Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Roberto Luongo has centre stage virtually to himself.
This is his chance to deliver a grand soliloquy, to explain through the art of goaltending why he matters while his country listens intently.
At 30, it’s remarkable that despite all the laurels tossed Luongo’s way, his accomplishments in the sport up until now have been minimal.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Overall, there is collective sense of digging in for the long haul and fans — especially in markets where they no longer have a rooting interest — tuning out for a time. This year, however, looks vastly different, and far more intriguing.
Thanks to the Carolina Hurricanes’ miracle comeback against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday in the seventh game of their series, the NHL lucked into two outstanding second-round matchups that should keep the playoff momentum going and the TV ratings up.
read on and predictions are included…
from Michael Wilbon of the Washington Post,
It’s a stunningly talented group of players for one series, each of them young and still evolving. And in the middle of it we find Crosby and Ovechkin, not yet combatants but perhaps moving in that direction. The league should hope so. Last we saw them on the ice together, the two were trash-talking each other, bumping along the boards.
There’s nothing quite like a rivalry where the lines are clearly drawn. Folks with an appreciation for showmanship identify with Ovechkin, with his celebrations and exultations. Those who revel in the notion of “tradition” and play their cards a little closer to the vest not only love Crosby, but tend to express a real distaste for Ovechkin. It’s wonderful, really.
On top of that, you’ve got back story. These two franchises have played seven times in the playoffs, and the Penguins have won six of the series. The Capitals would call it a rivalry, but the Penguins must figure the Caps are like a mosquito that keeps showing up at a certain time every year.
added 9:39am, A few of the Washington Post columnists gather to talk hockey- watch below….
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
Those calls are still in my ear as the Blue Jackets contemplate a housecleaning in their broadcast booths. The contracts of television play-by-play man Jeff Rimer and analyst Danny Gare, and of radio play-by-play man George Matthews and analyst Bill Davidge, will expire July 1. As of this writing, these men do not know whether they will be retained. They are in limbo, and they oughtn’t to be….
It is a slap in the face, in their industry, to be left hanging. And it has to change. So does the front-office meddling. No broadcaster should have his or her thoughts policed to the degree that Jackets broadcasters have been shackled.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Soon enough, Detroit winger Tomas Holmstrom will try to establish residence in front of the Ducks’ net while a roaring crowd at Joe Louis Arena tries to rattle the Ducks’ composure….
The Ducks weren’t hiding from their fate at Allen Park Civic Arena, tucked between a bowling alley and a furniture store. They’re meeting their destiny head-on by preparing calmly and deliberately, skating there because it minimized travel time from their hotel and enabled them to more sharply focus on the second-round series that will start Friday.
The Red Wings, who swept Columbus, will test the Ducks’ defense, goaltending, penalty killing and discipline. The Ducks said they welcome each test.
“This is just another challenge,” said center Ryan Getzlaf, who led the team with eight points against the Sharks and raised the emotional temperature in Monday’s clincher by fighting Joe Thornton two seconds into the game.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
In the wake of a playoff series during which John Tortorella discovered he had no go-to guys he believed he could go to, take it to the bank that the coach’s first postseason order of business will be to work with GM Glen Sather to find the way to get Martin St. Louis out of Tampa Bay.
Understand that St. Louis, regarded as the heart and soul of the Lightning’s 2004 Stanley Cup championship team, is one of Tortorella’s favorite players ever. Understand that St. Louis has a no-trade clause that he would all but certainly waive to join the coach, for theirs is a mutual admiration society.
Understand, too, that St. Louis, even at the age of 34 he’ll reach in June, is the big-play difference-maker whose absence was bemoaned by Tortorella following Game 7. Gutsy, too.
from Craig Harris of the Arizona Republic,
Coyotes President Doug Moss refuted that report late Wednesday night, saying the league has not assumed control of the Coyotes.
“We are not reporting to the league,” he said. “We report to (owner) Jerry Moyes. I’m dealing with things in my area, the business side, and Donnie (General Manager Don Maloney) is dealing with the hockey side.
“It’s business as usual. He’s preparing for the draft. I’m preparing for next year on marketing and sales.”
from David Pollak of Working the Corners at the Mercury News,
“I apologize to our fans and I apologize to our owners because they deserve better,” Wilson said. “And believe me, I take full responsibility. You bring in people and you bring in situations and if there’s any enabling or entitlement that comes from that, then that belongs right here and nowhere else.”
Wilson noted that he usually waits a week to calm down after a playoff exit, “but you don’t deserve me having a week.”
Wilson, who said this was by far the most painful playoff exit yet, said at various times that fans “should be pissed off” and “should feel cheated.” That last point prompted someone to ask him if he felt cheated, too.
“I don’t feel cheated. I feel responsible. I’m part of it. If I’m part of the problem, then I better be working to find us solutions here.”
from Craig Harris of the Arizona Republic,
The National Hockey League, which loaned the Phoenix Coyotes money in February to keep the team in business, is now running the franchise and has promised Glendale that the NHL would reimburse the city for parking fees and security costs owed by the team, Glendale City Manager Ed Beasley said.
“The NHL is in charge of the team right now,” Beasley said. “We have assurances from the NHL the money will be paid . . . .We are sitting down with the NHL and working confidentially with them, and the city expects to be paid in full.”...
We have been told from the NHL that they are responsible for the team,” Beasley said.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
The battle in net. This series will be won or lost within about two feet of Hiller and the Anaheim goal. The Columbus Blue Jackets had no answer for the big, talented Wings, who made life miserable for Vezina and Calder Trophy candidate Steve Mason in goal. Will the Ducks be able to keep sight lines open for Hiller? Can they do it without taking too many penalties? The answer had better be yes if the Ducks want to stay close.
This one should be fun, and tough. But there’s simply too much offense, too much talent, too much Red Wings for the Ducks to come up with two straight major upsets. Red Wings in six.
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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