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NHL Short Notes

THURSDAY’S RESULT
Home Team in Caps
Anaheim 2, CHICAGO 1 – ANA leads series 2-1
 
DUCKS BOUNCE BACK, TAKE 2-1 SERIES LEAD OVER BLACKHAWKS
Frederik Andersen stopped 27 shots, including all 21 he faced after the first period, and Simon Despres scored the tiebreaking goal in the final minute of the middle frame to propel the Ducks to a 2-1 series lead in the Western Conference Final.
 

 
* The Ducks improved to 10-2 this postseason (w/ both losses in OT). Per Elias, they have won 10 of their first 12 playoff games for the second time in franchise history. The other instance: in 2003, when the Ducks advanced to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in club history. The 2012 Kings were the last team to accomplish that feat, going 11-1 in their first 12 games en route to winning the Stanley Cup.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Is Henrik Lundqvist Really “The Guy”?

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

It was a laughing matter to Alain Vigneault, the coach so taken aback by the inquiry at the Rangers’ press availability at the team hotel Thursday that he chuckled both before answering and while saying with a touch of incredulity, “Is that a question?”

The question, and I am the one who posed it, was whether Henrik Lundqvist would be in nets for Friday’s Game 4 of the conference final against the Lightning after having been torched for a six-pack in both of the Blueshirts’ Games 2 and 3 defeats.

(Journalism 101: There might be stupid questioners but the only stupid questions are the ones not asked.)

Vigneault’s answer to the question was simply, “Yes,” just as his answer to the follow-up about whether this was something into which he had invested much thought, was, “No.”

“Hank’s the guy,” Vigneault said.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Overtime In The Stanley Cup Playoffs

from Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Tribune,

Sudden death.

It's the most dramatic moment in all of hockey. In all of sports, really. Is there anything more exciting, more agonizing, more gripping than sudden death overtime in the Stanley Cup playoffs?

And the phrase itself — sudden death — is the most provocative in sports. Isn't it fascinating that it is from the perspective of the losing team, not the team that wins?

We don't call it sudden victory or sudden life. And the term is worse than sudden loss, probably because losing feels like more than just a loss.

For a hockey team, it does feel a little like death, as if your season is on the verge of passing on. For many teams, an overtime loss often does lead to the end of a season. Losing that suddenly is like having your heart ripped out. Surely that's what the Rangers must be feeling after losing Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final in sudden death overtime to the Lightning on Wednesday night.

You're so close to victory. Just a goal away. A goal and you win a precious game in a best-of-seven series. A loss in sudden death is like climbing a mountain, slipping just before the summit and falling all the way to the bottom again. All that you worked for is lost in an instant.

continued

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Frustration In Chicago

from Barry Rozner of the Chicago Daily-Herald,

The Ducks stifled the Hawks in the third and yet another power play went for naught when the Hawks failed to get bodies to the net and pucks to the goal.

"It's frustrating," Sharp said. "We have to be better. We have to get pucks to the net."

Captain Jonathan Toews did not use the word, but he didn't have to. His remarks were short and his temper not far behind.

"We're not making any excuses," Toews said. "We'll find ways to be better in the next one. It's a great team we're playing and we know we have to be better on special teams."

Most frustrating for Hawks fans was seeing Kris Versteeg and Joakim Nordstrom back in the lineup in place of Teuvo Teravainen and Antoine Vermette.

It meant Andrew Shaw was back at third-line center after some terrific games as a fourth-line winger. It meant the ineffective Versteeg dragged down another line, this time with Sharp on it, and it meant no Teravainen, which is inexplicable.

