Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Detroit News,
The Red Wings likely will begin the playoffs Thursday against Calgary without forward Todd Bertuzzi.
Bertuzzi, who suffered a concussion in the next-to-last game of the regular season against Chicago, wasn’t on the ice for the second consecutive day Tuesday, and coach Mike Babcock didn’t sound encouraged about Bertuzzi playing in Game 1 at Joe Louis Arena.
“In my mind, he’s not available at this point,” Babcock said after Tuesday’s practice.
Its tour of San Francisco was a bit more genteel, with a ride on a Cable Car and stops at some of the city’s tourist landmarks.
There’s actually a book dedicated to the Cup’s exploits titled, “Why is The Stanley Cup in Mario Lemieux’s Swimming Pool?”
read on...plus a slide show and video…
Hey AO, you can’t touch the….
from the Globe and Mail,
In his first installment, The Scout previews the 16 teams who have qualified for the spring race to Lord Stanley’s goblet.
It’s in the second race that the quest for the Cup really begins. Fourteen have fallen, 16 remain.
Here’s a look at the 16 survivors, their strengths, weaknesses and those qualities that will help them win or guarantee their failure.
Detroit Red Wings
Strengths / Weaknesses: The Wings fly into the playoffs with big wins down the stretch. They’re riding a high. Yet, as coach Mike Babcock knows, winning the Western Conference regular season title doesn’t equate with playoff success.
continued... all 16 teams covered…
via the Pittsburgh Channel,
Pittsburgh Penguins fans are invited to gather downtown for a playoff rally at noon Wednesday in the courtyard of the Allegheny County Courthouse.
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and county Chief Executive Dan Onorato are hosting the rally. There will be free food and music.
Onorato’s office said students are encouraged to bring signs and banners to decorate the courthouse and the City-County Building. The signs can either be brought to the rally or dropped off at the guard station adjacent to the Forbes Avenue entrance of the courtyard.
via the Detroit News,
Come back to detnews.com after 1 p.m. today for a story and photo of the unveiling in Detroit of the statue of former Red Wings great Gordie Howe.
The Wings plan to unveil the statue at 1 p.m. at the Gordie Howe Entrance of the Joe Louis Arena. Howe, the Wings’ all-time leading scorer, is expected to attend the ceremony, which is closed to the public.
from Larry Wigge at NHL.com,
Strong. Competitive. Skilled. With that great package of intangibles, coupled with discipline and determination and passion, Forsberg is a winner. And it just so happens that the months that Weight talked about are the most pressurized times of the season down the stretch and in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
“When I think of him,” Blues coach Andy Murray said, “I think of skill, strength, competitiveness and that insatiable stamina he has. There’s not a player in the NHL that plays such long shifts ... and is as good in the final 15 seconds as he was in the first 15 seconds.”
via the Globe and Mail,
Ottawa head coach Bryan Murray was asked Tuesday whether he anticipated a match-up between Senators tough guy Brian McGrattan and Pittsburgh enforcer Georges Laracque during the upcoming series between the Senators and Penguins.
“Not unless they get into a fight in the press box,” joked Murray, who sat out McGrattan for all 10 of Ottawa’s playoff games a year ago.
from the Montreal Gazette,
A few months ago, Lecavalier received an email from the organizer of an outdoor recreational league he played in as a youngster on the island off the northwestern tip of Montreal. The league was still using the same sweaters Lecavalier and other players wore 20 years ago.
In no time, a shipment of 36 new Tampa Bay Lightning sweaters, half black and half white, each with the No. 4 and the name “Vincent” emblazoned on the back, arrived in Ile Bizard, to the delight of the children and organizer Ken Acton, who said proudly: “The kids on this island never forget.”
NEW YORK (April 10, 2007)—The Chicago Blackhawks won the National Hockey League Draft Drawing today and gained the first overall drafting position for the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, June 22 and 23 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
The Blackhawks, who would have picked fifth based on inverse order of regular-season finish, had the fifth-greatest percentage likelihood, 8.1%, that one of the numbered sequences assigned to them would be the winning combination. Under the lottery system, only the five teams with the fewest points had the chance to win the first overall selection; no team could move up more than four spots and no team could move backward more than one.
from Pierre McGuire at Sports Illustrated,
Canucks (3) vs. Stars (6)
Look for low-scoring, tight-checking games that could be decided by special teams. Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo has a huge edge over Dallas netminder Marty Turco. The Stars need offense from veteran forwards Mike Modano and Mike Ribeiro and steady forechecking from Brenden Morrow, but if Dallas doesn’t shut down the Sedin twins and win one-goal games, the Canucks will take the series.
The Pick: Canucks in seven
read on for all Western and Eastern Conference picks…
Also, I try to choose out some key picks from different sources and have had numerous emails suggesting picks from bloggers, websites and MSM sites.
Feel free to add links to those sites in the comments of this post.
from David Amber at ESPN,
In June, the NHL’s Western Conference will likely let us know who will be sipping from the Stanley Cup. With all due respect to the talented Sabres, the playoff-tested Devils and the upstart Penguins, this season, the West is in a league of its own. No East Coast bias here.
Here are five reasons why you should believe me:
Before you spill your coffee on the keyboard, Martin Brodeur was not traded to the Western Conference. But check out these numbers. Aside from Brodeur, the East’s other starting goalies with playoff experience—Ryan Miller, Henrik Lundqvist and Ray Emery—have a combined losing record in the postseason.
added 12:56pm, E.J. Hradek at ESPN tells us why the East will win….
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