Kukla's Korner Hockey
The puck drops just after 8:00pm ET and can be viewed on NBCSN, CBC and TVA.
The Rangers would like to go up 2-0 while home and the Lightning certainly do not want to go 0-2 in New York.
Expect more grit from Tampa but the Rangers do seem to be on their game.
Feel free to discuss the game as it plays-out.
Linda Cohn and John Tortorella preview game 2, Rangers/Lightning.
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
Henrik Lundqvist is human. The Tampa Bay Lightning are trying to remind themselves of that fact.
Goals are not easy to come by in the playoffs, especially when you’re facing a goalie with a .945 save percentage. So as the Lightning prepared for Game 2 at Madison Square Garden on Monday, they did all they could to ignore the ominous shadow occupying the New York Rangers crease.
“I think the one thing you have to combat is the aura,” said coach Jon Cooper.
Lundqvist has that, just as Carey Price did in the last round. When facing goalies of that calibre, there is a danger of thinking too much and trying to create perfect plays.
Of course, hockey is not a game of perfect. The Rangers won Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final when Dominic Moore had a shot deflect in off his right shin pad.
from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,
This is how they got here this year, the same way they got here last year.
This is how the Rangers know how to win.
So don’t think it was a charade when the face of this franchise, goalie Henrik Lundqvist, had this to say on the eve of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final against the Lightning:
“I personally don’t really think about the series standings,” Lundqvist said after Sunday’s practice at the Garden. “I just see it as one game and what we need to get that win.”
The consensus is when the teams take the Garden ice for Game 2 on Monday night, the Lightning will bring a much stronger game than they did in the Rangers’ 2-1 win in Game 1 Saturday.
“There are times when you think you played OK and you watch the tape and you want to vomit,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. “That was a little bit of how [Game 1] went.”
from Pat Pickens of the New York Times,
When Jon Cooper is asked what he does for a living, his answer is similar to what a Fortune 500 chief executive might say.
“A lot of times I say I’m a people manager,” Cooper said. “That’s kind of what I do, and a lot of my philosophy is: I manage people.”
There is more to Cooper’s job as the Tampa Bay Lightning’s coach than that, and in less than three seasons with the team, Cooper has evolved into one of the sport’s hottest coaching stars. He was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award in 2013-14, and he has led his club to a second straight 100-point season and a third berth in the Eastern Conference finals, where it will face the Rangers.
Although Cooper, 47, often refers to himself as a hockey coach, he has taken an unusual path compared with many of his 29 N.H.L. counterparts. He went to Hofstra but played only one year of hockey there, concentrating instead on playing lacrosse. He also became a lawyer and worked as a public defender in Michigan before turning to coaching.
But a passion for hockey lured Cooper to coaching, and though he acknowledges that he was not as well-versed in the sport’s nuances as other coaches, he knew how to manage people.
"There's the times you think you played okay, and you watch the tape and you want to vomit and that was a little bit of how (Saturday) night went. For two periods, I thought we were a little better than we were until I watched the tape. The Rangers played extremely well, but we were stubbing our toe all night. So we were just handing them tickets to the movie, and we were a turnstile and watching them go by. We can't do that. We can't be giving pucks away, we can't be turning them over, we can't not make them go the 200 feet.
"We've got to be much better than we were. And I'm quite convinced we will."
-Jon Cooper, head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning after practice today. More from Cooper by Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times.
Below, watch Cooper post-practice.
Video- The New York Rangers Win Game 1 Of The Eastern Conference Finals Over The Tampa Bay Lightning
Here are the highlights from game 1, ECF between the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning.
added 5:34pm, CBC highlights are below...
The puck drops at 1:15pm and is on NBC, CBC and TVA.
Feel free to discuss the game as it plays out.
Also, in the World Championship, it is the USA vs. Russia on the semi-finals and the game can be streamed at NBC Sports Live Extra. The game starts a 1:15pm plus NBCSN will show it at 11:00pm tonight if interested.
It also looks like some of the Comcast Sports Networks have picked up the USA/Russia game, so check your guide to find the channel.
from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,
Lucky horseshoe or not, goalie Ben Bishop outplayed Carey Price in the last round of the playoffs, lifting the Lightning over the Canadiens.
Price may collect his share of hardware at the NHL awards in June, including MVP and Vezina Trophy as the league's top goalie. But Bishop is the one still playing, the one still with a shot at hockey's holy grail, the Stanley Cup.
However, if Bishop, 28, is going to hoist the Cup, he now must match save for save Rangers star Henrik Lundqvist in the Eastern Conference final, which begins today at Madison Square Garden. Lundqvist, 33, was the 2012 Vezina winner and, like Price, is considered one of the best in the world.
"I kind of look at him as the benchmark," Bishop said. "He's someone who has set the bar."
Bishop is setting his own bar in this postseason, arguably the biggest reason the Lightning is in the NHL's final four. He is 8-5 with a 1.81 goals-against average in his first 13 career playoff games. And by the way, Bishop has never lost to the Rangers (8-0-0, 1.49), including seven head-to-head matchups with Lundqvist, nicknamed the "King."
If Bishop, in his second full season as a starter, slays another one of NHL's elite goaltenders, he might soon find himself in that category.
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
Mostly quiet since he was fired by the Vancouver Canucks last summer, the controversial John Tortorella popped up the day before an Eastern Conference final between two other teams he has coached.
Appearing on ESPN, “Torts” was asked about the current struggles of Martin St. Louis, his captain when they won the Stanley Cup together with the 2003-04 Lightning.
“Don’t you dare count him out,” said Tortorella. “When it gets to a bigger stage, and it’s getting bigger and bigger … Marty was sat out the last game, missed a few shifts … I just know him too well. He is chomping on the bit.
“I think he is going to make a big difference here. He always plays better on the bigger stage. With all the things going on around him, he’s going to have questions asked about him, he sat out a few shifts, the Tampa-Stevie Yzerman thing, his age, all that … he thrives on that. I think he’s going to be a wild card for the Rangers, as far as stepping up his play.
continued plus more ECF talk...
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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