Kukla's Korner Hockey
via John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
The Buffalo Sabres acquired Mikael Tellqvist at the trade deadline as a short-term insurance policy. Turns out that’s exactly what he was.
The goaltender’s career in Buffalo lasted just six games, as the pending unrestricted free agent has signed to play with Ak Bars of Russia’s KHL. A report out of Sweden said Tellqvist signed for about $1.3 million, up from this season’s NHL salary of $800,000.
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
I love overtime in hockey. Who wouldn’t?
But overtime period after overtime period after overtime period? No way!
I am quite certain this will offend many and quite frankly, I don’t care.
Play one period of 5-on-5 overtime and if the score is still tied, play 4-on-4 until a winner is declared. It really isn’t a radical idea. I understand this would be a huge break from tradition, but that doesn’t mean it is wrong. The NHL went to 4-on-4 in overtime in 1999-2000 and we survived, right?
For heaven’s sake, it’s just a freaking hockey game! The fate of the world is not depending on the outcome.
from Bruce Arthur of the National Post,
The one guy who knew Simeon Varlamov really well - better than anybody else on the Washington Capitals, probably - was Dave Prior, the team’s goaltending coach, and he didn’t want to use him. Sure, José Theodore had been ventilated in the first game of the playoffs, and Washington’s whole enterprise was suddenly unsure.
But though Varlamov had played well in his six regular-season appearances, Prior didn’t know if the silent Russian kid could handle playoff hockey, playoff pressure. Nobody did.
“Well, it wasn’t an easy choice,” said Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau Sunday. “I lost hair over that one.”
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
The Canucks have more than a few issues to deal with as their second-round series lands in the Windy City. But job No. 1 is defending those killer stretch passes that have exposed their blueline.
David Bolland’s shorthanded goal Saturday night was simply the most glaring example of that play, but the Blackhawks have used the long bomb to ignite their attack throughout the first two games.
It’s confusing the Canucks’ coverage. It’s putting Roberto Luongo under considerable duress. And it’s completely negating the Canucks’ forecheck.
Here’s the result. Aside from a 30-minute span from the 10-minute mark of the first period to the end of the second period in Game 1, the Hawks have dominated this series to an alarming degree. The Canucks now have to prove they can play at their speed or slow them down to their own. Either way, the challenge is formidable.
from Dan Wood of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
Some, with heavy emphasis on the word “some,” Detroit Red Wings fans, at least some of those who choose to leave comments on this blog site, seem remarkably arrogant and cocky when it comes to the second-round Stanley Cup playoff series between their team and the Ducks.
The Red Wings, themselves, are suffering from no such delusions, as evidenced by some of their quotes after Sunday’s 4-3, triple-overtime Ducks victory at Joe Louis Arena tied the series 1-1 entering Game 3 Tuesday night at Honda Center.
Perhaps that contingent of Detroit fans can learn something from what their team had to say.
Coach Mike Babcock: “When this playoff series started, we knew it was going to be hard. I don’t think there’s a whole lot of surprise about how the games have been played.”
from Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press,
Detroit has two big stars who have gone dry: Pavel Datsyuk, a candidate for MVP of the league, and Marian Hossa, who signed in Motown for the sole purpose of winning a ring. They were the teams’ No. 1 and No. 3 point scorers during the season.
Neither man has a goal this series. Each has scored on just one night of the playoffs so far — and we’re in the second round. Hockey is about many things, that’s true, and you contribute many ways, that’s true. But they keep score by goals. And sooner or later, your stars must light it up if you want that ring.
“There’s no question about it,” agreed coach Mike Babcock after the 4-3 loss, “your best players gotta be your best players.”
from Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
“I think [my performance] was OK,” Malkin said yesterday, “I felt good. The first game, maybe I was a little bit nervous.
“But next game, [I will] be better. Maybe play a little bit harder, maybe have more hits. Maybe [get] more shots and play aggressive.”
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, asked pointedly to assess Malkin’s work in the opener, never mentioned Malkin in his response, speaking instead to the importance of getting improved play from throughout the lineup.
“We need to get better in the offensive zone, taking pucks to the net and maintaining possession,” he said. “[Washington] did a good job defensively, being aggressive.
“Pretty much every line needs to get better at that for us to do what we think we can do in this series.”
from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,
Ever since their three-goal explosion in the third period of Game 1 Thursday night, the Hawks have been the faster, stronger and more physical of the teams, and they have seized home-ice advantage in the series with three of the possible five remaining games scheduled at the UC.
After winning all three home games in front of roaring crowds during their first-round series with Calgary, the Hawks are pleased to be setting up shop once again on West Madison Street.
“It’s all about coming out hard and flying and using that energy in our own building,” captain Jonathan Toews said. “We have an opportunity here, so we have to go out there and take advantage of it.”
The most shocking aspect of the two games in Vancouver was the Hawks’ ability to put pucks past Canucks star goaltender Roberto Luongo. The veteran netminder has yielded eight goals during the first two games after giving up just five in Vancouver’s four-game sweep of St. Louis in the first round.
from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,
They want heads to roll after a fourth consecutive first-round playoff disappointment.
Those people are the 2,500-plus Calgary Sun readers who voiced their opinion by taking part in the You Be The Boss survey posted for the better part of a week both in the paper and online calgarysun.com.
Asked if this team needs a major overhaul, more than 1,500 voters said ‘yes.’
Based on the survey results, that shakeup should begin just under the GM on the totem pole and end with former Norris Trophy finallist Dion Phaneuf.
In Sutter they still trust, apparently, after he assembled a team that in January was walking away with the NHL’s Northwest Division title.
It would be interesting to see a follow-up vote if the GM doesn’t do what they hope and expect and rid the team of Keenan before next fall.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
...The rest of the story is how Quenneville, five years ago at this time, had just been fired from his first NHL head-coaching job and had been chosen to coach Canada at the World Hockey Championships in Prague.
The trip began with an exhibition game in Budapest, Hungary, where he called the Czech Republic “Czechoslovakia” and made a few other minor international hockey gaffes at a press conference where he clearly did not look comfortable.
In a mixed zone with myself and two other Canadian scribes in Prague he was very upset before excusing himself after about two minutes. He ended up in hospital that night where he stayed for two days before being sent home after having suffered a mental breakdown, leaving assistant coach Mike Babcock to take over and coach the team to a gold medal.
It was explained that he’d never been to Europe before, couldn’t sleep and combined with coaching Canada on the big ice in a foreign environment, was overwhelmed by the stress.
“It was stress, but it was job-to-job stress,” he said in a one-on-one interview with Sun Media, agreeing to speak to a subject he’s avoided speaking to before.
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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