Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Puck-rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,
The West is so diluted Dallas might reach the finals. I was watching a game from the Colorado-Detroit series recently and, uh, oh wait that was a rerun from ESPN Classic. These are your father’s Red Wings and Avs.
Anyway, the best young talent in the West is on developing teams: Chicago, Phoenix, even Los Angeles. Will the big money clubs such as Detroit retool? No doubt. But in the salary cap era they can only do so much.
Translation: The Jackets have never been on a more level playing field. Let’s see if they can take advantage.
From David Shoalts at the Globe & Mail blog,
Don’t look now, but a New York Ranger was spotted in the opposition’s goal crease, holding up his arms and waving like a marooned sailor on a desert island.
No, it wasn’t the attention-starved Sean Avery this time but the allegedly classy veteran Brendan Shanahan. His technique was different than Avery’s but the intent seemed to be the same, to block Pittsburgh Penguin goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury’s view of the puck. [...]
Avery’s tactics drew a vow from the NHL that any further antics would result in an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty but Shanahan did not get whistled down. However, the Penguins professed no alarm about this because, they said, the referees told them if the Rangers scored a goal it would have been disallowed.
Update 4:31pm ET: Some words from Stan Fischler on what it will take for the NYR to get back into the series with the Pens
From Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,
Watching Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Martin Biron embrace the moment is one of the best stories of these NHL playoffs. He embodies the axiom about the value of the journey over the destination. And while the Stanley Cup dream is the ultimate, Biron’s career-long anticipation of his first postseason action in the NHL makes him a prime example of the wait giving weight—as in richness—to the moment.
Stop the whining…
more at my blog at Hockey.com…
Noted by Rick Sadowski in the Rocky Mountain News:
Red Wings forward Darren McCarty is convinced Forsberg will play.
“I’m pretty sure, unless Forsberg’s leg’s going to fall off, he’ll probably be in there for Game 3,” McCarty said. “They’re a veteran team. They’re well-coached and they’ve got guys that have been in different situations like this before. It’s not like they’re a young team.”
Kostopoulos earned a two-minute roughing minor on the play, but the war of words has escalated ever since.
“Kostopoulos, he’s a tough kid and I’ve got a lot of respect for him and [Steve] Bégin,” Philadelphia head coach John Stevens said. “But to go up and blindside sucker Kimmo Timonen on a play at the end there, that’s cowardly, in my opinion.”
Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau has been anything but quiet about the criticism of his player.
“That’s one team that shouldn’t talk,” Carbonneau said of Stevens’s comments. “They played 82 games and had the most suspensions in the league.”
And over at the Philadelphia Daily News, Rich Hofmann also expects things to get nastier in this series, citing this quote from Carbonneau:
“I think [Timonen] deserved it. That’s why they didn’t call any (major) penalties on it.”
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
A couple of old favorites are getting a lot of attention in the playoffs.
No, not the Detroit Red Wings and Dallas Stars — although they appear to be in the process of setting up a titanic struggle for the Western crown.
The two old favorites are interference and crease crashing.
Actually, the latter is a variation of the former, but either way, it’s fairly clear that the recently reconstructed competition committee is going to have to deal with these issues over the summer.
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
Others will say it’s been ugly around here since the playoffs began.
It all depends, of course, entirely on your view of hair style.
On the one side of the Canadiens’ dressing room, you have the long, flowing, golden locks of Russian star Alexei Kovalev - hair so long and blond that, Saturday night, some Montreal fans showed up in wigs that made them look like they were extras in the Broadway musical Hairspray.
On the other side, you have the buzz cut, playoff choice of most of the Montreal dressing room, with players like Tom Kostopoulos, the one who decked Philadelphia’s Kimmo Timonen the other night, looking like they’ve just been deloused and are about to be issued their prison garb.
Huh? Well, Mike Lange of course…. Hear it at Empty Netters...
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
The Flyers, like the Bruins, found themselves in a dogfight for a playoff berth in the final weeks of the season, but that seems to have hardened the team and made it more prepared for post-season play. Captain Mike Richards, meanwhile, leads the club in ice time and seems to be in the middle of everything, whether it’s a scoring play or a scrum.
The Flyers, on home ice, now have a glorious opportunity to put their boots on the throats of the Habs. But if they don’t, no one would criticize them for it because they are the team that came all the way from the bottom to be respectable again.
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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