Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,
Now, in Orange County at least, the old-school approach is in ascendance, in the traditionalist form of Brian Burke, and perhaps finally, this is the ticket. In his two years with the Ducks, his teams have enjoyed great on-ice success, and are about to enter the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time in franchise history.
More significant, there are hints that they finally belong….
“It’s a much better hockey market than people think,” Burke maintains. “When I was offered the job here, I didn’t have any doubts about the market. There are a lot of hockey fans here….”
from the AP via Fox Sports,
Sabres mania has hit town, and has started to bubble over as the team prepares to enter the playoffs next week as the Eastern Conference’s top seed with one objective: Winning the Stanley Cup.
Everyone - and that includes Bishop Edward Kmiec - is on board with the blue and gold.
When The Buffalo News unveiled a series of Sabres collectible medallions last month, fans began lining up at stores at 6 a.m. each day for the $2.99 trinket. When coach Lindy Ruff was fined $10,000 by the NHL in February, it took one local pizza parlor a month to raise the money, which will be donated to charity.
Who told us? Not the Detroit media, not the Wings organization, but Chris Chelios. Listen to him at A2Y.
Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer took part in an NHL tele-conference today.
Q Chris, this question is for you. Just looking back to last year, having gone through the long playoff grind with Edmonton, obviously you never want to be hurt, but were maybe the injuries you had this year a little bit of a blessing in disguise in that they may leave you a little more rested for a long run this year?
CHRIS PRONGER: I think only time can tell in that situation. But I felt great last year and now leading into the playoffs this year I feel really good. So hopefully it’s an omen.
Vincent Lecavalier took part in an NHL tele-conference today.
Q Vincent, Pat Burns came out the other day and talked about how he believes you’re the best player in the National Hockey League. He’s a person who because he doesn’t have any affiliation with anyone, his opinion, I think, carries a lot of weight rather than having to listen to somebody who is an employee of the team talk about it. What do you say when somebody like that comes out and says you’ve taken your game to that next level?
VINCENT LECAVALIER: It’s a great honor to hear something like that from Pat Burns, who knows the game and he’s been in hockey for so long. It’s really nice. But there’s great players like Sidney Crosby, 19 years old, who has got 117 points leading the league. That’s pretty impressive. But to come from him, it was a nice thing to read.
NEW YORK (April 5, 2007)—Eight clubs could clinch division titles and/or playoff berths tonight as the National Hockey League’s exciting countdown to the Stanley Cup Playoffs continues with 12 games. Tonight’s schedule features 11 games involving a club that either is competing for the four remaining playoff berths or vying for conference and/or division titles and playoff seeding.
#2 New Jersey can clinch the Atlantic Division tonight:
* If they earn at least one point at Philadelphia or Pittsburgh drops a point at Ottawa.
#4 Ottawa can clinch the #4 seed in the Eastern Conference tonight:
* If they beat Pittsburgh.
#6 Tampa Bay (idle) can clinch an Eastern Conference playoff berth tonight:
* If Toronto drops a point at NY Islanders or Montreal drops a point at NY Rangers.
#7 New York Rangers can clinch an Eastern Conference playoff berth tonight:
* If they beat Montreal or Toronto drops a point at NY Islanders
from Helene St. James at the Detroit Free Press,
Bad news for the Wings: Nicklas Lidstrom tried skating this morning at the United Center, but won’t play tonight because his back is stiff, Mike Babcock said. This is the second time in three games Lidstrom has been out with a sore back.
“I don’t thing it’s a big (deal), but it’s two times, so …,” Babcock said.
Babcock also said Hasek may not play Saturday, though no reason was given. Hasek was supposed to play the last game of the regular season.
Stephan Liv has been recalled and will be the backup in Chicago tonight.
added 3:30pm, from MLive,
Hasek took his teammates to dinner Wednesday night in Chicago as a show of his appreciation. He did not show up at the rink for the morning skate.
from Jeff Gordon at STLToday,
By finishing the season quite well despite swapping out younger players for established NHLers like Tkachuk and Bill Guerin, the Murray-led Blues are proving that this team can simultaneously rebuild and contend for a playoff berth during the coming seasons.
With all these pieces in place -– ownership with vision, upper managers with a plan, coaches capable of executing that plan -– this organization should enjoy a fairly quick turnaround.
from the News & Observer,
Eliminated from the playoffs Tuesday after blowing a two-goal lead against Tampa Bay, the defending Stanley Cup champs returned to practice this morning at the RBC Center.
“It’s not even just that it’s disappointing that the season’s over,” Carolina wing Erik Cole said after practice. “It’s disappointing that we had the right pieces, and we couldn’t get it done. So these next two games are going to be a good mental challenge for every guy individually.”
I would want to hang around too…
The NHL says it has reviewed the incident and, as far as the league is concerned, the case is closed.
“We were made aware of the situation right after the game in question,” NHL executive vice president Colin Campbell told TSN. “We investigated it, talked with the officials and both teams and we determined there were no grounds to pursue it any further. It’s a closed matter as far as we are concerned. We don’t have to respond to what’s in today’s newspapers because we’ve already responded to it.”...
Lundqvist told reporters on Wednesday before learning of the allegations that he prefers to remain in the crease to maintain concentration during breaks.
pic via the New York Islanders
added 2:11pm, Raycroft gets it!
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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