Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
The Blackhawks have gone back to riding Keith hard in these playoffs because of four multiple-overtime games and a thin blue line, which was thinned further when Michal Rozsival went down with an ankle injury in the second round.
Keith leads all NHL skaters in total ice time at 509 minutes and 13 seconds. He has played 66 minutes and 42 seconds more than the next closest man, the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Victor Hedman, even though he has played 16 games and Hedman has played 19.
He leads all NHL skaters in average ice time at 31 minutes and 49 seconds. He is averaging four minutes and 42 seconds more than anyone else who has played more than six games....
“He’s kind of a freak as far as his metabolism, his conditioning level,” said Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville. “I think the more he plays, the more efficient, the more he gets going. Certain guys genetically, aerobically or anaerobically, they can sustain it. He keeps doing it.”
from Jeff Miller of the OC Register,
Saturday? They have only everything on the line, or, as forward Patrick Maroon said, “It’s a best-of-1 now.”
Ducks fans, your team can talk all it wants about the comfort of having Game 7 at home, and the Ducks started reassuring themselves and anyone would listen of that fact immediately after this game was mercifully over.
But, honestly, I don’t think they can count on it helping them one bit, history supporting that notion. Home ice might even be a burden, particularly if they fall behind and the anxiety really starts to mount.
A loss Saturday would make it three consecutive playoffs in which the Ducks were eliminated in a Game 7 defeat at home.
No, Honda Center has not been the place for this team to rescue its season.
It also would mark three consecutive playoffs in which the Ducks were eliminated after leading the series in games, 3-2.
Consider that teams that win Game 5 of a series that was tied 2-2 historically go on to claim the series nearly 80 percent of the time. The Ducks, instead, are staring at the most hollow percentage of all – 0 – as in 0 for 3.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
It has always fascinated this writer, why it is that at the biggest moments in sport, some players continually rise to the top. How the true greats raise their level with the importance of the game, year after year and huge game after huge game.
How Duncan Keith, who is the best player on the ice many times over the course of a National Hockey League season, never, ever fails to contend for that honour in a game like the one they played in Chicago last night. Or how Jonathan Toews can be well known as the most dangerous Blackhawk when the chips are down, yet still he scores meaningful goals with the goalie pulled and everybody watching him.
On Wednesday, in a Game 6 that Chicago absolutely had to have, they went out and took it. Their best players were, as the cliché goes, their best players. The champs fought back, and won 5-2, sending this epic series back to Anaheim, once and for all.
from Lance Pugmire of the LA Times,
"We shot ourselves in the foot tonight," Ducks forward Patrick Maroon said. "That's why it's best-of-seven. We've got to be ready … new day, new start.
"This is what we played 82 games for, what we worked our butts off for — to have home-ice advantage in the playoffs. It's a best-of-one now."
The Blackhawks forced the decisive showdown by blitzing the Ducks for three goals in a 3-minute 45-second span of the second period, with Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith contributing an assist on each score.
The 3-0 chokehold led to the visitors' first regulation loss in their 15th playoff game.
"We lost our composure for the first time, I thought, in the playoffs," Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "They scored the one goal [and] it was like, 'Aah, what's going on?' We started scrambling all over. They got the momentum. We lost our composure."
from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times,
A crazy, unpredictable series is headed for its logical conclusion, whatever that is.
The Blackhawks and the Ducks will meet Saturday in Game 7 of the Western Conference final, raising the question that has been uttered over and over again for the better part of two weeks.
Who really knows how this series will be settled? The answer is the same as it was before Game 1: No one, that’s who.
“When you get to this point, everybody says (that in) Game 7 anything can happen,’’ Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. “I think that’s what we truly believe.’’
Below, watch game 6 highlights...
From the NHL:
GAME 7 OF THE 2015 WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL TO BE BROADCAST ON NBC IN THE U.S.
NEW YORK (May 28, 2015) – The National Hockey League today announced that Game 7 of 2015 Western Conference Final between the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks will be broadcast on NBC in the U.S. This is an update to the schedule as it was previously announced the game would be televised on NBCSN.
In Canada, the game will be televised on CBC and TVA Sports.
The game will start at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
Both the Western and Eastern Conference Final series will go to 7th games after the Chicago Blackhawks held off a late push by the Anaheim Ducks and defeated Anaheim 5-2.
