Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
That’s coach Michel Therrien’s optimistic view as the Canadiens look to snap a seven-game losing streak against the Tampa Bay Lightning when the teams meet in Game 3 of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series Wednesday night at Amalie Arena.
The Lightning swept the five-game, regular-season season series against the Canadiens and won the first two playoff games at the Bell Centre. That puts the Canadiens in a must-win situation Wednesday night, but the players appeared upbeat after a fast-paced but short workout Tuesday afternoon.
Therrien said the confident attitude was genuine and was based on the team’s play in the 2-1 double- overtime loss in Game 1 and a strong performance in the first period of Game 2.
“We’ve played well 5-on-5,” said Therrien, who gave his troops a lecture on the importance of staying disciplined after allowing four power-play goals in the 6-2 Game 2 loss. “The guys came in today and they were upbeat and they know where we have to be better. We have to make some adjustments on the special teams, but this group has been through some tough times through the course of the season and they react the right way all the time.”
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
The Rangers are going to dance — and maybe that’s the operative word — with the ones who brung ’em to the league’s best record. They’re not going to become a half-court team now. But they’re going to need more. They’re not going to win 11 more games wringing blood out of a stone.
Nash needs to score. St. Louis, brought here at a great cost to be a game-breaking scorer, needs to finish before he’s finished. Keith Yandle, also brought here at great cost, can’t possibly continue to play as indecisively and ineffectively as he has in this series.
This is the player for whom the Rangers sacrificed a first-rounder and their top prospect? It can’t be. It simply cannot be.
Derek Stepan, whose numbers mean he’s in for $6 million next year, has to find the way to make a consistent impact in the offensive zone. He needs to win pucks. Ryan McDonagh hasn’t come close to the level of excellence expected of him. The captain needs to use his legs to create some space for himself.
And Vigneault himself has to be willing to adjust to the moment. Specifically, the coach needs to get Dominic Moore, one of the select few Blueshirts whose game is built for the grind of the playoffs, into a top-nine assignment, and maybe onto the power play.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
The poise, patience and discipline that had become the Ducks' hallmark in their sweep of Winnipeg and their first two victories over the Flames deserted them on Tuesday. The Flames pushed them, and for the first time in this series—for the first time in seven playoffs games this spring — the Ducks didn't push back.
Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, the voice of calm this season and in the postseason, maintained his cool after the game, setting a tone of reflection backed by a continued belief in their strengths, though they didn't show all of those strengths Tuesday.
"They haven't quit all year. We didn't expect that," Getzlaf said of the Flames. "I didn't think we played our best game tonight. We made some errors that were uncharacteristic, but it's bound to happen. You're in the playoffs. It's going to happen."
But it hadn't happened until Tuesday for the Ducks. They had almost forgotten what it felt like to lose, and it didn't feel good. It stung, and it should have, after losing with so little time left.
"We've just got to win the next one," Andersen said. "That's what we want to do right now."
from Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune,
The Wild felt quietly confident about its chances this series. Instead, Act III has been more of the same, more of the Blackhawks imposing their will on a team that can’t take that next step without first clearing this enormous hurdle.
And here’s something sobering for the organization as it ponders how to conquer the Hawks:
Jonathan Toews just turned 27 years old.
Patrick Kane is 26.
Brandon Saad is 22.
Teuvo Teravainen is only 20.
In other words, the Hawks aren’t going anywhere any time soon.
The Wild counters with Thomas Vanek, who skates as if he’s 45.
“Someone asked me when I’m going to retire, and I said, ‘Retire from what?’”
“No, I’m having fun. As long as I’m having fun, that’s the name of the game. If I’m not having fun, then you’ll see it on Coach’s Corner. But I can hardly wait to get on Coach’s Corner. It hasn’t got blasé. I’m still jumpin’.”
-Don Cherry via David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail where you can read more on Don Cherry.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Just when you thought it was over; just when you thought there were no miracles left for the Calgary Flames; just when you thought another officiating controversy possibly couldn’t go against them, just then, they did it again.
On a night when the Flames managed just nine shots in the first two periods and were back on their heels most of the night, they pulled another rabbit out the hat Tuesday night before a loud, loyal Scotiabank Saddledome crowd that it used to seeing wild, unexpected finishes.
Michael Backlund scored the first playoff goal of his NHL career 4:24 into overtime to give the Flames a stunning 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the visiting Anaheim Ducks, breathing new life into their best-of-seven Pacific Division final.
“There are no words anymore to describe this group,” said Flames’ coach Bob Hartley. “They never quit. They keep believing.
“Once again, it was a great show of character and a great show of grit.”
Game highlights are below...
from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,
“Obviously, we know what we’re up against right now,” coach Mike Yeo said after tonight’s 1-0 loss to the Blackhawks.
“Disappointed because we put what, in a lot of ways, we needed to in this game. We fell a little bit short but I thought our guys did a lot of good things. We didn’t get the result that I think we deserved tonight.
“We know what we’re up against, so I’m not going to get up here right now and give a big rah-rah speech. We’ve got to win a game. It’s as simple as that. In all honestly, I’ve never been here before. It’s kind of unfamiliar territory. I guess what you do is try to draw upon previous experiences even though it’s not the same. The only thing I can say is we came back from the dead once before this season, and the only way we did that was with character and belief. That’s what we need right now. The other part of that equation, the reason why we were able to make the playoffs when we weren’t supposed make the playoffs is we were able to look at it one game at a time and that’s obviously what we have to do here, too.”
The Wild has been down 0-3 twice before and swept in one of those. The Blackhawks have been up 3-0 once in the Kane-Toews era and swept the Sharks in that 2010 series.
How do the Wild brush away the frustration and the dejection and all the negative thoughts?
“That’s what we’ll ponder tonight and get ready for [Wednesday],” Yeo said. “I know there’s a lot of character in this room. We’re up against something very tough. It’s not like we’re [down] 3-0 against not a very good hockey team and I know what to expect from them, but like I said, two things, character and belief. There will be no feeling sorry for ourselves. Obviously we’re disappointed to be in this spot, but we’ve got to find a way.”
The NHL with their nightly recap...
Sportsnet's version is below...
If you believe the replay, the Anaheim Ducks and Calgary Flames are in overtime presently due to this fantastic save by Fredrik Andersen...
If you're Calgary Flames fan, this "Situation Room" blog entry from NHL.com serves as cold comfort:
At 13:43 of the third period in the Anaheim Ducks/Calgary Flames game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine Sam Bennett's shot at 13:38. Video review was inconclusive in determining whether the puck completely crossed the Anaheim goal line, therefore the referee's call on the ice stands - no goal Calgary.
The home teams, Minnesota and Calgary need a win to get back into the series. Both are down 0-2.
I am thinking the Wild win while the Flames will put up their best game of the series, but the Ducks will prevail.
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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