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Category: NHL-Teams

Habs Magic Coming To An End?

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

It sure seems like the magic has evaporated in a hurry for the Canadiens. Maybe a trip back to Canada will bring it back. Maybe being giant underdogs was a better fit for them.

But suddenly Cammalleri can’t score, Jaroslav Halak can’t make enough stops and P.K. Subban is looking like a rookie.

And the Canadiens are heading to Game 3 on Thursday night with their season on the line at the Bell Centre.

“I don’t feel the heat,” said Cammalleri after a 3-0 defeat in Game 2. “I feel like it’s time to go home and play some hockey.”

The Habs, seemingly blessed by fortune for the past month, are now themselves faced with a surging playoff opponent that can do almost no wrong.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Leino On A Hot Streak

from Rich Hofmann of the Philadelphia Daily News,

Playing on a line with Danny Briere and Hartnell, Leino has 11 points in 10 playoff games and continues to impress with his poise and his speed. He and Briere together are a truly dynamic combination.

And nobody saw it coming. Repeat, underlined: nobody.

“It was an awful regular season,” Leino said. “It was a really, really tough stretch there. I don’t know if you sometimes have to go to the bottom to get back on top. Mentally, it was tough. Hopefully, I got stronger from that.”

In February, when the deal was made, it was viewed as a nothing kind of transaction, just a little roster churning by general manager Paul Holmgren. What they knew all along was that Leino needed to play with skilled players to show his skill, that he really didn’t have a checking-line function. And it was hard for coach Peter Laviolette to find a place for him - that much was obvious.

“I think Detroit had some cap issues,” Holmgren said. “When I talked to [Red Wings GM] Kenny Holland, I don’t think he wanted to trade him. He liked him, and I know the coach [Mike Babcock] really liked him. But they got themselves into a bind and they were going to lose him on waivers. I think somebody would have claimed him if they went that route. We were able to make a trade.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ville+leino

Nabokov Has To Be Better

from Cam Inman at the Mercury News,

You wonder on every goal he allows. You wonder on every save he makes. You wonder on every breath Evgeni Nabokov takes.

OK, that last line is too much like a song lyric. But Nabokov’s lasting legacy with the Sharks is being defined right here in these Western Conference finals.

How many more games will he play in that menacing Sharks helmet? How will his final game end this season, in heroic fashion with a Stanley Cup or in a familiar sad handshake at the end of a receiving line?

Nabokov, whose contract is up at season’s end, has had a strong postseason. It needs to be stronger.


Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeni+nabokov

What Went Wrong Joe?

from Dave Lozo of NHL.com,

Despite the late-game slash and garbage time melee, McLellan was happy with Thornton’s overall game.

“If I look at Joe’s game, I thought Joe played a pretty solid game,” he said. “He was skating. He was big. He was strong.”

Thornton sat down at his locker for a quick interview session with the media following the game:

Q: What went wrong tonight?

Thornton: I didn’t think we gave them too much, to be honest with you. I thought we played good defensive hockey. I don’t know how many chances they got. We were just not capitalizing on our chances. They are with theirs. We aren’t with ours.

read on

Thornton has to be better than -4 for the WCF.

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+thornton

Cammalleri Talks After Game 2

from Brian Compton of NHL.com,

His team has failed to score and is 0-for-8 on the power play, but he swears his confidence is not wavering as the series shifts to Montreal for Games 3 and 4 on Thursday and Saturday, respectively.
Cammalleri spoke with the media after his team’s latest loss.

Q: Do you feel you guys are generating enough chances?

Cammalleri: “We probably generated more than them tonight. That’s sports, man. That’s how it goes. Sometimes they don’t go in like you’d like them to. But we live to fight another day.”

Q: You guys clearly outplayed in the first period and were outshooting them 2-to-1. Are you creating enough traffic in front of Leighton?

Cammalleri: “He’s played well for them and they’ve done some things well. I’m not going to say they haven’t. Tonight, I thought we did a lot better job. I thought we were pretty good. We created some good chances and had some Grade-A type scoring chances where we’d like to finish. I don’t know really what else to say about that. We just keep going here and get ‘em at home.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+cammalleri

What Would Happen If The Glass Wasn’t There?

Hal Gill being heckled by a Flyers fan during the pre-game tonight.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hal+gill

Calling Out Goalies

from Stan Fishchler at the Hockey Journal,

* Roberto Luongo’s dismal playoff performance against Chicago – for the second spring in a row he choked against the Blackhawks – underlines a few points:

1. He is the most overrated — and overpaid—goalie in hockey;

2. Vancouver will never win a Stanley Cup with Luongo in goal; and

3. The sooner dear Roberto gives up the captaincy, the better off it will be for the entire team….

* Now Boston must deal virtually useless Tim Thomas, who’s overpaid and over-the-hill and a dubious Number One anywhere.

As the Bruins went down in the last moments of Game 6 in Philly, the cameras caught Thomas smiling on the bench, talking to Tuukka Rask, who’d just been pulled. We wonder what was so funny at that point in time.

more hockey notes…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: roberto+luongo, tim+thomas

Open Post- Game 2 ECF Montreal/Philadelphia

Can Montreal bounce back from a bad loss in game 1?

Can they find a way to generate some offense and figure out a way to stop the Flyers forwards from crashing the net?

Puck drops just after 7:00pm on Versus, CBC and RDS.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Better Offense And Defense On Montreal’s Mind

from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,

The Habs are cognizant that they will have to provide more pep offensively, and find a way to neutralize the Flyers’ desire to drive hard to the net.

“Sharp is the word for me . . . we just need to be a lot sharper in all aspects of the game,” said winger Michael Cammalleri, who was held to just one shot in game one, and noted he and his teammates lacked discipline in all facets: on the fore-check, in the faceoff circle, in the defensive zone, in the offensive zone and in the penalty department..

The Canadiens were relaxed and smiling in a pre-game skate that had them practicing breakouts – a key to frustrating Philadelphia’s fore-check – and crowding the net, which the Flyers did to devastating effect in their 6-0 blowout in game one.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Questions Before Game 2

Is there one player you believe needs to step up in the conference finals?

Burnside: Patrick Marleau had two game-winning goals against Detroit in the West semifinals, but he still has only three this postseason. For a player who had 44 goals during the regular season, he’ll need to once again shake the playoff monkey off his back if the Sharks are going to advance to their first Cup finals.

LeBrun: I want to see more from Marian Hossa. He’s been good, but not great. Two goals in 12 playoff games doesn’t cut it, not for a guy making $7.9 million a year.

more questions then answers from Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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