The teams will battle on Saturday night in Anaheim, battling for a Stanley Cup Final berth, and of Duncan Keith's 3 assists, this one may have been the prettiest...
But these goals counted equally:
Game 6 is in Chicago tonight with puck drop just after 8:00pm ET and is on NBCSN, CBC and TVA.
You know the storyline, Ducks win they move on to the Stanley Cup Final while the Blackhawks will try to force game 7 in Anaheim on Saturday night.
Feel free to discuss the game.
FYI, game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals is Friday night so tomorrow is a hockey-free day.
Stamford, Conn. – May 27, 2015 – NBC Sports Group announced today the launch of NBC Sports Films, a new initiative that will leverage NBC Olympics’ Emmy Award-winning storytelling heritage and personnel to produce sports documentaries that will air across NBC Sports Group’s multiple platforms. NBC Sports Films will annually produce multiple long-form projects to be presented across NBC, NBCSN, NBC Sports Regional Networks and NBC Sports Digital.
NBC Sports Films’ first project, Center of Attention: The Unreal Life of Derek Sanderson, a one-hour documentary that chronicles the remarkable life of former NHL star and two-time Stanley Cup Champion Derek Sanderson, will premiere on NBCSN on Monday, June 8, following Game 3 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.
“Storytelling has always been a prominent component of NBC Sports’ coverage of signature events. We are excited to expand those efforts and further serve our audience by providing additional long-form content across all NBC Sports Group platforms,” said Mark Levy, Senior Vice President, Original Productions and Creative, NBC Sports Group. “Our debut film, Center of Attention, is a compelling portrait of the extraordinary life of Derek Sanderson, who has lived the highest of highs and the most challenging lows a life in the spotlight can produce.”
from Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea,
DeBoer will likely have a heavier hand than his predecessor. One of the central reasons that the Sharks and McLellan parted ways on April 20 was that management wasn’t always happy with McLellan giving his veteran or established players extended ice time, despite prolonged slumps or perceived weak efforts. That should change under DeBoer, who has never been afraid to send messages through reduced ice time or the occasional healthy scratching.
According to a Sharks source, the club likes the fact that DeBoer will make “tough decisions, but he’s also creative and innovative.”
DeBoer is also known as a strong puck possession coach, as more and more teams gravitate toward those types of so-called advanced metrics. The Sharks have typically been strong in that area, although they finished just 13th in the league in possession (as measured by shot attempts) in 2014-15.
In his press conference on April 20, Wilson said: “We’re trying to acquire players that are puck possession players, because that’s the style of game we believe in. You can see where we’re going and where we think the game is going. … We want to play a possession game.”
DeBoer has shown he can do that.
via NBC Sports Group press release....
Through the first nine games of the Conference Finals (May 24), NBC Sports Group’s coverage has averaged 1.906 million viewers, up 10% vs. viewership of the first nine games of the 2014 Conference Finals (1.739 million).
Saturday night’s Game 4 on NBC between the Ducks and the Blackhawks (8 p.m.-12:15 a.m. ET), which was decided in double overtime, delivered a 1.78 rating and averaged 2.801 million viewers, ranking as the highest-rated and most-watched game of the 2015 playoffs to date. Viewership peaked in the 11:30 p.m. ET quarter hour, averaging nearly 4.7 million viewers (4.655).
In addition, the game marked the highest-rated Conference Final matchup in two years, since the deciding Game 5 of the 2013 Western Conference Final between the Blackhawks and Kings (2.89). NBC led the night among the Big 4 networks in adults 18-49, adults 18-34, adults 25-54 and most other key demos.
Locally, NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the Lightning-Rangers Eastern Conference Final has produced four of the Top 5 NHL ratings ever on NBC or NBCSN in the Tampa Bay market, highlighted by a record 8.65 rating in Game 2 on NBCSN. Through six games, the Tampa Bay market has averaged a 7.7 local rating, up 48% vs. the average rating in the Tampa Bay market for the 2011 Eastern Conference Final (5.2), which featured the Lightning and Bruins.
NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the Ducks-Blackhawks Western Conference Final has averaged a 2.8 rating in the Los Angeles market through five games, including the highest-rated Ducks game ever on NBCSN (Game 2; 3.1) and the highest-rated Ducks game on NBC since Game 5 of the 2007 Stanley Cup Final (Game 4; 3.2).
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.
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