Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
That long-time hockey aficionado Britney Spears was at the Staples Center watching Saturday’s game, so maybe that’s why the Los Angeles Kings were channeling their own version of Oops I Did It Again.
How else to explain what is happening in the spring of 2014 with the never-say-die Kings, who have not led for a single moment in their best-of-Stanley Cup final against the New York Rangers, but are up 2-0 in the series thanks to Saturday’s 5-4 victory in double overtime.
For that matter, the Kings didn’t lead for a single minute of their seventh game victory over the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference final either – but they’re still playing, 23 games into the post-season and only two victories away from winning their second Stanley Cup in three seasons.
added 11:47am, from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Through two games of the Stanley Cup finals, two games and 155:01 of often chaotic hockey, the Rangers have not trailed for even a second.
And yet, as they prepare for Game 3 at the Garden on Monday night following Sunday’s cross-country flight, the Blueshirts are trailing 2-0 in the series.
Somehow it doesn’t seem fair.
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
The easiest thing you can do in a fast game played on ice is to second-guess the judgment calls of referees. There are bound to be mistakes. However, that is also the No. 1 reason why video replay will eventually be expanded — although defining exactly what can and can’t be reviewed will admittedly be no small task.
The league’s competition committee and general managers will each meet in the coming days in New York and the topic will have to be raised. It has been discussed a number of times in the past and you have to believe that a critical mass of support will eventually build to affect change.
The other three major professional sports leagues in North America have all expanded their video review processes in recent years and the quality (and quantity) of replays seems to improve with each passing season. It serves the interests of everyone to get calls right, especially on plays resulting in goals in games carrying as much meaning as these ones.
There is already plenty of space in the NHL rulebook devoted to protecting goalies — both inside and outside the crease.
Whether you like Don Cherry or not, you are entitled to your own opinion about the polarizing host of Coach’s Corner.
But what has always been a bit headscratching is the reaction of some Grapes Bashers to Cherry’s penchant of honouring police and soldiers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
What’s the issue here?
You don’t like it? You have a clicker. Use it.
The topic came to mind on Saturday night when Cherry paid tribute to the three RCMP officers who were gunned down in cold blood in Moncton on Wednesday: Const. Dave Ross, 32; Const. Fabrice Georges Gevaudan, 45; Const. Douglas James Larche, 40.
As much as we all love the sport, some things are more important than hockey. We once again we reminded of that courtesy of Coach’s Corner. At least that’s the opinion here, whether you agree or not.
-Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun.
Watch Coach's Corner from last night below. The talk regarding the RCMP officers starts at the 4:00 minute mark.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Bottle this, Mr. Bettman.
Then distribute it to the other 28 NHL clubs and the players union with the message, “Play this way and our game will be so popular we’ll be counting gate receipts every night in 100,000-seat football stadiums and the minimum salary will be $4 million.”
The Kings and Rangers, representing Hollywood and Broadway, respectively, have delivered unpredictable, rollicking entertainment for the opening two games of the 2014 Stanley Cup final.
That is, unless you find lead changes, goals, egregious mistakes, enormous saves, overtime thrills and punishing bodywork make for dull hockey.
Oh yeah, and the fastest two goals scored in a Cup final game in 67 years on Saturday night. That, too.
So much fun, folks, you’d swear the coaching staffs on both teams were banned from the building or lost in Saturday’s dense L.A. smog, leaving the players to just figure it out for themselves.
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
The fear is real now. It has to be.
For much of the night it appeared that the rumours about the imminent demise of the New York Rangers were unfounded. Then the Los Angeles Kings jolted back to life and signaled their intention to make this Stanley Cup final a quick one.
If you were scoring this like a prize fight, you might even have the Rangers ahead through two games stretched over nearly eight periods of hockey. However, that was of little solace for a team that can’t help but wonder if a golden opportunity is slipping through its fingers.
“We played five periods,” New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said after Saturday’s 5-4 double overtime loss. “Obviously, the difference is not very big. Even the last game the difference is not big. You just have to stick with it and believe in each other and what we’re doing.
“It’s good, it’s definitely good enough; it’s just one bounce here or there and it’s a different score here.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
They are the royal cockroaches of the NHL.
And we say that as a term of endearment.
You cannot kill the Los Angeles Kings. They will not go away.
from Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star,
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Lundqvist, Marty St. Louis, coach Alain Vigneault said basically the same things: That third goal. That third goal killed the Rangers, and if it didn’t injure their opportunity to tie the series after two games, it played a mitigating factor.
The Rangers led 2-0 after the first period, 4-2 after two periods, seemed on their way to victory against most teams but if anything is apparent this playoff season, the Los Angeles Kings are not most teams. It was the controversial third Los Angeles goal that had Lundqvist slowly fuming after the game.
A goal he believed there was goaltender interference on. He said that, the replays showed it, but there is no reviewing this kind of play under league bylaws. There should be a more definitive way to determine the legally of the score by Dwight King less than two minutes into the third period.
There should be a rule of some kind to explain what happened here — or what should have been called.
The great Lundqvist called it a “non call...There’s a big difference ... that goal ... it’s frustrating ... it’s the most important play of the game.”
more and watch the goal below and Lundqvist post-game...
That was most certainly intriguing. For the second consecutive game, the Los Angeles Kings surrendered a 2-0 lead; for the second consecutive game, the Kings forced overtime, overcoming both the Rangers' relentless attack and their own defensive mistakes (Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene did not have the best nights in their own end); and for the second consecutive game, the Los Angeles Kings persevered and prevailed, with Dustin Brown tipping Willie Mitchell's shot past Henrik Lundqvist 10:26 into the second OT period.
Los Angeles prevails 5-4, and now the series gets interesting: both teams will have to try to get their players to bed sooner than later as 9 AM Pacific Daylight Time flights are on the Sunday docket, and the teams will play three games in five nights, so we may see the kind of mental fatigue that played into tonight's score leak its way into regulation time action.
Justin Williams had 3 assists, Willie Mitchell had a goal and an assist, and Jonathan Quick stopped 34 shots for LA; Derik Brassard, Mats Zuccarello and Ryan McDonagh had 1-goal-and-1-assist games for the Rangers, Rick Nash had 8 shots, and Henrik Lundqvist (who may or may not have issued a Dustin Brown-style dive at one point--quite a bit of diving in this series!) stopped 39 for New York.
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Tags: derick+brassard, dustin+brown, henrik+lundqvist, jonathan+quick, justin+williams, los+angeles+kings, mats+zuccarello, matt+greene, new+york+rangers, rick+nash, ryan+mcdonagh, willie+mitchell
Hope you like Allice In Chains...
Scott Oake of Hockey Night in Canada with two Inside Hockey features.
First up is a feature on Drew Doughty and Jake Muzzzin and below a feature on Ryan McDonagh...
The puck drops at 7:30pm ET tonight and is on NBC, CBC and RDS.
The New York Rangers know they need to play a more intense game while the Los Angeles Kings want to avoid another slow start.
Not a must win game for the Rangers but a victory sure would stop the momentum the Kings would have heading to New York up 2-0.
I do believe we will see a much better Rangers team tonight, but I still have to go with the Kings.
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