Kukla's Korner Hockey
Alfredsson, the best Ottawa player this post season, ends the hopes of Buffalo fans with a goal in OT.
Watch the press conference (will be available soon after the game).
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
“Buffalo is going to have to show me they can play a lot better,” said (Denis) Potvin. “Even in Game 4, I didn’t think Buffalo played that well. They weren’t skating very good, they were showing signs of what they showed in the first three games and they were still hesitant.
“I think they’re intimidated and I still think that Chris Neil’s hit on Chris Drury early in the season is still having an effect on Buffalo. I absolutely do.
“It appears to me that this series has been determined around the boards and Buffalo can’t come out with the puck.”
That’s why Potvin isn’t convinced the Senators will give up this lead.
from Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News,
“Only two NHL teams have ever done it,” I said. “But look at it this way. There have been 20 teams that came back to win after falling behind, 3-1, in a series. That means they’re 10 times more likely to pull it off after Game Four.”
“You know, I hadn’t thought about it that way,” Rex said, closing his notebook and shifting on his bar stool. “This team does have a way of making it hard on itself. They don’t seem to play their best until their backs are against the wall. Maybe they’re creating the ultimate crisis, to see how much we really believe.”
“Just think how tight the Senators will be if they lose Saturday,” I said. “Every media person in Canada will be talking about their history as choking dogs.”
from the Ottawa Citizen,
Luck, though, can cause huge swings in confidence and momentum in the course of a game, ultimately deciding the outcome.
“A lot of it’s luck, but a lot of the luck you cause for yourself,” Senators centre Spezza said.
“If you’re working hard and doing things right, usually you get those breaks. We probably weren’t our sharpest the other night, and that’s probably why they got the breaks and we didn’t.”
Head coach Bryan Murray was asked what percentage of a game would typically be accounted for by lucky breaks.
“Sometimes it’s a post,” Murray said. “Sometimes it’s a rebound you don’t get to. You get a bounce like Joe Corvo ... the puck bounces on Ryan Miller.
from The CBC,
Sean Luck said his wife, Renee Luck, who was wearing Buffalo Sabres colours and logos, was walking in front of him through the corridors of Scotiabank Place as they tried to leave the stadium with about six other Sabres fans.
“Two guys that were clearing the section to our right, as they were walking out, punched my wife four times — in the head,” Luck said. “They just seemed like they were pissed off because the Senators lost.”
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
This doesn’t make it a series.
But one more win by the Buffalo Sabres in this Eastern Conference final and, my oh my, the ghosts of blown playoff opportunities past will mischievously start whispering in the ears of the Ottawa Senators.
Suddenly, there will be a Patrick Lalime sighting. Or Jeff Friesen will be seen taking a tour on Parliament Hill.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
“We missed out on the party,” said Senators coach Bryan Murray. “It’s disappointing when you lose, especially at home.”...
“We knew there was going to be a bump in the road at some point or another,” said Senators centre Jason Spezza. “We’ve just got to stick with the plan.
“We’ve shown that anytime we play our game and get pucks in deep, we’re the better hockey team. We had a lot of chances late in the second and the third. We just weren’t able to get anything by (Sabres goalie Ryan Miller). That was just a good teaching game to show what we have to do to win.”
Buffalo hangs on for a 3-2 win and head home down 3-1.
Watch the post game presser.
From Paul Hunter at the Toronto Star,
To understand how the Senators have transformed from choking dogs to doggedly determined, it’s necessary to recall the calamitous events around Christmas.
At the time, no one could have known that the negative circumstances enveloping the club foreshadowed a likely trip to the Stanley Cup final. Such a prediction would have earned only scorn.
From John Branch at The New York Times,
The Snyders are still trying to shape and build the legacy of their son — most recently with an 18,000-mile trip to all 30 N.H.L. arenas — while coping with something that time and distance has not healed.
The lasting image from Dan Snyder’s death, in this town and across hockey’s sprawling landscape, is painted in forgiveness. Moments after her son died, LuAnn Snyder entered Heatley’s hospital room. He would recover from the broken jaw and the torn-apart knee, but perhaps never from the survivor guilt. She squelched his apologies by saying that he would always be forgiven.
But the more success Heatley has, the more likely his past will be recalled. The desires of Heatley and the Snyders appear, on the surface, to be in opposition: Heatley is trying to move on, the Snyders do not want anyone to forget.
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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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