Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Ottawa Citizen,
The Ottawa Senators are on the verge of resurrecting a notorious nickname they had thought they shed: choking dogs.
The team that needed only 15 games to win three NHL playoff series leading to the Stanley Cup final against the Anaheim Ducks has disappeared with barely a whimper.
The Senators have been virtually unable to create scoring chances unless they have a 5-on-3 advantage, and they’ve been largely unresponsive to the wave of bodychecks the Ducks have thrown at them.
from Earl McRae of the Ottawa Sun,
NEW SENS EXCUSES ON HOLD. The Ottawa fans were too loud, couldn’t concentrate. The Ducks are bigger than we are, it’s not fair. The Ducks have bigger, bushier beards than we have, they scare you with them. The Ducks get to stay in nice hotel rooms away from their nagging wives and girlfriends, not us.
much more on the SCF…
iLiveSports.com is a social network for connecting athletes worldwide.
I was browsing it last night by sport, inserted hockey in the search and up pops Dany Heatley.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
But rather than reflecting the “old” NHL, where teams like New Jersey used to lie back in the neutral zone, grab onto opposing players as they tried to gain the offensive zone and thus limiting much offensive creativity, the Ducks seem to have found the perfect hybrid of the old and the new.
Under Anaheim GM Brian Burke’s tutelage—and making good use of prospects acquired by Murray when he was Ducks GM—Anaheim has achieved success by using a lethal blend of size and speed to shut down the Senators.
As Burke is fond of saying, he wants a team that can do it all—play with speed, punish opposing teams and, if push comes to shove, drop the gloves.
Q. Bryan, you and your players have talked a lot the last couple of days about how you feel the Ducks are holding you up and making it difficult to create a forecheck. According to the rules, it shouldn’t be happening that way. I wonder if, big picture, do you see this as a problem for the NHL?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: No, actually, I said after the game last night to the coaching staff, I thought the way they played and the way we played was better and different. I didn’t think there was much holdup last night. I thought both referees did a real good job, and I really did. I felt that the players decided the game last night. Anaheim over the course of the game played better than we did.
from the AP via MSNBC,
The Ottawa Senators need a big change in a hurry. They could start by remembering the inspirational words of Roger Neilson.
The NHL’s “Captain Video,’’ for pioneering the use of game video as a coaching technique, and a hockey Hall of Famer, Neilson’s presence is still held in high regard in Ottawa four years since the Senators assistant coach died after a long battle with cancer. There’s a portrait of Neilson that hangs in the Senators assistant coach’s box at Scotiabank Place, and another one in the players’ room.
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
Somehow, in the wake of these two games, the space between these two teams seems much, much greater than the difference on the score sheet.
With all excuses about a long layoff and poor officiating stripped away in Game 2, the Senators were once again outmatched in every meaningful element of the game.
Outhit, outworked, outchanced and outshot. They keep this up and it’ll soon just be “out.”
from Mike Brophy of the Hockey News,
Let’s see, if Ottawa’s Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson are supposed to be the best line in the NHL, and they are being thoroughly outplayed by Samuel Pahlsson, Rob Niedermayer and Travis Moen, doesn’t that make the Anaheim trio the best line in the league?
If you missed the game and want to catch the highlights…
from Darren Dreger at TSN,
The Ottawa Senators top line of Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson is failing to attack the offensive zone with any amount of speed. Their transition game is also not working and there is still the issue of giveaways. Alfredsson gave the puck away six times in Game 2, while Spezza gave it away four times.
from Mark Whicker of the OC Register,
“It’s a change from the first three rounds,” said Jason Spezza of the Senators. “The officials are letting a lot of things go, and there isn’t much room and there’s bad ice besides.”
“To get outshot like this has been a little bit discouraging,” Corvo said, referring to the Ducks’ 31-16 edge for Game 2 and 63-51 overall.
“We’ve had a few guys trying to be creative offensively and it burned us,” Ottawa coach Bryan Murray said. “And we’re turning it over and creating offense for them, and I’m not sure why.”
But wait until the Senators turn their clocks ahead to EDT. Or back to the Buffalo series.
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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