Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Ottawa Citizen,
Something disappeared between the clinching game in the Eastern Conference final and the start of the final round, and no one could find it despite persistent probing by coach Bryan Murray.
Whether Murray will be around to help answer that question is a question. He’s now without a contract, and owner Eugene Melnyk could well be looking for a scapegoat to carry the can. He can’t be happy, not only with his team’s loss in only five games in the final, but also with the way it lost.
Maybe Murray will decide he doesn’t want to be around for another shot. He has to be bitter to see such a promising season unravel in five games.
Yet, there will be more than enough blame to go around. Few will have to worry about not getting a proper share.
from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,
Go back to the opening night loss in Anaheim, the night the Ducks served notice that they would play the games on their terms: hard, fast and physical.
The Senators, as it turned out, had no answer for that.
That Game 1 win was only a one-goal decision, 3-2, Ducks, but it served notice to anyone watching that these Ducks wanted it more. They outworked the Senators for everything they got, every goal, every chance, and every shift. They brought their winner’s game that night and they brought it to a higher level every night after that. It was a level of desire and intensity that the Senators could never quite match.
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
Jason Spezza’s magic touch defied him at the worst possible time.
In the biggest playoff series of them all. In the most crucial game. In the delicate moments.
“Obviously, I wish I could have done more and been a better player than I was,” Spezza said after Ottawa’s 6-2 dream-ending loss to the Anaheim at the Honda Center last night. “I just couldn’t get it going in the finals.”
from The Maven,
The Senators skated down the left alley, the right alley and center ice. Wherever they skated, they got beaten, first physically and then mentally.
So, here’s a congratulatory QUACK-QUACK for the new champs. From Nieder to Nieder; Carlyle to Burke; they deserve everything they got.
As for those imposters from North of the border, well, they can still go around telling people that they invented hockey.
But I’m beginning to think that that’s as much a myth as the Ottawa Senators as champions!
If you want to listen to some talk about the finals, check it out.
From Scott Burnside at ESPN,
A championship like this one answers many questions.
Can a team still succeed in the new NHL playing old-fashioned, face-against-the-glass hockey? Yes. Provided you throw more than a healthy does of talent and speed into the stew. This win isn’t a step back for the league, but it is an eye-opener of sorts.
from David Naylor of the Globe and Mail,
The Ottawa Senators believe that defence wins championships.
In the moments after they lost 6-2 in the fifth game of the National Hockey League championship series last night, the Senators isolated Anaheim’s ability to prevent scoring chances throughout the series as the reason the Stanley Cup is going to California.
“They were more defensive than we thought they were,” Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson said. “We worked hard, but we gave them too many easy goals in this series and they were better defensively.”
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Their Stanley Cup dreams shattered, the Senators sat slumped on their bench in stunned silence in the final moments last night.
This was the longest trip the Senators have taken in the playoffs but it turned out to be a monumental setback as the Anaheim Ducks brought home Lord Stanley’s coveted mug with a 6-2 victory in Game 5.
All the Senators could do was shake hands and head for the dressing room to pack up for the long trip back to Ottawa Thursday as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman handed the Cup to Ducks’ captain Scott Niedermayer with the crowd on its feet.
For some reason, the NBC did not televise the singing of the national anthems tonight. Which was a shame, because the Anaheim crowd contributed a heartfelt verse to the American anthem, something most often seen with Canadian crowds.
Well done, Anaheim!
Note: Watch the Post-Game Press Conference, shortly after the game.
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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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