Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
What’s with all this booing?
Buffalo and Ottawa shouldn’t be Stanley Cup rivals; they should be twin cities.
Both exist because of the border — blue-collar Buffalo because it was so close to it, and national capital Ottawa because it wasn’t. Both have almost exactly the same regional population. Both have hockey teams that went bankrupt and were sold, rink included, for about the price of a new puck. Both are connected to canals. Both had significant political assassinations: President William McKinley in Buffalo and Father of Confederation Thomas D’Arcy McGee in Ottawa. Both cities have had exactly 58 mayors, Byron Brown holding the office in Buffalo and Larry O’Brien the new mayor in Ottawa.
And both, of course, can’t win the big ones.
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
Way back when he was just getting his feet wet in management, John Muckler, then the Buffalo Sabres newly-minted Director of Hockey Operations was following the playoffs on television when he noticed this guy named Dominik Hasek moping up for the Chicago Blackhawks in a one-sided Stanley Cup loss to Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Muckler was so impressed with Hasek’s competitive nature that he made certain that then Sabres general manager Gerry Meehan make a play for the goalie who was seemingly stuck behind some guy named Ed Belfour.
from the Ottawa Citizen,
Daniel Alfredsson’s first period power-play goal came after Kalinin had taken a hooking penalty, while trying to prevent a second Fisher breakaway.
“It was disappointing,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. “We were not very good with the puck and he was one of them. I don’t have to get in his face. Everybody saw it. We won as a team and lost as a team all year.”
Again, Kalinin stands out on a rough night all around. The official giveaway count was Sabres 19, Senators 8.
“Overall, five-on-five, we weren’t too bad,” said Jason Pominville.
“But we have to improve the turnovers and the special teams.”
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
The Sens only allowed 20 Sabre volleys to be directed at Emery last night, an extraordinarily low total from the NHL’s highest scoring team, and only 10 of those came after Buffalo erased an early 2-0 lead with a goal off the stick of low-scoring defenceman Toni Lydman in the game’s 29th minute that tied the game 2-2.
That, you could argue, was the most important result of last night’s 5-2 Ottawa victory, that an early lead was surrendered and yet the Sens didn’t cave. In the opener of a second-round series between the clubs last year, after all, favoured Ottawa blew a big lead and lost a 7-6 overtime decision from which it really never recovered.
from the Ottawa Sun,
The Senators have accomplished one goal by stealing a game here, but they can take a commanding 2-0 lead home with a victory in Game 2 tomorrow night.
Spezza said the Senators’ next goal is to break an 0-8 playoff record after winning Game 1.
“Now we have a chance to steal two before we go home,” said Spezza. “We just have to get rid of those second-game blues. I know we’re going to talk about that all day (today), so maybe we can finally just shake it.
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
Nobody took the Red Wings’ first-round flop last spring, when Detroit was ousted by the Edmonton Oilers in six games, harder than the passionate Babcock. How could the first-place team perform so poorly in the playoffs? Babcock endeavoured to find out.
His father, a hard-rock mine pit boss, instilled in him a long time ago that if you want to get your employees to work hard and perform, the boss has to exhibit an even more inexhaustible work ethic. So Babcock scoured the game tapes from the Oilers-Red Wings series and arrived at training camp last September with a new message and the video evidence to support his new theme.
NHL.com is beta testing real time scoring. Check it out if you have a need for it.
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
The NHL Players’ Association’s team player representatives voted unanimously today to fire executives Ted Saskin and Ken Kim “for cause,” after a union-commissioned report concluded Saskin had quarterbacked a campaign to hack into player email accounts.
Chris Chelios just mentioned this on his weekly conversation with WDFN in Detroit. It is at the end of the audio and you can listen at A2Y. Chris mentioned they will start from scratch to find an new leader.
I spoke with Wings radio play-by-play man Ken Kal this afternoon.
Ken gives his views on the Wings/Ducks series and answered a few other questions I had.
It was a treat for me to speak with him and hope you enjoy the conversation.
Randy Carlyle, Chris Pronger, Teemu Selanne and Scott Niedermayer took part in a press conference today…
Q. Randy, Giguere had to go through a lot at the end of the season, start of the playoffs. Are you impressed by the way he focused on the game still?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: Again, you know, I think that when people go through hurdles in life and things that do happen outside of the game, then get an opportunity to go back to work, I think work becomes a little bit of a haven. Once you can satisfy in your own mind that everything’s okay at home, the ability to go back to work is really a relief for the individual.
I think that was the case with Giguere. He was through a situation that took some time to resolve. He got the opportunity to come back and practice for a couple of days. He didn’t play right away. He probably felt that he was more deserved of playing right away, but we had a goaltender that won three in a row, and as a coach you have to make those decisions.
When we lost the game in Minnesota, he grabbed the net from then on he’s given us quality goaltending and has given us a chance in every game. That’s all you can really ask from him. It’s a tribute to the individual to go through the personal family situation and then to come back and be ready to play at a high level. He’s to be commended for that.
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