Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle,
Secondly, this isn’t a 1-8 thing; the Sharks are the lower-seeded team here, but most people saw them as one of the two best teams in the West (with Anaheim the other). The Wings were older and smaller and seemingly ripe for a beating from the right team.
Only the Sharks don’t seem to be that team after all.
Despite a regular season in which they walked the talk awfully convincingly, they have established a disturbing trend of getting complacent and/or compliant after 15 or so minutes in each of the first five games, and each game the difference has become increasingly pronounced.
from the AP via the Monterey Herald,
Though the Red Wings can finish off Wilson’s faltering club in Game 6 at the Shark Tank on Monday night, the coach isn’t certain what else he can do about his sputtering offense, his awful power play and a club that retreats into a shoddy defensive shell after taking the lead.
He’s just hoping his veteran players, outside of do-everything center Joe Thornton, finally take charge against the Red Wings, forcing their teammates to overcome an inexplicable pattern of retreating with a lead.
“It’s not by design,” Wilson said. “It just seems to have happened. We’ve got to get our defensemen to be more aggressive. We give up a lot of space in the neutral zone, and the ice tilts. ... We can prevent them from tilting the ice by playing hard for 60 minutes.”
from the AP via the CBC,
Alexander Ovechkin of the NHL’s Washington Capitals received a one-game suspension Sunday for a hit to the head of Switzerland player Valentin Wirz at the hockey world championship.
Ovechkin was ejected from Russia’s 6-3 win at 8:42 of the first period for a check to the head of Wirz, who needed to be helped off the ice.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
After beating the Rangers 4-2 in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference final, the Sabres will face the Ottawa Senators, who are back in the conference final for the first time since 2003. The series may not begin until next Saturday in Buffalo in order to accommodate NBC, the NHL’s primary U.S. television network.
“That line deserves a lot of credit,” Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff said of Hecht and linemates Drew Stafford and Dainius Zubrus. Their primary task was to shut down the Rangers’ big line of Jaromir Jagr, Michael Nylander and Martin Straka. Ruff had them changing constantly on the fly to get that matchup.
more on the game today…
from The Toque,
Hockey is Canada’s greatest game, but it’s also one of the most dangerous, if you exclude fringe sports such as the javelin catch, live grenade hot potato, and grizzly wrestling. You might be surprised to learn that in Canada, one of the top ten causes of death is hockey-related drowning.
It’s chilling, but it’s true. Hockey rinks with indoor-style ice ponds measuring eight feet (2.67 metres) deep or more have accounted for hundreds of drownings since the first ice pond rink was built in Montreal in 1929. (The numbers would be much higher if they thought it necessary to count on-ice officials.)
Because hockey players wear so much heavy equipment, they put more pressure on ice surfaces, increasing the likelihood of breaking through the ice.
from The Maven,
There’s no point in beating around the bush; New Jersey lost primarily because Martin Brodeur failed to play goal up to his previous standard.
The cheapies he allowed simply cannot be rationalized because there were too many at critical junctures in decisive games….
Lou Lamoriello needs a new coach. The best bet would be Ron Wilson, should he become available. I’d also support Pat Quinn.
Talking to Scott Gomez, I get the feeling that he’s gone, barring some miraculous sales job. Scotty wants to play a more wide open game and in the unlikely event that he gets some assurance of that, I’m convinced he’ll want to play elsewhere.
from Dan O’Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Through Friday’s action, there had been a grand total of three power play goals scored in 22 overtime periods in these playoffs. You have a better chance of seeing Western lowland gorillas in the mist.
In the playoffs, a game as close as one goal or less adopts the unyielding personality of overtime well before regulation ends. Checking becomes tighter than a Joan Rivers mug shot. While tension and drama builds for the emotionally attached fans, the marathon standoffs do nothing to advance the quality of the game. The longer overtime goes, the more disintegrated play becomes. Not only are weary players impacted on that particular night, there is residual damage for the remainder of the series.
Do we have a game 7 or does Buffalo beat the Rangers at MSG today?
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
The Hockey Hall of Fame committee is going to have their hands full this year when they vote after the draft because they can only let four skaters in and there’s five, for sure, that should get in. Mark Messier is a lock. Ron Francis is close. Al MacInnis (Norris trophy, Stanley Cup ring), Scott Stevens (Conn Smythe trophy) and Igor Larionov (Russian trailblazer) are also on the ballot. So is Claude Lemieux, who won Cups with three different teams and had 19 game-winning playoff goals,
much more NHL talk…
from Earl McRae of the Ottawa Sun,
Metcalfe and his pensioner buddies John Scully and Normie Cole get together for breakfast every Saturday at different restaurants around the city to put the world right, and the world that now has to be put right by Leo Metcalfe, 82, John Scully, 82, and Normie Cole, 79, is the world of hockey, they being experts.
“Normie and I played senior hockey in Quebec and the Maritimes when it was next best to the NHL,” says Metcalfe. “John played in Manitoba. We know what we’re talking about.”
“These young people watching the NHL today,” says Scully, “they think what they’re seeing from the players is good. It’s all they’ve ever seen. They’ve nothing to compare it with. They’re wrong.”
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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