Kukla's Korner Hockey
As I have mentioned in the past, KK software is getting old or in hockey terms, it is like a 45 year-old verteran not named Chelios who is trying to keep up.
We have increased the server side of things to relieve some of the strain, but it can only do so much.
A complete re-build is scheduled for the summer months and KK will look a very different when released.
KK depends on you, the members and readers more so than other hockey site. We have no corporate backing so we depend on ad revenue and donations like the one going on now.
We are getting there slowly so if you use KK on a regular basis, any help would be appreciated.
Previous post on this topic is here.
SNEAK PEEK AT SATURDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Chicago @ Anaheim, series tied 3-3, 8:00 p.m., NBC, CBC, TVA
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DUCKS, BLACKHAWKS CLOSE CONFERENCE FINALS WITH GAME 7
The second berth in the Stanley Cup Final is up for grabs when the Ducks play host to the Blackhawks in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final at Honda Center. Both clubs are contesting their first Game 7 since being eliminated (at home) by the Stanley Cup champion Kings last year – the Ducks in Game 7 of the Second Round (6-2 L) and the Blackhawks in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final (5-4 OT L).
The Ducks are playing their third Game 7 in as many seasons; they also lost (at home) to the Red Wings in the 2013 Western Conference Quarterfinals (3-2 L). The Blackhawks are playing their fourth Game 7 in the past five seasons; each of the past three has required overtime – also in the 2013 Western Conference Semifinals vs. DET (2-1 OT W) and the 2011 Western Conference Quarterfinals at VAN (2-1 OT L).
In these playoffs, Cooper has accepted congratulatory handshakes from Mike Babcock, Michel Therrien and now Alain Vigneault and he prepares to coach against Joel Quenneville or Bruce Boudreau in the Stanley Cup Final.
Thumbs up to Jon Cooper, better known now but still not a household name, like Dan Bylsma, for example. Bylsma happens to be the last coach who won the Stanley Cup with his first NHL team.
-Dave Hodge of TSN where you can read more on Cooper and last night's game.
from the CP at TSN,
After two weeks of brilliant, bruising hockey, Toews and Getzlaf don't plan to say much in the dressing rooms before the Blackhawks and Ducks meet for the conference title and a spot in the Stanley Cup Final.
Both captains believe their clubs need no extra motivation to conclude this remarkable series with a big finish.
"We've been through the experiences now," Getzlaf said Friday after a spirited Ducks practice. "We have to use them the way we need to. That's the biggest thing. I've always believed that you learn a lot from losing."
Both teams have lost three times apiece in these conference finals, alternating victories in a tense, well-played series. The Ducks have just one regulation loss in the entire post-season, but it was in Game 6, a 5-2 defeat that might have turned the series' momentum in the Blackhawks' favour heading back to Orange County.
"You try to will your way to the win," Toews said. "And given that passion we have in our team, we're feeling pretty good about our chances."
Both teams' recent history contains motivation and warnings when they face off to conclude a series already featuring six overtime periods and four one-goal games.
The Ducks' last two postseasons ended with a Game 7 loss at home, and they blew a 3-2 series lead both times. Anaheim is a three-time Pacific Division champion and one of the NHL's top teams ever since coach Bruce Boudreau took over in late 2011, but hasn't broken through into trophy territory.
"It's happened too often the last couple years," Ducks forward Corey Perry said. "But you win (Saturday) night, and people start talking about something different. We're not focused on the past. We're focused on (Saturday) night, starting something different. It's one game to go play for the Stanley Cup. It doesn't get any more exciting than that."
from Mark Whicker of the LA Daily News,
How do you beat Chicago?
Probably not by fixating on wearing out Chicago’s defense. Not at this point, with two days between Games 6 and 7. There was an unverified report that Duncan Keith used the extra time to run from Chicago to Anaheim, instead of flying. Maybe he didn’t, but he looked October-fresh when he bedeviled the Ducks in Game 6.
