Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Fire & Ice,
There might be some out there counting the Devils out after losing the first two games of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal with the Rangers, but Devils coach Brent Sutter is not one of them with a must-win Game 3 coming up Sunday night at Madison Square Garden.
“I don’t know and I don’t really care what people think,” Sutter said after this afternoon’s practice at Prudential Center. “It’s what we think as far as a group, what we think inside our own team, inside our own locker room…I’m sure there probably is (people who have counted them out), but I don’t get caught up into it. We believe in each other and we have all year and we know the situation we’re in.
“A lot of players on this team and coaches have been in this situation before. It’s going to be how we react to it and how we respond to it.”
from the AP via ESPN,
The Red Wings took advantage of what appeared to be good fortune in Game 1 when offsides wasn’t called just before they scored the game-winning goal.
Nashville general manager David Poile was critical of the officiating in both games while talking to reporters on Saturday between the second and third periods.
“Just make the right call,” Poile said. “Between officials and supervisors, we can’t get the right call.”
Detroit coach Mike Babcock, of course, defended the men on skates wearing stripes and toting whistles.
added 7:40pm, more on this from John Glennon at the Tennessean…
from Steve Ladurantaye of the Globe and Mail,
It’s spring, and many will be staring at our television sets in the hope a Canadian team will hoist the Stanley Cup. Five Things takes a look at the business of playoff hockey….
5. PAY DAYS
When the regular season ends, it also means an end to regular paycheques for NHL players. Mind you, they’re not playing for pride alone. An elaborate system of shares exists to ensure those who carry their teams deep into the postseason are rewarded. This year, after the Cup winner is determined, $6.5-million will be split among the 16 teams that made the playoffs. While the exact method of distribution hasn’t been determined by the NHL Players Association, last year the Ducks were given 25 shares worth $75,000 each, for a total of $1,875,000.
more & some of the topics have been brought up on KK in the past, but there is some new information too.
from Jeff Z. Klein and Lew Serviss of the New York Times,
Leetch, whose Rangers No. 2 jersey was retired to the rafters of Madison Square Garden in January, has watched the world of the defenseman change considerably from the one he knew for all but the last of his 18 seasons in the N.H.L. His final season was the first played under rules intended to eliminate obstruction and encourage offense.
Under the anti-obstruction rules, backchecking forwards can no longer slow down a forechecker after the puck is fired into the zone. As a result, when a defenseman skates back to retrieve the puck, the opposition is close behind. “You were hit a lot more,” Leetch said.
Speed, always important, is even more vital now. The ability to turn quickly from skating backward to forward “and go back and get that puck and make a play quicker is a distinct advantage now,” he said.
via Capitals Insider,
There’s some positive news to report regarding injured Flyers forward Patrick Thoresen. I’m told that his injury is not as serious as originally thought, and that it’s possble he’ll play tomorrow.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
This isn’t a newsflash, but Friday night’s compelling, dramatic contests illustrate vividly why the Stanley Cup playoffs represent the most compelling championship tournaments in all of sports. Not to be too hyperbolic, but what a night of hockey.
Whether it was the wild and woolly shootout in Washington, where the Capitals erased a two-goal deficit to beat Philadelphia 5-4 on Alexander Ovechkin’s first playoff goal, or the Pittsburgh Penguins’ offensive machine firing on all cylinders as they beat Ottawa 5-3 behind 54 regulation shots, or the second straight overtime game between Colorado and Minnesota, or the war that is the New Jersey Devils-New York Rangers series, it was a night knee-deep in tension and drama.
added 12:55pm, from the responses most KK readers made today, sure sounds like everyone thought the games were great last night. I wonder how Joe Pelletier enjoyed them?
from Kirk Penton of the Winnipeg Sun,
In the first eight games there were three shutouts. The losing team scored one goal in three more.
There are hockey fans out there who love the defensive battles and the cycling down low. I’d rather watch cycling in France….
The post-season represents a chance for the NHL to show off its game to potential fans, and so far this year it’s failing to do so for two reasons:
1. No fighting.
2. It’s soccer on ice.
Pass the NoDoz.
I am not sure what games Kirk has been watching, but I for one have certainly found the vast majority of the games to be exciting and intense.
from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Ovechkin fetched the loose puck and slid it back to Green. This time, Green fired a shot over Biron’s glove hand to tie the game at 4.
It was a good shot. A shutdown goaltender - a wartime goaltender - stops it.
It isn’t time to overreact. This isn’t Roman Cechmanek wandering around while opponents fire pucks into his empty net. It was Biron’s first playoff game, and he acknowledged a case of nerves.
“There were some jitters early in the game,” Biron said. “We’ve got to get into our rhythm.”
Flyers coach John Stevens, asked merely to evaluate Biron’s play, immediately took the opportunity to mute possible criticism. He has a series here, after all.
“Obviously you have a 4-2 lead there,” Stevens said. “Guys stepped in and teed up from some difficult places to see. . . . We’re in this together here.”
from Shawn Windsor of the Detroit Free Press,
Zetterberg sat down for this story inside a lounge at Joe Louis Arena. It was lunchtime, and the team had just finished practice. Over the course of the interview, several players walked by his table. No one could resist mocking him, making faces, taking verbal shots at him. They weren’t used to seeing him talk for more than a few minutes at his locker.
“Not with the North American media anyway,” he said.
In Sweden, he is often the subject of profiles. His famous girlfriend only adds to the spotlight.
“Sometimes you just want to hide,” he said.
But here he walks around the Somerset Collection freely. He eats at local restaurants in peace. The most intrusive cameras in his life are the ones sent from his home country to watch his kitchen get turned into a high-end IKEA showcase.
“Geez, I wish I could play tomorrow,” Ricci said, referring to the playoff-opener against Calgary.
For seven seasons Ricci was the face of the franchise—with his rock-star hair and gap-toothed grin. He became arguably the most popular player in team history with a reckless-abandon playing style that often left him sprawled on the ice.
That finally caught up to him when a slow-healing neck injury forced his retirement last summer. Now working in the Sharks’ front office, Ricci, 36, finds himself wishing he could still lace up his skates, oh, constantly.
“At least once a week he says he’s going to start training again and that he’s even going to play in the minors if he has to,” said his wife, Beth. “All I can do is smile and laugh. I do feel bad. His heart wanted to play, but it was just too much for his body.”
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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