Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Ottawa Senators,
OTTAWA – This past season our fans witnessed the remarkable and historic rally of their Ottawa Senators to overcome the largest regular-season point deficit in National Hockey League history to successfully qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
During this spectacular comeback many of our fans noticed the unusual absence of the Senators’ number one fan and team owner, Eugene Melnyk.
Mr. Melnyk has consistently remained very private on matters of a personal or family nature.
Today, the club wishes to share with the hockey community and our fans that Mr. Melnyk has been sick and battling major health issues since mid-January. Since then, his medical care and treatment have been the sole focus for him and his family.
Mr. Melnyk was admitted to hospital three weeks ago as a result of the onset of liver-related complications. He has undergone a comprehensive medical assessment and it has been determined that Mr. Melnyk is in urgent need of a liver transplant.
Mr. Melnyk’s family has actively reached out to his close friends and broader family with the hope of identifying someone who could be a “live liver donor”. This process involves the removal of a portion of the living donor’s liver so it can be transplanted into the recipient patient.
from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen,
The re-signing of coach Dave Cameron to an extension is a foregone conclusion. Murray says the team played to its strengths after Cameron replaced Paul MacLean in December, looking like a faster team while spending less time in its own zone.
Murray’s dream, as it has been for sometime seemingly, would be to add another proven front-line scorer, saying “if we could add one more piece up front, it would make a huge difference in our team.” Again, a trade could be the most likely route to acquiring such a high-profile player.
As usual, though, there are budget concerns. The Senators will need to re-sign restricted free agent forwards Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman, Mika Zibanejad, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Alex Chiasson. They have Colin Greening, David Legwand and Chris Neil under contract next season, players who finished the season on the sidelines.
“I believe we will have (a higher budget), but we won’t be a cap team, I don’t think we have to be a cap team, if we do it right. We have a big summer ahead of us, with our restricted (free agents). We have to move a couple of guys – for their benefit, as much as ours.”
The door, Murray says, is also open for former captain Daniel Alfredsson to join the front office, in some capacity. Alfredsson watched Game 5 and Game 6 of the Montreal series beside Murray.
“Not management, necessarily. We’ve talked to him about getting involved, learning the business, spending a little time,” Murray said.
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
These Ottawa Senators were not a team of destiny.
They were something much, much greater than that.
There was nothing mystical or magical behind an improbable run that captured imaginations in the nation’s capital. No, this was simply about sacrifice and togetherness and belief — qualities they should be commended for despite a six-game loss to the Montreal Canadiens in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
“I’m extremely proud of this group,” Senators coach Dave Cameron said after Sunday’s 2-0 heartbreaker. “You look at not just the results, but you look at the commitment and you look at the blocked shots and you look at the compete level and you look at the professionalism, you look at how they handled the day-to-day stuff. …
“I think when we get over the (disappointment) and look back we’ll feel pretty good about what we accomplished here.”
The Canadiens defeated the Ottawa Senators 2-0 thus winning the series 4-2.
They will play the wtnner of the Detroit/Tampa series.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
This is the moment of reckoning for the Montreal Canadiens.
The NHL's second-best team in the regular season with 110 points never has garnered the kind of respect and belief from the rest of the hockey world that the runners-up to the Presidents' Trophy would normally get. Perhaps some of that is the new age of parity in today’s NHL, where there are truly no longer any great teams by yesteryear’s definition.
But more than anything, it’s the perception, fair or not, that Hart Trophy front-runner Carey Price cooked the books all year long and provided a mirage in the standings, lifting the Habs to a place they truly don’t belong.
And so with the Ottawa Senators now breathing down their necks with that knowing look in their eye, the Canadiens are faced with their first real adversity of the entire season.
Unlike the Sens, who have played like there's no tomorrow for two months, the Habs have coasted comfortably from Day 1 in October, never once losing more than three games in a row all season.
They’re in the frying pan for the first time. And all those people around the league who don’t believe in them, from the analytics community to just old-school scouts, are waiting breathlessly to jump on them over the next few days if they blow a 3-0 series lead.
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
With some wind at their back, the Senators will get an extra push in Game 6 from what could be the loudest, wildest crowd Canadian Tire Centre has ever hosted.
The once unimaginable story of Ottawa's Comeback Kids has the citizens in a state of euphoria.
"Games 3 and 4 were incredible," Bobby Ryan said when asked to predict what the atmosphere would be like Sunday. "I was told about it and prepared for it, but couldn't believe it. The building is going to be rocking, and our fans certainly deserve it."