The Ducks’ chances rest on how many people they get in front of Corey Crawford, how few times they visit the penalty box, and how many faceoffs they win. As Boudreau said, a faceoff win will keep Quenneville from sending Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane over the boards on the fly, since he won’t be able to match Toews/Kane against the Getzlaf line on the road.
Crawford isn’t a statistical marvel. He was benched for Scott Darling in the first round. Blaming him for losses is the default queue in Chicago. And he doesn’t face many power plays.
But Crawford habitually makes memorable third-period saves, and he has little shot-blocking help. The distance between the Ducks and this win might be measured in the inches that separate Perry, Patrick Maroon and Matt Beleskey from Crawford.
Game 7s are funny. Wayne Gretzky had a great one in 1993. More recently, Patrice Bergeron and Henrik Lundqvist did. But often it’s Max Talbot or Sean Bergenheim or Joel Ward or Todd Marchant who takes over.
from Rich Chere of NJ.com,
Phil Housley, who played 22 games for the Devils late in the 1995-96 season, is at the top of general manager Ray Shero's short list to become the club's next head coach.
Shero has done an extensive search to find the right coach for the Devils, considering Guy Boucher of SC Bern in Switzerland, Washington Capitals assistant coach Todd Reirden and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton AHL coach John Hynes, but Housley has emerged as the leading choice.
Housley, 51, is currently an assistant coach with the Nashville Predators under Peter Laviolette. The Predators were knocked out of the playoffs this year by the Chicago Blackhawks in six games.
He coached Team USA to the gold medal at the 2013 world junior championships in Ufa, Russia.
Watch as a perceived series of missed calls resulted in Quebec Remparts fans littering the ice with cans, bottles and other items at the MasterCard Memorial Cup.
from Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times,
Step aside, Brad Richards. Move over, Vinny Lecavalier. Make some room, Nikolai Khabibulin. The stars of the 2004 Stanley Cup championship team now have some company. For the second time in franchise history, the Lightning will play for the Stanley Cup.
"This is a special group," Killorn said. "We've known that since Day 1."
Survive and advance. Three rounds down and one to go. The dream is alive and well thanks to Friday night's improbable 2-0 victory over the Rangers in a winner-take-all Game 7 at Madison Square Garden.
"I can't tell you how excited I am to play for the Stanley Cup," Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said.
Few gave the Lightning a chance. Not against the Rangers. Not in New York. The Rangers had played seven Game 7s at home and had never lost. They couldn't be beat.
Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, an elimination-game specialist, is the best big-game goalie in the business. He couldn't lose.
The Lightning, after losing at home in Game 6 and seemingly blowing its chance to wrap up the series, had to go all the way to New York in what seemed like a death march. It couldn't win.
"There weren't many people picking us," Lightning goalie Ben Bishop said.
"We were kind of underdogs coming in," center Tyler Johnson said.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
The ending did not change, except it came one round earlier this time, one period and one game shy of the Stanley Cup final to which the Rangers had vowed to return from the moment they were beaten in Los Angeles 50 weeks ago to the night.
The ending did not change, but the mood in the locker room following Friday’s 2-0 Game 7 defeat to the Lightning in the Eastern Conference final could not have been more different.
For where a year ago there were tears, despair and excruciating pain, this time there was shared numbed acceptance of the team’s fate. This team that had come so far still had so far to go and couldn’t get there.
“I don’t feel mad, angry or sad,” Derek Stepan told The Post. “It just sucks right now. It just sucks.”
Game 7 at the Garden with Henrik Lundqvist was supposed to be a Sure Thing. But there are no sure things in pro sports — as Mariano Rivera’s misadventure on the mound in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series in Arizona can attest.
There are no sure things when a team comes up with no goals.
By defeating the New York Rangers 2-0 tonight, the Lightning have advanced to the Stanley Cup Final.
They'll face the winner of the Anaheim Ducks/Chicago Blackhawks game which will be played tomorrow night.
Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final will be on Wednesday.
added 11:19pm, Watch the on-ice celebration and game highlights...
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org