Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the LA Times,
And because Luongo took a chance and allowed his focus to falter, he was in the losing locker room.
“After the hit, I thought it was an elbow and I looked at the ref for a split second,” said Luongo, who had never advanced to the playoffs in his previous six NHL seasons.
“When I turned my head, the puck was coming and I couldn’t stop it. It was a mistake that I made there and it cost us the game.”
His teammates recoiled at the thought that Luongo would assume blame for a loss that they were so sure would be averted.
more (reg. req.)
from Mark Herrmann of Newsday,
Don’t be fooled by the fact that there are long stretches when nothing seems to happen and that the score of just about every game is 2-1, or when teams really go on a scoring binge, 3-2. This still really is the “new” National Hockey League.
You can tell because the Rangers and Sabres still are alive.
Those two teams, who will continue the most exciting conference semifinal series with Game 5 tonight in Buffalo, are Exhibit A and Exhibit B for the new NHL. They both ought to lead the “thank you” handshake line for the overhaul that the league made after the lockout waved off the 2004-05 season as if it were one of those playoff goals rejected by a committee of TV-watchers in Toronto.
from the Mercury News,
ST. THOMAS, Ontario - The message beckons from a downtown sports bar’s marquee two hours east of the U.S.-Canada border at Detroit:
“Jump Into The Shark Tank As Joe And The Boys Go For Lord Stanley.”
The words appear above the door to Legends. And when the Sharks and Red Wings clash Saturday in Game 5 of their deadlocked playoff series, a big chunk of the crowd inside will be rooting for the team in teal.
from The Record,
“He’s a pretty unique player. Not too many players hold on to the puck as long as he does,” Brendan Shanahan said. “He’s got the combination of size and strength with his puck-handling skills. [Joe] Thornton is like that in San Jose right now. [Peter] Forsberg was like that without necessarily the size. He had the strength, but obviously it beat his body up over a career, but he played that style.
“To do it as long as Jags has, to have that puck control and strength, it’s pretty amazing.”
Buffalo has found out how difficult it is to defend Jagr, who everybody knew had the skill, but, as Shanahan said, maybe not the battle level he’s shown since the All-Star break.
from the Toronto Star,
With video review figuring prominently game after game, and adding 10 minutes to the games on some nights, the netcam and overhead cameras are playing a prominent role.
And that brings a swell of pride to Doug Beeforth, the man who invented the netcam and was involved in the arrival of the one in the rafters.
“Every time I see it, I think I don’t get a lot of good ideas but that one sure worked out,” says Beeforth, now president of Rogers Sportsnet.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
If these politicians really believe they have a right to question whether Doan is suitable to be captain of Team Canada at the current world championships, then they should have had their noses in there when Wayne Gretzky was putting Bertuzzi on Team Canada just months after pleading guilty to assaulting Moore, and they should be far more involved in other hockey matters of importance in the country, like violence, appropriate ages for bodychecking, skill development and abuse of referees.
Otherwise, they look like politicos cherry-picking issues that might sell a little bit on the home front. Which is, of course, what they are.
from the Toronto Sun,
An across the board hike of roughly 5% has been approved by the board of directors of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. after a two-year freeze coming out of the lockout. Prices for 2007-08 will range from $37 to $182 for season-ticket holders, slightly more for the few thousand seats that are on public sale.
“We’ve spent a good deal more off the ice since last year,” said Richard Peddie, president and CEO of MLSEL. “We have expanded our coaching staff, there are travel costs and it has become more expensive for everything from player insurance to turning the lights on at the ACC for a game. We also have to pay 900 employees every game night.”
from Bucky Gleason at the Buffalo News,
The Sabres are a long way from being the cream of the crop after four games against the Rangers in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Ottawa had a 3-1 series lead over New Jersey. Anaheim was dominat-
ing Vancouver. You could argue Buffalo isn’t even the best team in the state now that it’s tied with New York.
Fans are pulling their hair out wondering what’s wrong with the lovable and supposedly unbeatable Swords, the so-called darlings of the new NHL. Granted, Buffalo didn’t play well in Madison Square Garden, but folks around here have been slow to recognize there’s another team on the ice in the Rangers.
from The Maven,
Before the series started, I picked the Rangers to beat Buffalo in five. Now it will have to be six games.
The Sabres have been blunted; not to mention outskated, outhustled and outcoached.
Plus, Ryan Miller hasn’t been as good as Henny Lundqvist either.
I expect the Blueshirts to win tonight in Chicken Wings Village on Lake Erie and then gift-wrap the series on Sunday at the Garden.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
This being professional sport, the best team doesn’t necessarily always win, but this time, it surely did. Vancouver had no answer for Pronger, for Ryan Getzlaf, for Corey Perry. The Canucks didn’t have an answer for Travis Moen. And when the best player on the ice from Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, was Sami Pahlsson and the three runners-up all played for your team, well, that’s not exactly a recipe for success.
That it stayed as close as it did for as long as it did had everything to do with Luongo’s will. That bend-but-don’t break philosophy served the Canucks so well after Christmas, when they went on their second-half run to put away all the Northwest Division challengers and made them a legitimate Stanley Cup dark horse.
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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.
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