Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Scott Burnside at ESPN,
A championship like this one answers many questions.
Can a team still succeed in the new NHL playing old-fashioned, face-against-the-glass hockey? Yes. Provided you throw more than a healthy does of talent and speed into the stew. This win isn’t a step back for the league, but it is an eye-opener of sorts.
from David Naylor of the Globe and Mail,
The Ottawa Senators believe that defence wins championships.
In the moments after they lost 6-2 in the fifth game of the National Hockey League championship series last night, the Senators isolated Anaheim’s ability to prevent scoring chances throughout the series as the reason the Stanley Cup is going to California.
“They were more defensive than we thought they were,” Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson said. “We worked hard, but we gave them too many easy goals in this series and they were better defensively.”
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Their Stanley Cup dreams shattered, the Senators sat slumped on their bench in stunned silence in the final moments last night.
This was the longest trip the Senators have taken in the playoffs but it turned out to be a monumental setback as the Anaheim Ducks brought home Lord Stanley’s coveted mug with a 6-2 victory in Game 5.
All the Senators could do was shake hands and head for the dressing room to pack up for the long trip back to Ottawa Thursday as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman handed the Cup to Ducks’ captain Scott Niedermayer with the crowd on its feet.
For some reason, the NBC did not televise the singing of the national anthems tonight. Which was a shame, because the Anaheim crowd contributed a heartfelt verse to the American anthem, something most often seen with Canadian crowds.
Well done, Anaheim!
Note: Watch the Post-Game Press Conference, shortly after the game.
*this post will remain at the top of the page temporarily. New posts to be added below.
Q. Coach, do you have the Ducks right where you want them, back in Anaheim down 3-1?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: We have to win a game here if we have a chance in this series. At any rate, we have to win a game here. That’s the position we’ve put ourselves in after Game 1 and 2 and so tonight is an opportunity.
Q. What do you have to do tonight that’s different? Or just really play like you did in period one of -
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: That’s the key, play 60 minutes. I’m not sure what happened in second period. We had breakdowns, gave up odd-man opportunities, two of them, and they took advantage of it. And I think that’s the thing that we try to impress upon our players more than anything, is that play the way you’re supposed to play, play your position, and if they beat you, it will be because of good play rather than plays that we’ve allowed them to make.
And I think all the goals the other night were exactly that reasoning.
from Scotty Bowman at NBC Sports,
The Ducks are one win from the Stanley Cup. When you get down to needing one to win, it’s all the outside stuff that you need to shut out. You’ve got a lot of good-meaning people, friends and relatives who are planning the Stanley Cup party, but they’re not the ones on the ice. So it works two ways, it puts pressure, but it provides motivation for them to finish it
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
The Senators might have won at least three games in a row on 11 separate occasions this year, but the sticking point in doing it a 12th time is none of those three-game streaks were against the Anaheim Ducks.
Also working against the Senators digging out of a 3-1 hole in the Stanley Cup final—it would be only the second time a team has done it—is, well, the Senators are the other team.
They are exactly where they deserve to be in this Stanley Cup final because they have managed to play but four good periods in four games and when you are playing in June, that ratio means your summer will be spent lowering your handicap and wondering what if, not raising the Stanley Cup and relishing what was.
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
But nowhere is Don Metz to be found.
Metz, of course, would be 91 now if he were still playing, but if some modern equivalent of the sleek and slim winger from Wilcox, Saskatchewan, could lace them up for Game 5, there might be a chance.
Don Metz, history will show, did not dress for the first three games of the 1942 Stanley Cup final. His Toronto Maple Leafs were down three games to none against the powerful Detroit Red Wings and seemed almost certain to be swept in four straight.
Toronto goaltender Turk Broda had lost all confidence, saying the Wings were “unbeatable — they’re too hot.”
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
There likely will be a celebration at city hall some time in the next week or so to honour the Senators for winning the Eastern Conference championship, but is that really a reason to whoop it up?
These aren’t the Edmonton Oilers, who stole the hearts of the country with their heroic run last spring and forced the Carolina Hurricanes to a seventh game in the final.
If, as expected, the Anaheim Ducks win the opportunity to parade the Stanley Cup through Disneyland, the Senators will spend the summer wondering what went wrong and where they need to improve.
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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