Kukla's Korner Hockey
From John Glennon at The Tennessean,
As the Predators look to square their first-round playoff series against San Jose tonight, they’re looking for the players who excelled in the regular season to do the same in the postseason.
That means more production from players such as Jason Arnott, Paul Kariya and David Legwand, less reliance on J.P. Dumont, Peter Forsberg and Alexander Radulov.
The former trio has combined for zero goals and four assists in the first three games of this series, while the latter has done the heavy lifting — combining for 12 points (nine goals, three assists).
From Victor Chi at the San Jose Mercury News,
Call it collateral damage.
The Sharks’ power play has converted only once in this opening-round playoff series, but it could push Nashville’s gas gauge toward empty if the chances keep piling up. Despite an 0-for-6 performance Monday, the Sharks wore out the Predators with a 41-20 shot advantage built largely on those six power plays.
from the National Post,
“I could very easily give you a printed picture of the whole incident that would clear it up for you,” Wilson growled at the reporter from Nashville.
“I’ve looked at a lot of tape, and I haven’t seen it,” the reporter shot back. “Do you have that picture?”
“Do you work for Nashville, seriously?” “Yes, I do,” the reporter said.
“Well, good for you,” Wilson said. “If you work for Nashville, you shouldn’t be in this room.”
from the Mercury News,
The NHL finally sent the proper message. It suspended Nashville forward Alex Radulov for his Game2 blindside hit on the Sharks’ Steve Bernier. The suspension should dissuade both teams from taking precarious liberties with each other.
Or, as Sharks Coach Ron Wilson said Sunday in more intellectual terms: “Hopefully, it will end the dirty crap going on out there.”
But there’s one more thing: The hockey will be much different this time around, too.
from the Mercury News,
Just about everyone in the hockey world has seen the boom that Nashville rookie Alexander Radulov lowered on Sharks right wing Steve Bernier - except the victim. And Bernier hasn’t exactly been scouring YouTube to locate the clip.
“I kind of don’t want to see it,” Bernier said Sunday. “I don’t think it’s very important. That’s in the past. Now I’m going to think about the next game and be ready and forget about this.”
from the AP via the Akron Beacon Journal,
After refusing to comment following the Sharks’ fisticuff-filled 5-2 loss to the Predators on Friday night, Wilson reacted incredulously Saturday to Trotz’s repeated attempts to blame the series’ physical tone and vindictive episodes on the Sharks.
“The rhetoric coming (from Trotz) is that we went there to start a street brawl, which is comical,” Wilson said after the Sharks’ 4 a.m. return from splitting the first two games in Nashville. The best-of-seven Western Conference series resumes Monday.
“Our responses aren’t about beating anybody up or any of that baloney. We took home ice from them. The pressure is on them now. We’re still in the driver’s seat. ... We’ll win the game on the ice.”
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
The first-round series between the San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators has been a very intense one early on, and there was more fuel on the fire after Alexander Radulov’s hit from behind on Sharks forward Steve Bernier Friday night.
Was it a suspension-worthy offence? I would say yes.
Now the number of games that Radulov should be suspended for depends on what the value of a playoff game is compared to a regular season game.
from the AP via Yahoo,
San Jose forward Steve Bernier had to be helped off the ice after being hit into the boards with his head snapping back before he fell face-first Friday night in Game 2 against the Nashville Predators.
Bernier was at the sideboards, working for control of the puck when he was first hit by Nashville defenseman Dan Hamhuis. Then Nashville rookie Alexander Radulov came up and hit Bernier in the back, snapping the forward’s head back and forth at 4:44 of the second period.
continued and the latest report was Bernier was taken to the hospital with head and neck problems.
from the Mercury News,
Right wing Jonathan Cheechoo participated in the Sharks’ morning skate and his status for Game2 later today against the Nashville Predators will be a game-time decision.
“I won’t know till I see how it reacts,” said Cheechoo, who sustained a sprained right knee in Game 1 on a hit from Predators forward Scott Hartnell. “I’ll see how it feels this afternoon. If it feels good, then you never know. If it gets worse, then obviously I can’t go.”
added 8:17pm, Cheechoo is in the lineup.
from the AP/TSN via TSN,
San Jose Sharks leading goal-scorer Jonathan Cheechoo underwent an MRI on Thursday and is listed as day-to-day with a knee sprain.
Cheechoo, who was not using crutches but was heavily wrapped, is listed as ‘‘extremely doubtful’’ for Game 2 but a final determination on that won’t be made until Friday.
added 7:00pm, from the AP via the Santa Barbara News,
San Jose coach Ron Wilson had no problems sharing his anger.
‘‘But the league apparently has addressed it, and we’ll just go forward. Cheechoo, I don’t know when he’ll play. Hopefully he’ll be able to come back this playoff. I don’t know right now,’’ Wilson said.
Asked if that meant Cheechoo wouldn’t return in this best-of-seven series or this postseason, Wilson said he did not know. Game 2 is Friday night in Nashville.
Predators coach Barry Trotz studied eight different angles of the collision near the Nashville blue line nine minutes into the second period. Hartnell was ejected and given a five-minute major for kneeing.
‘‘The more I look at it, the more I realize it’s probably not even a penalty. He went to hit him, Cheechoo tried to get out of the way. Unfortunately, they locked knees, and Cheechoo got the worst of it. In terms of the elbow in the face, which I think was claimed, he hit his mouth on the ice,’’ Trotz said.
from the Mercury News,
There were so many things happening at once Wednesday night for the Sharks, Evgeni Nabokov did not really have time to think. He could react. But not think.
This was probably a good thing for him and the Sharks, considering where their thoughts might have wandered. Earlier in the day, they learned that their 73-year-old goalies coach, Warren Strelow, had died following complications from a stroke. Nabokov had taken it as hard as anyone.
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