Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Eric Stephens at the LA Times,
In the first two games of their Western Conference quarterfinal series against the Dallas Stars, the Ducks saw a Chris Pronger they don’t want to see. The invisible one.
They prefer the hard-skating, occasionally nasty one who scored two goals in Game 3.
Good or bad, the 6-foot-6 Pronger always draws attention. And in his drive to win, he sometimes crosses the line, as evidenced by his eight career suspensions, including an eight-game punishment toward the end of the regular season.
But Pronger’s performance Tuesday night showed why such reprimands by the NHL are something to simply accept.
From Tom Cowlishaw at the Dallas News,
Repeat after me. In the National Hockey League, there is no home-ice advantage.
I think we all know the Stars’ sad numbers since moving from their cozier digs at Reunion Arena. They have won one home game in their last seven playoff tries against Colorado, Vancouver and now Anaheim.
I find this trivia question rather amazing.When’s the last time the Stars won a playoff series on their home ice?
Think about it for a second. That’s long enough.
NHL Director of Officiating Stephen Walkom will be the guest on the NHL Hour today, hosted by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
The show is on from 4-5 p.m. ET today on XM Satellite Radio (Channel 204) and NHL.com. NHL Hour is an interactive talk radio show that is hosted by a rotation of League executives, and co-hosted by XM sports host and former NHL player Bill Clement.
**Archived shows available for download via a podcast on NHL.com.
from Sean Crowe at Sports Central,
...Nothing more than a highlight on “SportsCenter.” Somewhere between soccer and arena football. And I’m not sure what they need to do to fix the problem. I’m not sure it can be fixed.
In the minds of U.S. hockey fans, the sport has morphed into ... soccer. Something we’ll get excited about once every four years when we pretend to care about the Olympics.
It’s time to stop kidding ourselves. If there are four major professional sports in the United States, the NHL isn’t one of them. If there are five, the NHL probably isn’t one of them. If there are six, the NHL might be one of them.
It sucks, but it’s where we are.
The NHL is dead.
The question is, how do we bring it back to life?
more if you want…. And one word for the author, SeanCYA!
via the AP,
The city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority has approved spending $75,000 to rent portable coolers for Mellon Arena if the Pittsburgh Penguins encounter warmer weather during home playoff games.
The 47-year-old arena has been plagued by bad ice and officials are concerned it could get worse if the building isn’t kept cool enough as springtime temperatures rise. The Penguins hope to begin play in a new $290 million in the 2010-2011 season.
via Habs Inside/Out,
Canadiens’ Mark Streit is day-to-day with a hip injury and will yield his place in the lineup tonight to Michael Ryder, who was a healthy scratch in Game 4.
Captain Saku Koivu skated again on his own but will not be back tonight. Nor will Francis Bouillon, though he continues to make slow progress.
Thorsten (Kaye) currently plays wealthy casino owner, Zach Slater, in ABC’s daytime drama, All My Children. For that role, he received a Daytime Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Lead Actor” in 2006. He has also appeared in films, The Silencers, Deadly Desire, and The Bone Collector. An avid rugby and hockey fan, Kaye will chronicle the Detroit Red Wings run to the Stanley Cup.
Now I’m not usually one to flip-flop with goaltenders, but I believe we have to start with Osgood on Friday, absolutely. I don’t know how you can’t.
There was talk, before this series, about how Hasek would have to prove something, and to me, thus far, he hasn’t proved anything. He let in two soft ones again, and even though one bounced off of Kronwall, I think it was, you have to make those saves.
Heck, I would’ve let those in. Those are saves that have to be made.
The goals are coming in from too far out, their ‘D’ are the ones doing the damage. He has to be able to stop a puck from 60 feet away!
more from Thorsten at his NHL Connect blog…
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Mike Keenan – God love him – hates that tired old cliché that’s generally trotted out whenever an NHL playoff series is tied at two games apiece – that it’s now a best-of-three and may the best team win.
As far as Keenan concerned, on the morning of the fifth game of the Calgary Flames-San Jose Sharks, it’s a best-of-one. Only tonight’s game against matters; it’s the only one on his mind – and he hopes it’s the only one on his players’ minds as well.
“I would prefer to have the group playoff ready for (tonight’s) game,” replied Keenan, when asked the best-of-three question.
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
Murray deserves his share of the blame for what’s happened to the franchise, but he also fits the criteria for director of the rebuild. He knows hockey and he knows talent and where he gets an edge is that he knows Ottawa’s problems from the inside out. Given Melnyk’s other problems, Murray is the guy Melnyk has to charge with fixing the Senators.
Goaltending will be a huge issue. Emery is as good as gone, likely via a buyout. That message was sent from the moment Murray nailed him to the bench in favour of Martin Gerber. Gerber wasn’t awful in the series, but he was never close to being a difference maker and if a team has Stanley Cup aspirations or even aspirations of making the playoffs (which will be both a singular and difficult goal for the Senators next season), that has to improve.
from Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post,
Any coach should have the authority on his bench to tell his players to take a loss like men, go home with their dignity intact and use the scoreboard to seek vengeance in the next game.
But what do I know? I don’t live in the state of hockey, where die-hard Minnesota fans are still sore after the Wild got beat up by Anaheim in the playoffs a year ago.
In response, Lemaire assembled the biggest cast of desperadoes and bushwhackers seen since “Blazing Saddles” hit movie theaters in 1974.
But here in Colorado, we know all too well how stupid violence in the game can result in a broken neck.
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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