Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles and the Chicago Daily-Herald,
After what happened Sunday night at the United Center, you’ve got to wonder if it would be better for the Hawks to face Calgary in the first round of the playoffs than Vancouver.
The Canucks can be a physical, nasty team with a more complete defense than Calgary, a more intimidating goalie in Roberto Luongo and a more dangerous top line with the Sedins and Alex Burrows.
Then. the fights broke out.
Canucks went on to shutout the Blackhawks 4-0.
You can checkout the boxscore at TSN for all the penalties.
“Just look at the standings. [Friday’s] game was a huge two points for us and it set this game up in Chicago. We see where we are in the standings. We see the battle we’re in with Calgary and Chicago and even Columbus. We see how huge this game is.”
-Mats Sundin of the Vancouver Canucks talking about today’s game against Chicago. More on the Canucks from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province.
from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,
Right about the middle of next month, the Blackhawks are sure to make their first postseason appearance since 2002.
With the season dwindling to its final games, they’re already getting a taste of what that experience will be like. That learning process should continue when the Hawks play their biggest game of the season when they host the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night at the United Center.
Canucks GM Mike Gillis was on Team 1040 in Vancouver yesterday and discussed the media in Vancouver.
from Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun,
Vancouver is the fifth stop for Hordichuk in an eight-year NHL career and before signing with the Canucks last summer, he had heard all the horror stories about how tough the travel is out on the West Coast.
So far, the most difficult thing has been deciding which of the three entrees to order on the team’s charter airplane, a custom-fitted Air Canada jet that is the Canucks’ home away from home.
A typical travel day goes something like this, once the players and coaches board the 60-seat aircraft, where all the seats are first-class and legroom is most definitely not an issue.
“It’s pretty amazing,” Hordichuk says. “We get on board and they have some appetizers, some fruit and maybe some salads and vegetables and whatever kind of snacks you want. Then you have your main entree, which is usually a choice of three different meals.
“I think first and foremost, I want to win the Cup and whichever team is going to give me the best chance to do that is the team I want to be with,. I love Vancouver, it’s a great city with great fans. So far, I’ve really enjoyed my time there. Obviously, this year and next year are going to be a key role in my decision.”
-Roberto Luongo on ‘After Hours’ on HNIC last night. More from Jason Botchford of The White Towel at the Vancouver Province.
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
These are the ones that get you in the end, the outcomes that keep you up at night and keep you from climbing the conference ladder.
On a night when you expected the Vancouver Canucks to grab the toothless Phoenix Coyotes by the neck, toss them to the ice and stomp the also-rans into submission, they come up with a clunker against the playoff pretenders, who had won just one of their last seven games.
A 5-1 loss on Saturday to end a four-game win streak isn’t the end of the world, but it’s a concerning look into the Canucks’ window of opportunity missed.
“I’m really disappointed,” said Canucks winger Alex Burrows, who foiled Ilya Bryzgalov’s shutout bid by banging home a rebound with 1:45 remaining. “Too many penalties and we couldn’t get any momentum going. We say all the right things before the game, but we can’t sit back and see what’s going to happen.”
...when this happens. Vancouver has the puck while a delayed penalty has been called against Phoenix…
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
As for the Sedins, there are differing opinions as to the degree to which they are bound to the Canucks.
Some say they love Vancouver and are determined to sign there. Some say the Aquilini family, which owns the team, despises Burke so much for his involvement in past lawsuits that they will want to be rid of any evidence that he once ran the franchise.
It’s suggested the Sedins are liked by the Vancouver hockey public, but not loved. A weak playoff performance this spring would open the door for their exit.
The likeliest scenario, it would seem, is that the twins only become available to the Leafs if the Canucks wave goodbye first.
Even then it might not happen. The Leafs, you see, are as wary as any team about taking on contractual commitments beyond next season that will put them in a bind if the cap falls.
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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