Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Jeff Marek at CBC,
So, how many more people will be watching and paying attention to the Devil/ Rangers game four tonight at Madison Square Garden now that Sean Avery has acted like a one-man ticket booth?
What will he do tonight? Will he be nasty or a saint?
Will he stand in front of Martin Brodeur face-to-face? How will the Devils react?
By turning around to face Brodeur and distract him the way he did Sean Avery single handedly made this a much more interesting series.
Update 4:59pm ET: Steve notes that NHL Network Online is having it’s inaugural Cisco All-Access pre-game show, featuring Don LaGreca and E.J. Hradek, airing at 5:55pm ET tonight. Join them and a special guest as they break down Game 4 of the Rangers-Devils series from every angle.
From Arthur Staple at Newsday:
J.P. Parise was already a seasoned NHL veteran when he stepped onto the Madison Square Garden ice for the first time as an Islander, midway through the 1974-75 season.
“One guy leaned over the glass ... I mean, what he said to me, you can’t print that stuff,” he said. “From then on, I got much more satisfaction beating those guys than anybody else.”
The animosity has softened 33 years later. Parise, now 66, is content to watch his son hear the name-calling and stir up his own hatred of the Rangers. Zach Parise, in fact, said just that after the Devils finally got on the board with a 4-3 overtime win in Game 3 on Sunday.
“We always disliked the Rangers ... but we have to start hating them more,” Zach Parise said.
from the NY Daily News,
“They’re doing a very good job there (in Brodeur’s crease), they’re making it hard for him,” Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner told the Daily News. “I think we need to take the positive of what they’re doing there and incorporate it in our game.”
more on the Devils…
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.”
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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