Kukla's Korner Hockey
* There have been three overtime games in the first seven contests of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. In 2013, there were 27 overtime games (in 86 total games played, 31.4%), including a record 17 in 47 first-round contests (36.2%). Each of the 15 total series had at least one overtime game, the first time that has happened since all four rounds went to the best-of-seven format in 1987.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the triple-overtime contest between the Blues and Blackhawks marked just the eighth time in NHL history the opening game of a playoff season required three or more overtimes. The winner of Game 1 went on to advance in all seven previous instances.
* Five of the first seven games in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs have been decided by one goal. In 2013, there were 49 one-goal games (in 86 total games played, 57.0%), two short of the record set in 2007 (51 one-goal games in 81 total games played, 63.0%).
* Home teams are 6-1 through seven games in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Last year, home clubs earned a record 59 victories in the postseason (59-27, .686), including a 30-17 mark in the first round (.638). In 2012, road teams dominated, posting a record 47 wins throughout the playoffs (47-39, .547), including a 30-18 mark in the first round (.625).
Every night of the Stanley Cup playoffs, TSN hockey analyst and former NHL goaltender Jamie McLennan breaks down each goalie's performance.
Jamie's number grades given are out of five, with five being the best mark.
Ray Emery, Philadelphia (3) – Emery did not receive a ton of help this game. He had missed assignments in front of him and was asked to stop power play goals that were on the back door.
Henrik Lundqvist, New York (4) - Lundqvist displayed good positioning all night. He made vintage Lundqvist saves in the second period on Wayne Simmonds and Matt Read. He wasn't forced to be spectacular, but was there when the Rangers needed him.
Corey Crawford, Chicago (3) – Crawford was solid all night long. He made two game-saving stops in the second period on Vladimir Tarasenko and Steve Ott, and then continued his roll of making timely saves when the Blackhawks needed it with his outstanding play in overtime.
Just drop the puck...
from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times,
The Hawks are the more talented team and the team that should win this series.
Will they? I don’t know. It’s very possible that the puck won’t bounce their way, as the cliché goes. But all things being equal, the Hawks should come out of this alive and well. Remember, the visiting team took the home team to three overtimes.
“Let this one sink in and maybe we can be ticked off about it for a few moments here, but then tonight and tomorrow, it’s time to move on and get ready for the next one,’’ Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said.
If the Hawks can keep buzzing around the puck the way they did Thursday night and if they can get this Crawford for the rest of the playoffs, they’ll be lifting the Stanley Cup over their heads again in June. It’s really that simple. And that difficult.
Below, watch Joel Quenneville make a 'slight adjustment' in the 2nd OT period...
You sort of get the feeling Sutter did not want to be at this post-game press conference.
The Sharks had a 5-0 lead after 2 peiods, Quick was pulled to start the 3rd period and then the Kings scored 3 goals to make it a game but did lose 6-3.
First, Alex Steen with a goal early in triple OT...
Then below, some magic from Paul Stastny...
Tonight should be another great night to settle in and watch some playoff hockey.
The Blues will be without T.J. Oshie and Patrik Berglund, the Flyers are starting Ray Emery and their #1 goaltender Steve Mason will join the Flyers in NYC tomorrow but is still questionable for game 2.
Also, there was some question of the starting goaltender for San Jose and this morning the Sharks announced Antti Niemi as their starter.
Enjoy and feel free to comment on the games...
from the CP at The Hockey News,
Hockey is a religion in Quebec. Just ask the Roman Catholic Church.
The church is giving Habs fans a chance to support the only Canadian team in the Stanley Cup playoffs and do a little charity work by donating $1 to light a virtual candle on thewww.laflammedesseries.ca website.
The contributions will go toward the church's annual fund drive.
The website went up on Wednesday before the Canadiens defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-4 in overtime in their first playoff game.
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
Now the Blues are beaten-up and have lost six straight games entering the first round, and they’re facing the Chicago Blackhawks, the defending Stanley Cup champions and the second-best offensive team in the NHL in the regular season. St. Louis seems on edge. But Miller seems at ease. He joked with reporters about the 18 goals he allowed in his last five games, saying he didn’t think it was too bad and he wasn’t worried, and then he said something interesting.
“I’ve learned some things about playing with this group the last month-and-a-half, and I feel I’ve built my game to be in a good place this time of year,” Miller said. “Over the last year-and-a-half, two years, I think I’ve built a good attitude to play hockey the right way and be a good teammate. Right now it’s about coming together as a group, battling for your buddy and hunkering down and just going to work. That’s kind of what I’m putting my focus into. I’m just going to try and be there and do my job for the boys.”
A good attitude? To play the right way? To be a good teammate? What does Miller mean by that? Well, when you’re a perfectionist, imperfection can drive you nuts, and when you’re a goalie, being a good teammate can mean worrying about yourself. Miller had good times in Buffalo – two trips to the Eastern Conference final, a Presidents’ Trophy as the NHL’s top regular-season team, a Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goalie – but the Sabres slipped and so did he. The frustration affected him. He called out problems like a captain.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Question: Do you know the difference between Bobby Orr and Ryan McDonagh?
Answer: The Bruins would never have traded the rights to Orr to the Rangers in exchange for Scott Gomez.
Well, that difference among many.
And yet, as the Flyers approached Thursday’s Garden opener of their opening-round playoff series against the Blueshirts, one can be excused for wondering if Philadelphia’s coaching staff had super-imposed the No. 4 onto the back of McDonagh’s jersey given the emphasis the club seemed to be placing on the Rangers’ best player.
Indeed, coach Craig Berube reportedly had instructed his first line consisting of Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell and Jakub Voracek to change its preferred style of rush-hockey to a form of dump-and-crash in order to: a) protect against offensive blue line turnovers that would trigger McDonagh leading the transition; and, b) wear down McDonagh by pounding the defenseman whenever he goes back to play the puck below the goal line.
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