Kukla's Korner Hockey
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 Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
One of the week’s more heavily linked-to sports journalism stories is a fantastic article in the New York Magazine on the NBA’s sadder-than-sadsack New York Knicks. But a great sidebar story – and one that should be of interest to NHL fans – is this New York Daily News piece by Frank Isola on the media-relations policies at Madison Square Garden for both the Knicks and New York Rangers.
For me, the most intriguing – and troubling – part of Isola’s story is this:
“(T)here is a ‘company response’ for unfavorable stories that the heads of each media-relations department are instructed to follow:
- A call to the reporter by the public relations representative explaining the objections the company had with the way in which the story was written.
- Limiting a media person’s follow-up access to the division representative about the incident in question.
follow the link to get the links and more NHL talk too…
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 Ian Winwood at The Guardian,
Brendan Shanahan tells a great story about the attitude of hockey players when it comes to the play-offs. The gritty superstar (translation: a goalscorer also capable of beating someone up) was talking about the time the Detroit Red Wings, for whom Shanahan then played, reached the Stanley Cup Finals. The year was 1998, and the Wings - who just a decade previously were dubbed ‘The Dead Things’, so awful was their play - were on their way to capturing their second consecutive championship, sweeping the Washington Capitals in four straight games. Every game was crucial; every player wanted to play.
One player in particular - Martin LaPointe, if memory serves - wanted to play very badly indeed. The physical (translation: homicidal) winger, however, was injured, and rather badly at that; the muscles in his groin were shredded like so much beef jerky.
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.
from the NY Daily News,
He has ratcheted up his off-ice workouts in recent weeks. But Jagr maintains that is standard operating procedure for him at this time of year, not an attempt to get one more dominant playoff run out of a body that is now 36.
And as for the prospect of winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoffs MVP - the one remaining reachable threshold in his contract that would extend it through next season - Jagr refused to even entertain such a discussion on Monday.
At least for public consumption, that is.
from Mark Everson of the NY Post,
After all this, three Cups, seven Atlantic titles, and yet another finish above their unneighborly neighbors, the Devils New Jersey Devils enter the fifth Battle of the Hudson still Strangers in a Ranger land, even in their own home, by their own admission.
“It’s weird living here,” Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner Jamie Langenbrunner told The Post. “You have all these people in New Jersey that are Rangers New York Rangers fans. And you have the Devils fans.
“It’s like we’re the ugly stepchild team and they’re the glamour.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
But now, two years later, beginning on Wednesday, Jagr will get a second chance at the Devils.
Yes, the conflict between Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Brodeur will be fascinating. And yes, there will be delicious subplots featuring Gomez, Sean Avery, Zach Parise and Patrik Elias, whose shootout goal was decisive in his team’s 3-2 victory over the Blueshirts at the Rock yesterday that gave the Devils first-round home-ice.
Still, the outcome of this series between this matched set of flawed opponents is almost certainly going to be determined by whether Jagr can dominate the Devils over seven games, the way he dominated for shifts at a time while logging 24:12 yesterday while skating on lines with both Gomez and Brandon Dubinsky.
From Vincent M. Mallozzi at the NYT (Sunday’s edition),
Also in his collection are 60 autographed jerseys, one of which was signed by 38 members of the Hall of Fame and 6 worn in games by Hall of Famers, including Bobby Orr and Wayne Gretzky, his favorite players.
“Wayne Gretzky was the most remarkable player I have ever seen,” Poitras said. “But Bobby Orr was a combination of greatness and toughness when the N.H.L. was a much tougher league.”
Poitras, who owns season tickets to the Rangers and the Islanders, has four rooms in his home filled with the kind of memorabilia that would make Lord Stanley raise his silver cup in appreciation.
“I do have a rather unusual collection,” said Poitras, a logistics and planning manager at Citigroup, who has turned his Long Island home into a veritable hockey shrine over the years, amassing much of his collection through auctions. “People who visit me get a real kick out of all my stuff.”
more… about one NY family’s passion for hockey
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
“I told the referee what order I wanted to shoot and I put my finger up and told him to give me a second, because I wanted to check with Shanny [Brendan Shanahan] to see if he could go first after he’d been on at the end of [OT],” said Renney, whose team has gone first at essentially every home game.
“I looked up, the referee was gone, he came back and he said, ‘You’re going to shoot second.’
“I said, ‘Wait a minute, I don’t want to shoot second. He said, ‘You told me that.’ I said, ‘No, I said to give me a second.’ He decided I couldn’t change my mind, or he couldn’t change his, which was unfortunate. No shots had been taken. I was very, very clear.”
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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