Kukla's Korner Hockey
From John Glennon at the Tennessean,
The Predators managed to thwart the normally potent San Jose power play yet again on Wednesday, holding the Sharks without a goal on five power-play chances.
But Nashville players and Coach Barry Trotz are starting to scratch over at least some of the calls that are sending the Predators to the box on a regular basis in this series.
Center Jason Arnott was particularly irritated by a somewhat mysterious hooking call on Jordin Tootoo in the second period. It appeared Tootoo had been impeded by Sharks forward Jonathan Cheechoo, but Tootoo wound up going to the penalty box.
Plus: A photogallery of the Shark/Preds series
From John Glennon at The Tennessean,
As the Predators look to square their first-round playoff series against San Jose tonight, they’re looking for the players who excelled in the regular season to do the same in the postseason.
That means more production from players such as Jason Arnott, Paul Kariya and David Legwand, less reliance on J.P. Dumont, Peter Forsberg and Alexander Radulov.
The former trio has combined for zero goals and four assists in the first three games of this series, while the latter has done the heavy lifting — combining for 12 points (nine goals, three assists).
From Victor Chi at the San Jose Mercury News,
Call it collateral damage.
The Sharks’ power play has converted only once in this opening-round playoff series, but it could push Nashville’s gas gauge toward empty if the chances keep piling up. Despite an 0-for-6 performance Monday, the Sharks wore out the Predators with a 41-20 shot advantage built largely on those six power plays.
from the National Post,
“I could very easily give you a printed picture of the whole incident that would clear it up for you,” Wilson growled at the reporter from Nashville.
“I’ve looked at a lot of tape, and I haven’t seen it,” the reporter shot back. “Do you have that picture?”
“Do you work for Nashville, seriously?” “Yes, I do,” the reporter said.
“Well, good for you,” Wilson said. “If you work for Nashville, you shouldn’t be in this room.”
from the Mercury News,
The NHL finally sent the proper message. It suspended Nashville forward Alex Radulov for his Game2 blindside hit on the Sharks’ Steve Bernier. The suspension should dissuade both teams from taking precarious liberties with each other.
Or, as Sharks Coach Ron Wilson said Sunday in more intellectual terms: “Hopefully, it will end the dirty crap going on out there.”
But there’s one more thing: The hockey will be much different this time around, too.
from the Tennessean,
Heading into tonight’s Game 3 of the first-round playoff series against San Jose, Forsberg has not only posted two goals and an assist in two contests, but he also led Nashville in a number of categories. The 33 year-old center has delivered a team-best 10 hits (including a memorable eight in Game 1), snatched a team-best seven takeaways and won a team-best 53.6 percent of his face-offs.
“I’m not saying you don’t play during the regular season or anything like that,’’ Forsberg said. “But I think you have to take your game to a different level come playoffs.
“This time of year, you’re playing for something — the Cup. These games are huge, every single one. Every single little thing can turn a series around.”
from the AP via the Akron Beacon Journal,
After refusing to comment following the Sharks’ fisticuff-filled 5-2 loss to the Predators on Friday night, Wilson reacted incredulously Saturday to Trotz’s repeated attempts to blame the series’ physical tone and vindictive episodes on the Sharks.
“The rhetoric coming (from Trotz) is that we went there to start a street brawl, which is comical,” Wilson said after the Sharks’ 4 a.m. return from splitting the first two games in Nashville. The best-of-seven Western Conference series resumes Monday.
“Our responses aren’t about beating anybody up or any of that baloney. We took home ice from them. The pressure is on them now. We’re still in the driver’s seat. ... We’ll win the game on the ice.”
TORONTO (April 14, 2007)—The National Hockey League announced today that Nashville Predators forward Alexander Radulov has been suspended for one game for a hitting-from-behind incident involving San Jose forward Steve Bernier in Western Conference Quarterfinal game #182 in Nashville, April 13.
The incident occurred at 4:44 of the second period. Radulov was assessed a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct.
Radulov will miss Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinal, Monday, April 16 at San Jose. He will be eligible to return for Game 4, April 18 at San Jose.
Nashville Predators’ forward Scott Hartnell will not receive an automatic one game suspension for incurring his second game misconduct of the playoffs.
The NHL reviewed Friday night’s altercation that led to Hartnell’s game misconduct. The league determined that Hartnell was not involved in a secondary fight, he was involved in the initial altercation, and that the tie-down on his sweater was in fact secure.
from the Mercury News,
Looks like Nashville forward Scott Hartnell could be suspended after all - and possibly for two games.
Hartnell received two game misconducts Friday to give him three in this series.
According to NHL Rule 23.3, a player with two game misconduct penalties in the playoffs will be suspended automatically for the next game. Each additional game misconduct results in another game being added to the suspension….
“Colin Campbell is presently looking at the incident at the end of the game and the game misconducts are being reviewed,” said Mike Murphy, the NHL senior vice president of hockey operations.
added 8:45am, also from the Mercury News,
In fact, if the Nashville victory Friday looked familiar, it’s because the Predators followed the same template that Edmonton used to beat the Sharks in last year’s conference semifinals. The Oilers picked off some of the young Sharks players, one by one, with vicious hits that put them out of action - and the Sharks never responded in kind. The strategy was to let Edmonton take penalties and capitalize on the power plays. But when the Oilers proved exceedingly good at killing penalties, the Sharks were sunk.
Until the Sharks do figure it out, opponents are going to repeat the formula. Why wouldn’t they? Wilson, the Sharks’ coach, is not a proponent of claw-hammer hockey. But recognizing how Edmonton had exposed a Shark weakness, the front office supposedly retooled the roster to handle a muck-it-up game if necessary.
added 8:58am, from the Tennessean,
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
The first-round series between the San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators has been a very intense one early on, and there was more fuel on the fire after Alexander Radulov’s hit from behind on Sharks forward Steve Bernier Friday night.
Was it a suspension-worthy offence? I would say yes.
Now the number of games that Radulov should be suspended for depends on what the value of a playoff game is compared to a regular season game.
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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