Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Wayne Scanlan at CanWest News,
The Pittsburgh Penguins have an unusual pre-game theme song for a Stanley Cup hopeful -Mission Impossible.
The mission is starting to look just that, impossible, after a 2-1, seat-of-the-pants victory by the Ottawa Senators gave Ottawa a 3-1 lead Tuesday in their NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with the Penguins.
This is usually the point when hockey types start invoking the “stranglehold” word into a playoff series, sometimes carelessly.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
“I know there’s lots of commentary about the history, but this is a very different hockey team than I had last year, very different,” said Murray, who held an optional workout yesterday.
“We play different, we work different, we handle things better and we’ve talked about it at length. Especially, early in the year (when there was adversity).
“We paid a little price, at that time, but we’re past that. The history lesson has been well learned, I hope.
“We’re just going to be calm and play.”
Ottawa forward Patrick Eaves will not play in Game 4 of the Senators’ Eastern Conference quarter-final with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday (CBC, 7 p.m. ET).
The Ottawa winger didn’t skate in practice Monday, but his teammates said he was up and walking about after Sunday night’s game in Pittsburgh, a 4-2 win for the Senators.
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
Imagine Snow White and Cinderella are at the big ball, and all of a sudden, you look over and Snow White’s dunking Cinderella’s head in the punch bowl and Cinderella’s poking Snow White in the eye with her tiara.
It’s not a pretty sight and it’s shocking in its departure from the expected.
Which brings us to the Senators and their grunting, grinding 4-2 victory in Game 3 of their opening-round series with the Pittsburgh Penguins. It left Ottawa with a 2-1 series lead and quelled, for a moment, all talk of playoff failures past.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
But Senators coach Bryan Murray wasn’t complaining afterwards.
“I read all the articles when Chris Neil hit (the Sabres) Chris Drury (in February) and it was the same type of hit,” he said. “It was a kid trying to make contact. (Eaves) had his head down a little bit. He got driven with the shoulder, that’s part of hockey.
“I feel bad with (Eaves) getting hurt the way he did and I know you’ll write extensive articles about how tough Armstrong was and how that shouldn’t be allowed,’’ Murray continued, ‘‘but we felt the same way when Neil hit Drury.
‘‘It was a fair hit, a hockey hit and we live with it accordingly.”
Colby Armstrong of the Pens laid into the Sens Patrick Eaves. No penalty, no elbow, just one of those very hard hits.
Eaves probably had a quick second to see the hit coming, but could do nothing about it.
Eaves was taken off on a stretcher, and appeared to be coming to.
added 7:41pm, Report is concussion but no further damage.
added 7:52pm, from the CP via TSN,
Eaves was circling the Pittsburgh net midway through the second period when he took a stiff check to the head from Penguins forward Colby Armstrong, knocking him hard to the ice. While Eaves lay prone, Senators forward Dean McAmmond fought with Penguins forward Maxime Talbot.
Eaves was alert, and was shown speaking to doctors and flexing his hands as he was wheeled off the ice. CBC reported Eaves had movement in all his extremities, and was diagnosed with a concussion.
added 4:35am, video from HockeyFights.com:
from Erin Nicks at the Ottawa Sun,
If Sens fans are constantly reminded of the prominent role that Crosby holds as a Penguin, why shouldn’t they show their displeasure?
Furthermore, can someone explain how Crosby can be described as “mature” and “wise beyond his years,” but when criticism arrives in the simplest of forms en masse, he is referred to as a “boy?”
He isn’t a child, being pummelled by bullies sporting red, black and gold. He doesn’t require protection or leniency from critics, simply because he’s a gifted player under the age of 20.
To state so suggests a separate standard being created for the phenom—revered and worshipped, high atop a lofty perch free from negativity and critique. Something tells me that No. 87 would be the first person to vehemently disassociate from such a scenario.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun (Sunday edition),
Still, Ottawa coach Bryan Murray isn’t ready to panic and snapped at a reporter who suggested the Penguins might have confidence.
“They’ve won one game and didn’t touch the puck for two periods,” barked Murray….
Afterward, someone reminded Alfredsson that before Game 2 he declared that whoever scored a win yesterday would have the “momentum” going into Game 3 tonight.
“I lied,” said Alfredsson, who scored his first goal of the playoffs on a perfect tic-tac-toe passing play at 16:44 of the second to give the Senators a 2-1 lead, with Colby Armstrong off for nailing goalie Ray Emery.
added 8:52pm, from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
The beauty of the NHL playoffs isn’t just the fine line that separates winning from losing, but the way those lines intersect with each other and lead from one to the other like a map. A broken stick here, a goalpost struck there, a timely hit, a key save.
But sometimes those fine lines don’t just happen—they are created.
And so it was on Saturday afternoon. With the opening-round series between Ottawa and Pittsburgh feeling much like a rout after two periods of play, longtime Senator-killer Gary Roberts created that fine line for his new team, the Penguins.
from the Ottawa Citizen,
We know why we boo, but there still seems to be something definitely classless about jeering a nice, clean-cut superstar like Sidney Crosby, who will almost certainly become a Canadian icon before the 19-year-old reaches unrestricted free agency in 2012, and someday, even be named to the Order of Canada.
And to do it in so-called Hockey Country of all places.
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
Attention Sidney Crosby, Jordan Staal, Evgeni Malkin, Ryan Whitney, et al, school is now in session.
Lesson 1: These are the playoffs.
Lesson 2: Play like you did Wednesday night in a 6-3 humbling at the hands of the Ottawa Senators, and this course will be frightfully short.
“We didn’t bring our best,” said Crosby, the youngest scoring champ around whom so much revolves for this Penguins team. “I think we can look at ourselves and say if we threw everything at them and this was the result, then I think we’d be questioning ourselves.
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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