Kukla's Korner Hockey
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from Joe Smith of Lightning Strikes,
Much has been made about the reslience of the battle-tested Rangers, who are 15-3 in elimination games since 2012, and 7-0 in Game 7s at home.
"It seems like they always step up at the right moment and everyone is on their game when they need it the most," said D Anton Stralman, a former Ranger.
But as the Lightning enters tomorrow's Game 7 against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden, it enters with confidence having "been there" before, too, learning a lot from its Game 7 victory over Detroit in the first round.
"When you have success in them, we went to Game 7 and won, and right away, you just know you can do it," coach Jon Cooper said. "Knowing you're under the highest boarding pressure of situations when the season can potentially end, or you can go on and play for the Stanley Cup. Our guys have responded. We had success and found a way to win. I think that's what really pushed us in the Montreal series, and helped us in the Rangers series. We know we can do this. It's just a matter of have to do it again in a short couple weeks."
D Victor Hedman said that Game 7 against Detroit was "huge" for this young team, realizing how it has to play to be successful with its back against the wall.
from Scott Feschuk of Sportsnet,
“You don’t win without good people, and we’re going to have good people.”
Surely it was a surreal experience for current Leafs players to listen to Babcock’s remarks. He rarely spoke more than a couple dozen words before circling back to his key message: The Leafs, as currently constituted, bite the big one. He really rubbed their faces in it: “Long journey . . . a hard spot . . . there’s pain coming . . . massive, massive challenge.” One can only imagine what players were thinking.
Dion Phaneuf: “I better get to the gym!”
Nazem Kadri: “I better start packing my bags!”
Phil Kessel: “Man, this hammock is super comfy!”
from Sean McIndoe of Grantland,
Heading into Game 6 of the Western Conference final last night, the Anaheim Ducks held a 3-2 series lead, making it impossible not to watch the game without thinking that this might be the end of the Blackhawks.
Not the end of the Blackhawks’ 2015 season, mind you. That wasn’t the source of the drama. It was the realization that had the Ducks eliminated Chicago on Wednesday, they would be finishing off the Hawks for years to come. Finishing off the team that has spent the past seven years winning two Cups, going to five conference finals, and generally being just about the closest thing the league has seen to a dynasty in the salary-cap era.
Those Blackhawks are a brilliantly constructed team, but their pending cap crunch has been an inescapable subplot to their postseason. The question, never quite front and center but always just under the surface, has followed them all spring: Is this finally their last run? Last night, with the team facing elimination for the first time this year, everything that happened carried the weighty possibility that we were seeing something special for the last time.
NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League today announced the schedule of dates for the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, which will begin on Wednesday, June 3.
The Stanley Cup Final will match the winner of the Eastern Conference Final, either the New York Rangers or Tampa Bay Lightning, against the winner of the Western Conference Final between the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks. Both best-of-seven series are tied, 3-3.
Home Team in Caps
CHICAGO 5, Anaheim 2 – series tied 3-3
BLACKHAWKS HOLD OFF DUCKS, FORCE GAME 7 ON SATURDAY
The Blackhawks notched three goals in a 3:45 span of the second period – on three straight shots – to break open a scoreless deadlock and force a Game 7 in the Western Conference Final.
* The Blackhawks moved within one victory of their 13th all-time appearance in the Stanley Cup Final and third in the past six seasons (also 2010 and 2013).
via Dave Hodge of TSN,
Next season, it'll be called a coach's challenge, and it is long overdue. Last night, it was a goalie's howl of protest, and it was of no use. I refer to Corey Crawford's legitimate complaint on Anaheim's second goal. A shot by Clayton Stoner that Crawford might have stopped beat the Chicago goalie because his catching glove was jarred by the aggressive moving screen of Ducks' forward Jacob Silfverberg.
It was undoubtedly hard for the referees to notice the contact, especially as it did not involve Crawford's body, but rather his equipment. Crawford could yell all he wanted and all he could get was sympathy. The coach's challenge would have made for an easy correction. Joel Quenneville, heeding Crawford's signal, would have challenged the goal based on goaltender interference and the Ducks' goal would have been wiped out. Lest you differ on that interpretation, no contact is allowed on Crawford as he sets up to make a save, never mind that he is reaching past the front edge of the crease, and never mind that Silfverberg isn't in the blue paint. Replay clearly showed a goal that shouldn't have counted.
Thumbs up when a rule finally exists that can get it right.
Watch the goal below...
from Jared Clinton of The Hockey News,
Alexander Radulov, the former Nashville Predator and current captain of the KHL’s CSKA Moscow, could be on his way back to the NHL in time for the 2016-17 season.
According to a report from Russian website Champion.at, Radulov’s agent, Yuri Nikolaev, said that not only would Radulov be eligible to return to the NHL in 2016-17 but that he has already been contacted by Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy regarding the possibility of coming back to North America.
“Who was his coach (in the QMJHL?)” Nikolaev told Champion.at. “Patrick Roy, who now coaches Colorado. So, Roy phoned (Radulov) and says that he is waiting for the next season. Yes, (Radulov) can leave after next season.”
That is, indeed, the connection for Radulov and Roy, as he coached the Russian winger during his tenure in the QMJHL with the Quebec Remparts.
from Jason Gregor of the Edmonton Journal,
Winning was all Taylor Hall knew prior to joining the Edmonton Oilers.
He won the under-18 world hockey championship with Canada in 2008 and back-to-back Memorial Cups (including MVP honours) with the Windsor Spitfires in 2009-10.
But over the past five seasons, no one in the National Hockey League has experienced more losing than Hall and his Oilers teammate Jordan Eberle.
That’s why the recent world championship was such a special treat for Hall and Eberle, who not only won the gold medal, but also had the pleasure of playing on a line with Sidney Crosby and worked with new Oilers coach Todd McLellan. Hall scored the most even-strength goals in the tournament and was named an all-star.
“You kind of forget how fun it is to be a part of a group of guys who win and have results,” Hall said. “And it’s not an insult to anyone in the (Oilers) organization or anything, but it just didn’t happen for us the past five years.
“To end the season like that and to go into the summer feeling good not only about yourself, but what you can bring to a team, is a really good feeling.”
from of Hallie Cotnam and Jamie Long of CBC,
Bryan Murray expects next season to be his last as general manager of the Ottawa Senators, he told the CBC's Hallie Cotnam during a one-on-one interview.
Murray took a short break from planning for June's NHL draft to talk about his health and future as he continues chemotherapy treatment for Stage 4 colon cancer.
"I'm not as energized as I once was, but age has a little to do with that as well as the sickness," said Murray, who publicly announced his battle last November.
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