Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Elliotte Friedman of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
From the moment we arrived at our hotel, we could sense the difference. The fans are disappointed, and the mood is much less jovial. There was hope that the team could overcome whatever ailed it at the end of the regular season, rise up and defeat the Boston Bruins. After all, the Bruins weren’t just battling the current Canadiens.
They were also battling the ghosts of Richard, Beliveau, Dryden and Lafleur.
That hope is all but extinguished. Game 3 is very much The Last Stand for Les Glorieux, because a 3-0 deficit is hopeless. But, where will the next level come from? Who is going to step up and save the Montreal Canadiens?
added 9:18am, from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
According to the local media, as minor as this incident was, it was the third time in the past several weeks Gainey had lost his composure with the media.
This is the same Gainey who during his playing days was known for keeping his cool.
The same Gainey who always has held his emotions close to the vest.
And now, there seem to be cracks developing in his armour, just like there are in his team.
from Jeff Gordon of the Hockey Guy at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
It’s over now. This was the Note’s chance to get back into the series and the home team failed.
The Blues didn’t get their must-have game. They took a good run at it, but fell short.
Now they will be relegated to playing for pride in Game 4. Now they will be fending off an embarrassing sweep on their home ice.
After entering the NHL playoffs as one of the NHL’s hottest teams, this is not the scenario they envisioned. But it is what it is.
The Canucks are the more experienced and more talented team (even with Mats Sundin sidelined) and the Blues couldn’t knock them off their game.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Ovechkin is trying. He wants to win so badly. But the bottom line is that he has zero goals in this series and his team has zero wins. Forget the Hart and Rocket Richard trophies he already has on his impressive résumé. We’re about to find out whether he’s a winner. Or a leader. Or either.
It’s unfair to lay the entire blame on No. 8 for his second-seeded club’s being down 2-0, shockingly, to the seventh-seeded Rangers. But part of the deal when you make $9 million a year is to shoulder the largest responsibility for your team. No one can question his desire to win, but now he must show he can find a way when the going gets tough.
Yes, Alex, the Rangers are blocking a lot of your wrist shots, and that’s a bummer. Well, find another way. Make better use of your linemates. Adjust your game.
from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding at USA TODAY,
For years I’ve believed that Rogie Vachon has always paid a price for having the misfortune to have played for too many poor to mediocre hockey teams. Arguably he’s the best goalie not in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Now I wonder whether Chris Osgood will always pay a price for having the misfortune of playing for an exceptional hockey franchise.
Osgood has 389 regular-season victories, three Stanley Cup rings, two of them earned as the No. 1 goalie. He has 61 career playoff wins, tying him for 12th on the NHL’s all-time list. Depending upon the Red Wings’ fate, Osgood could climb as high as eighth this spring.
Only three goalies in NHL history—Patrick Roy (23), Marty Brodeur (22) and Curtis Joseph (16)—have more postseason shutouts than Osgood, who earned his 14th Saturday night.
Unquestionably, Osgood has Hall of Fame numbers. Before he retired, he could be fourth on the NHL’s all-time wins list.
Watching the HD feed of the Devils/Canes game. In OT, poof!, Directv logo pops-up. Wait a minute thinking it will come back, nope, switch to the SD feed of the game, it’s over, Devils win.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
At the time, Chris Kunitz’s flying hit on Kimmo Timonen early in the game looked like it had the potential to be a controversial part of the day’s proceedings. But by the end of the afternoon, no one seemed all that interested in making a big deal of it.
Kunitz flew into Timonen just behind the Flyers’ net in the first six minutes of the game, and the initial look suggested he had either hit or grazed Timonen’s head with his forearm or elbow….
“Man, it’s a hard hit,” Philadelphia coach John Stevens said. It was kind of an odd game. This Kunitz, he plays hard. Originally, I thought he left his feet. Now, I’m not sure if he left his feet or he just went in the air when he went through the hit.”
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail (Monday edition),
The mood was, in a word, defiant — probably a good thing for the Calgary Flames.
Down 2-0 in their Western Conference playoff series to the Chicago Blackhawks and facing long statistical odds to get back in the series, the Flames players rhymed off the many reasons for optimism yesterday, some of them even plausible.
The games have been close, the difference between the two teams comparatively small. There were none of the glassy-eyed stares to be found in the Flames’ dressing room, none of the helpless expressions that accompany a team that knows it is hopelessly overmatched in a series.
from Steve Zipay of Newsday,
“I think he’s just let his game go,” said Rangers coach John Tortorella, who said he’s had some “heart-to-heart” talks with the former Vancouver Canucks captain. “When the staff first started, with him, there was a problem with the tempo, the speed we were trying to go, whether it was just confusion or what, all I know is that he’s skating better and I think he’s much more confident with the puck. And he’s playing well away from the puck, too.”
Asked to explain “let his game go,” Tortorella said: “Just relax and play, he’s a good player, he’s good with the puck, he can score goals, he has talent. I think he feels more comfortable in how we’re playing. I think he just said, ‘To hell with this, I need to play better’ and get some minutes.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Boudreau tried to bite his lip as best he could, but he was clearly unimpressed with the work of the officiating crew in Saturday’s 1-0 loss, insinuating that all the talk from Rangers coach John Tortorella about the Game 1 officiating had an effect in the next game.
“Well, yeah, I am frustrated with it,” Boudreau said. “They [the Rangers] talk about the refereeing and all of a sudden, you don’t get a power play for 40 minutes. And the call they called on them was sort of like, ‘Better make a call’ because it wasn’t much of a call.”
Boudreau pointed to his team’s five minor penalties.
“Go back and look at them and see how many were deserved,” he said. “Then you’ll find out there wasn’t very much of a disciplinary problem.”
more on the Capitals…
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Three games into his return from reconstructive surgery on his left knee, Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin has shaken off any sense of hesitance or rustiness.
“Everyday feels strong. No setback, no pain,” said Beauchemin, who missed 62 games and nearly five months.
His teammates feel even better about having his physicality back in the lineup for the playoffs, when they need it most.
“I’ve been a bit surprised how he’s stepped in and played as well as he has,” Scott Niedermayer said Sunday as the Ducks prepared for Game 2 tonight at HP Pavilion.
“He was down for a long time. He doesn’t look like he’s really missed a beat. It looks like he’s been there all year. It’s been good for us, for sure. He’s played three games, and they’ve all been good.”
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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