Kukla's Korner Hockey
Everyone is sending their congratulations to the LA Kings for their much deserved Stanley Cup win. Writing up the story that is Justin Williams winning the Conn Smythe Trophy for being the 2014 NHL Playoff MVP.
Justin Williams takes home the Conn Smythe Trophy, not to mention his third Stanley Cup. Unreal.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) June 14, 2014
All is great, all is deserved, all is heartbreaking at the other end of the rink as the New York Rangers watch their Stanley Cup dreams come to an end for this season.
The game starts just after 8:00pm ET and is on NBC, CBC and RDS.
Will we have a game 6 on Monday night?
Yesterday I said the New York Rangers will win tonight and nothing has changed my mind.
I know I am probably in the minority, but I sense a Rangers team getting better and the Los Angeles Kings getting a bit frustrated.
Enjoy the game and feel free to discuss the game as it plays out.
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
They say the Stanley Cup is the hardest trophy to win in sports. Well, maybe it’s the hardest trophy to lose, too.
There is nothing like the grind of the NHL playoffs, and when you face a 3-0 or 3-1 series deficit in June, the motivation to keep going against the odds comes from ambition and belief and money and pride and pressure. It also comes from the physical, mental and emotional investment you’ve made over the past two months, not to mention the seven before that. You don’t want it to go for naught. When you’ve come this far, when you’re this close, it would hurt that much more to come up short.
“When you think about it and collect your thoughts and go through everything we’ve gone through this year – it started a long time ago – it’s nice to still get another chance,” said Brad Richards, the Rangers’ acting captain. “It’s all we wanted to do last night. It wasn’t the prettiest game. But we’re still here today, and if you go this long, you just keep fighting somehow and some way. You figure it out as a group to just fight another day.”
"Joey Clams" appeared on the Today Show this morning.
from Mike Keenan at the New York Post,
I expect the Stanley Cup finals to come back to the Garden for Game 6.
The biggest reason for the Rangers to believe is Henrik Lundqvist. As experienced as the Kings are, they’re up against a goaltender and maybe a team that has some resilience as well that might be able to take games away from them when they don’t expect it.
When I coached the Flyers in 1986, we played the Rangers in the opening round of the playoffs and we were beaten by John Vanbiesbrouck. We dominated our games, but we could not score on him. He stole a series for them, and that could happen in this series as well with Lundqvist.
I absolutely think Lundqvist has three more games like Game 4 in him.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
If the fourth game is indeed the hardest one to win, the Kings may be the poster boys for that saying as the NHL season refuses to end.
The Kings aren’t happy the Stanley Cup final has come to this. They have another chance to close out the New York Rangers on Friday night at the Staples Center and Los Angeles wants this overwith.
Rangers’ centre Derrick Brassard tossed the pressure card in the direction of the Kings following practice Thursday.
“The mindset is totally different because we have nothing to lose,” Brassard said. “We do, because we’re playing for the Stanley Cup, but at the same time it’s 3-1 and all the pressure is on them to close out the series.
“It’s never easy. We’ve felt as a team we’ve been playing right with them the whole series.”
The Kings have been here before, up 3-1 in the Cup final and unable to get it done easily. It happened in 2012 against the New Jersey Devils when the Kings weren’t able to close it out until Game 6.
“We’re not thinking about that,” defenceman Drew Doughty said. “We’re back home, that’s where won it last time, so that’s what we’re thinking about here.”
from Mark Whicker at the Los Angeles Register,
• Number of goals by Anze Kopitar in his past 18 games — One.
• Goals by Kings’ defensemen in the playoffs — 18.
• Goals by Kings’ defensemen in the 2012 playoffs — 9.
• Games in which Jonathan Quick has faced 40 shots in the playoffs — 5.
• Games in which he faced 40 shots in the 2012 playoffs — 3.
• Number of points for the Rangers’ Brad Richards in the past two series — 2.
• Shortest time-on-ice in any playoff game for Doughty this season — 23:29.
This 2014 Stanley Cup Final series mark the first time a Norwegian-born player has laced up the skated for a shot at hoisting the Stanley Cup. Though The New York Rangers are down 3-1 in the series heading into tonight's Game 5 in Los Angeles he should be in the talks along with Henrik Lundqvist for Conn Smythe should the Rangers dig out of the hole and win Lord Stanley's Cup.
from Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star,
...in the first three games, the bounces mattered. Los Angeles had more bounces in Games 1 and 2, and in Game 3 the Kings scored on a deflection off a defenceman’s skate, a deflection off a Ranger leg, and a puck that came back to a stick off a defenceman’s skate.
The Rangers kept talking about bounces, luck, hockey gods, and got two bounces that led to goals in Game 4, plus those two pucks that wouldn’t cross their goal line.
And the hockey gods, as coach Alain Vigneault said, were back.
Few players have total control over what the puck does, every time. They can control getting a clean shot off, and sometimes they know where it’s going to go. But remember the goal Patrice Bergeron scored to tie Game 7 against Toronto in 2013? He let it fly from the blue line and it travelled into exactly the right spot, through a space about half the size of a mail slot. He didn’t mean to. He never even looked at the net. He just shot it. There was a screen. He happened to find the hole.
Is that luck? Yes, and no.
Part of hockey has always been trying to wrestle the game out of chaos, and once a certain amount of the chaos has been screened out, the luck — however it can be controlled — can loom larger.
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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