Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
“We’re like the Queen,” the San Jose Sharks’ Joe Thornton was saying. “We travel with our own toilet seat.”
OK, that probably needs some explanation. The Sharks moved into the visitor’s dressing room at the Pengrowth Saddledome Sunday morning, to continue their best-of-seven Western Conference playoff series against the Flames. The Sharks usually travel with all kinds of team-related paraphernalia. Draped just inside the entrance to the dressing room are replicas of their Pacific Division champion banners (from 2001-02 and 2003-04). There are personalized Shark skate mats for each player; every one of the four walls also has a This Is Sharks Playoff time posters. All make sense – sort of.
Update 6:01pm ET: More from Duhatschek today on the Sharks/Flames series, including musings on Jarome Iginla’s “scoring slump”:
[On] Masters Sunday, Keenan invoked the spirit of Tiger Woods, noting how Iginla “reminds me of Tiger – a bogey on the first hole and then he’s going to birdie the rest of the 17. I’m looking forward to it.”
added 6:51pm, Why not- even more on the toilet seat from Working the Corners....
• Nashville fans, I understand your frustration but one thing to note: It it time to look within the team itself. The lack of offense being created by your first line should be questioned. Will it change in games 3 & 4 when Trotz has the last line change, it can, but remember Babcock will most likely split up Zetterberg and Datsuyk if he has to.
More production from Arnott and Dumont is a must for this series to go past five games.
• Has the bad karma caught up with the Ducks?
• The Flyers need better goaltending to stay in the series with the Capitals. Average play between the pipes isn’t going to cut it.
• Brodeur has been known to steal a game or two in his playoff career. Well, tonight better be on of those times.
• If you live in the Eastern time zone, you may want to take a two hour nap today. The Sharks/Flames game tonight is a must view.
• A victory tonight by the Bruins puts them right back into the series. Remember, when you least expect them to win, they do.
from Stu Hackel of Slap Shot at the NY Times,
If anyone alive is more steeped in hockey tradition or hockey culture than Dick Irvin, that person is purely fictional. Dick Irvin, however, is real. His father, James Dickinson “Dick” Irvin, was a Hockey Hall of Fame player, an original Chicago Black Hawk in 1926 (their first captain, in fact) who became a Stanley Cup winning coach for Toronto and then Montreal during the glory days of Rocket Richard. Young Dick, Jr. absorbed his father’s love for the game, became a sports broadcaster in Montreal and made his own mark as an announcer for Hockey Night in Canada as well as the Canadiens. He was a Hockey Hall of Fame Media Honoree in 1988.
In the ’60s, Irvin was paired with Danny Gallivan, probably the greatest hockey play-by-play announcer of all time, and became the sport’s first color commentator.
from the Edmonton Journal,
This is the longest Clarke has been out of real work. He’s a sounding board for current Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren. He’s still around, if needed, but it’s not like Holmgren has Clarke’s number on speed dial. This is Holmgren’s club now and Clarke doesn’t want to intrude.
But he’s still got some fire in his gut. You know he’d like to be on the inside.
“I’m not campaigning for a job ... somebody has to call me first,” shrugged Clarke, who isn’t going to go banging on the door of someone like Richard Peddie, who runs the Toronto Maple Leafs, to get on their list for GM to replace the caretaker Cliff Fletcher.
“I think I’ve been around long enough and if I fit what a team is looking for ... .”
from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Biron will be back in the net today. Stevens is smart to stay with the anointed playoff starter, at least for now. Changing goalies is a little like changing quarterbacks. It’s a move that can look like panic if a coach makes it too quickly or too often. Besides, if Stevens does have to go to Antero Niittymaki, it will be very tough to go back to Biron….
“Four goals should be enough in a playoff game,” Flyers forward Mike Knuble said.
It is if the goaltender can make a great save or two, or if you don’t hand the puck to the league’s leading scorer late in the third period….
Nothing tells you more about a coach than a playoff series. This is Stevens’ first in the NHL. He and his staff did a solid job of preparing for the Capitals. That much was clear from Game 1.
Now comes the real test: guiding this team through a series it proved it can win, even as it found a way to lose.
Well, we improved on some of the things from Game 1. Just seemed like they got more of the bounces today. We got a break on our first goal, but they caught a break on the game-winner and seemed like we caught the post on some chances when they were back on their heels.
Down 0-2 isn’t what you want, but teams have come back from that before. I know it’s a cliche, but we have to take it one game at a time. We’re back home for Games 3 and 4. If we win our home games, then it’s back to even. On Monday night we need our fans to be as loud as you were that last home game against St. Louis. Let’s concentrate on getting that one on Monday and moving on from there.
-Steve Sullivan at his Nashville Predators blog...
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
The Chicago Blackhawks badly want a puck-moving D-man when the free-agent shopping starts July 1, but there’s no way they’re getting Brian Campbell, who’ll re-up in San Jose because he wants to keep playing with childhood friend Joe Thornton.
Wade Redden or John-Michael Liles are in their fall-back position, but Redden’s stock has dropped surprisingly the last two years in Ottawa and Liles is coming off a very so-so year. Liles is on Carolina’s radar, too.
many more NHL bits…
from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,
In San Jose, we enjoy hockey. In Canada, they metabolize hockey.
How best to explain it? Take the average amount of pro football interest in an American city. Multiply by three. Then stick an “I ♥ FACIAL STITCHES” bumper sticker on it.
That’s hockey in Canada.
Tonight is the first Sharks playoff game in this city since the 2004 Western Conference finals. My major off-ice memory of that series is how, while walking around downtown, every third or fourth person I saw was wearing a Flames jersey. It was preferred work attire. I was checked into my hotel room by Jarome Iginla. I exchanged my American money with bank teller Miikka Kiprusoff. And I was served a fast-food burger by Robyn Regehr.
Also, I could swear every cab driver I had was a Sutter brother.
from John Shipley of the Pioneer Press,
At 29, Todd Fedoruk finally is becoming the hockey player he always has wanted to be. It’s happening just in time for the Wild.
Desperately seeking goals in a tight, physical playoff series with the Colorado Avalanche, the Wild have scored two that can be traced to Fedoruk within a degree of separation: his power-play goal in Game 1 and Pavol Demitra’s long slapper in Game 2, which sneaked by a Fedoruk screen.
The two goals perfectly encapsulate what Fedoruk is giving the Wild as they prepare for Game 3 on Monday night at Pepsi Center in this best-of-seven, first-round series — size, grit and toughness, with an occasional touch of offense.
from Jennifer Floyd Engel of the Star-Telegram,
His wicked wrister basically wrapped up a 5-2 victory for the Stars on Saturday and, as a result, they are coming back to Dallas with a chance to get out of the first round for the first time since 2003 without having to leave the state again.
“I think it’s huge,” Richards said. “You want to feel wanted and feel like you are contributing.”
He is. And he has.
Don’t look now, but this Stars team suddenly looks different with Richards. Dare I say dangerous?
This is what happens when all three of your big-name, big-money, big-expectation centers come to play in April. Any coach will tell you that kind of depth is almost impossible to stop.
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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