Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post,
But as the Capitals trudged off the Wachovia Center ice tonight, 4-3 losers in double overtime, the pain of the present was all these 20-somethings could consider. They had lived and died over and over again for four hours, and now they trailed three games to one in this best-of-seven first-round series with the rowdy Philadelphia Flyers. Their hurt was compounded by how hard they had fought, overcoming what could have been a crippling first period, roaring back to take a 3-2 lead into the third period, only to be eventually undone by more youthful mistakes, needing a win Saturday at Verizon Center to extend this magical season.
read on (reg. req.)
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
In a perfect world, the applause would have started with a little more than two minutes left in Game 5, which most people expected would be the end of the quarterfinal playoff series between these teams.
Everyone on their feet. White towels waving wildly. More than 21,000 mouths open, the noise getting louder and louder, and soon there would no longer have been a crowd in the Bell Centre, but a thunder engulfing it.
How sweet it would have been. No more than five games - and why not, eh? The Canadiens had finished 10 points ahead of the Bruins during the regular season. They had erased them 4-1 in the first game of this series and won the second game in overtime. Five games. No more.
Boston 5, Canadiens 1.
from Woody Paige of the Denver Post,
In the realm of Jose Theodore, time, speed and distance have no relevance. He is on his own, in the moment, in his area of interest. There are no sounds, no distractions, no blurs, no vague impressions.
It’s myspace.net, Theodore believes. It belongs to him and nobody else.
“If you are focused properly,” Jose Theodore says, “you don’t see time go by.”
And pucks don’t go past him.
The Avalanche goalie has played brilliantly in this playoff series with Minnesota. But, on Thursday night, Theodore was a virtuoso performer of the highest order.
from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,
Praise the Boston head coach, but praise the Boston players as well, of course, for scrapping back in this series after seeming a bit shell-shocked in game one, the 12th of 13 consecutive losses to the Canadiens dating back to last season.
They have been in every minute since, and could have considered themselves unlucky not to have come away with another win. Though as an eighth seed going up against a one, returning to the loudest, most intimidating building in the league, there was also every reason to surrender to the inevitable.
There was every reason to surrender a whole bunch of times this year, with terrible injuries and an obvious deficit in scoring talent, during phases of the schedule when it seemed Boston was everyone’s favourite candidate to cough up a playoff spot.
from the Dallas Morning News,
Turco was at his sprawling, acrobatic best against the Ducks, stopping 27 of 28 shots, and coming within 7.6 seconds of a shutout as the Stars beat Anaheim, 3-1.
“If it wasn’t for him,” said Stephane Robidas, “we would’ve been out of the game in the first period.”
Turco’s performance gave Dallas control of the series – three games to one – while the Stars won at American Airlines Center for only the second time in nine playoff games.
From Judd Zulgad at the Star Tribune,
Anyone who tuned into KSTC’s telecast of the Wild playoff game Monday night at Colorado likely came away believing Marc Joannette and Tim Peel are among the NHL’s most incompetent referees.
How could viewers have any other impression after listening to Wild play-by-play man Dan Terhaar and analyst Mike Greenlay? The latter spent far too much time criticizing the officials and the former did nothing to rein him in during the Wild’s 3-2 overtime victory.
continued… with a look at coverage through the first 3 games of the series.
from the CP via the Globe and Mail,
Glen Metropolit scored after a gaffe by goalie Carey Price to ignite a four-goal third period and keep the Boston Bruins playoff hopes alive with a 5-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.
Montreal leads the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarter-final series 3-2 but missed a chance to clinch and now must return to Boston for Game 6 on Saturday night.
Watch the Metropolit goal…
from Lightning Strikes,
The representative for Russian freight train Evgeny Artyukhin said he and Tampa Bay are talking about a contract. This would be a good thing for the Lightning as the 6-foot-4, 254-pound left wing would provide some muscle and forechecking power to a team that, for the most part last season, lacked a physical edge.
The Lightning was mum Thursday, but Gandler said, “Both sides want to see Evgeny back playing in Tampa next season and for the next few seasons.”
Of a contract, he said, without giving specifics, “It think it’s doable and it should be done.”
from John Dellapina of the NY Daily News (Friday edition),
The prospect of seeing Martin Brodeur have to shake Sean Avery’s hand sometime after 10 o’clock Friday might prove too tantalizing for most Rangers fans to concentrate on their day jobs Friday.
The Rangers themselves insist they won’t have the same problem.
Tonight, the Rangers get their first of three chances to eliminate the Devils and advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup tournament when they take their 3-1 series lead into Game 5 at the Rock in Newark. The trick is to make that handshake line happen by not focusing on it until a series-ending buzzer sounds.
from Mark Spector of the National Post,
Things we’re learning in a first round that reminds us that no matter how long we keep trying to pick this game, the predictions never get any easier to get right.
If the Ottawa Senators were the family pet, you’d have put them under after Game 2. And as noble as Daniel Alfredsson was to come out and play at about 60% in Games 3 and 4, it looks now like an ill-advised admission by Senators management that the lineup they iced in Games 1 and 2 was so far from beating Pittsburgh, even a clearly injured Alfredsson would be an improvement.
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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