Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.”
From Steve Zipay at his Blue Notes blog on Newsday,
That’s the word from the Rangers as of a few moments ago. This means the internal bleeding from Avery’s lacerated spleen has stopped. He’s still several days away from leaving hospital, but this is a vast improvement from when he went into St. Vincent’s late on Tuesday night.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
This is where we came in, with the Rangers needing a victory in Pittsburgh, and with the Rangers needing the game officials to allow them to play the kind of game that will translate into a victory.
None of the Rangers will touch the subject now, and why would they following the storm that was whipped up last week when officiating was front and center among topics of conversation?
It is, however, a fact that the Blueshirts New York Rangers must be allowed to knock down Sidney Crosby, Evegni Malkin and Marian Hossa just as they did in Thursday’s playoff deathbed of a 3-0 Game 4 victory at the Garden in order to survive tomorrow afternoon’s Game 5 at the Igloo.
From Sam McCaig at The Hockey News,
Dear Jaromir: Thanks for the memories…or good riddance?
That’s pretty much how it breaks down when fans discuss the possibility that the 2008 playoffs may be the final NHL action for Rangers superstar Jaromir Jagr.
Because when it comes to Jagr, not many people sit on the fence. You either love him or you hate him, and you have a multitude of reasons to back up your stance.
from the AP via Yahoo,
Malkin’s night ended in the final minute when he was assessed a misconduct following a scrum that started when he twice kicked the skate of defenceman Paul Mara.
“It’s a classless act by a superstar and there is no need for that in the game,” Mara said. “It’s not like it was just a little slew foot, it’s actually a full kick. We’ll put that in the back of our minds.
“We got a huge win, and hopefully we’ll carry the momentum over to Sunday.”
more on the Rangers win tonight against Pittsburgh…
added 12:24am on 5/2/08, from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
And so it was that captain Jaromir Jagr, evoking a time when he was the dominant player in the NHL, pulled the New York Rangers one tiny but crucial step back from the abyss.
The big forward broke a 0-0 tie with a virtuoso goal, added a power play assist and an empty-net goal as the Rangers shut out the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0 Thursday night. They still trail this Eastern Conference semifinal 3-1 but as the Madison Square Garden faithful sent Jagr to the dressing room chanting his name over and over there was at least the hint of something approaching optimism in the building and in the Ranger dressing room for the first time in this series.
From the Globe & Mail:
Chris Drury is in pain with what is thought to be bruised ribs but the New York Rangers centre expects to play Tuesday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
But the Rangers will be missing checking centre Blair Betts and winger Sean Avery when they try to avoid elimination from the NHL playoffs Tuesday night at the hands of the Penguins. The Penguins lead the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-final 3-0.
P.S. I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume the writer—David Shoalts, I believe—meant “Thursday night.” Tonight.
Update 2:22pm ET: More help for the Blueshirts. From Larry Brooks at the NY Post,
Lauri Korpikoski (center), the 21-year-old out of Finland who was the 19th overall selection in the 2004 Entry Draft, is expected to make his NHL debut tonight vs. Pittsburgh.
from Lynn Zinser at Slap Shot,
“I’m going to play tomorrow to try to win the series back, not thinking about myself. It’s going to take care of itself. I’m going to try to play to win the hockey game, to have a chance to play the next game. That is my goal.”...
Jagr may still be back if he does not find what he is looking for with another N.H.L. team. All the talk of him returning to Russia is just that, talk. The Rangers probably will not bring back Brendan Shanahan or Martin Straka to a team looking to get younger, but there is little doubt that the Rangers still believe in Jagr. It is a matter of whether he believes back.
more on Jagr…
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com