Kukla's Korner Hockey
Chicago took a very early two goal lead and basically skated with the Flames the rest of the way.
Chicago scores into an empty net late in the game, final score 4-1.
from A.J. Perez of USA TODAY,
Somebody posing as a Washington Post reporter convinced ESPN on Monday that one of the Washington Capitals’ star players had been suspended for Tuesday’s decisive Eastern Conference playoff Game 7 against the New York Rangers.
“I was on my way to the rink this morning and my buddy called me and was a little upset I was missing Game 7,” said Capitals defenseman Mike Green, a finalist for the Norris Trophy given to the NHL’s top defenseman.
“I had no idea what for. It kind of caught me off guard.”
ESPN SportsCenter hosts Josh Elliot and Hannah Storm relayed that Green and teammate Donald Brashear were suspended under a “Breaking News” banner Monday at 9:52 a.m.
Within a half hour, ESPN retracted the story.
If you missed it earlier today, you can start here which will lead you to some screenshots of the ‘breaking news’ at ESPN.
from Adam Brady of Ducks Blog at AnaheimDucks.com,
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Game 7.
Yeah, I know it will say Game 6 on the game programs and the TV screens, but for the Ducks this could be considered do-or-die tonight. The last thing in the world Anaheim wants is to have to face an actual Game 7 back in the Sharks’ barn. So polishing off this series tonight at Honda Center is crucial.
“I think you have to take that mindset,” Ryan Getzlaf said about approaching tonight’s game like it could be the last one. “Anytime you’re in an elimination [situation] you have to put a team behind you when you have the opportunity. We’re in the situation where we’re up 3-2 and we’ve got to try and win this fourth game tonight.”
Yes, tonight. In our building, which better be plenty loud tonight after what we heard in San Jose over the weekend. “They’re our seventh man on the ice,” Corey Perry said about the home crowd. “It keeps the emotion on the bench up and guys feed off that. They’re going to try to take the crowd out of it right away and we’ve got to be first on everything.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
John Tortorella looked around the group of reporters Monday and asked the question.
“OK, I’ll poll you right now,” said the New York Rangers coach. “Who thinks we’re going to win tomorrow?”
Not a single hand was raised.
“There you go. There is no pressure on us,” said Tortorella. “We’re going to go there and try to relax and compete in a Game 7 because everybody thinks we’re done. It falls back on them. They have the advantage because it is a home building and that’s what they did this year. They deserve that seventh game, but it’s funny what happens with the pressure.”
Ah, the mind games on the eve of a seventh game. It’s universal in all sports.
TORONTO (April 27, 2009) - Washington Capitals forward Donald Brashear has been suspended for a total of six games as a result of two separate incidents—one prior to and one during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarter-Final series Sunday against the New York Rangers.
Brashear was suspended one game for initiating contact with Rangers forward Colton Orr during the pre-game warm-up. Brashear was suspended for five additional games for a blind-side hit on New York forward Blair Betts at 9:54 of the first period.
“Brashear delivered a shoulder hit to an unsuspecting player,” said NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell. “It is also my opinion that the hit was delivered late and targeted the head of his opponent, causing significant injury.”
Brashear’s suspension will be served beginning tomorrow night when the Capitals meet the Rangers in Game Seven of the series. The suspension will extend through the Capitals’ next five 2009 playoff games, the 2009-10 regular season, or both, as circumstances warrant.
Dion Phaneuf did not take part in the morning skate and head coach Mike Keenan erased all questions about the status of the blueliner for tonight’s contest.
“No, he will not,” was Keenan’s response when asked if Phaneuf would play. “He’s not available. And his status is day-to-day.”
Phaneuf’s teammates expressed their concern about his possible absence but remained positive that they could handle the 24-year-old’s workload.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
It’s just a hunch on my part, but I figure Donald Brashear will get a one-game suspension for his pre-game warm-up shove on New York Ranger Colton Orr and probably another one-game suspension for his hit on Ranger Blair Betts.
Which is all well and good, I suppose, but it doesn’t really address the root issue on Brashear’s hit on Betts, which apparently broke Bett’s orbital bone and most definitely scrambled his brain, as evidenced by the video that shows an extremely groggy Betts having difficulty getting off the ice under his own power.
That is, how do we get those types of hits out of the game?
Every time I bring up the issue of hits to the head in the NHL, which is often, traditionalists or hardliners or dinosaurs (take your pick) maintain that if there are penalties for shoulder hits to the head, we are going to end up with a soft game with no hitting.
from Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle,
On the off chance that you believe that one big game has cured the Sharks of their big-line blues, let us waste no time in presenting their next issue:
After having been reunited and called out at the same time, Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Devin Setoguchi had their best game in weeks, with the topper being Marleau’s overtime goal Saturday night. In the meantime, the overtime would not have been necessary had not Evgeni Nabokov given up two five-hole goals to Ryan Carter and Corey Perry in the first five minutes of the third period.
“I don’t think it’s in Joe’s nature to be mean, but when he is mean, he’s unstoppable. That’s intensity. When you’re intense, you’re a hard person to play against.”
“He can’t pick his spots. For him to be known as one of the greatest players in the world from now on, he’s got to bring that. He makes a lot of money to bring that intensity. You can’t rely on just his eyes and his know-how all the time.”
-Jeremy Roenick on Joe Thornton. More from David Pollak at Working the Corners.
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
Assuming Glen Sather is still running the New York Rangers next season, he might want to find a bona fide No. 1-line player or two for his team.
Currently, the Rangers have none; good team, but no star forwards or defencemen.
Outside of goalie Henrik Lundqvist—the only reason New York is even in a Game 7 in the first round against the Washington Capitals—the Rangers do not have a single established player they can claim to be a front-liner.
Not Scott Gomez. Not Chris Drury. Not Markus Naslund.
Two solid second-liners on a good team and a guy who scores on occasion, but rarely stands out in a game that matters.
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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