Kukla's Korner Hockey
Game times aren’t available yet, but here is the schedule as we know it for the Eastern and Western Conference Finals starting this week. (Update May 5th: times and dates finalized and available here)
fro Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
Before the series, I picked the Rangers to win in seven games because I thought they had a huge advantage in net with Henrik Lundqvist, but that advantage didn’t come into play until that last two games. Marc-Andre Fleury looked shaky today for the first time in the series. The Rangers didn’t take enough shots, however, to exploit that. They went more 16 minutes without a shot, including the last 14:50 of a second period that the Penguins’ thoroughly dominated.
I have a feeling that Fleury and Martin Biron might not have much goaltending magic left for the conference finals. Don’t be surprised if you see some 6-5 games in that series.
more on the Rangers and Pens…
from Lynn Zinser of the New York Times,
After the final shot eluded him, Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist stood alone in his crease Sunday afternoon, pain radiating from his blue eyes. His teammates had skated back to their bench, and the Penguins celebrated in a giant mob to his right. For what seemed like minutes, Lundqvist bore his agony alone.
Eventually, the Rangers skated over to console him. Marian Hossa’s series-winning goal 7 minutes 10 seconds into overtime gave the Penguins a 3-2 victory in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, sending the Mellon Arena fans into a frenzy, and leaving the Rangers to grapple with their emotions.
“It’s just empty,” Lundqvist said. “Your head is just empty. You’ve been working so hard all year, starting in May last year to prepare for this season. And then everything is over.”
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News writing about today’s Rangers/Penguins game…
I think the Hockey Gods are trying to call you out, Stephen Walkom. There can be no possible rationalization for your officials continuously putting their hands in their pockets in third periods of games.
I’m normally one of your biggest defenders, but what’s going on is casting everything – the officials, the players, and the game itself – in a not-so-positive light.
more on the game…
From Shelly Anderson at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Marian Hossa scored in overtime to give the Penguins a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers today at Mellon Arena, clinching their second-round playoff series. They advance to the Eastern Conference final, where they will play cross-state rival Philadelphia.
Dates and times for the third round are pending, but Games 1 and 2 will be at Mellon Arena.
Update 5:23pm ET: Story of the game from David Shoalts at the Globe & Mail.
Update 5:44pm ET: Live post-game press conference underway.
Video streaming is below.
(click that link to access the NHL’s pop-up player)
Update 5:53pm ET: Game video of Hossa’s OT goal below.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
A team fresh off a seven-game winning streak to start the playoffs isn’t exactly the poster team for “facing adversity,” even if that streak was broken in their last outing in New York in Game 4.
Despite the perception from outside the Penguins locker room that perhaps things have changed with Thursday’s 3-0 defeat at the hands of a desperate Rangers team, Pittsburgh is light years from adversity.
At least until late Sunday afternoon, when the Penguins will have a second chance to eliminate the Rangers, this is a hiccup, a stubbed toe. Nothing more, nothing less.
from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
“I travel all over the league, and everybody talks about Detroit as ‘Hockeytown’ - and deservedly so, because of its tradition - but the noise levels in Pittsburgh, Minnesota, New York and Buffalo are just as good,” said McGuire, a former Penguins scout who coached the Hartford Whalers.
“Pittsburgh now, because of its young talent and rabid fan base cultivated by the organization, is tremendous. It’s awesome to be around a passionate fan base. Hockey’s not a photo op for these people. These are people investing in the product. It’s easy to be involved with a winner, but this team is poised to win for a long time.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
This is where we came in, with the Rangers needing a victory in Pittsburgh, and with the Rangers needing the game officials to allow them to play the kind of game that will translate into a victory.
None of the Rangers will touch the subject now, and why would they following the storm that was whipped up last week when officiating was front and center among topics of conversation?
It is, however, a fact that the Blueshirts New York Rangers must be allowed to knock down Sidney Crosby, Evegni Malkin and Marian Hossa just as they did in Thursday’s playoff deathbed of a 3-0 Game 4 victory at the Garden in order to survive tomorrow afternoon’s Game 5 at the Igloo.
Courtesy of the Pittsburgh Penguins… Pittsburgh Penguins coach Michel Therrien participated in a conference call today…
Q: How did your team react mentally after the loss last night and do you think this will be the first real test of their composure in these playoffs?
A: At the end of the season when we were battling for the division, their composure was really good and I believe it will be the same for the playoffs. I have to look at the big picture over the first four games; we played two at home, we played two on the road, and we have the lead 3-1 so we have to feel pretty good about ourselves. I think it is a great start. We know that we are playing against a team that is very competitive and that is very good with a lot of experience. Getting to play Game Five and have a chance to clinch the series…we have to feel pretty good about that.
from the AP via Yahoo,
Malkin’s night ended in the final minute when he was assessed a misconduct following a scrum that started when he twice kicked the skate of defenceman Paul Mara.
“It’s a classless act by a superstar and there is no need for that in the game,” Mara said. “It’s not like it was just a little slew foot, it’s actually a full kick. We’ll put that in the back of our minds.
“We got a huge win, and hopefully we’ll carry the momentum over to Sunday.”
more on the Rangers win tonight against Pittsburgh…
added 12:24am on 5/2/08, from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
And so it was that captain Jaromir Jagr, evoking a time when he was the dominant player in the NHL, pulled the New York Rangers one tiny but crucial step back from the abyss.
The big forward broke a 0-0 tie with a virtuoso goal, added a power play assist and an empty-net goal as the Rangers shut out the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0 Thursday night. They still trail this Eastern Conference semifinal 3-1 but as the Madison Square Garden faithful sent Jagr to the dressing room chanting his name over and over there was at least the hint of something approaching optimism in the building and in the Ranger dressing room for the first time in this series.
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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