Kukla's Korner Hockey
NEW YORK—The National Hockey League today announced the dates and starting times for the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoff Conference Semifinal round, which begins Wednesday, April 25 when the Buffalo Sabres host the New York Rangers and the Anaheim Ducks host either the San Jose Sharks or Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks and Dallas Stars contest the seventh and deciding game of their Conference Quarterfinal series tonight in Vancouver.
From James Mirtle at the Globe & Mail,
Here’s a question worth pondering now that seven (and, soon enough, eight) teams have bowed out of the postseason race: Did the Thrashers, Islanders and Predators seriously err in unloading picks and prospects for the Forsbergs, Tkachuks and Smyths of the world at the trade deadline?
With the benefit of hindsight, the short answer is unequivocally yes.
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
As a team, the Flames need to get quicker and hungrier up front; one of the issues in the Detroit series was they simply couldn’t get in on the Red Wings’ defence hard enough or fast enough to turn the puck over. The infusion of youth and speed may address that issue; it also means that many, if not most of, their 30-something forwards (Darren McCarty, Byron Ritchie, Marcus Nilson, Amonte, Friesen and depending upon his wishes, Primeau), may be seeking employment elsewhere next season.
It’s a different story on defence, where the Flames will almost certainly bid to retain one or both of Roman Hamrlik and Brad Stuart, a pair of minute-munching rearguards, for whom there are no replacements waiting in the wings.
more… *including thoughts on Jim Playfair’s coaching future with the Flames
From Jim Kelly at Sportsnet.ca,
The Flames disgraced themselves and the game they profess to love. They didn’t play hard, they played dirty ... and stupid. If it weren’t for their magnificent talent in goal, Game 6 would never have existed. Kiprusoff also extended their good fortune into overtime Sunday when he kept the Red Wings off the board after Craig Conroy received a double minor for striking Tomas Holmstrom in the face with his stick.
continued… *more on Calgary, and the NHL’s response
Update 4:49pm ET:
John sent this photo, seen below. Thought it might be an amusing addition (for some of you) to add to this post.
Regular visitors will recall that last week, Paul Kukla was unavailable for two days because of a family medical emergency. Unfortunately that situation remains difficult right now, and he again won’t be available, for the rest of today at least.
Alas, you’re stuck with me again. Any questions or concerns you may have today can be addressed to: email@example.com
Thanks for your patience.
From Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post and Jamie Mottram of AOL Sports, it’s The Blog Show.
The first few minutes are dedicated to what’s happening in hockey. (And the first story relates to my own blog Canucks & Beyond, so that’s cool. Thanks, guys!)
From CP via TSN,
The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed forward Aaron Boogaard to a three-year entry-level deal, the team announced Monday.
The six-foot-three, 245-pound Boogaard spent the past five seasons in the Western Hockey League, where he collected 54 points (26-28) and 589 penalty minutes in 273 games.
from Taony Gallagher at the Vancouver Province,
In an era when Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman and Joe Sakic defined the centre position, the greatness of Mike Modano has been grossly understated since he joined the Minnesota North Stars as the first overall pick in the 1988 NHL entry draft.
Compared to those guys, Modano played his whole career with a millstone around his neck, held back by club rules like the ones Hitchcock insisted upon: Never crisscross when on a rush. Wingers had to stay in their lanes and go up and down the ice in robotic fashion. And nowadays they can’t even go all the way up the ice unless the conditions are just right.
NEW YORK/TORONTO (April 23, 2007) – The National Hockey League (NHL) and National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) online game-worn All-Star jersey auction came to a close last week and earned $140,397 to benefit Hockey Fights Cancer. The auction, which featured jerseys worn by NHL elite during the first period of the 55thNHL All-Star Game on January 24, 2007, was available for bidding through NHL.com and NHLPA.com.
The first NHL All-Star jersey ever worn by Pittsburgh Penguins center and All-Star rookie Sidney Crosby generated a record total of $47,520. The figure more than doubled the winning bid from the 2005 NHL & NHLPA auction, in which Crosby’s game-worn jersey brought in $21,010 to benefit Hurricane Katrina victims. Other notable final bids include jerseys from NY Rangers Left Wing Brendan Shanahan ($5,681.61) and New Jersey Devils Goalie Martin Brodeur ($5,020).
from Helene St. James at the Detroit Free Press,
Any team that wins the Stanley Cup always gets a few lucky breaks along the way; and if the Stars could upset the Canucks, that means the Sharks and Ducks get to beat up on each other in round two, leaving the winner bruised and battered for the Conference Finals. The Sharks and Ducks are widely considered the two best teams in the West, for while they won fewer games than the Wings, they played in a much tougher conference (division).
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