Kukla's Korner Hockey
Ryan Smyth will not be back on the Island. Money will not matter, the ability to win the Cup will.- Pierre McGuire
more playoff talk from Pierre at NBC Sports...
from Kara Yorio of the Sporting News,
A consistent set of rules is great, but does it mean taking the “feel of the game” element out of officiating? And is that best? A penalty may be a penalty, but what about a situation such as when the referee momentarily loses sight of the puck near the goalie? Would a “feel” ref, who might wait to see if the puck still is moving before blowing his whistle, mean the difference in a game or possibly a series?
And what about a series that is teetering on the brink of chaos? Wouldn’t it be better to call things a little tighter early so the players get in line and don’t turn that inch they’re given into a mile?
Not an issue, Walkom says. There is no longer such a thing as the game being called tightly or loosely. It’s called by the rules. At least that’s the hope. Walkom admits it doesn’t always happen—and that’s another good reason, he says, for moving officials around.
from the San Francisco Chronicle,
More than a decade later, the skate is on the other foot as many expect San Jose’s physical advantage to prevail for a potential monster conference showdown against Anaheim in the third round.
“We just focus on the game we play, just like we did against Nashville,” coach Ron Wilson said.
The Sharks won three of four during the regular season against Detroit. However, the two teams were done playing each other by early January so the Wings didn’t see the Sharks with forward Bill Guerin or defenseman Craig Rivet, and San Jose didn’t see Detroit with forwards Todd Bertuzzi and Kyle Calder, all of whom changed addresses at the trade deadline.
“We know we can compete with Detroit and we know we stack up well against them,” McLaren said. “But on the other side, it’s been a while since we’ve played them.”
from the Atlanta Thrashers,
Atlanta Thrashers captain Scott Mellanby announced today that he has officially retired from the National Hockey League.
“I’ve been fortunate to live my dream for the past 21 years, and it’s with a heavy heart that I’m retiring from the National Hockey League,” said Mellanby. “I’d like to thank all of my great teammates, the fans who have supported me, and all the wonderful people I have met along the way.”
from The Maven,
By rights, I should never let emotion get the best of me when it comes to predicting Stanley Cup playoff series.
Granted, I lost it the other night, suggesting that the Rangers will sweep the Sabres.
That’s a stretch; but there’s no doubt in my mind that the Blueshirts will beat Buffalo – and I’ll make it in five games.
The Rangers have better goaltending – Henny Lundqvist over Ryan Miller – and have jelled at the right time.
from The Brown Daily Herald,
The intensity in the arenas of established hockey teams during the postseason cannot even be compared to the NBA - and even my beloved MLB - whose fan base has become frustratingly commercialized, superficial and corporate over the past few seasons….
Analysts have suggested that HDTV will make hockey a more appealing television product. I concur fully. The resulting HD picture is sharper than Jay Mariotti’s eyebrows, and there’s no longer a “need” for Fox’s FoxTrax of the mid-1990s. Although, I do admit that I sometimes get nostalgic for Kevin Dineen slapping around the glow-puck in a Hartford Whalers sweater.
Hockey is also blessed to have an incredibly talented corps of announcers that rival the likes of baseball’s Kalas, Scully and Gary Cohen. In fact, Doc Emrick is the best play-by-play man in all of sports. It is unreal how he can verbalize so much information so quickly, accurately and clearly and still exude such energy and passion for the game.
from the CBC,
Hockey Night In Canada analyst Scott Morrison makes his picks and predictions for the second stage of the Stanley Cup playoffs….
ANAHEIM (2) vs. VANCOUVER (3)
Key Player: J.S. Giguere has to be as good as Roberto Luongo. Simple. No reason, after getting to the finals a few years ago, that he can’t. But the way Luongo is playing, there is a smaller margin for error for the Ducks goaltender.
Key player: Markus Naslund has to step up and take charge, to assert himself and rediscover his offensive form – not just for a night, but a series.
Prediction: Ducks in six games.
thanks to a KK member for the pointer…
from the Buffalo News,
The New York Rangers haven’t had a game in six days, so their players have had a lot of downtime to fill. Avery has been using his to visualize his opponents in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
“I’ve just secretly been making up things in my head about guys on their team that they’ve done to me so I can identify with them when we’re going in a corner,” Avery said Monday in New York. “I’ve already decided I hate all those guys, so we’re not going to have any problem with that.”
Hate is a common word when discussing Avery. His peers named him the most hated player in the NHL in a poll by the Hockey News, and he won in a landslide. Avery got 66 percent of the vote while Nashville’s Jordin Tootoo placed second with just 6 percent.
from George Johnson at the Calgary Herald,
Sutts Lite, he came to be called.
It’s difficult to figure out if we got even a fleeting glimpse of the real Jim Playfair at all. He had that suspicious, tight-lipped, us-against-the-world Sutter thing going almost from the drop of the puck.
If he did deliberately adopt the pose, maybe it’s because that’s what he felt his boss believed a winning coach to be. Or maybe he did it out of respect for someone he truly does admire, imitation being the sincerest form of flattery.
Or just maybe, as he told us countless times heading into this adventure: “I’m more like Darryl than you guys think.’’ Maybe he actually is as much of a hard nut as Sutter. Only with fewer credentials to fall back on.
from Darren Dreger at TSN,
When it comes to Mike Keenan, the hockey world has learned to expect the unexpected.
With that in mind, Keenan is about to add a new chapter to his storied career by returning to hockey management, but not with a National Hockey League team, at least not for the moment.
Keenan, most recently a hockey analyst with TSN, has accepted the position of Senior Advisor to the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation.
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.
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