Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
If the Chicago Blackhawks, as expected, take center Patrick Kane with the No. 1 pick of the NHL draft in June, they are probably setting themselves up to have one of the league’s most dangerous rosters in two or three seasons.
Nobody has been paying much attention to the Blackhawks because they have not been in the playoffs since 2002, but quietly the ‘Hawks have been assembling a fascinating collection of talent.
By 2009-10, their top two center men will be Jonathan Toews and Kane. The twosome will presumably be among the league’s top one-two center combinations.
from Roy MacGregor at the Globe and Mail,
The Virgin Mary is onside.
She stands in the garden of St. Patrick’s Basilica on the corner of Nepean and Kent Streets in downtown Ottawa, a large Go Sens Go poster — complete with logo — on the church wall behind her. She wears a confident smile on her calm face and has her arms outstretched as if on the verge of celebrating a goal.
At this point, even one would be nice.
The faithful, it should be noted, are holding on to their belief — even with the Ottawa Senators down two games to none in the Stanley Cup final, even after being shut out by the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday.
Q. I just wanted to know, can you update us on Chris Neil, if everything went well with him?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: He’s a father. He’s happy. He was in this morning. He went through the video that he missed out on yesterday. And he’s ready to play.
Q. What can Alfredsson do to be more effective tonight?
COACH BRYAN MURRAY: Get the puck in scoring position once in a while and put pucks to the net. He’s got to get some help. I don’t think there’s an individual player in this league or very few of them that can do it himself.
I think it becomes, in particular this time of year when everybody is playing great defense and working real hard, you’ve got to have a line going. And then you have a chance to be a productive player.
So it’s Jason and Dany and Alfy have to be doing what they do all playoffs with the exception of a game or two.
Q. Randy, any update on Chris Kunitz and his ability for tonight or beyond?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: Earth-breaking news, gentlemen. All of our players are available for tonight. So read into it. All our players are available for tonight (smiling).
Q. To become more clear, then -
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: All our players are available tonight.
Q. Will Chris Kunitz be in the lineup this evening?
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: We’ll have to make a coach’s decision on whether Chris Kunitz will play. He’s been cleared by the doctors. All our players are available to play.
Q. Just want to clear that up -
COACH RANDY CARLYLE: All our players are available to play.
from the Rocky Mountain News,
May, now, in his 15th NHL season, is halfway to getting his name engraved on the Stanley Cup for the first time, as the Ducks have built a 2-0 lead against the Ottawa Senators in the best-of-seven championship series that resumes tonight (6 MDT, KUSA-Channel 9).
“It’s incredible,” May said. “It’s been a great experience, but the dream is being the last team standing, so we haven’t accomplished anything yet. We’re certainly not complacent, I can promise that.”
Other than to say he enjoyed his time in Colorado, May prefers to leave it in the past.
“I’m happy to be here, and that’s no disrespect to where you’ve been,” he said.
from the OC Register,
Facing the prospect of falling behind the Red Wings three games to one while playing without one of their top players and team leaders, the Ducks rallied around the adversity to post a 5-3 victory in Game 4.
They haven’t lost since, closing out Detroit in six games and taking the first two against Ottawa to build a five-game winning streak.
“It was a real wake-up call,” Ducks defenseman Sean O’Donnell said after Friday’s practice at Scotiabank Place. “Our team had to get together and say, ‘What’s going on here? We’re down, 2-1.’ We did have to suck it up there without Chris in Game 4, and I think that’s really kind of emboldened us. We’ve really come together and played well since then.”
from KK member SteveNJ...
It’s about that time of year again when a national network takes over the coverage of the Stanley Cup Finals. This year, once again it’s NBC taking over from VERSUS, who did a fantastic job covering games one and two. For the ‘07 Finals, NBC is pulling out all the stops in an attempt to get the NHL fan to watch - no matter where they might be.
Starting off with the regular, televised broadcast, Mike “Doc” Emrick, Eddie Olczyk and Pierre McGuire will be calling the rest of this series for NBC. Bill Clement, Ray Ferraro and Brett Hull will be in the studio, and they will be joined by a special guest on Monday for game four: Mr. Don Cherry. He will share his thoughts on the game during the second intermission. Hull, in turn, will tag-team with Cherry on the legendary “Coach’s Corner” on Saturday night for game three. NBC will air all of their finals coverage in HD.
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
The worst thing about the Stanley Cup final? It only lasts a week or two. They should change it to a best-of-47. Take us right through August. Over indulging sports writers could split their September between a fat farm and a detox centre, then be ready and in fine form for the start of the next season. The NHL is treating us so well, you’d almost think they were trying to kill us off. From a Brookstreet breakfast to smoked-meat sandwich lunches at the rink to dinner and receptions back at the hotel
many more NHL bits from Don, including the Sens home crowd needs to be ready…
from the OC Register,
“Recently there have been a few sightings of avid hockey fans stopping on the side of Highways 417 and 416 to pick up fallen (Senators) flags. Not only is this action dangerous but also illegal. Pedestrians are not permitted on multi-lane highways . . . “There also have been allegations that certain Ottawa and other area media have been advocating that if you are driving and are stopped by the OPP to shout out ‘Go, Sens, go!’, thinking this will prevent the driver from receiving a ticket.“
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Question is: Who is the LeBron James of the Ottawa Senators? Is it smiling Jason Spezza—and we wonder, what is this man so happy about? Is it Daniel Alfredsson, the Conn Smythe favourite a week or so ago, now lost in translation. Is it Dany Heatley, the quietest 50-goal scorer anyone has ever known?
Or are the Senators grasping for whatever answers they can find in a series in which they might not find any?
“If you get hit with a right hand one time,” said coach Bryan Murray, “you’d better duck the next time if the guy throws a right hand. We’re going to try to duck.”
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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