Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tom Gulitti at Fire & Ice,
“We’ve got to find ways to score,” Devils coach Brent Sutter said. “We had opportunites and didn’t capitalize. I’m not making excuses whatsoever. We hit some posts. We hit the crossbar. We had two quality scoring chances I can think of where we just flat out missed the net. At that point, you give yourself zero percent chance of scoring when you don’t hit the net.
“Through the year we’ve always found ways to get through. Yet, again it’s a 1-1 game. That’s more concerning than the fact that we didn’t score more goals than that. It’s 1-1 with (12 1/2) minutes left and we can’t make the mistakes that we made down the stretch. That to me is more of a concern than the fact that we never got that second goal because we still have a chance to win the game when it’s 1-1. You’ve got to find a way to prevail not to break.”
from Lynn Zinser of Slap Shot at the NY Times,
Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist said he loved hearing seeing the chunks of blue in an arena that should have been a sea of red. After some of his most spectacular saves, those Rangers fans started chanting, “Hen-rik, Hen-rik” as they do frequently at Madison Square Garden.
“It feels good to have that support on the road,” Lundqvist said. “It takes out a little energy out of the building for them. It’s great for us. It will play a part. We love our fans and the support they show us. You almost have to look up to realize you are on the road playing.”
from Fire & Ice,
[Jamie Langenbrunner] had on his official “Rock Your Red” T-shirt for this morning’s media availability at The Rock following a team meeting and did several television interviews with it on. “I’m Rockin the Red,” he said, though he had to endure some ribbing from his teammates.
More than one player expressed displeasure that fans have to buy the T-Shirts and won’t be get them for free at the game tonight. Their first concern, obviously, is with gettign ready for the Rangers tonight. All of them, including the coach, were itching for the puck to drop.
“I’m anxious to get going,” Sutter said. “I wish this game would have been played last night, our first game. I’m like everybody on the team, just anxious to get it started. You go through a whole season, an 82-game season, and there’s ups and downs, peaks and valleys, to set yourself up to play playoff hockey and we’re there now and I’m excited about it, anxious to get it going and I’m excited for the players. That’s what it’s all about.”
more on the Devils…
from Mark Everson of the NY Post,
The Devils would not divulge the strategy, but its mere existence could set Lundqvist and the Rangers wondering and worrying, with New Jersey hoping to turn those thoughts into doubt.
“We’ve watched a lot and talked a lot,” said Zach Parise, the Devils’ leading gunner for the second straight season.
“You target what you see, and maybe you know a little bit about his tendencies. But I’m not telling him where I’m shooting,” said Brian Gionta, the Devils’ single-season record holder in goals.
from Mark Everson of the NY Post,
After all this, three Cups, seven Atlantic titles, and yet another finish above their unneighborly neighbors, the Devils New Jersey Devils enter the fifth Battle of the Hudson still Strangers in a Ranger land, even in their own home, by their own admission.
“It’s weird living here,” Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner Jamie Langenbrunner told The Post. “You have all these people in New Jersey that are Rangers New York Rangers fans. And you have the Devils fans.
“It’s like we’re the ugly stepchild team and they’re the glamour.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
But now, two years later, beginning on Wednesday, Jagr will get a second chance at the Devils.
Yes, the conflict between Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Brodeur will be fascinating. And yes, there will be delicious subplots featuring Gomez, Sean Avery, Zach Parise and Patrik Elias, whose shootout goal was decisive in his team’s 3-2 victory over the Blueshirts at the Rock yesterday that gave the Devils first-round home-ice.
Still, the outcome of this series between this matched set of flawed opponents is almost certainly going to be determined by whether Jagr can dominate the Devils over seven games, the way he dominated for shifts at a time while logging 24:12 yesterday while skating on lines with both Gomez and Brandon Dubinsky.
Coach Sutter was not a happy man after the Devils loss last night.. from Fire & Ice, .
“We didn’t do anything tonight. We were terrible. That’s what happens when you don’t prepare to play a game that’s meaningful and every game at this level is meaningful. It shows the difference in preparation right there tonight. They were prepared to play and you have a team that’s not focused to play. You go through things with them and talk to them to you blue and red in the face.
“Tonight was a lack of professionalism on our hockey team’s part. If anybody wants to tell you different, they’re liars. That’s about all. Thanks guys.”
from Tom Gulitti of the Record,
It appears Brent Sutter will not become the Devils’ latest late-season coaching casualty.
At least not this season.
Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello told The Record on Friday that “without question” he has confidence that Sutter will get the team out of its slide and headed in the right direction entering the playoffs.
“I believe in what we have in that room,” Lamoriello said. “I believe in the people who are there behind the bench and I believe we’ll get done what has to get done.”
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
The New Jersey Devils are about to find out whether the adage “finders keepers, losers weepers” applies in the billion-dollar sports business.
French investment bank Société Générale is suing the Devils for more than $500,000 after it mistakenly transferred $125,635.13 (all figures U.S.) to the NHL club on Sept.6, 2006, according to court documents.
Since that transfer, Devils team executives have repeatedly refused to return the money “motivated, in whole or in part, by spite and ill will,” the bank says in court papers filed in U.S. District Court
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Imagine Henrik Lundqvist’s surprise upon discovering that Martin Brodeur had been quoted in the Jan. 14, 2008, edition of Sports Illustrated as saying of the Rangers’ goaltender, “The way he plays is not something I like too much.
“Lundqvist is weird.”
“I have to tell you, I respect Marty a lot, and it’s always a great challenge for me to play against him, but I don’t know what to say about what he said about me,” a rather bemused Lundqvist told The Post yesterday.
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