Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Red Deer Advocate,
Real hockey fans celebrate their team’s victories by cheering loudly, singing in the streets, waving flags, or drinking themselves stupid. Real hockey fans don’t burn police cars.
Calgary’s famed Red Mile has been a shining example of how hockey fans should honour their home team — granted, I am a little bias as I am a Flames fan.
A little nudity and public drunkenness aside, (OK, a lot of nudity) thousands of Calgary fans have managed to celebrate the Flames’ playoff victories in peaceful fashion. When the Flames made their surprise playoff run in 2004, the insane parties on the Red Mile didn’t result in looted stores or burned police cars.
Tonight’s highly anticipated faceoff in Washington features a few players with some game 7 experience. The Flyers available lineup tonight features 7 players with 15 games experience in this situation; the Capitals boast 6 players with 16 games experience.
Only Washington’s Matt Cooke and Sergei Fedorov have ever scored in a game 7 situation.
But does any of this matter? And who will come out on top?
Flashbacks To: 1945, 1962, 1976, 1988
April 22, 1945 • At 12:14 of the third period, Maple Leafs defenseman Walter “Babe” Pratt scored the Cup-winning goal to give Toronto a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in Game Seven of the Final.
Leafs rookie goaltender Frank McCool, who allowed only nine goals in seven starts, limited the Wings to one goal or less for the fifth time in the series.
From Mike Smith’s blog at The Hockey News:
I was recently asked, of the many trades I made, which had the most interesting story to it? I answered immediately, “the Tie Domi-Kris King for Ed Olczyk trade I made with Neil Smith in New York while I was in Winnipeg.”
My first NHL job was as an assistant coach with the New York Rangers. The genesis of the Domi-King trade began when I went to a Ken Norton heavyweight fight at Madison Square Garden…
From Mark Emmons at the Mercury News,
No matter how intense, physical or downright dirty a series becomes, hockey players suddenly discover their inner-Miss Manners, rein in their raging emotions and shake on it - win or lose. A rugged contest will come to a civilized conclusion.
“We’re probably the most violent sport where you can get hurt at any time,” Sharks Coach Ron Wilson said. “And it’s just an incredible show of respect that when it’s all done, you can leave it right there and shake hands.
“Maybe it’s because we’re a classy sport. Unfortunately, sports can be about chest-bumping and pointing at myself. But that’s not what hockey players are all about.”
From Lynn Zinser at the New York Times,
In late December, the Rangers were in a midseason swoon and Lundqvist, their normally rock-solid goalie, was dealing with his father’s operation for a brain aneurysm in Sweden. The stress showed in his play.
“It was definitely a tough time,” Lundqvist said Monday after the N.H.L. named him one of three Vezina finalists. “You don’t really think when it happens that it affects you, but afterwards, when he started to recover, I thought back about those weeks after it happened and it was a really tough time. I think it affected me a little bit.”
While his father, Peter, has gone through a slow recovery, Lundqvist has bounced back to form on the ice. He finished the season strong, with 37 victories and a league-high 10 shutouts.
From Mike Heika at The Dallas Morning News,
Co-general managers Les Jackson and Brett Hull say their role is limited in the playoffs and that they haven’t done anything spectacular. They actually credit former GM Doug Armstrong with doing a lot of the work to help create a team that knocked off the defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks in six games in the first round.
Yet, just as it is with the forwards, it’s clear that the change at GM has produced positive results.
“I think there’s definitely a different feel,” said owner Tom Hicks, who fired Armstrong in November and made the highly-criticized move of naming two GMs to run the team. “I just think there was tension between the players and management, and something needed to change. You can feel a more positive attitude.”
from Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News,
I miss the big hit that sets the tone for a series, like Brian Campbell on R. J. Umberger two years ago, reminding you that playoff hockey is a whole different animal.
I miss the simple, reassuring rhythm of games being played every other day.
I miss the Goo Goo Dolls singing “Better Days” on the Jumbotron to get things going before the games.
I miss the Sabres flags popping up on cars, like flowers blooming in spring.
I miss playoff beards.
The casual sports fan is beginning to take notice of the NHL.
Read about it at my NHL.com blog.
from Mike Wise of the Washington Post,
But here the kid was in Game 6, needing to score—needing to put a volume of shots on goal because nothing else seemed to be working. He came through brilliantly. His ungodly 13-year, $124 million contract doesn’t kick in until next year, but Ovechkin was poised for criticism this postseason if he couldn’t find the net again.
In a blink he morphed into something none of his teammates had seen for days—from Alex the Awestruck to Ovie the Incomparable, all his talent and power shown in full. And now it’s one game for everything in this first-round classic.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org