Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
“I travel all over the league, and everybody talks about Detroit as ‘Hockeytown’ - and deservedly so, because of its tradition - but the noise levels in Pittsburgh, Minnesota, New York and Buffalo are just as good,” said McGuire, a former Penguins scout who coached the Hartford Whalers.
“Pittsburgh now, because of its young talent and rabid fan base cultivated by the organization, is tremendous. It’s awesome to be around a passionate fan base. Hockey’s not a photo op for these people. These are people investing in the product. It’s easy to be involved with a winner, but this team is poised to win for a long time.”
from the Staten Island Advance,
Few people really expect the Rangers to come back and win this best-of-seven series, in which they trail 3-1, so isn’t the pressure off for today’s fifth game at Mellon Arena?
Lundqvist wasn’t buying it.
“We feel pressure because if we lose, we know it’s over,” he said. “They probably feel pressure because if they lose, it goes back to New York and they don’t really know where this is going. I think both teams feel pressure, but in a different way.
“I don’t think a lot of people expect us to pull this off, but we don’t look at the whole picture right now. We’ll try to get back to New York one more time, at least. If we can get this back to New York one more time, we feel really good about it.”
from Tracey Myers of the Star-Telegram,
The Stars have their third consecutive chance to eliminate the Sharks tonight. They had chances to win the past two games—squandered some, had others taken away.
Dallas could use the events of Game 5—as well as the threat of another trip to the West Coast—to fuel tonight’s performance.
“They look at this game as another chance,” Stars coach Dave Tippett said. “The calls didn’t go our way, but we won games early in the series. So we still look at it as we’re coming home with a great opportunity to close out a series.”
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Is it just me or is Johan Franzen the closest thing to John LeClair you’ve seen in the last while? There wasn’t a nasty bone in LeClair’s body and Franzen seems like Hoss on the old Bonanza TV show; a gentle giant riding the prairie. You needed a bazooka to move LeClair in his prime, same with Franzen now. Franzen is a load. He hit Wojtek Wolski in the Avalanche series and Wolski broke five ribs. But, it’s his hands that have everybody rubbing their eyes in disbelief.
more NHL talk…
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Friday that he has extended contract offers to versatile forward Glen Metropolit and veteran defenseman Aaron Ward, both of whom are on target to become unrestricted free agents July 1.
“I can’t tell you if we’ll get them both done or not,” said Chiarelli. “And if so, I don’t think anything is imminent. But we’d like to have them back. And if they’re not going to be back, it’s better for both sides to know that early, for the sake of making plans.”
Metropolit, who will turn 34 June 25, provided valuable depth up front this season, especially with the near-season-long absence of Patrice Bergeron. He also provided key help on the power play.
“We figured Glen would be a depth guy for us, but he ended up being more than that,” said Chiarelli. “Going forward, we’d see him more in third- and fourth-line roles, help with the PK [penalty kill]. In terms of whether we can sign him . . . he’s a reasonable guy, and he understands the business.”
many more NHL topics…
from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,
As it turned out, the people who turned that night into a faux Stanley Cup parade knew what they were doing, since the local heroes weren’t going to get any closer to a championship this time around.
Against the Flyers, they were outworked, outmuscled in their own end, out goaltended to a significant degree, and outlucked.
“I believe in kharma sometimes,” Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau said afterwards. “You have to be lucky to win the Stanley Cup. You need a good team, you need good players, but you also need those breaks on your side. The way they played against us — well, hopefully they have some left.”
from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
These Flyers had the worst season in their history a year ago. Now they are in the final four. They had the worst record in the NHL a year ago. Now they have knocked off the No. 1 seed to advance to the Eastern Conference finals.
“Last year?” said R.J. Umberger, who scored two goals last night and a stunning total of eight in the five-game series. “We almost didn’t make the playoffs this year. We had to fight at the end of the season to get in.”
What’s the French for destiny?
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
The thing that makes me wonder a little more whether he’ll retire, though, is this: I wonder if Sakic was maybe a little scared by this last series, at how much better Datsyuk and Zetterberg were than him or anyone else up front on the Avs. They just zipped past anybody on the ice, including No. 19, and when a great player no longer feels he can dominate any opponent anymore, no matter who they are, they lose the thing inside that made them the best in the first place.
Wondering if Joe Sakic was “scared” is really hard to believe. Perhaps ‘has realized’, ‘the writing may be on the wall’, ‘looked a half-step behind’ would be a better fit, but one thing for sure, Sakic is not “scared”!
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
The Montreal Canadiens regular-season success meant nothing in the playoffs.
Unable to get on track against the Philadelphia Flyers in the second round of the playoffs, the Canadiens suffered their fourth defeat in a row — this time 6-4 — and were eliminated in five games.
Tied at 4-4 late in the third period, Scottie Upshall put the Flyers ahead with three minutes and four seconds remaining in the game on a deflection goal off a Jeff Carter shot. Mike Knuble checked in with an insurance empty-net goal in the final minute.
added 10:49pm, Watch Flyers coach John Stevens in his post game press conference via TSN...
Watch game highlights below…
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
The NHL’s second-class status when it comes to arena dates and television schedules, on U.S. TV anyway, has resulted in a familiar problem in the playoffs. And it will get worse the deeper you go in the playoffs, where fatigue becomes a bigger factor with the players.
I’m talking about the back-to-back games, often in different cities, that are part of almost every playoff series.
The problem is that often NHL teams do not have first call on their arena’s availability, especially when that arena is shared with an NBA team.
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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