Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Inside The Panters at the Palm Beach Post,
The Senators have been one of the more entertaining teams in the NHL for years, but they’ve consistently been one of the worst draws among all visiting teams for the Panthers and, presumably, most other American-based franchises. One can only speculate, but a miserable first few years out of the blocks combined with no Stanley Cups and no Original Six history has added up to no excitement for the casual hockey fan.
from Mark Spector of the National Post,
But the question that needs to be asked in a hurry is, what ever became of the Buffalo Sabres?
With a power play that would shoot blanks if it shot at all, and a President’s Trophy winning roster that looks intimidated against the hard-charging Senators, the Buffalo Sabres took one more step toward extinction last night at Scotiabank Place, losing 1-0 to fall behind three games to none in what was once a highly anticipated Eastern Conference Final.
Talk about anticlimactic. The scoreboard may have read 1-0, with Daniel Alfredsson’s second period goal standing up. In reality, however, Game 3 was a blow-out, disguised only by the spectacular play of Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
So far, Alfredsson has an NHL-best nine goals in 13 playoff games, has scored in all three games in this series and in six of his last seven post-season matches.
Not bad for a former sixth-round draft pick.
Not bad for a player roundly vilified for his weak defensive play against these same Sabres on the goal that eliminated the Senators from last spring’s playdowns.
“I’m a better player this year,” he said flatly when asked about the difference in his 2007 springtime performance compared to last year.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
They are on the verge of living the dream and going to the Stanley Cup final for the first time in team history with a series victory over the Buffalo Sabres and holding a 2-0 lead in the East final going into Game 3 last night at Scotiabank Place.
“They’ve had to go through some tough times along the way and I’m sure that’s toughened them up a little,” said former Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman, who as GM led Canada to a gold medal at the world championship in Moscow. “There’s no question that can happen to you. Sometimes you have to go through tough times before you can have success. You develop more of an edge and you get stronger. Every team goes through it and it takes hard to work to get out of it.”
Ray Emery shuts down the Sabres tonight, 1-0.
Watch the post game interviews.
note 9:39pm: Video should be available shortly.
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
If you’re a fan of hockey, then you have to be rooting for the Ottawa Senators.
You can be excused from that sentiment if you have a dyed-in-the-wool affinity for Detroit, Buffalo or Anaheim. But if you’re unattached, as we aging singles like to call it, and you just care about the game for its own sake, you have to get behind the Senators.
They appear to be steamrolling to the Stanley Cup, leaving turmoil in their wake and perhaps even creating a scenario that will bring about turmoil in their own organization. But they deserve support not because they’re winning but because of the way they do it.
Bryan Murray and Daniel Alfredsson from this morning…
Q. Bryan, your goaltender, he’s always the second goaltender in every series. He started out the playoffs as, quote, unquote, the only weak link this team had perhaps. At what point does he finally become the guy they look to and the guy that gets the credit?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: Probably next year. I would think when he comes to camp next year, we’ll he’ll be recognized as the No. 1 goaltender in Ottawa and a guy that is serious. I’m serious when I say that. He’s a young guy. He’s the guy that told me he really gets into, you know, the next stage of his development, I guess. He won’t be given a lot of credit, but I think that’s fine with Ray. Certainly fine with us.
from Don Breenan of the Ottawa Sun,
Alfredsson was booed every time he touched the puck after drilling Henrik Tallinder into the boards midway through the first overtime period. No penalty was called and the hit was decried by the Don and Ron act watching the game from the Party Plaza.
Curiously, the same Coach’s Corner act-alike referred to Brian Campbell charging hard from behind into Chris Kelly about three ticks before Daniel Briere’s tying goal with six seconds left as “the essence of hockey.”
The difference between the Alfredsson and Campbell hits was minimal, as far as we could tell. Alfredsson seemed to come at Tallinder from a little bit more of an angle, but he did knock him into the boards. Campbell hit a guy who didn’t have the puck square in the middle of the back on a play that allowed for a last-second goal. If anyone should have a beef, you’d think it would be the Senators.
from the Buffalo News,
Daniel Alfredsson will line up in his usual spot on the right wing for the opening faceoff tonight. The Buffalo Sabres think he should be lining up for a suspension instead.
from the Ottawa Citizen,
It’s starting to look like higher forces at work now.
Make no mistake.
The Ottawa Senators are working so hard, want it so badly, they deserve every break that is going their way.
They are earning their luck and the hockey gods acknowledge that, rewarding the Senators during a run in which everything seems to be going right for this hockey club.
NHL On The Fly allows us to embed now. Not sure when this became available, but a nice feature.
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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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