Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Ottawa Sun,
The Senators had a taste of what they mean to a hockey town gone bananas after snagging a reservation in the Stanley Cup final with “King Daniel Of Ottawa” Alfredsson’s OT winner against the Sabres.
Most impressive to the players was the thousands of fans who welcomed them home at the airport.
Even speaking of it yesterday after practice, chills started running up and down their spines again.
Chris Kelly: “I’ve seen a lot of things, but nothing like coming off the plane at the airport. There must have been 5,000 people there. To see that many supporting us, especially on a long weekend when people are out of town, was really fun.”
from The Maven,
It’s difficult to imagine a team winning The Stanley Cup with the Human Sieve, Ray Emery, in goal. Yet, it could happen because the Ottawa defense is so strong…
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
Meet Dany Heatley, playmaker.
The Senators left winger, often facing withering defensive attention because of his goal-scoring skills, has turned into a set-up man.
He is the NHL’s leading playoff scorer with 21 points, moving ahead of linemate Jason Spezza with a one-goal, two-assist performance Saturday as the Senators earned their first trip to the Stanley Cup final.
from the Ottawa Business Journal,
The deeper the Sens go, it seems, the more people crowd into area sports bars and pubs and hold tailgate parties. Is there a monetary spin off to the local economy when an NHL franchise goes four rounds into the playoffs? If so, how much? And while Sens fans are encouraged to “Be Red,” is the club itself in the black?
Club management is tight-lipped on questions surrounding exact revenues, although experts peg the amount an NHL team earns per playoff home game somewhere between $1 million and $2 million, depending on the city, by adding up gate receipts, merchandise, parking and concessions and deducting expenses.
It’s likely higher still in Ottawa, since team owner Eugene Melnyk owns the building. Consider as well that ticket prices rise the deeper the team heads into the playoffs.
from The Puck Stops Here at Fox Sports,
All told, Ottawa has a few players who might have Hall of Fame careers, but none are sure things. Ottawa does not have a top goalie. In the pre-lockout days, this is a team that might have been a Stanley Cup contender, but it is not the kind of team that wins the Cup. In the post-lockout days when it is much harder to keep a successful team together, this is quite possibly what a Stanley Cup-winning team looks like.
The Senators are better than Carolina in 2006. However the question that matters is: Are they better than either Detroit or Anaheim this year?
‘‘It’s kind of surreal right now,’’ Alfredsson said of his first-ever foray into the NHL’s championship series.
It was fitting in too many ways that Alfredsson got the big goal, his 10th of the post-season, having been the goat on last year’s overtime winner by the Sabres when Jason Pominville walked around him and beat Ray Emery to end yet another disappointing playoffs for the Senators in the second round.
‘‘He’s taken a lot of heat over the years,’’ said Senators linemate Dany Heatley. ‘‘It’s great to see him score big goals. He deserves it. He’s a man on a mission.’‘
added 7:05pm, Bryan Murray, Daniel Alfreddsson and Ray Emery press transcript
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.
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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