Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the 2008 Stanley Cup Blog at CBC,
Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau has painted himself into a dilemma with his decision to start Jaroslav Halak in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinal against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Halak played well, and when you consider the circumstances under which he was making his first career playoff start, he was exceptional.
The game was played in about as hostile an environment as you will ever see with 19,872 orange-clad Flyers fans hurling obscenities in his direction at the Wachovia Center, and the Canadiens were in desperate need of a victory to knot up the series at two games apiece.
via Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press,
“We get to follow the NHL more in Europe while growing up than what was probably the case 10 years ago,” said Kronwall, from Sweden. “We grew up only knowing how to play a certain way. But now the younger European players are more comfortable playing a more physical style because they’ve seen it more.”
“The league has grown into a more global league than when I first started 15 years ago,” said Lidstrom, also from Sweden. “You didn’t see as many European players in leadership roles. But everybody’s watching now (in Europe). They’re up to date. They’re more aware of what’s going on. I think that’s why you see some of the younger European players having an impact right away.”
from Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News,
It’s frustrating, obviously,” Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said. “We just lost three games and I can’t sit there with the coaching staff and try to change things or the way we play tactically. We are playing great. We have scoring chances and we don’t give too much, but we lost the game. Biron is on top of his game right now. Whether he’s lucky or good or extremely good, he is making the saves . . .
“I’ve played with one guy that made those kind of saves that were silly sometimes.”
He means Ed Belfour back when Carbonneau won a Stanley Cup with Dallas, and silly is just the perfect word for it. He’s right. His team has not played badly, not at all. Their greatest fault lies in their attempts to be too perfect, too pinpoint, trying to be too impossible for Biron to stop.
from Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post,
Although Sakic feels blessed to have spent 19 NHL seasons with a single organization and won loyal admiration from Quebec City to Denver, his decision to stay or go must ultimately be made alone, after input and heartfelt support from family and team.
Nevertheless, every cheering, banner-waving fan in the Avalanche’s home arena must realize we are guaranteed no more than one more chance to tell Sakic what Denver thinks about a man who has done this city and his sport so very proud.
Don’t go, Joe.
If that’s the way you feel, do not hesitate to tell him so.
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
“Habs,” read a sign raised after the Flyers scored into the empty net, “it’s over!”
Well, not officially. There remains the fifth game, which now becomes a true “must win” situation for Montreal.
Halak or Price? Price or Halak? Halak or Price? …
It really doesn’t matter, it appears, quite so much as those Montreal players not wearing the big pads getting pucks past the big pads at the other end.
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
On the heels of an MVP-calibre season in which he scored 65 goals, added 47 assists and led the Washington Capitals into an unlikely playoff berth, the 22-year-old’s marketing representatives are close to announcing Ovechkin’s first major sponsorship contracts.
In the works are deals with Ferrari and U.S. mobile phone company Verizon, says Konstantin Selinevich, who spearheads Ovechkin’s off-ice business relationships. Selinevich says talks continue with others, including Coca-Cola. Just last month, the Wasserman Media Group, a powerful sports marketing agency in Los Angeles, was hired to buttress efforts to land endorsements for Ovechkin.
While the star already has sponsor agreements with Reebok’s CCM brand, trading-card company Upper Deck and Hype, an energy drink, none has put much marketing muscle behind him. (Selinevich says that will change this summer when Reebok rolls out an Ovechkin clothing line.)
from Lynn Zinser at Slap Shot,
“I’m going to play tomorrow to try to win the series back, not thinking about myself. It’s going to take care of itself. I’m going to try to play to win the hockey game, to have a chance to play the next game. That is my goal.”...
Jagr may still be back if he does not find what he is looking for with another N.H.L. team. All the talk of him returning to Russia is just that, talk. The Rangers probably will not bring back Brendan Shanahan or Martin Straka to a team looking to get younger, but there is little doubt that the Rangers still believe in Jagr. It is a matter of whether he believes back.
more on Jagr…
from Rich Hammond of the LA Daily News,
The Kings declined to release specific numbers, but said they’re losing more money per year now than before the lockout. At the start of the lockout, the Kings claimed to be losing $8 to $10 million a year.
“We’re building our organization differently, to meet the reality that we’re losing even more than we did before the lockout,” chief marketing officer Chris McGowan said. “We have to run a better business.”
Thus, the ticket-price increases, even coming off a season in which the Kings tied for the fewest points in the NHL. The Kings believe the increases are necessary, in part, to help stabilize their bottom line.
from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Therrien and his staff have handled the preparations. And the players have taken it upon themselves to police themselves.
“Come playoff time, everyone’s got to step up and be on the same page,” winger Ryan Malone said. “And when you’re not on the same page, you’re going to hear it from the other 19 guys on the bench that you better be on the right page.
“We’re helping each other out when we need it, but we’ll also give each other a kick in the butt if we need a kick in the butt.”
from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,
The Sharks were dynamically incremental Wednesday night. That’s how it must be from this point, as long as they are still playing. But at least they are still playing. After a mandatory 2-1 victory over Dallas, they are still playing. They are behind three victories to one. But they are still playing.
“A lot of people thought we were going to lose tonight,” said Joe Thornton, who emerged from a three-game fog of frustration and hit some people and assisted on the winning goal. “But the 20 guys in this room had faith. We still want to make a series out of this.”
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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