorrow, he doesn’t expect to be overwhelmed by the surroundings.
Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun ranks the playoff goalies…
16. Dan Ellis, Predators
Playoff appearances: 0
Came into prominence just this season. He is the wild card in the playoff dance, a relative unknown who could make a name for himself by felling the Big Bad Red Wings.
Eric Duhatschek did a Q & A with Globe and Mail readers yesterday and is suggested reading for all…
Brier Bear from Canada writes: There’s usually an upset in the first round. Do you see any of underdogs this year making it to the second round? Boston over Montreal perhaps?
Eric Duhatschek: I don’t see Boston over Montreal; when it comes to underdogs, I’m picking the six seeds over the threes in both conferences. In fact, I really like Colorado as my sleeper team in the West. Minnesota is going to have to play without Nick Schultz, one half of their shutdown defence pair, after he underwent an emergency appendectomy Monday….
In the East, I see the Capitals a little like the Penguins of last season, a team that made great regular-season strides, and were captivated fans around the league that probably couldn’t have named five players on their roster two months ago. The problem, when you go on a run like that is that sooner or later, you need to exhale — you go flat, you go a little stale.
from the LA Times,
The Detroit Red Wings, who had the league’s best record during the regular season, are the consensus favorites at 3-1, followed by the San Jose Sharks, who are listed at 9-2, according to Bodoglife.com.
Then comes the Ducks, who are grouped with the Montreal Canadiens and Pittsburgh Penguins on most sportsbooks with odds ranging from 6-1 to 10-1.
from Mark Everson of the NY Post,
The Devils would not divulge the strategy, but its mere existence could set Lundqvist and the Rangers wondering and worrying, with New Jersey hoping to turn those thoughts into doubt.
“We’ve watched a lot and talked a lot,” said Zach Parise, the Devils’ leading gunner for the second straight season.
“You target what you see, and maybe you know a little bit about his tendencies. But I’m not telling him where I’m shooting,” said Brian Gionta, the Devils’ single-season record holder in goals.
from the Boston Globe,
Thomas, the 33-year-old American veteran, and Price, the 20-year-old Canadian hotshot, are very different men behind the masks.
There’s the 5-foot-11-inch Thomas, the perpetually written-off underdog with the athletic style who leaves the crease in tatters when he pulls out all the stops. There’s the 6-foot-3-inch Price, the picture-perfect puckstopper with the fluid movement, stickhandling deftness, and pads-down technique, seemingly produced on the butterfly-goalie assembly line in his native Vancouver.
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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