Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mark Spector of the National Post,
If New York can’t win this game—a grinding affair in which Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin combined for one assist and just five shots on goal—is there any game of any type that the New York Rangers can devise to climb back into this series?
Surely this series can’t be over even before it really starts. Can it?
“Just like the Jersey games, we’re looking to win them 3-1, 2-1, 3-2—that’s playoff hockey, I think,” said New York’s Chris Drury. “I’m sure their meetings [before Game 2] were mirror images of ours. They didn’t want to play 5-4 games, either.
“I felt like we had some good chances. But when you come away from the game without any goals, you’ve got to do more.”
added 8:50am, from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
“That’s one thing about our team, we can do it both ways,” said 19-year-old Jordan Staal, who scored the first Pittsburgh goal and is doing a checking job any veteran would admire.
“We’re great defensively, we’re solid on both sides of the puck,” Staal added. “This team really seems to find ways to win and that’s what we did today. This team has matured so much, especially from last year.”
from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,
Price has had one outstanding game in this series and one subpar game. As a result, the Canadiens won the game in which they were outplayed by the Flyers and lost Game 2, even though they outplayed Philadelphia by a wide margin.
Surprise, surprise. Come playoff time, goalies, quarterbacks and starting pitchers have a disproportionate impact on a team’s fortunes.
Price is still learning his craft. No matter how large his talent or how bright his future, he is a 20-year-old playing a man’s game.
There will be nights when it all comes together, as it did during Game 7 against the Bruins - and there will be nights like Saturday’s game against the Flyers, when a couple of pucks go in over his left shoulder and the kid goes to work to adjust his position, doing the things he will do automatically as he matures.
from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,
“We’ve got a big mountain ahead of us to climb,” Sharks captain Patrick Marleau said. Actually, at last geographic report, there are no mountains in Dallas, where the next two games will be played. However, Stars goalie Marty Turco will be there. And the Sharks would probably rather face a big mountain.
Mount Marty is the challenge that the Sharks can’t solve. They have outshot Dallas in the first two games, 58-44, and they have zero victories to show for it.
from the Star-Telegram,
Modano had just taken a shot that had hit a skate and eventually skittered back to Zubov near the right side wall.
Modano, knowing how Zubov operates, had quietly circled back on the other side while every Shark defender’s attention—especially Nabokov’s—was focused on Zubov.
Without hesitation, Zubov whirled 360 degrees, backhanding the puck across the ice to the now wide-open Modano, who knew exactly what to do with it. His lightning-like wrister beat Nabokov on the stick side before the goalie could react.
“I had spun back the other way and everyone kind of gravitated towards Zubie,” said Modano, whose goal was his second in two games and seventh this year against the Sharks.
“That’s ‘shinny’ hockey at its finest, but with Zubie, that’s part of his game,” Tippett said. “That’s pretty special right there, to find a guy right on his tape, spinning around like that, that’s a special play. But we’ve seen that from Zubie around here for a long time.”
from Mark Spector of the National Post,
Pittsburgh won more puck battles, gave up less quality chances than the Rangers, and the Penguins’ 23-year-old goaltender, Marc-André Fleury was as good as he had to be and better than the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist, a 26-year-old Vezina candidate. Fleury’s workload through two games of this series has not been as difficult as Lundqvist’s, but the only numbers that matter are two fewer goals against for Fleury, and two more wins.
“It was 1-0 with 15 seconds to go. That’s how small the difference between these two teams is,” Lundqvist said. “We just have to go back home, and still feel confident that we can beat this team. Go back to New York, worry about ourselves, get two wins.”
more on the Pens/Rangers game today….
from the National Post,
Prior to Game 3 in Colorado, the 36-year-old spoke to the Post about the Avalanche-Red Wings rivalry, the lack of original nicknames in the NHL, and possibly replacing Mark Messier as the new spokesman for Lays potato chips.
National Post Is it different playing in Joe Louis Arena as a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets than as a Colorado Avalanche?
Adam Foote Yeah. [The Jackets] just didn’t have the history that [the Avalanche] had. That’s probably why. It seemed that both teams approached it the same way. [The Detroit-Colorado rivalry] was fun, it was exciting, it was intense. It was as close as you’re going to get to things like that without getting in trouble by the law. There was some pretty nasty stuff going on. It was a very intense series.
from John Glennon of the Tennessean,
“I will be shocked if the Nashville Predators don’t have the biggest increase in payroll — both percentage-wise and in sheer dollars — of any team in the NHL,’’ said David Freeman, who heads the team’s ownership group.
“There’s always been that chicken-and-egg question about who should go first: Should the team increase its payroll and then hope fans and sponsors follow suit? Or should the fans and sponsors put up the money, and then the team will spend the money? We are very clearly saying we’re taking the lead. We’re spending the money first.’’
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
Montreal Canadiens forward Tom Kostopoulos will not be suspended for his left hook sucker punch to the face of Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Kimmo Timonen on Saturday.
The NHL hockey operations office reviewed the incident and ruled that because Kostopoulos was penalized on the play and Timonen was not injured, no further discipline was necessary.
Less than 24 hours after his team was accused of commiting a cowardly act by Philadelphia coach John Stevens, Guy Carbonneau has rushed to his players’ defence – especially atoning the behaviour of Tom Kostopoulos.
“That (the Flyers) is one team that shouldn’t talk,” the Canadiens coach said Sunday, after his team participated in an optional practice in LaSalle. “Over 82 games, they had the most suspensions in the league.”
more at Habs Inside/Out…
from the CBC,
The Sharks simply have to play like the more desperate team than Dallas, which has prevailed in seven of its last eight visits to San Jose, including four times this season.
Another energetic performance from veteran forward Jeremy Roenick, who notched two goals and four points in Game 7 versus the Flames, would be welcomed. How about better defensive play from centre Patrick Marleau? Or Thornton outplaying his shadow, Modano?
“We’ve got to make Mike Modano’s life a little bit more miserable,” Wilson said. “He seems to love playing here, and we never got a hand on him [in Game 1].”
The coach noted the Sharks’ goals came when one of his players was standing in front of Stars goalie Marty Turco.
from Jim Reeves of the Star-Telegram,
Even now, after all these years with the Stars, Zubov still isn’t completely at ease as the center of media attention. He prefers to do his thing quietly and efficiently, and then to slip away while others do the talking.
But now the Stars need him to break his code of silence. They need to hear four words from their best puck-handling defenseman, who hasn’t played since January:
“I’m ready to play.”
Sometime today, before the Stars and San Jose Sharks meet in Game 2 of their quarterfinals playoff series, would be just fine.
The puck, as they say, is on Zubie’s stick.
“It’s up to him now,” Stars coach Dave Tippett said for the second straight day Saturday. “Zubie is a special player. When he comes to me and tells me he’s ready to play, then he’s in the lineup.”
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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