Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
Silence. The puck came out to the point, Francois Beauchemin fired it and Rickard Rakell deflected it into the net 5:12 into overtime Monday night. Just like that, the MTS Centre went from one of the loudest arenas of all-time to one of the quietest.
As the Anaheim Ducks celebrated their 5-4 victory and 3-0 first-round series lead over the Winnipeg Jets, you could hear their whoops and hollers all the way up to the rafters. Fans started filing out. After maybe a minute, some chanted, “Go, Jets, go!” But soon they faded, and there was no sound again. Hundreds stayed in their seats, stunned.
Nineteen years they had waited for this. Nineteen years they had waited to see an NHL playoff game in Winnipeg. Now they had to process a bittersweet mix of emotions – pride, excitement, frustration, disappointment.
“That’s one you’ll always remember,” said Jets winger Blake Wheeler. “Just too bad it wasn’t a more fond memory.”
from Damien Cox of Sportsnet,
It was one of those nights. One of those crazy, old nights.
History offered a challenge, and hockey responded. As did Manitoba’s capital, producing an unforgettable occasion, a sporting memory pure and firm and lasting.
We shall remember this night.
It ended not as Winnipeg wanted, not as much as Canada wanted, not as one of Canada’s richest men wanted, but with a redirection by the relatively unknown Rickard Rakell off a point shot from Francois Beauchemin at 5:12 of overtime to end a raucous, rollicking night of hockey in favour of the Anaheim Ducks, not the hometown Jets.
from Damien Cox of Sportsnet,
Winnipeg’s best attackers - Bryan Little, Scheifele, Andrew Ladd, Wheeler, Byfuglien - haven’t made a dent in Frederik Andersen, and only one Jet, Adam Lowry, has more than one point so far. The Jets power play has been blanked.
All this could change dramatically, and it could change tonight in Game 3. The Jets need it to against an Anaheim team that was No. 1 in the West this season, but has needed to come back in both games on home ice this series.
The challenge for the Jets will at least partly be to not let the enormity of tonight, the first home game for an NHL team in Winnipeg in 19 years, to become such an overwhelming factor that they neglect to improve those parts of their game that require attention. This is a series in which Game 3 has been held aloft as the key game before hostilities even commenced because it’s the first of its kind since Detroit eliminated the original Jets from the Stanley Cup playoffs back in 1996.
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
The pertinent language that applies to this contact and contained in rule 69.3 is as follows:
For Perry's part, "If an attacking player initiates contact with a goalkeeper, incidental or otherwise, while the goalkeeper is in his goal crease, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed."
To support any defensive contact initiated by Pavelec, "If a goalkeeper, in the act of establishing his position within his goal crease, initiates contact with an attacking player who is in the goal crease, and this results in an impairment of the goalkeeper's ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed."
By virtue of the rule, the actions of both players qualified as a violation of goalkeeper interference and should result in a disallowed goal.
Perry was executing a skilled hockey play in attempting to draw the puck around Pavelec through the crease with his exceptional reach. In real-time, it would have been difficult for referee Dan O'Rourke to detect the extent and result of contact inside the crease given his position in the opposite corner from where Perry attacked the net. Without knowledge or regard to the contact, the referee determined that the puck had not entered the net with a 'washout' signal.
more and watch the goal below...
Can you imagine if Pavelec would have been injured and unable to start?
from Mark Whicker of the Los Aneles Daily News,
Whether NHL players actually sleep during the playoffs is debatable. It’s classified information anyway. But it’s doubtful that the Anaheim Ducks were walking the floors when they got home from their 4-2 win in Game 1 of this first-round Stanley Cup playoff series.
At least not without a couple of ice packs.
The Winnipeg Jets brought the lumber to Honda Center from the very first shift of this game. It was playoff hockey that you could hear, not just see. It was a contact sport, in boldface. And there were times in the early going when the Ducks were getting rid of the puck prematurely in order to dodge all those hits.
