Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Ross McKeon SF Gate,
The Sharks, with visions of bringing a 2-0 series lead home after scoring two goals in the first 4:17, were instead left trying to explain how they could let a golden opportunity slip away.
“We had opportunities throughout the game and (Dominik) Hasek made some huge saves,” Sharks coach Ron Wilson said, “but I think about the dumb mistakes we made in the third period that you can’t make in a playoff game.”
From Lonnie White at the LA Times,
Getting production from the Ducks’ grinders is important in this series because Vancouver uses a four-line rotation. That might have played a role in the Ducks’ Game 2 defeat.
Each Canucks forward had at least 22 shifts and more than 13 minutes of ice time, while the Ducks stuck with a three-line rotation and their forwards seemed to tire in the second overtime.
“We have to go out and play physical and create some energy; that’s our job here in the playoffs,” Thornton said. “Whatever we can chip in offensively would be a big help to the team.”
That has not been a problem for the Canucks, who won Game 2 on fourth-line winger Jeff Cowan’s overtime goal.
From Michael Rosenberg at the Free Press,
The Red Wings might just do something they haven’t done in 10 years: Pull off a playoff upset.
Yes, upset. I know: The Wings are the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. They came into this series with home-ice advantage. And they are the Red Wings. How can the Red Wings be the underdog? Was it an upset when King Kong beat Godzilla?
continued… *King Kong vs Godzilla?? You gotta love playoff hockey coverage…
From Steve Simmons via Slam! Sports,
The Maple Leafs’ championship drought is often overblown in both perspective and in reality.
Yes, 40 years have elapsed since the Leafs won a Stanley Cup, but no, on a broader scale of professional sporting achievement, that’s not exactly monumental.
At least the Leafs have championships, although all were produced in a six-team league.
From Bridget Wentworth at the Star-Ledger,
Martin Brodeur changed his equipment yesterday.
Not just his pads. His glove and his blocker as well.
All brand new.
“I just wanted to feel good, feel different,” he said.
His timing could not have been better.
Brodeur played his best game of the playoffs last night in the Devils 3-2 double overtime victory over the Ottawa Senators at Continental Airlines Arena in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
From Larry Brooks at the NY Post,
If the Rangers sincerely believed what they were telling the press yesterday about not having to dramatically ramp up their game in order to have a chance of advancing, they are not only kidding themselves, but the postseason will become the offseason within a week.
Game 3 at the Garden this afternoon, and however many remain in the series, will be about depth, no question about that. But more so it will be about the Rangers’ best players bringing their collective “A” game to the rink for the first time this series.
From Ben Kuzma at The Province,
Like Sgt. Rock of comic-book fame, Willie Mitchell should be chomping down on a cigar and tugging on a machine-gun trigger while leading his troops to victory.
The Vancouver Canucks defenceman not only battled back from an early injury Friday in a 2-1 double-overtime win over the Anaheim Ducks, he expects a similar effort today in the Western Conference semifinal series now even at one game apiece.
“We’ve got more in the bag,” said Mitchell. “We’re underdogs I guess and a lot of people were writing us off after Game 1. They were saying that [Ducks] team is too much for us, and that’s motivation.
From Stu Cowan at The Gazette,
With the Canadiens missing the playoffs for the second time in four seasons and the sixth time since their last Stanley Cup championship in 1993, there’s little for Montreal hockey fans to cheer about these days.
So why not cheer for some of the former Canadiens who are still alive in the playoffs? In fact, of the eight teams remaining in the Stanley Cup hunt, the Ottawa Senators are the only one that doesn’t have a former Canadien on the roster.
continued... *Some of his choices: Chris Chelios, Trevor Linden, Francois Beauchemin, Dainius Zubrus…
From the AP,
Canada’s Shea Weber was suspended Sunday for three games at the Hockey World Championship for hitting German forward Yannic Seidenberg in the head a day earlier.
“A three-game suspension in a tournament like this is awfully tough,” Canadian head coach Andy Murray said. “It’s the equivalent of a 40-game suspension back in the National Hockey League based on the number of games we’re playing here — but that’s what they decided and that’s what we’ll deal with.”
The Nashville Predators defenceman was ejected just 1:19 into Saturday’s Group C game, after forcefully elbowing Seidenberg in the chin as came through centre ice with his head down.
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