Kukla's Korner Hockey
Ducks caught a man short on a face-off in their own end, and they pay for it with an Ottawa goal.
from Roy MacGregor at the Globe and Mail,
The Virgin Mary is onside.
She stands in the garden of St. Patrick’s Basilica on the corner of Nepean and Kent Streets in downtown Ottawa, a large Go Sens Go poster — complete with logo — on the church wall behind her. She wears a confident smile on her calm face and has her arms outstretched as if on the verge of celebrating a goal.
At this point, even one would be nice.
The faithful, it should be noted, are holding on to their belief — even with the Ottawa Senators down two games to none in the Stanley Cup final, even after being shut out by the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday.
Q. I just wanted to know, can you update us on Chris Neil, if everything went well with him?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: He’s a father. He’s happy. He was in this morning. He went through the video that he missed out on yesterday. And he’s ready to play.
Q. What can Alfredsson do to be more effective tonight?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: Get the puck in scoring position once in a while and put pucks to the net. He’s got to get some help. I don’t think there’s an individual player in this league or very few of them that can do it himself.
I think it becomes, in particular this time of year when everybody is playing great defense and working real hard, you’ve got to have a line going. And then you have a chance to be a productive player.
So it’s Jason and Dany and Alfy have to be doing what they do all playoffs with the exception of a game or two.
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
The worst thing about the Stanley Cup final? It only lasts a week or two. They should change it to a best-of-47. Take us right through August. Over indulging sports writers could split their September between a fat farm and a detox centre, then be ready and in fine form for the start of the next season. The NHL is treating us so well, you’d almost think they were trying to kill us off. From a Brookstreet breakfast to smoked-meat sandwich lunches at the rink to dinner and receptions back at the hotel
many more NHL bits from Don, including the Sens home crowd needs to be ready…
from the OC Register,
“Recently there have been a few sightings of avid hockey fans stopping on the side of Highways 417 and 416 to pick up fallen (Senators) flags. Not only is this action dangerous but also illegal. Pedestrians are not permitted on multi-lane highways . . . “There also have been allegations that certain Ottawa and other area media have been advocating that if you are driving and are stopped by the OPP to shout out ‘Go, Sens, go!’, thinking this will prevent the driver from receiving a ticket.“
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Question is: Who is the LeBron James of the Ottawa Senators? Is it smiling Jason Spezza—and we wonder, what is this man so happy about? Is it Daniel Alfredsson, the Conn Smythe favourite a week or so ago, now lost in translation. Is it Dany Heatley, the quietest 50-goal scorer anyone has ever known?
Or are the Senators grasping for whatever answers they can find in a series in which they might not find any?
“If you get hit with a right hand one time,” said coach Bryan Murray, “you’d better duck the next time if the guy throws a right hand. We’re going to try to duck.”
from the LA Times,
All you need to know about Ottawa’s inept offense in the Stanley Cup finals is that in two games, the Ducks have limited the Senators to 36 shots on goal, with 15 of them coming in man-advantage situations.
Playing a style of defense similar to an NFL Cover 2 scheme with two safeties deep, the Ducks have made it difficult for the Senators to get the puck into the attacking zone.
“It’s not just that, but they have a couple of real good safeties back there,” Ottawa forward Mike Comrie said of the Ducks’ Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger.
continued (reg. req.)
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Kunitz will take the game-day skate on Saturday and there is a chance that the doctor could be re-visited—though the doctor is in Anaheim, so whether he gets X-Rays, nobody knows for sure, but this guy looks like he’s getting closer and closer.
Is he perfect? No, not even close. But, he provides a physical element and, the way that he was shooting the puck in practice suggests that Kunitz could be a player at some point in Game 3, 4, 5 or 6, when it appeared at the start of the series that he only had an outside shot at playing in Game 6 or 7.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s in the game pretty soon.
more plus other SCF bits…
from the OC Register,
The Ducks-Ottawa Finals also highlight the increased importance of making the right personnel decisions in the new NHL. The Ducks and Senators front offices, NHL players and coaches said, focused on the right guys.
“There’s more to it than just how much money is spent,” Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer said.
“With the cap system,” Burke said, “if everybody has the same amount of money to spend, it’s going to come down to personnel decisions: scouting, coaching, management.”
from Ken Campbell at the Hockey News,
I think that’s the difference we have to make tomorrow,” said Senators coach Bryan Murray. “We have looked for the stretch guy often. They really get back with their ‘D’. They sit back very well and they’ve really got quality people back there. So we have to do a little different things in the attack as far as I’m concerned. We’re going to try, anyway.”
In fact, the Ducks are posturing themselves so deeply in the defensive zone that even when the Senators try to dump the puck in and go to get it, they’re being beaten to it.
“They cheat right back to the middle of the circle almost,” Murray said. “You try to dump it in and all it takes is two steps and they’re back to get the puck.”
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