You can take or leave the “hits” statistics that NHL teams compile. Generally, if you’re piling up a lot of hits, it means you don’t have the puck very much. But sometimes it is useful to show the general state of play.
In this game, Winnipeg had 37 hits and the Ducks had 46, including eight for the Jets’ Mark Stuart and six for the Ducks’ Andrew Cogliano, who needed a stepladder to deliver a shot to 6-foot-8 defenseman Tyler Myers but gave it a try anyway.
from Damien Cox of Sportsnet,
Forget Atlanta. Winnipeg is different but the same since the Jets lost in six to Detroit and then left town, and that’s the primary narrative that’s in play here. That they play a Ducks team that would tell you the Anaheim market is also very different from the time Michael Eisner (with Bruce McNall’s assistance) convinced the NHL to put a team there further underscores the theme of how the game evolves to fit the places it calls home.
Tonight, the Jets return to the playoffs for the first time in 19 years, and that in itself is a story worth telling.
But it will be Monday when the full expression of the tale is heard, spoken by Winnipeg hockey fans wearing white within and without the MTS Centre, folks justifiably filled with pride that the game came back to them because it had to.
from Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press,
Five takes before the Winnipeg Jets wrap up their preparations on home soil Tuesday morning and then fly the friendly skies south to Anaheim…
1. It’s fascinating – almost shocking – how the Jets have become such a trendy pick as the Stanley Cup playoffs are about to begin. They’re big, fast and skilled and riding a hot goaltender, but they are also matched up against the top seed in the Western Conference.
That hasn’t stopped a lot of media types from making them their upset special against the Ducks. ICYMI, on Monday night TSN’s Hockey panel discussed which Canadian team has the chance to go the deepest into the playoffs.
Aaron Ward picked Montreal but both Bob McKenzie – as respected a hockey journalist as there is in the biz – and Jeff O’Neill picked the Jets. In fact, O’Neill went so far as to predict the Jets to WIN THE STANLEY CUP.
from Paul Edmonds of TSN,
Some would suggest just qualifying for the playoffs would make for a magical season, especially since they battled through injuries all winter, a few suspensions, a tracksuit issue that resulted in a major trade, and a schedule that never seemed to relent on the degree of difficulty it provided Winnipeg on who they played and when. Yet, through it all, they not only qualified for the playoffs but almost seemed to relish in the adversity. After all, the Jets established franchise records for points in a season (99), fewest goals allowed (210), most shutouts (7) and tied team-bests in wins (43) and road victories (20). They also posted five more wins at home this season over last and increased their win total in their own division by seven from a year ago.
And now, as the club prepares for only its second playoff series in franchise history, they do so against an Anaheim Ducks team that won the Western Conference this season with 51 wins, the second most in the NHL this year.
As a group, the Jets have plenty of playoff experience within their dressing room, with Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien and Michael Frolik having all won a Stanley Cup with Chicago previously, while players like Lee Stempniak and Mathieu Perreault have recent post-season experience.
from Darren Dreger of The Dreger Report at TSN,
Mark Chipman - the Executive Chairman of the Board for True North Sports & Entertainment and the Jets - has worked tirelessly over the years to keep Winnipeg as a primary residence for professional hockey and in many ways, he's the reason that the National Hockey League returned to the city.
While he's keenly aware of the challenge his team is about to face in Round 1 of the playoffs, Chipman is soaking in the free-flowing elation in town. A lifelong Winnipegger, he endured the torturous days leading up to the sale of the original Jets and their move to Phoenix almost 20 years ago. He saw grown men literally cry over their beloved team the city couldn't hold on to. So while his stake in the success of the current day Jets is significant, Chipman is just as thrilled that the community and its fan base are once again experiencing NHL playoff hockey.
"Look into the eyes of our fans," Chipman told The Dreger Report. "They feel it every bit as much as I do. I've learned to never underestimate the significance of this team to our community...it really is remarkable."
read on plus the future of Todd McLellan...
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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