Kukla's Korner Hockey
Kevin Smith is perhaps best known for his movies Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Mallrats, Dogma, and Clerks. He also played “Warlock” in last summer’s action hit, Live Free or Die Hard.
An avid hockey fan, Kevin references hockey in all his films. Born and raised in New Jersey, Kevin will be analyzing his home-state Devils throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Did Sean Avery remind anyone else of the animated Harlem Globetrotters when they met up with the Scooby Doo gang? Y’know – like pulling fire extinguishers out of their pants and doing stuff on the court in the cartoon that made their non-animated counterparts in real life look like the Chicago Bulls, circa Michael Jordan. The dude flat-out turned his back on the game and started flapping his wings at Marty like he was a club-kid on Ecstasy hearing “It’s the End of the World as We Know it” for the first time.
more at his NHL.com blog…
While the Rangers were on a 5 on 3 advantage, Avery faced Brodeur and tried a new ‘screening’ method by facing Avery and following his every move. Also was waving his stick in his face.
Avery scored on the next rush, with the Rangers taking a 2-1 lead late in the 2nd period.
added 11:03pm, Watch the video of the incident below.
Update 1:15am ET April 14—From the Daily News:
Brodeur and Devils coach Brent Sutter said the refs had told them that future shenanigans from Avery would be penalized, even though they knew of no specific rule being violated.
“Nobody should have to play hockey with a stick an inch from your face,” Brodeur said. “But it wasn’t a bad play. While he was doing it, I couldn’t see anything. The two misses were just luck, I couldn’t see a thing.”
from Fire & Ice,
There might be some out there counting the Devils out after losing the first two games of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal with the Rangers, but Devils coach Brent Sutter is not one of them with a must-win Game 3 coming up Sunday night at Madison Square Garden.
“I don’t know and I don’t really care what people think,” Sutter said after this afternoon’s practice at Prudential Center. “It’s what we think as far as a group, what we think inside our own team, inside our own locker room…I’m sure there probably is (people who have counted them out), but I don’t get caught up into it. We believe in each other and we have all year and we know the situation we’re in.
“A lot of players on this team and coaches have been in this situation before. It’s going to be how we react to it and how we respond to it.”
from The Record,
“I feel we have a good enough team to do it,” Jagr said of the possibility of the Rangers winning their first Stanley Cup since 1994. “I’m not guaranteeing anything but we’re capable to fight for it. I still believe we can play better than we did in the first two games. I’ll say it over and over, we have to make more plays.”
“I understand sometimes you have to chip the puck in,” the Rangers captain added. “But you have to have a little faith sometimes and play with a little more confidence.”
And, no doubt, this gets to the root of why Jagr has been so coy about re-signing with the Rangers after this playoff run is over. The Czech superstar is 36 and coming off a regular season in which he scored a career-low 25 goals.
Even if he does not return to Europe to play next season, he knows his time in the NHL is dwindling. He likely wants one more chance to be the free-wheeling Jagr of old and that does not mesh with Rangers coach Tom Renney’s measured — and successful — style of play.
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
The cows are coming home—but what can the Devils do about it? Well, they can moan ‘til the cows come home about bad breaks and questionable, late-third period officiating in Game 2, but when all is said and done, the Rangers come to The Garden Sunday night seeking a three-game series lead; and for good reason.
Namely, Opportunism—with a capital O.
from Lynn Zinser of the New York Times,
Heading into Game 2 on Friday night, the Rangers assume Brodeur will bounce back from his unraveling, letting a puck sit free in the crease long enough so Ryan Callahan could come from behind the net to score.
But Lundqvist does not need to think about bouncing back. Game 1 was a continuation of a strong finish after a midseason swoon. In his last 14 regular-season games, he allowed more than two goals only three times and never allowed more than three.
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.
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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