Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Brophy of CBC,
The Blackhawks find themselves trailing their first round series with the St. Louis Blues 2-0, having blown two games they should have won. Chicago led 3-2 in Game 1, but gave up a goal to Jaden Schwartz of the Blues at 18:24 of the third period and lost when Alex Steen scored after just 26 seconds of overtime.
They came back in Game 2 with one of their most goofy and unglued performances in years. The defending Stanley Cup champs, who also won the championship in 2009-10, were uncharacteristically undisciplined from veteran defenceman Duncan Keith delivering cheap shots to Blues players with his stick and foolishly waving his stick in the face of Vladimir Tarasenko while lined up for a faceoff to fellow blue-liner Brent Seabrook delivering a horrible head shot check that knocked Blues captain David Backes out of the game and will probably result in Seabrook receiving a multi-game suspension.
The end result was the same. Chicago led 3-2 late in the third period, but the Blues forced overtime when Vladimir Tarasenko scored at 19:53 and then won it on an OT tally by defenceman Barret Jackman.
Keith's silliness was completely out of character. And so will the Blackhawks early departure from the playoffs be out of character if Keith and his teammates don't halt the foolishness and get back to playing sound, intelligent hockey.
read on for more playoff talk...
Below, watch the Keith incident Brophy'w meintions...
At around the :44 second mark...
Toews is confused...
from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Brent Seabrook received 5 for charging and a game, David Backes went to the dressing room.
The Blues scored on the pp late in the 3rd and the game is now headed to OT.
added 7:11pm, below, watch the CBC version of the hit...
from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times,
The Hawks are the more talented team and the team that should win this series.
Will they? I don’t know. It’s very possible that the puck won’t bounce their way, as the cliché goes. But all things being equal, the Hawks should come out of this alive and well. Remember, the visiting team took the home team to three overtimes.
“Let this one sink in and maybe we can be ticked off about it for a few moments here, but then tonight and tomorrow, it’s time to move on and get ready for the next one,’’ Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said.
If the Hawks can keep buzzing around the puck the way they did Thursday night and if they can get this Crawford for the rest of the playoffs, they’ll be lifting the Stanley Cup over their heads again in June. It’s really that simple. And that difficult.
Below, watch Joel Quenneville make a 'slight adjustment' in the 2nd OT period...
First, Alex Steen with a goal early in triple OT...
Then below, some magic from Paul Stastny...
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
Now the Blues are beaten-up and have lost six straight games entering the first round, and they’re facing the Chicago Blackhawks, the defending Stanley Cup champions and the second-best offensive team in the NHL in the regular season. St. Louis seems on edge. But Miller seems at ease. He joked with reporters about the 18 goals he allowed in his last five games, saying he didn’t think it was too bad and he wasn’t worried, and then he said something interesting.
“I’ve learned some things about playing with this group the last month-and-a-half, and I feel I’ve built my game to be in a good place this time of year,” Miller said. “Over the last year-and-a-half, two years, I think I’ve built a good attitude to play hockey the right way and be a good teammate. Right now it’s about coming together as a group, battling for your buddy and hunkering down and just going to work. That’s kind of what I’m putting my focus into. I’m just going to try and be there and do my job for the boys.”
A good attitude? To play the right way? To be a good teammate? What does Miller mean by that? Well, when you’re a perfectionist, imperfection can drive you nuts, and when you’re a goalie, being a good teammate can mean worrying about yourself. Miller had good times in Buffalo – two trips to the Eastern Conference final, a Presidents’ Trophy as the NHL’s top regular-season team, a Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goalie – but the Sabres slipped and so did he. The frustration affected him. He called out problems like a captain.
from Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
The Blues host the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday having accomplished the improbable: They’ve gone from presumptive favorites to win this year’s Stanley Cup to a team that would stun its fan base by advancing beyond the playoffs’ first round even given home-ice advantage.
A team that lost only 14 of its first 68 games in regulation is 5-8-0 in its last 13.
A team that didn’t take a regulation loss in its first 21 games within the Central Division has lost five consecutive games against the same competition.
The Blues have been outscored 24-11 in their last seven games within a division they no longer control. They require help to recapture the Central Sunday. Heck, the Blues require help, period.
via Jeremy Rutherford tweets,
I don't ever remember walking around a locker room and seeing so many walking boots, casts, ice bags and ace bandages in my career
It's sounding as if Berglund's injury is serious, and the #stlblues will be without seven of their top 12 forwards Sunday.
Here's the Patrik Beglund injury...
Katie Strang just completed an online chat at ESPN...
What player has the most pressure on him entering this years playoffs?
Katie Strang I think St. Louis' Ryan Miller will be one player shouldering very lofty expectations. The Blues went all in to acquire their No. 1 netminder in Miller and the long-time Sabre has been struggling between the pipes as of late. He was yanked in last night's loss but will get another chance to get his confidence up against the Dallas Stars tonight. Lot of pressure on him and the Blues to get it together
How worried should bruins fans be about their inability to close out games recently? I know players are getting rested, but conceding tying goals with under 2 minutes left in the 3rd in back to back games isn't a good omen for the playoffs
Katie Strang I actually think resting some of those guys is a good idea. Remember how gassed Zdeno Chara looked at points last spring? Listen, the Bruins have the deepest team in the East and it's not even close. If I'm a B's fan, I'm worried about very little right now. In fact, I think they'll be the ones hoisting the Cup come June.
via Wes Walz tweets,
listening to self proclaimed "hockey experts" call MIke Rupp a goon is wrong! MR never susp EVER and has been honest player his whole career
Tough play with Osh last night,love him as a player BUT don't forget 2 weeks ago when Blues wanted to "send a message" to Wild #livebysword
Moral of the story....play hard ALWAYS and be a TOUGH team to play against but do so....quietly. #headsupwhenheadingintoforest
via Jeremy Rutherford tweets,
Hitch: “The comments by Wes Walz, knowing the (Wild) coaching staff the way I do, I don’t believe they would condone those comments.
Hitch cont'd: "... and quite frankly with a player getting hurt like that, they’re just disgusting."
If you missed the hit from Rupp on Oshie, watch it here...
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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