Perhaps most baffling is burying Sharp on the third line, when he could be helping Patrick Kane shake loose. To this point, Kane has a single point in the series after a Ducks collision offered him a loose puck in the slot and led to a goal late in the first period Thursday.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Nick Kypreos Talks Stanley Cup Playoffs With Keith Olbermann

Nick Kypreos talks hockey with Keith Olbermann.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: keith+olbermann, nick+kypreos

The Anaheim Ducks Beat The Chicago Blackhawks 2-1

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Instead of letting the past determine their future, the Anaheim Ducks revealed an inner fortitude that now has them halfway to a berth in the Stanley Cup finals.

Less than 48 hours after a crushing triple-overtime defeat in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals, the Ducks turned up in one of the loudest, most difficult buildings to play in and came away with a 2-1 victory that gives them a 2-1 series lead.

It was not particularly pretty at times.

The Ducks seemed to fall into a potentially destructive shell in the third period as they tried to nurse a one-goal lead across the finish line, relying on netminder Frederik Andersen to come up huge -- again -- as Chicago outshot Anaheim 10-5 in the third period.

And the pace was well off the dazzling to and fro that dominated the epic clash in Game 2.

But when it mattered most on Thursday night, the Ducks proved they were made of sterner stuff than could be deflated by a triple-overtime loss. And the battle-tested Blackhawks revealed that perhaps winning a game in triple overtime can be as taxing as losing one.

continued

Watch the game highlights below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Mike Babcock’s Hockey Night in Canada close-up

The end of Mike Babcock's media tour took him to Sportsnet's Hockey Night in Canada studios, where he sat down with George Strombolopolous for an 11-minute interview that aired during the 1st intermission:

If it's possible to make Mike Babcock feel warm and fuzzy, and if it's possible for Mike Babcock to make himself seem fuzzy, this is as close as it's gonna get.

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  Tags: mike+babcock, toronto+maple+leafs

Salary cap likely to rise by $2 million, says Bettman

From the Associated Press:

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman expects the salary cap for the 2015-16 season to settle in around $71 million, depending on the fluctuations of the Canadian dollar.

Appearing between the first and second periods of Game 3 of the Western Conference finals Thursday night between the Anaheim Ducks and hometown Blackhawks, the commissioner said he expects it to climb five per cent from this year’s cap figure of $69 million.

Bettman also faced several questions about concussions three months after the death of former defenceman Steve Montador, 35, who was subsequently found to have suffered from chronic traumatic encephelopathy — or CTE — a degenerative brain disease.

Continued

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  Tags: gary+bettman, salary+cap, steve+montador

Open Post- Game 3 Western Conference Finals, Anaheim Ducks vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Puck drops just after 8:00pm ET on NBCSN, CBC and TVA.

The series is 1-1 and the series shifts to Chicago for the next two games.

Discuss as you wish.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

To Keep Or Trade Milan Lucic

from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,

“All of our players have to understand that the four teams playing this week all have different attributes of skill, size, speed, and grit,” Sweeney said Wednesday at TD Garden. “But they have a sacrifice level that it takes to win in the playoffs. You have to have a blend of that to get there. We have to have more aggression in our game.”

Sweeney also wants cap flexibility. The Bruins have approximately $60 million invested in their 2015-16 roster. Dougie Hamilton, Brett Connolly, and Ryan Spooner require new contracts. The Bruins need a backup goalie.

Milan Lucic is in the last year of a deal that averages $6 million annually. It is a high sum for a player for whom 18 goals and 26 assists was considered a disappointment. Sweeney does not want to play limbo too closely under the ceiling, which is projected to be approximately $70 million next year. Trading the 26-year-old winger with cap relief as an objective would help Sweeney gain breathing room.

“We have some challenges,” Sweeney acknowledged. “We have some flexibility issues that we have to get back out in front of and that we have to address head-on.”

Moving Lucic, however, would mean losing the NHL’s signature power forward. If he and David Krejci stay healthy, Lucic’s presence and production will grow next year. Trading Lucic would not necessarily improve the team in 2015-16.

Determining Lucic’s future is one of Sweeney’s most immediate decisions. It is also one of his hardest.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: milan+lucic

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

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