Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Brophy of the Hockey News,
Think Carolina coach Peter Laviolette has a monumental decision in terms of whom to start in goal for Game 7? Not a chance! It’s Cam Ward all the way. The rookie was sensational Tuesday night in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Sabres. Buffalo outshot Carolina 31-26 and Ward was exceptional in the opening period when the Sabres peppered 14 shots his way. Referees Bill McCreary and Dan O’Halloran came under heat for some missed calls and a first-period tripping minor to Buffalo’s Jay McKee, but isn’t that exactly what one expects when the season is on the line for one team?continued
from Stan Fischler of MSG Network,
Michael Peca is the chameleon of the NHL. One wonders whether the $3.99 million-man was dogging it for six months in Edmonton before coming out of hibernation this spring. Somehow we have a feeling Sir Michael was not earning his keep, and the playoff awakening does not erase those sins of omission.
from the Toronto Star,
Imagine this: The Maple Leafs are one win away from clinching a berth in the Stanley Cup final — hey, we never said this would be easy — but the game is being televised only on The Space Channel. That's the situation the good people of Raleigh faced last night as their Hurricanes battled the Buffalo Sabres in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final, with the game being shown on the little-watched Outdoor Life Network. While Edmontonians have to worry about their downtown being burned down and looted during the playoffs, the biggest worry in Raleigh is whether or not one outdoor tent will be enough to accommodate the hundreds of "Caniacs" at the Carolina Ale House in suburban Raleigh.continued
from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,
"When guys used to do that 15 years ago," said Carolina Hurricanes forward Doug Weight, "the captain of the team would say, 'Wake up!' " All Buffalo Sabres captain Daniel Briere said was, "Thank you." Whatever view was taken of the controversial overtime penalty that led to Briere's goal last night, the fact remains the Sabres won 2-1, and now, the Eastern Conference final will be decided in a seventh game tomorrow night. "I take responsibility," he said, "but it was a bad penalty. It's crap. He has done it three or four times in the series. It has only been called a couple of times, but I guess he was successful at the right time. And then you see guys on the bench giving him pats on the back for that. I'll be out to make amends (tomorrow)."read on
from Go Erie,
"When you have a young team like they have, it's nice to have this kind of success," Bowman said. "But it works the other way, too. The more success you have, the less maneuverability you have to sign players. But I think (the Sabres) are in good shape right now. They've done a good job of figuring out how to make this work under the new rules."more (reg. req.)
from the Globe and Mail,
There was another factor, something a Buffalo sports fan will tell you has always been in short supply in this beleaguered city — luck. In the irony of ironies, it was a referee's call that brought good fortune to the Sabres. When Hurricanes centre Doug Weight was nailed for driving Jason Pominville into the boards in overtime, the Sabres' power play finally clicked after squandering four previous opportunities. Just before that call, any of the 18,695 fans at the HSBC Arena would have told you they were getting shafted yet again by the referees.more
from the Detroit Free Press,
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland is in active pursuit of defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom. The Steve Yzerman front, however, remains quiet. Holland said Tuesday he has begun negotiations with Don Meehan, the agent for Lidstrom. The Wings had hoped to keep Lidstrom in the $7-million range, but those hopes may have been crushed last week when Tampa Bay made forward Brad Richards the second-highest paid player in the NHL at $7.8 million. The Richards signing could have repercussions throughout the league; in Lidstrom's case, it means he is likelier to cost closer to $8 million per season. "We're early in the process and I expect that we're going to have further discussions over the next couple of weeks," Holland said.continued...more Wing UFA talk...
Post game interview with Briere, Drury & Miller...
Q. Daniel, all you wanted was a Game 7, you got it. DANIEL BRIERE: Yeah, before the game that's all we were looking for. We wanted a chance at Game 7. It's exciting to get it done here in front of our fans. We have won over there, now we know we can win in Carolina. We played extremely well in Game 5, could have gone both ways. We're excited about going back for Game 7. Q. When did you know it was in? DANIEL BRIERE: I saw the light go on. I saw the fans kind of jumping up. I couldn't see much from the blue line. I mean, it's a heck of a feeling when you see everybody getting up in the building and the building's going nuts like that.more in the comments section...
from the NY Times,
There is no hint of the allegiances within, other than a "Go Oilers" placard duct-taped to the garage door. But at the kitchen table where Fernando Pisani eats his pre-game meal — Mom's penne pasta and chicken in a red sauce — Cosimo and Maria Pisani ponder the improbability of a son of Italian immigrants becoming the hometown hero of a rejuvenated Canadian city and its favorite hockey team.continued
The Phoenix Coyotes are set to announce on Wednesday that Wayne Gretzky will return next season as head coach. Gretzky and the Coyotes have been negotiating on a new contract that would keep him behind the bench for the next few seasons.
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