Kukla's Korner Hockey
ESPN's Pierre LeBrun deemed Thursday's 6-5 Chicago Blackhawks overtime win to be the, "Firewagon Hawks return[ing] with a vengeance."
The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons and the Hockey News's Ken Campbell praised the game as NBA scoring on ice with hockey's intensity added to the mix, and the Sporting News's Jesse Spector wondered if the game's entertainment factor will allow this series to out-shine the NBA final.
Sportsnet's Mark Spector suggested that the Hawks rediscovered what makes them successful, ESPN's Scott Burnside deemed the game to be an "epic," SI's Brian Cazenueve noted that the Hawks capitalized on the Bruins' mistakes, SI's Sarah Kwak noted that Corey Crawford's terrible habit of cocking his glove like Marc-Andre Fleury before dropping the cuff and changing the angle of his hand is an exploitable weakness, and Yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika noted that the Blackhawks actually seemed to be having fun while proving that this series is, as they say, "going long" (and if you live in Southeastern Michigan, rut roh, WDIV won't air Game 6).
From the New York Rangers:
This press conference may or may not have everything to do with the team's naming of Alain Vigneault as its new coach. Okay, that's really what it's about.
As is customary at this time of year, the Toronto Star's Kevin McGran stirs the pot in what I'm sure will soon be a rolling boil's worth of Toronto Maple Leaf personnel rumors:
Tyler Bozak or Stephen Weiss? James Reimer or Jonathan Bernier? What’s Nazem Kadri worth? Should Clarke MacArthur return? What about extending Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf? Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis is the first to admit there are plenty of questions surrounding the franchise, but he expects the answers to start sorting themselves out. “We’re going to look to upgrade at every position,” said Nonis, in Boston for a meeting of NHL GMs. “That’s not to say we’re unhappy with the people we have. It’s incumbent upon every team to look at what’s available. If there’s an ability to improve, you look to do it.
As the NHL plans on eliminating spin-o-ramas from shootouts, the Sporting News's Jesse Spector offered a 20-shooter slate of rules for future shooters, and it made me laugh at 4 in the morning, so I hope it will amuse you, too:
First shooter is allowed to make whatever shootout move he wants, except, of course, for the evil, vile, spin-o-rama.
Second shooter must take off his helmet and keep it balanced on the handle of his stick.
Third shooter must play the puck between his legs at some point during his approach to the net.
Fourth shooter must find an opposite-handed teammate and use his stick.
Fifth shooter must be the backup goaltender, in full pads.
To put things delicately, I think that this kind of stuff is dumb as dumb can be, but I kind of have to report it. So, per the Ottawa Sun's Chris Stevenson:
Ex-Chicago Blackhawk Tony Amonte stirred things up at the Stanley Cup final when he questioned the toughness of 'Hawks winger Marian Hossa. Hossa missed Game 3 after taking the warmup -- it was rumoured he had a neck injury -- but was back at his post for Game 4 Wednesday night.
Amonte said Hossa is "not the guy with the highest pain threshold in the NHL," on Comcast SportsNet New England where he works as an analyst on Bruins telecasts.
"If you look back to his stats and you look throughout his career, he usually plays about 60 games, takes about 20 or 30 off every year just to make sure he's fresh coming into the postseason," said Amonte. "He's not a guy that will play through a lot of injuries."
[sarcasm] After the game, guess what Marian Hossa said to the Chicago Tribune's Chris Kuc! Guess! I'll bet you can't guess! [/sarcasm]:
"I don't really care what Tony Amonte says," Hossa said after Game 4.
Amidst the rule changes approved by the NHL's general managers (the Board of Governors will rubber-stamp them into law on June 27th), a little tidbit got lost in the shuffle: the GM's are going to eliminate the instigator penalty for starting a fight with one's helmet on given that they're about to grandfather in mandatory visor use, but Colin Campbell tossed in a "wish list" wrinkle while speaking to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun:
NHL executive vice president and director of hockey operations Colin Campbell says GMs also agree to implement a two-minute penalty for fighters who remove their helmets before a fight. So it would be a five-minute penalty for fighting, plus two more minutes for the helmet violation. The new penalty is pending Board of Governors approval.
So fighters will now be required to pummel each other's visors until helmets miraculously fall off, and USA Today's Kevin Allen duly notes that Campbell hopes that this rule wrinkle will slowly but surely diminish the role of the enforcer:
Well that was crazy. The Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks went to overtime yet again, for the third time in four games, but this time around, they went to OT tied 5-5, and a wild and crazy game yielded a wild and crazy finish as Brent Seabrook's shot flittered through three Bruins and Jonathan Toews, who'd been shoved into Tuukka Rask's crease by Zdeno Chara. Hawks win 6-5.
The series heads back to Chicago tied 2-2, and we've got a whole new ballgame, folks.
Here's the gamer:
Don Cherry discussed the physical nature of the Bruins-Blackhawks series, gap control, exchanging hockey knowledge with one Scotty Bowman, "Loosick's" net-front presence, the scourge of European-born players in the CHL and the Grand Rapids Griffins' Calder Cup win over the course of Wednesday's Coach's Corner:
The CBC's opening musical montage for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final did not disappoint:
Yesterday evening, TSN's Insider Trading segment revealed scoops about Kris Letang's future, the goaltending rumor mill, the Flyers' buy-outs, Rangers contract issues, Valtteri Filppula's contract demands and other juicy tidbits.
This evening's Insider Trading segement, which included James Duthie, Pierre LeBrun, Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie, discussed the following topics:
- McKenzie says that either Joe Sakic's being honest about the Avalanche not wanting to bring partially Denver-raised Seth Jones to Denver, and as such, they're trying to cushion the blow that is bringing Nathan McKinnon or Jonathan Drouin to Denver...Or he's posturing in an attempt to convince the Florida Panthers or Tampa Bay Lightning to swap picks. McKenzie doesn't believe that the teams will bite;
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.
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