Kukla's Korner Hockey
From the CP via The Hockey News,
“I don’t take responsibility for the team losing in the playoffs, I’ll tell you that much,” Emery told a throng of media in the Senators dressing room. “I showed up late for practice twice this year and had an opportunity to still go on the ice and they told me to go home. When some other guys are late coming to the rink they’re just fine ...”
Emery has been blamed by many for ruining the chemistry on a team that many had picked to go back to the Stanley Cup final. But he disagrees that he was that much of a distraction.
“I don’t think I was a model citizen but in no way did I not encourage my teammates or take away from what they were trying to do,” said Emery.
Update 3:48pm ET: Go here for video of Emery’s statements from TSN.
From Eric Stephens at the LA Times,
In the first two games of their Western Conference quarterfinal series against the Dallas Stars, the Ducks saw a Chris Pronger they don’t want to see. The invisible one.
They prefer the hard-skating, occasionally nasty one who scored two goals in Game 3.
Good or bad, the 6-foot-6 Pronger always draws attention. And in his drive to win, he sometimes crosses the line, as evidenced by his eight career suspensions, including an eight-game punishment toward the end of the regular season.
But Pronger’s performance Tuesday night showed why such reprimands by the NHL are something to simply accept.
From Tom Cowlishaw at the Dallas News,
Repeat after me. In the National Hockey League, there is no home-ice advantage.
I think we all know the Stars’ sad numbers since moving from their cozier digs at Reunion Arena. They have won one home game in their last seven playoff tries against Colorado, Vancouver and now Anaheim.
I find this trivia question rather amazing.When’s the last time the Stars won a playoff series on their home ice?
Think about it for a second. That’s long enough.
via the AP,
The city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority has approved spending $75,000 to rent portable coolers for Mellon Arena if the Pittsburgh Penguins encounter warmer weather during home playoff games.
The 47-year-old arena has been plagued by bad ice and officials are concerned it could get worse if the building isn’t kept cool enough as springtime temperatures rise. The Penguins hope to begin play in a new $290 million in the 2010-2011 season.
via Habs Inside/Out,
Canadiens’ Mark Streit is day-to-day with a hip injury and will yield his place in the lineup tonight to Michael Ryder, who was a healthy scratch in Game 4.
Captain Saku Koivu skated again on his own but will not be back tonight. Nor will Francis Bouillon, though he continues to make slow progress.
Thorsten (Kaye) currently plays wealthy casino owner, Zach Slater, in ABC’s daytime drama, All My Children. For that role, he received a Daytime Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Lead Actor” in 2006. He has also appeared in films, The Silencers, Deadly Desire, and The Bone Collector. An avid rugby and hockey fan, Kaye will chronicle the Detroit Red Wings run to the Stanley Cup.
Now I’m not usually one to flip-flop with goaltenders, but I believe we have to start with Osgood on Friday, absolutely. I don’t know how you can’t.
There was talk, before this series, about how Hasek would have to prove something, and to me, thus far, he hasn’t proved anything. He let in two soft ones again, and even though one bounced off of Kronwall, I think it was, you have to make those saves.
Heck, I would’ve let those in. Those are saves that have to be made.
The goals are coming in from too far out, their ‘D’ are the ones doing the damage. He has to be able to stop a puck from 60 feet away!
more from Thorsten at his NHL Connect blog…
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Mike Keenan – God love him – hates that tired old cliché that’s generally trotted out whenever an NHL playoff series is tied at two games apiece – that it’s now a best-of-three and may the best team win.
As far as Keenan concerned, on the morning of the fifth game of the Calgary Flames-San Jose Sharks, it’s a best-of-one. Only tonight’s game against matters; it’s the only one on his mind – and he hopes it’s the only one on his players’ minds as well.
“I would prefer to have the group playoff ready for (tonight’s) game,” replied Keenan, when asked the best-of-three question.
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
Murray deserves his share of the blame for what’s happened to the franchise, but he also fits the criteria for director of the rebuild. He knows hockey and he knows talent and where he gets an edge is that he knows Ottawa’s problems from the inside out. Given Melnyk’s other problems, Murray is the guy Melnyk has to charge with fixing the Senators.
Goaltending will be a huge issue. Emery is as good as gone, likely via a buyout. That message was sent from the moment Murray nailed him to the bench in favour of Martin Gerber. Gerber wasn’t awful in the series, but he was never close to being a difference maker and if a team has Stanley Cup aspirations or even aspirations of making the playoffs (which will be both a singular and difficult goal for the Senators next season), that has to improve.
from Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post,
Any coach should have the authority on his bench to tell his players to take a loss like men, go home with their dignity intact and use the scoreboard to seek vengeance in the next game.
But what do I know? I don’t live in the state of hockey, where die-hard Minnesota fans are still sore after the Wild got beat up by Anaheim in the playoffs a year ago.
In response, Lemaire assembled the biggest cast of desperadoes and bushwhackers seen since “Blazing Saddles” hit movie theaters in 1974.
But here in Colorado, we know all too well how stupid violence in the game can result in a broken neck.
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
So, how can New Jersey prolong the series on Friday at The Rock?
“We’ve got to take it slow,” Brodeur suggested. “Just play the game and pay attention to detail. We can’t shoot ourselves in the foot anymore. We (Martin and Madden) had a chance to take the lead, but we didn’t bury it. Then, there’s the mistake in our zone and that’s the game.”
Don’t be surprised if Sutter makes a major change on defense. Vitaly Vishnevski should be benched and replaced by Karel Rachunek who will at least give the Devs some offense with his D. Perhaps Sheldon Brookbank, who is fresh, will get an opportunity.
But when all is said and done, for the fourth straight game, Brodeur has been out-goaled by Lundqvist.
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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