Kukla's Korner Hockey
From AP via IHT,
Dallas Stars left winger Ladislav Nagy will not play for Slovakia at the world ice hockey championship in Russia because of a hip injury.
The 27-year-old Nagy, who scored 12 goals and had 43 assists this season, was ruled out with a hip joint injury, Slovakia’s ice hockey federation said Thursday in a statement.
From David Pollack of the Mercury News,
Four veterans - defenseman Craig Rivet and forwards Mike Grier, Curtis Brown and Bill Guerin - now in the lineup were added to put the Sharks in a better position for a Stanley Cup run. All have made contributions. But, with the Sharks and Detroit Red Wings beginning their Western Conference semifinal series today at Joe Louis Arena, none of them says he feels as if he’s under a special spotlight.
“I don’t feel any pressure because they brought me here, that I’m the reason why we’re going to win the Stanley Cup,” Rivet said. “I was just a piece of the puzzle.”
From Wayne Scanlan at the Ottawa Citizen,
Alfredsson, who turns 35 in December, and Dean McAmmond, 34 in June, are the two senior Senators in age.
They figure to have the most at stake as another opportunity comes around. How many more do they get?
McAmmond was on the sidelines for two Cup finals—in 1992 with the Chicago Blackhawks and 2004 with the Calgary Flames, but didn’t see action in either series.
He was there, he says, “watching and learning.
“I’m still wanting to get there,” he says. “I still want that ring.”
From Tony Gallagher at The Province,
Unless the league permits them to set leg hold traps, the Canucks have a significant problem and whether the potential return of any of the injured players would actually make a difference is open to question. Vancouver also had a bushel of chances and the temptation is to say “what if Taylor Pyatt had scored early in the second, or early in the third on his chances?” And while that’s intriguing, the corresponding question is what if the Ducks had scored on their good chances?
If there is one job the forwards must do better it’s slowing these guys down before they get to the defence, which suddenly looks ridiculously vulnerable with Sami Salo and Kevin Bieksa watching from the press box.
From Mark Herrmann at Newsday,
There is nothing like a little hatred to get a team going in the playoffs, according to Sabres coach Lindy Ruff. In other words, if Sean Avery didn’t exist, they would have had to invent him.
You could say that this was a classic case of an agitator agitating in reverse, although no one did say it after the Sabres beat Avery and the Rangers, 5-2, in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal. Neither side acknowledged that by talking big before the series, Avery might have stirred the Sabres into something bigger.
from the New York Times,
The Devils played their first three home playoff games before a total of nearly 6,300 empty seats, but goaltender Martin Brodeur could have sworn Continental Arena was packed to the rafters.
“I think the towels made it,” Brodeur said with a smile Tuesday, referring to the white towels given to fans to spin over their heads in the playoffs. “It fills up the empty seats.”...
The Devils, who open their second-round series at home Thursday night against Ottawa, have yet to sell out this season at 19,040-seat Continental Arena — a 26-year-old building with the all the charm of a warehouse. The Devils say they play hard no matter what, but the empty seats start conversations.
“It’s brought up,” center Scott Gomez said. “It’s something that’s definitely noticed. How can you not notice it?”
from the Moscow Times,
It’s been 14 years since the Russian national team last won the World Ice Hockey Championship, but with Moscow hosting this year’s tournament there will never be a better time to end the drought.
For Russian fans, a championship would be especially sweet in a tournament the Soviet Union virtually owned for three decades.
From 1954, when it first took part, through to the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Soviets won 22 gold, seven silver and five bronze medals, failing to finish in the top 3 just once.
The international hockey scene has changed a lot since then, however, and Russia hasn’t been able to dominate the way the Soviet Union once did.
I make mistakes and thanks to a heads-up KK reader, it will now get corrected.
In the Conference Quarter-Finals KK Challenge, I stated the total goals scored was 215, even after counting it over about five times.
The KK reader sent me a quick spreadsheet, I counted and counted again and the correct goal total was 216, therefore making Tony a winner of the $50 gift certificate.
Sorry for the mistake but nothing lost, the $100 gift certificate is still up for grabs for the Conference Semi-Finals. Good luck to everyone and belated congrats Tony!
Predictions aren’t for fools, they’re for hockey media. Do we really need to play the games? Nah. The experts have it all sorted out and can assure you exactly what’s going to happen. Check out the links below to get the exact picks, but if you want to save yourself some trouble, I’ll tell you now: they can virtually guarantee you that the Anaheim Ducks and the Buffalo Sabres are moving on. The only games worth watching (or so it would seem) would be the Sharks/Wings and the Sens/Devils.
Hmmm. All I have to say is that no one in the hockey universe predicted last year’s Stanley Cup finalists. Regardless, it’s all in good fun. Here’s some predictions to snack on till pucks start dropping tonight:
-Globe & Mail—Duhatschek
-Globe & Mail—Wharnsby
-Mike Knuble (*sorry, had to throw this one in)
-NBC Sports Crew
-Sporting News West and East
-Sportsnet—McCormick and Kelly
-The Hockey News
- Washington Post - El-Bashir
via the Sports Network,
The Florida Panthers signed left wing Ville Peltonen to a two-year contract on Wednesday.
Peltonen appeared in 72 games this season with Florida and recorded a career- high 17 goals and 37 points.
“We are pleased to have guaranteed Ville’s return to the Panthers,” said general manager and head coach Jacques Martin. “He is an extremely skilled and talented player who possesses a great hockey sense.”
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