Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,
For the young Jackets, seeing how the Red Wings elevate their competitive level has been a staggering experience. They didn’t know it would be like this.
“I don’t think it’s just been our young guys,” Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock said. “I think it’s been an eye-opener for anybody that’s played them. I think it’s been an eye-opener for people watching on television, I think it’s been an eye-opener for our team.
“I’ve said this before: These are unbelievable lessons. This is exactly what you need to grow. You need to have these games so you just don’t talk about the level, you’ve got reference points all the time.
“We’re a team that’s got the reference points. Our players are going to get better daily.”
from Gary Loewen of the Toronto Sun,
You know that the playoffs have begun when a different set of words and phrases is introduced into the hockey lexicon.
a) The “face wash” becomes an acceptable offensive tactic.
b) The “playoff beards” sprout, in part to take the sting out of the face wash.
c) The dreaded “pond scrum” in front of the crease delays a multitude of faceoffs.
from Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy,
Gather round, class: Professor Edwards wants to tell you about how the Bruins are like patriots who have thwarted the tyranny of the Habs. Or something like that. If you can remember the last hockey goal call that began “234 years ago yesterday, a bunch of rag-tag farmers stood up against the greatest fighting force in the world,” we’d like to hear it.
from Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters,
But tonight, Edwards crossed the line in our book.
He basically compared the Bruins 4-2 win in Montreal to war.
We assume Edwards has never had anyone in his life impacted directly by war. Because if he had, he would not have made such a stupid, ignorant statement.
more and either watch the video below or watch it at the links you are about to click…
from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles at the Chicago Daily-Herald,
Flames coach Mike Keenan wants Adam Burish suspended for what happened near the end of Monday’s game in the altercation with Rene Bourque.
“I’m disappointed they weren’t given a match penalty for deliberate attempt to injure,” Keenan said. “A cross-check to the face where Burish broke his stick over his face. He suffered an injury because of that cross-check to the face. I have no idea how the referees could miss it. It was blatant.”
It’s beautiful how poor Mike claims his player is a victim when the Flames have been allowed to get away with one cross-check after another after whistles when goalie Miikka Kiprusoff makes a save.
added 7:33am, watch Keenan’s post-game press conference below…
from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
As the noted philosopher Scott Hartnell observed yesterday, playoff hockey “isn’t rocket science.”
There is some physics involved, though, in terms of velocity and mass and impact. There is also more than a little bit of sociology, as the NHL finds itself in a transition game between the Bad Old Neanderthal Days and the ideal of a physical but fluid collision (but not violent) sport.
So much of the tension in this suddenly interesting series between the Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins is the result of this conflict. The league’s on-ice officials are mandated to call penalties for any stickwork above the waist or any clutching or grabbing that impedes the flow of the game. Like most team sports, hockey has been trying to legislate more offense into its game.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
In a few days the Ducks have gone from nearly-missed-the-playoffs to placing their skates above the tightening throats of the San Jose Sharks, from playing with fire often enough to torch the penalty box to still playing with fire but quenching their blazes surprisingly well.
The Ducks’ penalty killing ranked 23rd in the NHL at 79.7% this season, one of many areas that suffered while defenseman Francois Beauchemin recovered from knee surgery. It wasn’t for lack of practice—the Ducks were the second-most penalized team and were short 76 more times than they had an advantage—but the penalty killers were erratic.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
In what was a rare sighting in the opening two games, we saw Washington players fighting their way to the Rangers’ net, taking hits to make the right pass, and getting their faces smashed in the glass to keep the cycle going in the offensive zone. There were sacrifices made all over the ice.
Consider the opening three goals Monday night, a pair from Semin and a rebound goal from Brooks Laich. All three tallies were from within 15 feet of the net. That’s a dirty area of the ice that’s painful to access. But good things happen when you’re willing to fight your way there.
from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,
When Keith Tkachuk calls it a career, which won’t be this summer, he will go down as one of the greatest Americans to have played in the NHL.
But there is an uncomfortable truth about the 37-year-old forward, whose hair and beard are now primarily grey, and it seems to be continuing this spring. The St. Louis Blues are facing playoff elimination, down three games to none to the Vancouver Canucks in a best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final, and are climbing a mountain of history to erase that disadvantage.
For Tkachuk, first-round exits are par for the course. They have happened 10 times in his 12 postseason appearances, and it’s about to be 11 of 13 if the Canucks can win tonight in Game 4 at the Scottrade Center.
Rangers coach John Tortorella discusses the loss to the Capitals tonight.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette (Tuesday edition),
The Canadiens’ 100th season will come to a stunning halt tomorrow night, the Habs cleanly swept from the postseason, if they don’t win the 100th playoff game of their illustrious history.
And who a year ago dared imagine the prospect of such an inglorious exit for a team one season removed from an Eastern Conference championship, one picked by many last fall to be a Stanley Cup contender?
added 11:46pm, from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
There is, of course, a statistical possibility the Canadiens can sweep the next four against the No. 1 team in the Eastern Conference.
There also is a statistical possibility that you will win the Powerball.
Tough odds, in either case.
So while genuflecting to the patron saints of no-hopers, the 1942 Maple Leafs and the 1975 Islanders, the two NHL playoff teams to ever come back from the abyss, let’s fast-forward to the moment, whenever that might be, that Bruins and Canadiens players shake hands and Boston trudges forward into the second round and Montreal retreats to survey the wreckage of the 100th anniversary season.
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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