Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Vancouver Sun,
In the eyes of Canuck coach Alain Vigneault and his players, they are the not- so- mighty Ducks. And the Canucks figure they can prove it, if only they can get their special teams act together.
The Canucks outplayed Anaheim at even- strength Sunday night, but another subpar performance by their power- play and penalty- kill units allowed the Ducks to skate to a 3- 2 win and a 2- 1 lead in their best- of- seven Western Conference semifinal series.
“I thought five- on- five we were good again, but the difference was obviously special teams,” Vigneault said. “Theirs were better than ours. It was a tight game and we had some chances at the end, but couldn’t get it done.”
fromm the Hockey News,
• I heard Monday Night Football commentator Tony Kornheiser say the NFL is just more fun when the Chicago Bears are good. I think the same can be said for the Rangers, or any Original Six team for that matter. For some reason, things are just more interesting when a classic club is in the mix.
• The Canadian anthem singer puts me in the mind of Adam Sandler’s “Opera Guy” character from Saturday Night Live. Somebody should get Sandler to do an anthem. Yes, really.
• Ducks win, but we’ll leave you with a one question. A) Is Chris Pronger hurting? He doesn’t look like the dominating, peak-of-his game Chris Pronger on this night. We suspect we’ll see a different Pronger as the series matures.
from the Vancouver Province,
Rory Fitzpatrick is the latest victim of this bad-luck flu cocktail. The defenceman was injured, or caught the flu, sometime late in Game 2 in Anaheim.
He remains doubtful tonight for Game 3. As does Sami Salo who hurt his lower back, or caught the flu, in the Dallas series when he was slew-footed by Ladislav Nagy.
Kevin Bieksa, who skated on his own Saturday, said he can finally see “light at the end of the tunnel” recovering from what is believed to be an upper rib or shoulder injury.
But the light is still a ways off and the best-case estimate has Bieksa coming back only at the end of this series with the Ducks.
“I can’t tell you exactly who is in and who’s out right now because I don’t know,” Vigneault said. “Right now, I’m not sure what our defence is going to look like.”
From Lonnie White at the LA Times,
Getting production from the Ducks’ grinders is important in this series because Vancouver uses a four-line rotation. That might have played a role in the Ducks’ Game 2 defeat.
Each Canucks forward had at least 22 shifts and more than 13 minutes of ice time, while the Ducks stuck with a three-line rotation and their forwards seemed to tire in the second overtime.
“We have to go out and play physical and create some energy; that’s our job here in the playoffs,” Thornton said. “Whatever we can chip in offensively would be a big help to the team.”
That has not been a problem for the Canucks, who won Game 2 on fourth-line winger Jeff Cowan’s overtime goal.
From Ben Kuzma at The Province,
Like Sgt. Rock of comic-book fame, Willie Mitchell should be chomping down on a cigar and tugging on a machine-gun trigger while leading his troops to victory.
The Vancouver Canucks defenceman not only battled back from an early injury Friday in a 2-1 double-overtime win over the Anaheim Ducks, he expects a similar effort today in the Western Conference semifinal series now even at one game apiece.
“We’ve got more in the bag,” said Mitchell. “We’re underdogs I guess and a lot of people were writing us off after Game 1. They were saying that [Ducks] team is too much for us, and that’s motivation.
from the CP via Yahoo,
The Vancouver Canucks are frustrated with the way the Anaheim Ducks have been crashing into goaltender
Roberto Luongo in the first two games of their NHL Western Conference semifinal series.
Canuck general manager Dave Nonis is taking up the issue with the NHL prior to Sunday night’s Game 3 (8 p.m. ET). The best of seven series is tied 1-1.
“We’ve got some issues with the officiating that I’m not sharing with you,” Canuck coach Alain Vigneault said after practice Saturday. “The professional thing is to deal directly with the NHL.
“Obviously we had some issues with last night’s game. Dave is bringing it up with them.”
from the Hockey News,
Seconds after the Sabres secured a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers in Game 2 Friday, Ruff blew a gasket as he flew off the Sabres bench to complain to game officials about a blown offside call in the final six seconds—which led to a Rangers desperation shot on goal—and about a Rangers too-many-men-on-the-ice infraction that was botched by the referees in the dying minutes.
Ruff was waving his arms and screaming at anything dressed in black and white stripes….
God bless you for scoring, Jeff Cowan. And god bless you, too, J-S Giguere, for allowing a goal at such a strange angle.
From Josh Peter at Yahoo! Sports,
This just in: Roberto Luongo is mortal.
Casual fans might be asking, “Roberto who?” But the puckheads among us must be asking, “Roberto Luongo is mortal? You can’t be serious, can you?”
We’re serious. Very serious.
The Anaheim Ducks did more than beat the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday in the Stanley Cup playoffs. In a 5-1 victory, they dispelled the myth that Luongo, Vancouver’s splendid goaltender, can single-handedly carry the Canucks into the Western Conference finals. The Ducks did this in astonishing fashion, too.
Note: No disrespect to the Ducks—their goals were well-earned, and Luongo has struggled against them all season—but Mr. Peter’s entire article seems to be prefaced on the idea of The End of Luongo. Well, Luongo got scored on 4 times in regulation in the first game of the Dallas series as well. Just because he didn’t dominate in Game #1 of the 2nd round, doesn’t necessarily mean he’s out of this series. (Just thought I’d point that out. Hmph.)
from Scott Morrison at the CBC,
So, forget the opener and the key then becomes Game Two. Win it and the Canucks have a chance going home. Lose it and it becomes a matter of time before the end arrives, essentially of whether Roberto Luongo can steal a game or two to preserve hope. Remember, though, Anaheim is the only Western Conference team he did not and still has not beaten this season, though Game 1 remained close longer than it should have because of him.
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 email@example.com