Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,
Curiously, during a 2-1 win in Game 1 of their playoff series against St. Louis, the Canucks did not announce a sell out as per usual. The GM Place atmosphere Wednesday was excellent, but some sections of the lower bowl may not have been too flattering on television (when the white towels weren’t waving).
Generally, the Canucks make a big deal of their consecutive sell-out streak, 257 and counting.
A team spokesman said that the video scoreboard flashed 18,630. He said loud crowd noise pre-empted a formal announcement. Another source said the Canucks did not want to announce attendance because the empty seats were so obvious.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
After Game 1 of the Canucks-Blues Western Conference quarterfinal, there shouldn’t be any confusion over what constitutes a penalty in this series.
That’s because, apparently, everything constitutes a penalty. Lay a stick on a Blues defenceman, Henrik Sedin, off you go. Use your arm to ward off a Canucks forward, Jay McKee, and you sit in the box and feel shame. Mill around a scrum too long and you’re liable to be sent off for public loitering. And none of your lip, young man, or you get 10.
At least that’s what it felt like on Wednesday night. That’s also the way it looked as the refereeing tandem of Chris Lee and Dan O’Halloran handed out minors like they were Reese’s Pieces on Halloween night. In the first two periods of a competitive but not particularly violent postseason game there were 11 power plays between the two teams: seven for the Blues, four for the Canucks.
Now, we can argue if that’s an appropriate total for a Stanley Cup playoff game. And there was plenty of arguing Wednesday night. But it’s also pointless because these are the terms of engagement in the new NHL.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
You’ve heard teams jinx the deal by announcing the parade route before they’ve actually won the Stanley Cup.
But this has to set some sort of record.
The Vancouver Canucks open their Western Conference quarter-final against the St. Louis Blues here tonight. And defenceman Willie Mitchell already has the parade route mapped out.
“Put us on boats and take us around the seawall of Stanley Park and then end up at the Convention Centre,” said the native of Port McNeil on Vancouver Island.
“That would be the ultimate. It would be really, really cool,” Mitchell said after practice yesterday.
Hopes are high as the Vancouver Canucks get ready for their first playoff game Wednesday at home against the St. Louis Blues. If you want to cheer on your team in person, be prepared to pay. Regular price playoff tickets for the Canucks cost between $100 and $400 each—plus service charges—in round one.
On the street there is a willingness to go the see the Canucks in the post-season. But with a shaky economy, the prices are too steep for fans like this guy. “Not worth the money to me. The chances are, if you’re sitting in the nosebleed section for that much, it’s just not worth it. I’d rather watch it on TV.”
from Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun,
Luongo can’t wait for the playoffs to begin.
“I feel really good and the thing is the team is playing well defensively so it cuts the number of big saves I have to make,” Luongo said after posting his second straight shutout in Saturday’s 1-0 overtime win in Denver. “We have to build off that. Going into the playoffs, we know there are going to be a lot of games like this that are tight and any mistake could decide the game. It’s nice we have that playoff mentality already.”
Luongo seems to have had it for quite some time. He has played brilliantly down the stretch and as he prepares for his second taste of the Stanley Cup playoffs, he thinks he can draw upon some of the things he learned during his first post-season experience two years ago.
“I guess you just know what to expect,” he said. “Going into my first one you don’t really know until you really play a game how it feels. The main thing is you can’t get too high or too low. When you win a game you feel like you’re on top of the world. When you lose one you feel like you’re done. You just have to try and stay even-keeled until the series is over.”
OT victory today, the Vancouver Canucks win their division.
Also, the top five seedings in the West are set:
1. San Jose
The Vancouver Canucks missed the playoffs last season but could be returning with home ice advantage in the first round as Northwest Division champs, depending on what transpires on Saturday.
Vancouver (44-27-10) can clinch their third division title in five years with a win or an overtime loss in a 12 p.m. PT start in Denver, Colorado.
from TSN, Every week, the NHL on TSN panel voices its opinions on the hot topics of the day in the Wednesday Night Hockey Quiz.
Among the big late season acquisitions, who has been the biggest disappointment Mats Sundin or Olli Jokinen?
Bob McKenzie: I’ll go with Mats Sundin, only because his body of work with the Vancouver Canucks is larger than that of Olli Jokinen with the Calgary Flames. Having said that, I believe that the prospect of Mats Sundin reversing what has happened in the regular season and making noise in the playoffs is far greater than Jokinen with the Flames.
Keith Jones: For me it is Olli Jokinen and for this reason: he shoots the puck a lot; therefore Mike Cammalleri has stopped scoring goals. Since the trade deadline just three goals for Cammalleri due to the negative effect of Olli Jokinen.
more questions answered…
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province via Faceoff.com,
When Colin Campbell called Alex Burrows on Monday, the NHL’s disciplinarian didn’t wish the feisty winger good luck in the postseason. He wished Burrows would stop pushing the envelope.
In that regard, Campbell gave Burrows a slap on the wrist by slapping him with a $2,500 US fine for reaching out from the bench Saturday and punching Oilers enforcer Zack Stortini in the final minute of play at Edmonton. Burrows got a 10-minute misconduct.
“I wasn’t too happy about it [fine], and I let him know,” said Burrows. “He said I was on his watch list for a while, and he said there were two incidents from last year and with my reputation, he was watching me. But I told him I’ve been good lately, and I don’t know why I should be on that watch list….”
from Flames Insider,
Yes, the Flames deserved far better. No question, Calgary should’ve walked out of GM Place on Tuesday with the Northwest Division pennant tucked safely in their back pocket.
But, chill. All is not lost. Quite the contrary.
Roberto Luongo was sensational. Give the man his due. But give the vanquished theirs, too. That was the finest game Mike Keenan’s backtracking battalion has played since trashing the Flyers 5-1 in Philly on March 5.
And for those Sea of Red zealots in full angst mode, bemoaning the criminal unjustness of the Vancouver netminder’s scene-stealing performance - take a deep breath and a small cup of perspective. How many times has Miikka Kiprusoff left other teams cursing in exactly the same way over the years? Hey, it can happen to YOU, too, you know.
In point of fact, outside of that absolutely impotent (now 0-for-37) powerplay, there wasn’t much to quibble about.
continued and watch video highlights of the game below…
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