Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
The poor conditions Thursday night prompted Spezza to change into a new pair of skates before scoring two points in the Senators’ 5-2 victory over the Sabres.
“The rink is warm, the skates break down,” said Spezza. “(The ice) was terrible. It was slow in the Jersey series, but here it was like the puck didn’t even slide.
“You have to chip the puck in, which means there is less nice plays and more ugly ones.”
Not what the NHL would want for the Showcase Season, to be sure.
more on the Sabres and Sens…
Paul Kukla and I had a chance to speak briefly with Kelly Hrudey of Hockey Night in Canada. From his CBC television bio:
Hrudey became a full-time hockey analyst during the 1998/99 NHL season, after providing stellar commentary during the previous four playoff seasons alongside Ron MacLean. And during the 1999 NHL playoffs, Hrudey’s segment Behind the Mask became a regular feature on Hockey Night in Canada.
During his 15-year NHL career with the Islanders (six years), Kings (seven years) and Sharks (two years), the former Medicine Hat Tiger compiled a record of 271-265-88, with a goals against average of 3.43, with 16 shutouts.
The conversation can be downloaded here, or listened to on the player below. Our sincere appreciation to Mr. Hrudey for taking the time to chat with us about the Conference Finals now underway.
from Espo on the Playoffs at the National Post,
To tell you the truth, the way they played on Thursday night, it looks like this could be one of the shortest series of the season. Looks can be deceiving and I’m not predicting that kind of outcome. But you tell me, where do the Ottawa Senators look vulnerable? When you find something, you let me know.
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
What’s with all this booing?
Buffalo and Ottawa shouldn’t be Stanley Cup rivals; they should be twin cities.
Both exist because of the border — blue-collar Buffalo because it was so close to it, and national capital Ottawa because it wasn’t. Both have almost exactly the same regional population. Both have hockey teams that went bankrupt and were sold, rink included, for about the price of a new puck. Both are connected to canals. Both had significant political assassinations: President William McKinley in Buffalo and Father of Confederation Thomas D’Arcy McGee in Ottawa. Both cities have had exactly 58 mayors, Byron Brown holding the office in Buffalo and Larry O’Brien the new mayor in Ottawa.
And both, of course, can’t win the big ones.
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
Way back when he was just getting his feet wet in management, John Muckler, then the Buffalo Sabres newly-minted Director of Hockey Operations was following the playoffs on television when he noticed this guy named Dominik Hasek moping up for the Chicago Blackhawks in a one-sided Stanley Cup loss to Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Muckler was so impressed with Hasek’s competitive nature that he made certain that then Sabres general manager Gerry Meehan make a play for the goalie who was seemingly stuck behind some guy named Ed Belfour.
from the Ottawa Citizen,
Daniel Alfredsson’s first period power-play goal came after Kalinin had taken a hooking penalty, while trying to prevent a second Fisher breakaway.
“It was disappointing,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. “We were not very good with the puck and he was one of them. I don’t have to get in his face. Everybody saw it. We won as a team and lost as a team all year.”
Again, Kalinin stands out on a rough night all around. The official giveaway count was Sabres 19, Senators 8.
“Overall, five-on-five, we weren’t too bad,” said Jason Pominville.
“But we have to improve the turnovers and the special teams.”
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
The Sens only allowed 20 Sabre volleys to be directed at Emery last night, an extraordinarily low total from the NHL’s highest scoring team, and only 10 of those came after Buffalo erased an early 2-0 lead with a goal off the stick of low-scoring defenceman Toni Lydman in the game’s 29th minute that tied the game 2-2.
That, you could argue, was the most important result of last night’s 5-2 Ottawa victory, that an early lead was surrendered and yet the Sens didn’t cave. In the opener of a second-round series between the clubs last year, after all, favoured Ottawa blew a big lead and lost a 7-6 overtime decision from which it really never recovered.
from the Ottawa Sun,
The Senators have accomplished one goal by stealing a game here, but they can take a commanding 2-0 lead home with a victory in Game 2 tomorrow night.
Spezza said the Senators’ next goal is to break an 0-8 playoff record after winning Game 1.
“Now we have a chance to steal two before we go home,” said Spezza. “We just have to get rid of those second-game blues. I know we’re going to talk about that all day (today), so maybe we can finally just shake it.
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
Each of the NHL’s final four teams is battling a burden, fighting a perception, attempting to overcome bad karma that to some extent can add to the otherwise significant pressure.
t’s one more reason that when the Sabres, Senators, Ducks or Red Wings gather on the ice with the Stanley Cup and pose for the celebratory picture, they will have passed the most testing playoff process in sports.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
“I want to beat Lindy Ruff. He wants to beat me. Our players want to beat their players.
“You have to be competitive people. You have to be willing to battle at all levels to be successful. I’m too old to hate people at this point unless they write bad stuff about me. I just think we’ve got to do everything we can do to get an edge to win the series and I think that’s what both teams will try to do.”
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org