Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the AP via TSN,
The Senators will face either the Buffalo Sabres or New York Rangers in the conference final with the winner earning a trip to the Stanley Cup finals. While Ottawa has been to the playoffs the last 10 years, it has never made it to the finals. The only time they made the conference finals, the Devils beat them in seven games en route to winning the Cup.
Whoever faces the Senators will go up against a team that’s getting great goaltending, outstanding play from its top line of Spezza, Alfredsson and Dany Heatley (two assists in Game 5) and all the little things from the role players.
more on the game tonight…
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
Now the Senators get a chance to shut down the Devils and their building tonight.
“That’d be nice, wouldn’t it?” said Senators defenceman Chris Phillips, who scored the overtime winner in Game 6 of the 2003 Eastern Conference final here to force Game 7 back in Ottawa. “That’s definitely our goal.”
The Devils will have home-ice advantage tonight and it will be interesting now to see if New Jersey coach and GM Lou Lamoriello, who fired Claude Julien as coach with just a couple of games to go in the regular season, will change his philosophy regarding the matching of lines. Lamoriello obviously thought he could do a better job behind the bench.
form the Ottawa Sun,
Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has a message for Toronto Maple Leafs fans.
Get on board with Ottawa’s drive for the Stanley Cup.
When the Anaheim Ducks eliminated the Vancouver Canucks with a 2-1 double overtime victory last night, the Senators became Canada’s lone hope for a Stanley Cup triumph this season….
“All you Leaf fans, all I can say is get on the bandwagon because we’re going all the way this year,” he said.
continued... and I wonder if Melnyk realizes he just provided bulletin board material for the Devils and Rangers or Sabres?
from the Hockey News,
• Sharks winger Mike Grier during a second intermission interview with TSN: “We’ve got to get back to playing hockey.”
Glad he cleared up his contractual obligations.
• At this point in the playoffs, whenever I hear a broadcaster use the words “regulation time” during a one-goal game in the late stages of the third period, I wish a small pox (thought not smallpox) on him.
• And, right on schedule, Robert Lang scores with 34 seconds left. Damn you, Chris Cuthbert!
more observations from both games last night…
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Martin Brodeur again had trouble stopping shots, but that didn’t stop the New Jersey Devils goalie from firing a wicked shot of his own.
The shot was aimed directly at Senators goalie Ray Emery, the guy whose team is now up 3-1 in the Eastern Conference semi-final series with a 3-2 win over the Devils last night.
“We finally proved if we shoot pucks at Emery, he doesn’t look too good,” said Brodeur. “Right now, nobody expects us to pull this off. We’re trying to create history, to a certain extent.”
from the CP via Metro News,
The two Ottawa offensive engines have gained the trust of coach Bryan Murray to play at times when defence is the team’s top priority.
“Last year, I wouldn’t have dared to do that,” Murray admitted.
It is appreciated by Heatley and Spezza.
“That’s nice to have from a coach,” Heatley said after practice on Tuesday. “We showed him that we can play safe and responsible.
“Me and Spez, we’re offensive guys. We came into the league as offensive guys and sometimes you get a rap as guys who take too many chances. But this year, we’ve learned to play a little tighter and he’s rewarded us for it.”
from the NY Post,
Goals are regularly waved off for “incidental contact,” but not this one against an otherwise impenetrable Martin Brodeur. Mike Fisher’s passing run onto Brodeur’s stick yanked the Devils’ goalie off balance, allowing Tom Preissing’s routine shot to break up a scoreless duel in the third period.
“In my mind, it was interference [with] the goaltender,” Lou Lamoriello said. “I don’t think it matters if it was intentional or not.
“All I know is he was thrown off balance. We don’t make excuses, but unfortunately, there was contact there.”
The NHL series manager wasn’t unsympathetic to Brodeur’s claim.
“That’s exactly what it was, incidental contact,” manager Charlie Banfield told The Post. “Brodeur had one foot inside the blue.
“We’re not saying it’s a penalty. It’s incidental contact. It’s a hockey play.”
from the Ottawa Sun,
Both coaches have matchups that are working for them.
The big question going into this series was if the Devils’ shutdown unit of John Madden, Jay Pandolfo and Sergei Brylin could stop the Senators’ top line of Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson.
The Senators have won that one going away.
Madden and Pandolfo have been on the ice for all but one of the Senators’ seven goals in this series (that was Dean McAmmond’s short-handed goal in Game 1).
from the New York Post,
That they were able to square the series on Jamie Langenbrunner’s double-OT breakaway Saturday was their escape, but the Devils will be playing with fire if they can’t slow down the Senators and dictate a more deliberate tempo, starting in Game 3 of this 1-1 second-round series here tonight.
“[High speed] plays more into their hands. We’re able to do it, but at the end of the day, we’re a patient team that sits back and waits for mistakes,” Martin Brodeur said. “We feel we’re able to skate with them, but we have to be in control.
“It’s all about not playing to the level of your opposition. You have to play to the level you’re comfortable with.”
fro Scott Morrison at CBC,
The question for the day: what do the Ottawa Senators and the San Jose Sharks have in common?
Both are harbouring deep regrets.
And if they aren’t, they should be. Here’s why:
Both won their second-round series openers on the road.
Both had a chance to take a stranglehold on their series in Game 2.
But both are returning home with a split.
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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