Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Steve Edelson at APP.com,
Having the Rangers as the top team in the metropolitan area, and in a position to possibly challenge for a championship in the coming years, is the best thing that could happen to the NHL right now.
A league still trying to pull itself back from the brink of extinction, with television ratings mired somewhere between a test pattern and Bonanza reruns, needs the Rangers and their fan base, infinitely larger than the Devils.
They need Madison Square Garden hosting a Cup final, and Sean Avery doing his best Ken Linsman impressions in front of a national audience. They need recollections of Mark Messier’s guarantee and replays of Howie Rose blurting out “Matteau, Matteau, Matteau.’‘
Now more than ever, they need the Rangers.
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
Unlike Esa Tikkanen, who drove Wayne Gretzky batty, Avery speaks an understandable language and will drop his gloves and fight. Unlike Claude Lemieux, Avery has never bitten anyone’s finger — yet. Unlike Theo Fleury and Ken (The Rat) Linseman, Avery wasn’t a celebrated junior player or even drafted by the NHL.
What he had was a heart as big as his mouth, and a burning, itching desire to make it to the NHL.
“Who was Sean Avery five years ago?” asked St. Louis Blues coach Andy Murray, who coached Avery with the Los Angeles Kings. “Now look at him. Is there a name people know more than his? Sidney Crosby is one. You have to give [Avery] credit for that.”
Fine. Let’s give the man his due.
from the CP via TSN,
When this one was over, Rangers agitator Sean Avery and Devils goalie Martin Brodeur had one more confrontation, this time in the handshake line. Avery, who crashed into Brodeur several times in the series and tried to distract him by waving his stick in the goalie’s face in Game 3, was the only player Brodeur didn’t extend his hand to.
“I shook everybody’s hand but one,” Brodeur said.
Avery said he was fully prepared to reach out to Brodeur, but didn’t get the chance.
“Everyone talks about how much class I don’t have, well it’s the end of the series and men go to war against each other,” Avery said. “I guess he forgot to shake my hand. I don’t know if anyone saw that. Of course I was going to shake his hand.”
from Lynn Zinser of the New York Times,
Devils Coach Brent Sutter took special interest in the matter after the game, saying that if the Rangers were allowed to run into Brodeur, then his team would make it a point to crash into Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
It seems to have become a rallying cry for the Devils, who are trying to become only the 19th team in N.H.L. history to rebound from a 3-1 deficit to win a series.
“They are getting away with it; we should be able to get away with it, too,” Devils forward Jay Pandolfo said. “That’s the only thing you can do. It’s out of your hands after that. Sure enough, they are going to hit Marty, and if we retaliate we’ll probably get a penalty. It’s tough, but it’s been going on all series.”
Update 1:25pm ET: A cartoon comment on the subject from Charlie Teljeur.
from John Dellapina of the NY Daily News (Friday edition),
The prospect of seeing Martin Brodeur have to shake Sean Avery’s hand sometime after 10 o’clock Friday might prove too tantalizing for most Rangers fans to concentrate on their day jobs Friday.
The Rangers themselves insist they won’t have the same problem.
Tonight, the Rangers get their first of three chances to eliminate the Devils and advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup tournament when they take their 3-1 series lead into Game 5 at the Rock in Newark. The trick is to make that handshake line happen by not focusing on it until a series-ending buzzer sounds.
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
So, how can New Jersey prolong the series on Friday at The Rock?
“We’ve got to take it slow,” Brodeur suggested. “Just play the game and pay attention to detail. We can’t shoot ourselves in the foot anymore. We (Martin and Madden) had a chance to take the lead, but we didn’t bury it. Then, there’s the mistake in our zone and that’s the game.”
Don’t be surprised if Sutter makes a major change on defense. Vitaly Vishnevski should be benched and replaced by Karel Rachunek who will at least give the Devs some offense with his D. Perhaps Sheldon Brookbank, who is fresh, will get an opportunity.
But when all is said and done, for the fourth straight game, Brodeur has been out-goaled by Lundqvist.
“They went to the net,” Brodeur said. “The Jagr one, he’s going to the net trying to score and I’m trying to make a save and he goes right through my crease. We had contact. That’s just part of the game. We’ve just got to make sure these areas, guys can’t go there freely and right now, for some reason, they’re able to get to the front of the net with a lot of speed or for rebounds. They’re around the net a lot. They’re hungry to score goals.”
via Fire & Ice...
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 Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
...Fact is, the NHL’s unconstitutional adoption of a new rule in the middle of the playoffs without bothering to gain the required unanimous consent of the Board of Governors - a clarification; right, sure - is a far greater scandal than anything Avery did on Sunday.
A reading of this amendment to Rule 57 reveals that it is now legal for a player to wave his arms and/or stick in front of a goaltender’s face as long as the attacking player is not facing the netminder.
And please: Enough with the lectures on hockey morality from Don Cherry; enough from this xenophobe who has made a career out of European-bashing. Enough from him and his disciples.
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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