Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
The Ducks hammered the Senators, knocked them down, hacked them, pounded them.
The Senators absorbed it all and, to their credit, gave some back, but were clearly overmatched in the Ducks’ 3-2 win.
This is what was expected, right?
Nothing pretty here among the palm trees, no cosmetic enhancements for which L.A. is famous, just hard slogging for the Senators against a big, hard-working team.
The Senators might be perceived as the faster of the two teams, but there were good stretches when they were outplayed at even strength last night by the Western Conference champions
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
The biggest question will be how the Senators respond to what we can only assume will be more of the same physical play from the big, fast and strong Ducks….
The Senators were also guilty of egregious giveaways—the official scorers had the Senators with 14 compared to just five for the Ducks.
“Probably a combination of being off for nine days and just trying to do too much,” Mike Comrie said of the uncharacteristically sloppy play. “I think we played in spurts, but obviously, it wasn’t enough. In the playoffs, you have to have a short memory and we’ll go over video. We’ll look at what we did and we’ll move on.”
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
But there is still that nagging doubt, even though it’s a lot smaller than it used to be, concerning the Senators’ ability to get up off the canvas and deliver a knockout blow.
In every other area, though, they’re the superior team.
There are those who still keep insisting that goaltender Ray Emery is suspect. But there’s almost nothing to choose between the goals-against averages of Emery and Jean-Sebastien Giguere, and unlike Giguere, Emery actually makes some saves.
Giguere, with his inflated padding, simply slides back and forth across the crease like a goalie in a table hockey game and by virtue of his monstrous equipment, leaves the shooter with no view of the net. He’s not a goalie; he’s a human eclipse.
from Terry Jones at the Edmonton Sun,
Either 73-year-old John Muckler has gone senile or his mind has been messed by getting back to the Stanley Cup for the first time in 17 years.
Muckler compared the 2007 Ottawa Senators to the 1990 Edmonton Oilers here yesterday. And if that didn’t do it, he called Daniel Alfredsson the equal of Mark Messier as a leader.
The Oilers won their fifth Stanley Cup in 1990. Muckler was the head coach.
Now he’s GM of the Senators, a team that - at least for the next 10 days or so - has yet to win anything.
from the Vancouver Province,
You can go a mile in any direction of the Honda Center—the Ducks’ home rink—and you’re hard-pressed to find any evidence of the Stanley Cup final.
You can’t go five feet in Ottawa without being reminded the Senators are in that same final.
So it’s a different experience—as different as Queen Elizabeth and Queen Latifah—which might explain why Ducks GM Brian Burke was strangely subdued on Sunday. The table was set for an epic Burke rant and, under different circumstances, he would have obliged the assembled media by howling about the forces conspiring against his team and the lack of respect being shown the Ducks.
But this time, he didn’t have to because just about everyone in the hockey world is doing it for him.
“It’s a Canada-U.S. thing,” Burke said. “A lot of the Canadian media are going to pick the Canadian team. “That’s fine. We’re content to be the underdog in this.”
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
John Ziegler is 73 now, semi-retired in Stuart, Fla., and nearly 17 years removed from that December day in 1990 when it was his task, as president of the National Hockey League, to announce that expansion franchises had been awarded to Tampa Bay and Ottawa.
To many, the two were the shakiest of 30 cities that had expressed interest. To the NHL, however, they were the only two willing to put down the $50-million (U.S.) expansion fee without seeking special terms, no questions asked.
Nor, it turned out, did the NHL ask many questions.
from the New York Times,
He cares little that the earnest world of hockey has trouble looking past his various tattoos and colorful wardrobe, or the fact that he missed a flight to a playoff game after crashing his Hummer, or the fact that he drives a Hummer at all in this most Chevrolet of sports.
All of that has overshadowed the not-so-small detail that Emery, 24, has led the Ottawa Senators to the Stanley Cup finals in his first season as a full-time starter. The best-of-seven Cup series between Ottawa and the Ducks opens Monday in Anaheim, Calif.
“I really could care less what people say or think,” Emery said. “I like winning and I like playing the game. It’s exciting for me and the team and all my family and friends who are watching. That’s all I care about.”
from the CP via Yahoo,
The team is representing the nation’s capital in the Stanley Cup final, but there will be fans all across the country cheering against them during Monday night’s series opener.
Just ask Michael Fox, a self-described “big-time” Toronto Maple Leafs fan who said he’ll be rooting for the Ducks all the way.
“If it were the Leafs in the final, they’d be cheering against us right to the bitter end,” he said of Senators fans while lunching at Wayne Gretzky’s bar in Toronto. “They’d probably show up at the game and cheer against us just out of spite, so I have my reasons to cheer for the Ducks.”
Fox said he doesn’t buy into the notion of the Sens as “Canada’s team.”
from Marcia C. Smith of the OC Register,
Hockey – follow us closely – is generally played in the less tanned regions of the world where people drink Molson, hunt moose and survive inhumane sub-70-degree winters that make roads, sidewalks and the surfaces of frozen-over ponds dangerously slippery and cold.
Ottawa, the capital of Canada, has embraced hockey, along with Celine Dion worship, even though the Senators have been an NHL franchise since only 1992….
Since 1993, the Anaheim Ducks have forsaken the Southern California beach culture to convert Orange County into parka-wearing fans of this boxing-on-blades sport.
They play atop a 1¼-inch sheet of man-made ice cooled to 18 degrees, inside a giant marble and glass icebox formerly named The Pond.
Despite their webbed feet, the Ducks skate on blades of steel sharp enough to cut a ripe tomato. They wield long, slender sticks made of graphite and wood.
from Kevin Dupont at MSNBC,
Like I say, pretty country, full of nice folks, and there’s a lot to like about the Ottawa Senators, this year’s Canadian entry in the Stanley Cup finals.
I just happen to like the Ducks more — like 4 games to 2 more. That’s right, Ducks in six games, leaving the USA with a somewhat unholy trinity of Lightning, Hurricanes and Ducks as the NHL’s last three Cup champions.
You know, if the Panthers finish off with a grand slam in the spring of ‘08, it might be time to consider selling one of the six remaining Canadian franchises and shipping it south.
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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