Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from the CP via Sportsnet,
Some quotes from around the NHL on Rangers forward Sean Avery’s unorthodox screening attempt on Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur during Sunday’s NHL playoff game:
“I’ve known this kid since he was about 16 years old. Once a jerk, always a jerk. You can’t blame the referee, because ... he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Could you believe what you were seeing? I’ve never seen anything like that and I’ve been in every league that’s ever existed.”—CBC commentator Don Cherry on The Fan 590, a Toronto all-sports radio station.
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 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.
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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