Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,
There is no I-can’t-believe-this-is-happening-to-us giddiness around the Canucks as there was only two years ago when Vancouver bolted to a 3-1 first-round series lead against the Dallas Stars.
Even on their romp to the seventh game of the Stanley Cup final in 1994, there was at least as much hopefulness as expectation that the “magical” run would continue.
There is no sense of magic now about the Canucks. This is a good thing.
There are the forwards who have elevated for the playoffs, the deep, robust defence that has no weak link, and there is Roberto Luongo in goal.
The Canucks have mustered the intensity and emotion that are base ingredients in all playoff success, but have also a detached, business-like approach. Nothing personal, they’re just moving on.
from Drew Rememda of the Seagate Broadcaster Blog,
First the Bad News, some things did not change from Game 1. The powerplay is still “0 for.” I believe the Sharks have to make the adjustment on the breakout and into the neutral zone. Better more patient support, using the ice behind and building up speed would be my change, (I know the Coaches are working on solving the entry problems). Puck recovery is also an issue. In the first two games the Ducks PK is outworking the Sharks Powerplay.
Obviously Nabokov needs to be better. I’ve always believed Evgeni to be a top flight goalie but he’s being beat by a rookie netminder. True Nabby has made some big stops, like the breakaway chance by Marchant in Game 2. But if the Sharks are going to get back into the series he can’t let anymore Andrew Ebbett wristers from the goal line in.
It may not be fair but it is accurate.
The BIG GUYS for the Sharks need to deliver….
If you are like me and want as much news about the playoffs, CBC has created the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs Blog and it is worth visiting on a regular basis.
I have been pointing to a few of the posts in recent days and have found them very informative.
If you want you news quickly and to the point, make sure to check out the ‘09 SCPB ( they should have found a shorter name!).
NEW YORK/TORONTO (April 20, 2009) – The lists of the three finalists for each of the NHL’s most prestigious regular-season awards will be announced beginning Wednesday. The 2009 NHL Awards, to be broadcast live from the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas on June 18, 2009 on VERSUS in the United States and CBC in Canada, will bring together the League’s best players, celebrities and other NHL VIPs in celebration of the season’s brightest stars.
from the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs Blog,
Is there anything more tiresome or a greater waste of time than a Mats Sundin scrum? The man moved far more deftly than at any time he’s been on the ice by doging all the questions about his absence in Game 3 and the possibility of him playing Game 4.
He did make one slip however, admitting that in fact he did hurt himself in the third period not the first period (which Alain Vigneault claimed in his post-game news conference Sunday iin what appeared to be a deliberate attempt to mislead people).
“I haven’t spoken to the doctor yet today,” said Sundin after missing the Canuck practice Monday, he believed to have either a groin or hip problem. “We’ll see how it feels tomorrow.”
Given Vancouver is up 3-0 in the series, it’s unlikely he’ll play Tuesday night, for if Vancouver win they will free up at least another week for him to rest whatever ails him to get him ready for the next series
continue for more on the Canucks and Blues…
from Elliotte Friedman of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
A regular game day for the coach of the Montreal Canadiens consists of two separate media availabilities. The first comes after the team skates, and is open to everyone. Gainey sits behind a table and answers questions in both English and French. Sometimes, it takes more than 20 minutes, with two languages, close to 50 reporters and plenty of interest.
According to another journalist, today’s lasted 3:09 - which has to be some kind of record. He wouldn’t reveal his starting goalie, wouldn’t talk about his lineup. He told everyone to “watch the warmup” - which comes 30 minutes before puck drop.
The second briefing is for rights holders only, about two hours before game time. It’s a longer process for the coach of the Canadiens than anyone else in the league. First, you do RDS, the French TV broadcaster. I’m not sure what happens behind that door, but there are about 400 people in the room with him.
Then, it’s back-to-back tapings with CKAC (French radio) and CJAD (English radio). After that, we usually get a couple of minutes to chat.
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
Right now the Ducks are in the show-me stage, but with each passing victory the rest of the playoff teams will begin to take them more seriously. And if they knock off the Sharks, who knows how far they can go. Confidence can be a real driving force.
So while it has been a chaotic year, any team that has Pronger, Niedermayer, Whitney and Francois Beauchemin on defence; Getzlaf, Perry, Ryan, Teemu Selanne, Rob Niedermayer and Todd Marchant up front can’t be all bad.
The Ducks are starting to believe in themselves at the same time the Sharks are suddenly looking for answers. Sounds like the perfect formula for an upset.
from Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily-Herald,
It was Bowman, while coaching in Detroit, who made Red Wings left wing Tomas Holmstrom the best in the game at screening goalies and causing havoc in front of the net.
“That’s why Holmstrom is so effective - he stands outside the line,” Bowman said. “When I was in Detroit we had a lot of goals called back and I would say to him, ‘You can’t make it close (for the referees). Don’t make it close.’
“I’d say, ‘If that’s the line, Tomas, you do a better job when you’re out a foot. You block his view more and the goalie can’t look around you.’ We were tough on him because when he first started he would tumble into the goalie.”
Bowman thought Hawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin would do a good job handling any crease pressure from Calgary because he doesn’t come outside the blue paint.
“There are some goalies that come out a lot, but the further you’re out you can’t expect to have protection,” Bowman said. “Nik is not far from the goalline.”
Montreal, Washington and Calgary are all down 0-2. Will they get back into the series with a win tonight?
from Brian Compton of NHL.com,
Three games into their best-of-7 series against the New Jersey Devils, the Carolina Hurricanes have yet to grab a lead in regulation.
One way to change that disturbing fact would be to get things going on the power play. That’s exactly what the ‘Canes intend to do when they host the Devils in Game 4 on Tuesday night at the RBC Center.
“We gave it to those guys something fierce today,” Carolina coach Paul Maurice said Monday afternoon after conducting a video session. “There are things we think we can do better—bringing the puck up the ice—that we have to improve on. The power play is ebb and flow. When you have confidence, you have more motion and more quickness. When it’s not going, it’s stagnant and standing, and I think we’re at that point in the offensive zone. We just remind them of what it is that when our power play is good what it looks like.”
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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