It started off like that at Bell Centre on Sunday night, but the Senators never did really allow the Habs' faithful anything to get overly excited about.
"The only stat I know is we beat them," coach Dave Cameron when asked about 18 turnovers by his club, which was outshot 46-25. "I don't think at any point that game was in doubt, from our point of view."
If you just looked at the box score, you would wonder what Cameron was smoking. If you watched the game, you understood him to be correct.
"We're still down 3-2. We have to concentrate on the game (Sunday)," said Cameron. "The fact that you're home doesn't guarantee you anything. We have to find a way to win another hockey game.
via the CP at NHL.com,
With 2:03 left in Ottawa's 5-1 victory on Friday night, Prust moved into the crease and brushed against Anderson, who responded with a stick jab in the back. Prust then began spearing the goaltender in the midsection and a skirmish broke out.
Prust was called for roughing and cross-checking and Patrick Wiercioch got a roughing minor, while P.K. Subban and Eric Gryba got 10 minute misconducts for a lively wrestling match.
"There's certainly frustration on their part," said Cameron. "A sure sign of frustration is when they're taking cheap shots at your goaltender, who's a real good player for us.
"Cheap, extremely cheap. Prust, I've known for a long time. I think he's a respectable guy. A real good player for a long time. But that was cheap what he did tonight."
Prust did not speak to the media after the game and coach Michel Therrien made no comment.
Anderson was unfazed by the incident.
"He's going to the net hard. It's just a battle of emotions there," said Anderson. "I'm fighting for my ice, he's fighting for his ice. I got a little stickwork, but no harm, no foul."
Watch the incident below...
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
I watched yesterday's Ottawa-Montreal game and was wondering what type of the rule the refs used when they assigned a penalty to Ottawa for cheating on the face-off?
Thank you very much. Always like your comments.
Rule 76.6 was imposed to penalize the Ottawa Senators for a second face-off violation committed by the same team during the same face-off at 8:34 of the second period. (There was actually three false face-offs on this stoppage.) To be perfectly candid, I was in complete and total shock when the penalty was assessed. Not because it is just one more rule in the book that fans believe the officials turn a blind eye to in the playoffs, but because of the procedure that was employed to conduct the face-offs during this stoppage of play.
Once the linesman grasps the puck in his hand, he is in full control of the face-off. As such, he should do everything within his power and ability to avoid enforcing this needless infraction. I'm quite certain that the two referees were counting the seconds tick down on the Sens bench minor penalty that was being served by Bobby Ryan. I can tell you without reservation that I was.
Watch a gif of the penalty below...
from Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen,
Not so fast.
If the Montreal Canadiens had designs on heading home to catch some R & R before round two, they just got handed a change of itinerary, otherwise known as Game 5 at the Bell Centre Friday night.
The Senators bought themselves life and inspired fan dreams of another 2014-15 miracle with a determined 1-0 victory in Game 4 at the Canadian Tire Centre, a win born out of a push and resolve that built as the game went on. The Habs carry a 3-1 series lead, but the first elimination bullet has been dodged.
“We don’t want it to end,” said winger Mark Stone, who seemed to have the puck on a string for most of the third period. “We love coming to the rink. We wanted to live to fight another day.”
The Senators did just that, in high drama – riding a third period goal from Mike Hoffman with 10:55 remaining in the third period, ending nearly 50 minutes of scoreless, breathtaking hockey.
Watch the game highlights below...
from Ian Medes of TSN,
Multiple waves of reporters descended on the star winger and often times, they were repeating questions that were already asked a few minutes earlier.
“I’m sorry I’m coming in late, but can you talk about your struggles here?”
“How frustrating is it to not be able to score?”
“Do you feel like you’re close to turning this around?”
And yet Ryan acknowledged each question as if he was hearing it for the first time; never once becoming frustrated or agitated with the same line of questioning.
Patience has now become the operative word in Bobby Ryan’s vocabulary.
He hasn’t scored a goal in over a month, with his last one coming all the way back on March 19 against Boston – a span of 15 games if you include the playoff series against Montreal. And even that goal was a bit of a fluke; the puck caromed in off the leg of Zdeno Chara and past Tuukka Rask. If you want to be a real stickler about it, the last time Bobby Ryan shot the puck and beat a goalie cleanly was on March 4 in Winnipeg – a span of 23 games.
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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