Kukla's Korner Hockey
From David Naylor at the Globe & Mail,
The political gamesmanship is heating up leading into Thursday night’s fifth and potentially deciding game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators.
Although the Senators were penalized five times in a row during Tuesday’s fourth game of the series, Penguins head coach Michel Therrien insists there should have been more handed out to the Senators for their manhandling of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
“We thought there could have been more calls with the hooking and grabbing,” said Therrien. “When you see Crosby getting hooked, when they play him with their hands … Hopefully we’ll get those calls tonight.”
Not to be outdone, Ottawa head coach Bryan Murray believes there are calls his team should be getting from what he perceives as late hits being thrown by Pittsburgh’s Gary Roberts.
From the CP, via TSN,
Mike Comrie is one win away from uncharted territory, the second round of the NHL playoffs.
The 26-year-old Edmonton native is one of the reasons the Ottawa Senators lead their best-of-seven series 3-1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins heading into Game 5 Thursday night.
‘‘He’s been great,’’ said linemate Mike Fisher. ‘‘He’s not the biggest guy, but he’s got a big heart. He’s playing really well and physical, making good plays and being smart. He’s been huge for us. ..
‘‘He’s playing with a bit of an edge.’‘
From Bruce Garrioch at the Ottawa Sun,
Patrick Eaves’ phone rang in his hotel room Monday and on the other end of the line was Colby Armstrong.
The Penguins winger wanted to make sure Eaves was all right after Armstrong delivered a crushing blow to the Senator in the second period of Ottawa’s Game 3 win on Sunday.
While Eaves wasn’t able to suit up for Game 4 last night, Armstrong wanted Eaves to know he didn’t intend to cause an injury when they collided at the side of the net.
Eaves was taken off the ice on a stretcher. CBC reported he had a concussion, but the Senators have refused to confirm those reports. The club is calling it a head injury, saying Eaves is day-to-day.
From Wayne Scanlan at CanWest News,
The Pittsburgh Penguins have an unusual pre-game theme song for a Stanley Cup hopeful -Mission Impossible.
The mission is starting to look just that, impossible, after a 2-1, seat-of-the-pants victory by the Ottawa Senators gave Ottawa a 3-1 lead Tuesday in their NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with the Penguins.
This is usually the point when hockey types start invoking the “stranglehold” word into a playoff series, sometimes carelessly.
from the Globe and Mail,
Evgeni Malkin, the 20-year-old Russian who is thought to have a lock on the NHL’s rookie-of-the-year award but has been invisible in the playoffs, will play tonight with Sidney Crosby, the 19-year-old leader of the Penguins and 39-year-old veteran Mark Recchi.
It is a line Therrien has turned to before with success, and was, in fact, the combination that happened to be on the ice late in Saturday’s Game 2 when Crosby scored the winning goal in Pittsburgh’s only victory.
from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
“The intensity’s there, but it’s not there for 60 minutes, and that’s when we run into trouble,” said veteran forward Mark Recchi, who won the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes last season. “We lose our focus for short periods of time, get it back and lose it again. That’s not how you win games in the playoffs.”
The Penguins have had a particularly great amount of trouble in the second period.
In the three games, they’ve been outscored, 6-1, in the second period and outshot, 44-18.
None of the players asked yesterday seemed to know why the middle period has caused them so much trouble.
Ottawa forward Patrick Eaves will not play in Game 4 of the Senators’ Eastern Conference quarter-final with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday (CBC, 7 p.m. ET).
The Ottawa winger didn’t skate in practice Monday, but his teammates said he was up and walking about after Sunday night’s game in Pittsburgh, a 4-2 win for the Senators.
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
Imagine Snow White and Cinderella are at the big ball, and all of a sudden, you look over and Snow White’s dunking Cinderella’s head in the punch bowl and Cinderella’s poking Snow White in the eye with her tiara.
It’s not a pretty sight and it’s shocking in its departure from the expected.
Which brings us to the Senators and their grunting, grinding 4-2 victory in Game 3 of their opening-round series with the Pittsburgh Penguins. It left Ottawa with a 2-1 series lead and quelled, for a moment, all talk of playoff failures past.
Colby Armstrong of the Pens laid into the Sens Patrick Eaves. No penalty, no elbow, just one of those very hard hits.
Eaves probably had a quick second to see the hit coming, but could do nothing about it.
Eaves was taken off on a stretcher, and appeared to be coming to.
added 7:41pm, Report is concussion but no further damage.
added 7:52pm, from the CP via TSN,
Eaves was circling the Pittsburgh net midway through the second period when he took a stiff check to the head from Penguins forward Colby Armstrong, knocking him hard to the ice. While Eaves lay prone, Senators forward Dean McAmmond fought with Penguins forward Maxime Talbot.
Eaves was alert, and was shown speaking to doctors and flexing his hands as he was wheeled off the ice. CBC reported Eaves had movement in all his extremities, and was diagnosed with a concussion.
added 4:35am, video from HockeyFights.com:
OK, some of us heard the booing during the Canadien National Anthem on CBC.
No need for that, learn from previous experiences we have had with this.
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