Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun (Sunday edition),
Still, Ottawa coach Bryan Murray isn’t ready to panic and snapped at a reporter who suggested the Penguins might have confidence.
“They’ve won one game and didn’t touch the puck for two periods,” barked Murray….
Afterward, someone reminded Alfredsson that before Game 2 he declared that whoever scored a win yesterday would have the “momentum” going into Game 3 tonight.
“I lied,” said Alfredsson, who scored his first goal of the playoffs on a perfect tic-tac-toe passing play at 16:44 of the second to give the Senators a 2-1 lead, with Colby Armstrong off for nailing goalie Ray Emery.
added 8:52pm, from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
The beauty of the NHL playoffs isn’t just the fine line that separates winning from losing, but the way those lines intersect with each other and lead from one to the other like a map. A broken stick here, a goalpost struck there, a timely hit, a key save.
But sometimes those fine lines don’t just happen—they are created.
And so it was on Saturday afternoon. With the opening-round series between Ottawa and Pittsburgh feeling much like a rout after two periods of play, longtime Senator-killer Gary Roberts created that fine line for his new team, the Penguins.
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Evgeni Malkin has been in playoffs before and figured he knew what it is like to chase a championship at this time of year.
But nothing in the Russian Super League prepared Malkin for what he experienced in the Penguins’ 6-3 loss to Ottawa in Game 1 of their opening-round series Wednesday.
The pace was faster, the hitting harder, the passions higher than anything he remembered from his days with Metallurg Magnitogorsk.
“He said playoff intensity in Russia does not go as high as it is here,” said Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar, Malkin’s friend, countryman and landlord. “He’ll probably need some adjustment.”
from the Ottawa Citizen,
We know why we boo, but there still seems to be something definitely classless about jeering a nice, clean-cut superstar like Sidney Crosby, who will almost certainly become a Canadian icon before the 19-year-old reaches unrestricted free agency in 2012, and someday, even be named to the Order of Canada.
And to do it in so-called Hockey Country of all places.
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
Therrien coaches 19-year-old Penguins centre Sidney Crosby and 18-year-old forward Jordan Staal, but the most important teenagers in Therrien’s world are 14-year-old Elizabeth and 13-year-old Charles.
Therrien, now divorced, fought for and won custody of his two teenage children.
NHL coach and single dad.
Now, that’s a resume.
Why not juggle chainsaws and do brain surgery at the same time?
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
The attraction is all Crosby. Next, surely, is Letterman, Leno and Saturday Night Live for this teenage sensation from Cole Harbour, N.S.
But not this night. This night he would have been voted off the ice floe.
Still, they came to see a very young man who is supposed to do what proved beyond the reach of Eric Lindros, beyond Paul Kariya, beyond Jaromir Jagr and beyond every youngster who was supposed to be the next Wayne Gretzky.
That Crosby, still not old enough to order a drink in some parts to celebrate, has managed this is beyond dispute, for already they are tagging youngsters barely old enough to air out their equipment as the Next Next One.
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
Attention Sidney Crosby, Jordan Staal, Evgeni Malkin, Ryan Whitney, et al, school is now in session.
Lesson 1: These are the playoffs.
Lesson 2: Play like you did Wednesday night in a 6-3 humbling at the hands of the Ottawa Senators, and this course will be frightfully short.
“We didn’t bring our best,” said Crosby, the youngest scoring champ around whom so much revolves for this Penguins team. “I think we can look at ourselves and say if we threw everything at them and this was the result, then I think we’d be questioning ourselves.
from Roy MacGregor at the Globe and Mail,
He is only 23 years old, but feels almost elderly when talking about Sidney Crosby, the 19-year-old star he will face tonight when Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins visit Spezza’s Ottawa Senators in the first game of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Both were child prodigies in a game in which the majority of Canadian parents would rather see their sons play a single exhibition game in the National Hockey League than become prime minister.
Both were being written up in major newspapers by ages 13 and 14, Spezza making a quick leap from peewee hockey in Mississauga to bantam and, at 15, off to the major-junior leagues.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
It’s why the press box is expected to be full here for Game 1.
It’s why the Penguins asked for credential requests several weeks before the end of the regular season.
It’s why NBC denuded venerable “Hockey Night in Canada” of a Canadian matchup on the first weekend of the playoffs, insisting Game 2 of the be played Saturday afternoon and leaving CBC with the equivalent of moldy bread crust (Tampa Bay vs. New Jersey) for its traditional Saturday evening broadcast.
via the Pittsburgh Channel,
Pittsburgh Penguins fans are invited to gather downtown for a playoff rally at noon Wednesday in the courtyard of the Allegheny County Courthouse.
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and county Chief Executive Dan Onorato are hosting the rally. There will be free food and music.
Onorato’s office said students are encouraged to bring signs and banners to decorate the courthouse and the City-County Building. The signs can either be brought to the rally or dropped off at the guard station adjacent to the Forbes Avenue entrance of the courtyard.
via the Detroit News,
Come back to detnews.com after 1 p.m. today for a story and photo of the unveiling in Detroit of the statue of former Red Wings great Gordie Howe.
The Wings plan to unveil the statue at 1 p.m. at the Gordie Howe Entrance of the Joe Louis Arena. Howe, the Wings’ all-time leading scorer, is expected to attend the ceremony, which is closed to the public.
from the CP via TSN,
As the Senators prepared to meet the Pittsburgh Penguins in the opening round of the Eastern Conference post-season beginning Wednesday, Murray’s first order of business was to address the “choking dog” brush - his words - that he’s sick of seeing his team painted with.
“I think it’s bullshit,” Murray snorted following the team’s practice.
While it’s the 10th straight season the Senators have qualified for the playoffs, they’ve advanced beyond the second round just once in their history.
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