Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
The NHL quarterfinal series between the Minnesota Wild and Anaheim Ducks has yielded strong ratings for KSTC-TV Channel 45. The station reported a record viewers for Wednesday’s playoff series opener.
The company said that for the last hour of the game, it averaged an 8.0 rating with a 25 household share. The overall average was a 7.9 rating and an 18 household share. A single ratings point represents approximately 16,ooo to 17,ooo viewers.
via the Leafs Chronicle,
Approximately 13,217 homes in the Nashville television market tuned in to watch Game 1, according to WTVF-5 Program Director Mark Binda.
The 1.4 rating was lower than last season’s Game 1 rating between the two teams, which hit 2.4 (approximately 22,000 homes).
Mid-way in the 2nd period, Jonathan Cheechoo hit by Scott Hartnell. Hartnell gets 5 for kneeing and a game. Cheechoo went off with no pressure on his right leg.
added pics at 10:02pm…
update 11:10pm, from the AP via TSN,
The Sharks said Cheechoo was being evaluated, and his return to the best-of-seven series opener was uncertain. Cheechoo led San Jose with 37 goals this season, and came in with 20 points in 13 games.
added 8:48am 4/12/07, via the Tennessean,
“It was an unfortunate accident,’’ Hartnell said. “I think it will show in the video that it was pretty clean. I was going to hit him in the upper body and I didn’t stick out my knee to get a piece of him.’‘
Said Sharks Coach Ron Wilson: “When you stick your elbow in his face and put knee on knee that’s an intent to injure. That’s why he got kicked out of the game.’‘
from Amy Grant at NHL Connect,
The playoffs start for us tonight – and I couldn’t be more excited.
I’ll have to confess right up front that my blogs won’t be politically correct ramblings about “how great the sport is” or about how ”it’s an honor just to make it to the playoffs”. I am an unashamed and proud NASHVILLE PREDATOR fan and I’m here to cheer them on!
from the Tennessean,
Coach Barry Trotz and his assistants have guided the team to 38, 49 and 51 regular-season victories, respectively, the past three seasons. But Predators General Manager David Poile has not exercised the option year on the coaching staff’s contracts and has said he won’t discuss new deals until the season is over.
That would seem to indicate playoff performance will weigh heavily on the staff’s future. Nashville has reached the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, losing in the first round as an eighth seed in 2004 and as a fourth seed last year.
“If the organization is happy, it won’t be a problem. If they’re not, they’ll move in a different direction.’‘
The series against the Sharks would appear to be as pivotal a time as any in the history of the Predators: so much reward for victory, so much concern with a loss.
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