Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
I don’t like to beat around the bush on Seventh Avenue and 33rd Street, so I’ll get right to the point.
On the assumption that Jaromir Jagr will NOT be a Ranger next season, Shanahan must be invited back for another term.
However, if management learns in a reasonable amount of time that Jagr wants to be back on Broadway for 2008-09, then Shanny must be given a fair “adieu.” No more, no less.
As far as The Maven is concerned, there’s no room on an invigorated—and, yes, it WILL be invigorated by younger aces—roster for two elder statesmen. One is enough.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
“I was writing my will that first night,” Avery told The Post by phone yesterday. “I was in bad shape. I was nervous. I was trying not to think about it.
“I thought I was done.”...
Avery said he was in “such bad shape the first couple of days,” that he had no idea that one publication reported that he’d suffered cardiac arrest and was found unconscious in a Manhattan hotel room before being rushed to the hospital at 3:30 the morning following the game.
“Nobody said anything, but then it kind of funneled through,” said Avery. “To make up lies, it just shows the credibility of the people who would put that stuff out there and then try to stand by it even when it’s proven false.
“That anyone would print something that’s just false . . . I don’t know why people have the need to lie about me.”
from Lynn Zinser of the New York Times,
Hossa will be a question mark whenever Pittsburgh’s season ends. The Penguins have other unrestricted free agents to consider re-signing, including defenseman Brooks Orpik and forward Ryan Malone. They also have to ensure they have future cap room to keep their young players. Malkin will be due for a new contract — presumably a long and large one — after next season.
If the Penguins do not have enough money to offer Hossa, who is making $7 million this season, the Rangers may be in the bidding for him. He is a strong two-way player and seems to be the kind of finisher the Rangers could use on a line with center Scott Gomez.
If the Rangers keep him from returning to Pittsburgh, they would take a chunk out of the lineup of a division rival, one that looks as if it will be formidable for years to come.
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
The coach readily admits that changes must be made. “We need physical engagement,” he avers, perhaps realizing that the likes of Gary Roberts and the other Pitt toughies neutralized the Rangers less physical players.
When all is said and done, the Rangers were eliminated because they played like a fifth place team and Pittsburgh—which surely could win the Stanley Cup—performed like a club that finished on top.
Now that the off-season has hit New York hockey, Sather and his high command will be blueprinting how his Blueshirts can get to the peak in the Spring of 2009. THAT is where the Rangers go from here!
from the Blue Seats at the NY Post,
Blame the refs. Blame the Penguins. Blame Tom Renney. Blame anyone. There’s plenty of it to go around. But, to be realistic, a team needs to get past bad officiating and the opposing team’s attempts to disrupt the game plan. The ability to persevere is what makes a champion and this year’s Rangers New York Rangers did not have it.
When I saw Jarkko Ruutu jawing at Jaromir Jagr Jaromir Jagr before the faceoff, in Jagr’s face, mouthing off, and then pushing the Ranger captain to the ice after Jagr blew him a kiss ... I knew no one would step up to hand the Penguin pest a dental bill.
fro Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
Before the series, I picked the Rangers to win in seven games because I thought they had a huge advantage in net with Henrik Lundqvist, but that advantage didn’t come into play until that last two games. Marc-Andre Fleury looked shaky today for the first time in the series. The Rangers didn’t take enough shots, however, to exploit that. They went more 16 minutes without a shot, including the last 14:50 of a second period that the Penguins’ thoroughly dominated.
I have a feeling that Fleury and Martin Biron might not have much goaltending magic left for the conference finals. Don’t be surprised if you see some 6-5 games in that series.
more on the Rangers and Pens…
from Lynn Zinser of the New York Times,
After the final shot eluded him, Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist stood alone in his crease Sunday afternoon, pain radiating from his blue eyes. His teammates had skated back to their bench, and the Penguins celebrated in a giant mob to his right. For what seemed like minutes, Lundqvist bore his agony alone.
Eventually, the Rangers skated over to console him. Marian Hossa’s series-winning goal 7 minutes 10 seconds into overtime gave the Penguins a 3-2 victory in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, sending the Mellon Arena fans into a frenzy, and leaving the Rangers to grapple with their emotions.
“It’s just empty,” Lundqvist said. “Your head is just empty. You’ve been working so hard all year, starting in May last year to prepare for this season. And then everything is over.”
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News writing about today’s Rangers/Penguins game…
I think the Hockey Gods are trying to call you out, Stephen Walkom. There can be no possible rationalization for your officials continuously putting their hands in their pockets in third periods of games.
I’m normally one of your biggest defenders, but what’s going on is casting everything – the officials, the players, and the game itself – in a not-so-positive light.
more on the game…
From Shelly Anderson at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Marian Hossa scored in overtime to give the Penguins a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers today at Mellon Arena, clinching their second-round playoff series. They advance to the Eastern Conference final, where they will play cross-state rival Philadelphia.
Dates and times for the third round are pending, but Games 1 and 2 will be at Mellon Arena.
Update 5:23pm ET: Story of the game from David Shoalts at the Globe & Mail.
Update 5:44pm ET: Live post-game press conference underway.
Video streaming is below.
(click that link to access the NHL’s pop-up player)
Update 5:53pm ET: Game video of Hossa’s OT goal below.
from the Staten Island Advance,
Few people really expect the Rangers to come back and win this best-of-seven series, in which they trail 3-1, so isn’t the pressure off for today’s fifth game at Mellon Arena?
Lundqvist wasn’t buying it.
“We feel pressure because if we lose, we know it’s over,” he said. “They probably feel pressure because if they lose, it goes back to New York and they don’t really know where this is going. I think both teams feel pressure, but in a different way.
“I don’t think a lot of people expect us to pull this off, but we don’t look at the whole picture right now. We’ll try to get back to New York one more time, at least. If we can get this back to New York one more time, we feel really good about it.”
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