Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Roberto Luongo has centre stage virtually to himself.
This is his chance to deliver a grand soliloquy, to explain through the art of goaltending why he matters while his country listens intently.
At 30, it’s remarkable that despite all the laurels tossed Luongo’s way, his accomplishments in the sport up until now have been minimal.
“I’ll guarantee you one thing, they won’t be getting to Louie as easily as they got to [Miikka] Kiprusoff, and we’ll take it from there. Actions speak louder than words.”
-Shane O’Brien of the Vancouver Canucks talking about the Chicago Blackhawks. More on the series from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province.
With a 4-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks, the Anaheim Ducks advance to the 2nd round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Ducks will travel to Detroit for games 1 and 2 while the Chicago Blackhawks will visit Vancouver for the first two games.
Since Chicago defeated the Flames in Calgary tonight, I wonder if they will just stay in western Canada and then make the short flight to Vancouver instead of goin back to Chicago and then quickly heading out to Vancouver.
Talk about bad karma…
from Erik Rolfsen of The White Towel at the Vancouver Province,
...we’re having a friendly competition to see which Canuck fan can map out the best route for the Stanley Cup Parade. All you have to do is use Google Maps to draw the route you think would be best. It could pass through your neighbourhood, by your house, your favourite watering hole, wherever you want. Just let us know where it should go, and use markers to describe any points of interest it passes along the way.
from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
“Overtime, boys. This is where legends are born.”Alex Burrows made that speech in the dressing room Tuesday night after regulation time of Game 4 ended in a 2-2 tie….
Bad goal? Weak goal? Series-winning goal, that’s all the matters, just as the four wins strung together to make a sweep obscured the closeness of the battle. The bottom line is everything.
Maybe that’s why the Blues’ dressing room was still closed 40 minutes after the game, in violation of league rules, and no one beat it down. Maybe they were crying in there, for Mason, who played so well and then let in a softie. Or for themselves, having gone 9-1-1 to close the regular season, only to be blunted by Roberto Luongo and a Vancouver Canucks squad that had an answer for every question they posed.
Alex Burrows scored the game winning goal with 19 seconds left in the first OT.
from Craig Simpson of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
In the Stanley Cup Playoffs everything is magnified. The battles, the intensity, the pressure, the energy, the excitement, they all rise to a higher level. The swings in momentum that can occur within a shift, a period and a game are often the moments that dictate the outcome of a series.
A hot goalie, or a streaky scorer can dominate a series, but there may not be a more important part of the playoffs than special teams.
All year teams work diligently to improve their special teams, understanding the importance of scoring a power play goal at a critical time, or killing off a string of penalties to preserve a lead. No series has exemplified that importance more than the Vancouver, St. Louis series.
Mike Gillis talks about his team’s 3-0 series lead in St Louis, their forward depth and Taylor Pyatt’s status.
from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,
There is no I-can’t-believe-this-is-happening-to-us giddiness around the Canucks as there was only two years ago when Vancouver bolted to a 3-1 first-round series lead against the Dallas Stars.
Even on their romp to the seventh game of the Stanley Cup final in 1994, there was at least as much hopefulness as expectation that the “magical” run would continue.
There is no sense of magic now about the Canucks. This is a good thing.
There are the forwards who have elevated for the playoffs, the deep, robust defence that has no weak link, and there is Roberto Luongo in goal.
The Canucks have mustered the intensity and emotion that are base ingredients in all playoff success, but have also a detached, business-like approach. Nothing personal, they’re just moving on.
from the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs Blog,
Is there anything more tiresome or a greater waste of time than a Mats Sundin scrum? The man moved far more deftly than at any time he’s been on the ice by doging all the questions about his absence in Game 3 and the possibility of him playing Game 4.
He did make one slip however, admitting that in fact he did hurt himself in the third period not the first period (which Alain Vigneault claimed in his post-game news conference Sunday iin what appeared to be a deliberate attempt to mislead people).
“I haven’t spoken to the doctor yet today,” said Sundin after missing the Canuck practice Monday, he believed to have either a groin or hip problem. “We’ll see how it feels tomorrow.”
Given Vancouver is up 3-0 in the series, it’s unlikely he’ll play Tuesday night, for if Vancouver win they will free up at least another week for him to rest whatever ails him to get him ready for the next series
continue for more on the Canucks and Blues…
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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