Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/09/07 at 11:41 PM ET
from the New York Times,
And while the Thrashers have lived on their offensive firepower, the Rangers are a defense-first team that has frequently won, or lost, by 2-1 scores.
The series, which starts Thursday in Atlanta, will most likely swing on which team can impose its style on the other.
“They are a strange team to play,” Rangers forward Jaromir Jagr said. “They’re like a snake. They make you sleep and they jump. They’ve got so much power, they just hit you with three goals with the skill they have.
“You have to be ready for that. I think you just have to play your game, don’t adjust to their game.”
added 9:51pm, from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
Not only are the Thrashers playing in their first playoff series, they’re doing it on the biggest media stage in the world. The team, which at times has complained about the leaguewide lack of exposure for its stars like Ilya Kovalchuk and Marian Hossa, now has to prevent being burned by overexposure and the distractions that come with playing a New York team.
“That’s going to be a challenge,” coach Bob Hartley said after Monday’s practice. “That’s the challenge of a pro sports athlete — some people will lose their focus.”
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